US Army Signal NCO transitioning to Civilian and hopefully a Network Engineer

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Beau in Augusta, Georgia

47 months ago

Hello!

I am a US Army Staff Sergeant in the Signal Corps. My primary job according to the Army is satellite communications. In that realm, I worked with Ku band VSATs as an operator. I then went to a Network Operations role as the SatCom operations Non Commissioned Officer. Most of my experience was gained during 2 deployments to Afghanistan for mission critical communications. There I gained an interest in networking. So, I worked hard and passed my CCNA exam. I am working on my CCNA Security right now (Exam in 2 weeks!) And if all goes well, I will begin studying for the CCNP Router and Switch exams. That's my background :)

I plan to get out of the Army a little over a year from now (will be 6 years time in service) and hope to be hired on as a Network Engineer. My biggest concern is whether I will be a marketable prospect having no degree but some good experiences and motivation. Secondly, I hope to be employed in the Raleigh, NC area. I see that there is a large market for Network Engineers there. Could having no degree have a negative impact on my marketability in that area as I expect there are plenty of experienced candidates from nice schools with a bachelors under their belt fighting for these positions? If so, what should I do to help mitigate this?

The transition from Army to Civilian sounds a bit crazy right now since the Army is all that I know, so I am just trying to get a feel for the market and get some individual opinions on the market and such. I want to make sure I prepare myself to the fullest before I get out of the Army. Thanks for reading!

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Assistant to the Assistant in Portland, Oregon

45 months ago

Of course not having a degree will negatively impact your marketability. To mitigate it work towards your degree, get Network Engineer experience, and continue to get certifications. Another plus you may or may not have is a Security Clearance. SatCom does not directly correlate to a Network Engineer position. I was in the Air Force and supported the Army with there Information Technology needs. The Army Signal personnel were performing Infantry duties and had no clue about Information Technology.

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