For some of us, we end up taking an alternative path to get to your dream job at your dream company. It may not be the most traditional or direct route, but we can still achieve our goals by being strategic with every step of our journey. You might not jump straight from graduation to your dream job, but if you keep on the path by making wise choices, you can achieve your goals and more.
“Tailor your education towards the career you want. Take a look at what employers require for their job roles and tailor your education to fit that. If employers want certain degrees or certifications, then build your educational road map including those requirements.”
Shauna Harris Holley
Sometimes this might even mean, choosing to take the CCNA courses offered by Networking Academy twice. Shauna Harris Holley of North Carolina, in the states, decided to do just that, with a ten-year gap between her foray with the coursework.
“I began working on my associate’s degree and taking Networking Academy courses. After graduating with my associate’s degree, I worked for an ISP for a few years and then began working at a university as a computer technician. While working at the university, I decided to enroll in courses to complete my bachelor’s degree and during that time, I also took the CCNA courses again. Because at this point, about 10 years had passed, and I wanted to have the most up-to-date information so that I could pass the CCNA. Once I passed the CCNA, then I refocused on my dream job – which was working at Cisco.”
Shauna’s personal philosophy is that one should tailor your education based on what your dream job requires. And she knew that her educational foundation was key. “The number one thing that Networking Academy has taught me, is networking fundamentals. My career would not be where it was if I did not have the basic understanding of networking.”
She also took the opportunity, when she was nominated by her instructor, to be part of a Talent Bridge Dream Team. And on more than one occasion, has participated as a panelist for Networking Academy webinars as well as being part of the Advisory Board. Using her valuable experiences to give back to the community.
Using her CCNA certification and experiences that she built, she worked towards obtaining her dream job at her dream company. “I landed my first role at Cisco as a NOC [Network Operations Center] engineer. Worked as a NOC engineer for two years. And then I began looking at Cisco’s Cloud Security Portfolio. I was really interested in supporting those products, so I made the transition from a Network Engineer to a Support Engineer supporting Cisco Umbrella.”
As an experienced professional, having built experiences in a variety of ways, Shauna shares her advice on how to achieve your career goals. “Tailor your education towards the career you want. Take a look at what employers require for their job roles and tailor your education to fit that. If employers want certain degrees or certifications, then build your educational road map including those requirements. It is always a good idea to take that first job that you can get in IT, that will help build your skills and give you real world experience so that you can use that to leverage what you learned to get your dream job at the dream company you want to work for.”