Network Specialist – A Critical Career Opportunity
Computer backbone networking for all needs of a business or group is the focus of the Networking Specialist Tech-Shop. Today, nearly all transactions in business and personal activities involve a computer: recording a sale, computing payroll, keeping track of inventory, paying bills, playing a game, talking with loved ones, and more. In this age of high technology, every organization with a computer needs to have Network Specialists available, either on-site or on-call, to deal with the problems that will certainly occur.
This Tech-Shop discussion is structured to speak to youth or adults considering a career in the field of Networking Technologies. We are looking to both motivate and answer questions for what it takes to succeed and also what a person gets out of it individually. Details would include server infrastructure and the design or servicing of that physical network or a given segment for a service group (ie. Hardware/servers, Wireless, ERP, desktop work, engineering, data lake, etc.), the role of education and certifications (what is really needed), what a “day in the life” of a Network Specialist looks like and to provide a forum for an open dialogue.
Every list of high-demand/high-salary jobs points to many careers related to computer technology. And keep in mind, “Infrastructure” (networks, operating systems, application, and database servers) will always be in demand. Someone has to keep all of this technology working correctly! Those are the duties of a Network Specialist. This means that a Network Specialist has a multitude of responsibilities and specific skills which makes for a great background and broad career paths.
CompTIA lists over 150,000 job postings annually for “Network Specialist”. This position is a key entry-level role that leads to many fascinating career paths both in technology and management.
Typical Network Specialist Roles include:
Perform day-to-day IT support tasks including computer assembly, wireless networking, installing programs, and customer service and includes end-to-end customer support, ranging from identifying problems to troubleshooting and debugging.
Use many different systems including Windows, Linux, configuring DNS (Domain Name Systems), Command-Line Interface on servers, and coding various types of automation scripts.
Support the infrastructure of an organization (operating systems, designing and building networks, maintaining and managing network devices, and using network hardware such as switches and routers).
Keep the organization functioning – in addition to building, analyzing, optimizing infrastructure, the Network Specialists identify, troubleshoot, and resolve computer network problems.
More advanced positions may be responsible to design, build and support local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Intranets.
To become a Network Specialist, you need to develop a strong foundational knowledge in networking concepts, including the OSI model, internet, various networking protocols, and so on.
Our panelists include experts whose careers have spanned the length and breadth of networking technology starting as entry-level and working into education, senior staff, and executive positions. The panel will overview the Network Specialist career discussing the process, techniques, and technology used to create and manage networks and computer systems in corporations large and small. They will also discuss careers and the skills needed to enter the field. Please attend the live virtual panel on Saturday, January 29, 2022, from 10-11:00 AM.
Attend this virtual panel discussion to learn more about the Network Specialist Technology Careers, what it is like to work in this area, and how to prepare for these positions. The panelists followed different paths to their positions.
The panel will be moderated by Jeffrey Hunter, Founder of accessAmerica Group (a consulting and investment group) working with 2 startups, one as CIO for a startup mobile device manufacture, VP of Field Operations for an energy company, and former CIO for Hartford’s Non-Standard auto division.
The virtual panel will take place on Saturday, January 29th from 10:00-11:00 AM CST. Please see this link for more detail about the event.
Live Event Link (will only be active when the event starts)
Some topics that will be covered include:
The panel will provide an overview of the Network Specialist Career
Discuss a day in the life of a Network Specialist
Discuss careers, and describe paths for entering those careers
Give insight into the Career Path & Salary Expectations
Identify ways to get started.
The following individuals will take part in the panel discussion.
Jeffrey W. Hunter (moderator) – Jeffrey Hunter is the Founder and Managing Member of accessAmerica Group, a Wisconsin-based independent consulting and investment firm, where he has worked since April 2006. Mr. Hunter has experience in the Energy, Insurance, Wireless and Technical Services industries where he has built and led large teams, driving creative solutions.
Wendy Klemp – Wendy Klemp is an Information Technology Instructor at Gateway Technical College since September 2012, and a part-time (adjunct) instructor since September 2002. Wendy teaches courses in the IT-Network Specialist, IT-Cybersecurity, and IT-Computer Support Specialist programs. She also serves as the Program Effectiveness Coordinator for the IT- Network Specialist program. In her spare time Wendy is the VP of Finance (volunteer) for the Milwaukee HDI Chapter.
Beth Myers – Beth’s career in IT started at UW Parkside in the library’s computer lab as a student IT assistant. Her career in IT spans several decades. Beginning with a Bachelor of Science-Management Information Systems degree in 1991 and an MBA in 1998. Both earned at UW Parkside.
Daniel Martinez – President of D3 Networking Technologies, Telecommunications Degree from Gateway
Kamil Samara – Assistant Professor, Computer Science Department, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, 2016
Matt MacPherson – Systems Programmer, University of Wisconsin, Parkside, BS CS UWP, 2017
Joseph Rice –Joseph Rice has been on Computer Nationwide’s (CN) Engineering team since 2015. He has worked on over seventy networks in that time, twenty of which he has designed, planned, and implemented. His other roles include Project Specialist, Tier 3 support, and training other employees.
Beth MyersTechnology Lead Delivery Manager
Beth’s career in IT started at UW Parkside in the library’s computer lab as a student IT assistant. Her career in IT spans several decades. Beginning with a Bachelor of Science-Management Information Systems degree in 1991 and an MBA in 1998. Both earned at UW Parkside.
Through the years Beth has held almost every job possible in IT, including programming in RPG on an AS/400, help desk, network engineer, then Global IT Infrastructure Manager at a Racine-based manufacturing company. Most recently Beth joined the world of consulting at Accenture in their Cloud First Practice, recently earning an AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification.
In her personal life, Beth moved to Burlington to spend more time with her Grandchildren, playing guitar and singing. She is an active church member and volunteers at many community charities and local organizations. She also served on the UW-Parkside IT Practice Center for over 10 years.
Daniel MartinezPresident at D3 Network Technologies
Jeffrey W. HunterFounder & Managing Partner
Jeff is the Founder and Managing Member of accessAmerica Group, a Wisconsin-based independent consulting and investment firm, where he has worked since April 2006. Mr. Hunter has experience in the Energy, Manufacturing, Insurance, Wireless, and Technical Services industries where he has built and led large teams, driving creative solutions.
Currently, Jeff is an executive in two greenfield startup companies. One is a high-tech manufacturer of mobile devices (CIO) and the other is a high-tech manufacturer of renewable/green energy generation systems (VP Field Service).
Previously, he was a CIO for a division of The Hartford focused on non-standard auto insurance; and has held various executive and management positions in both large corporate and startup companies including Deere and Co, Baxter/Allegiance Healthcare, BellSouth Wireless Data, Sears Business Systems, Inacom, Deposit Waiver Solutions, Green Global Power, Solar Motor Systems, Kissangen, CCIDP, and Clientsoft.
Joseph RiceSystems Administrator, Computers Nationwide
Joseph Rice has been on Computer Nationwide’s (CN) Engineering team since 2015. He has worked on over seventy networks in that time, twenty of which he has designed, planned and implemented. His other roles include Project Specialist, Tier 3 support, and training other employees.
He started his career as a support technician for his high school’s IT team, where he learned the basics of networking and support. From there, he attended Gateway for a Computer Support Specialist Degree, while simultaneously getting his Network+ Certification. Joseph is continuing his education in the same way, taking more classes to finish his degree that was put on pause, while studying for his Security + and CCNA certifications.
Working for a managed service provider has given Joseph exposure to different sectors of IT; from setting up mom-and-pop shops, to securing government buildings networks. He’s designed networks of all sizes using current best-practice standards and has helped to create CN’s own set of standards that his fellow engineers use.
Kamil SamaraAssistant Professor, Computer Science Department, UWP
Matt MacPhersonSystems Programmer, UWP
Wendy KlempInformation Technology Instructor at Gateway Technical College
Wendy Klemp is an Information Technology Instructor at Gateway Technical College since September 2012, and a part-time (adjunct) instructor since September 2002. Wendy teaches courses in the IT-Network Specialist, IT-Cybersecurity, and IT-Computer Support Specialist programs. She also serves as the Program Effectiveness Coordinator for the IT- Network Specialist program. In her spare time Wendy is the VP of Finance (volunteer) for the Milwaukee HDI Chapter.
Wendy graduated from Gateway Technical College in December 2000 with an Associate of Applied Science Computer Information Systems – Microcomputer Specialist degree. She continued her education at University of Phoenix and earned her Bachelor of Science in Information Technology in August 2005, and Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Technology Management in September 2015.
Wendy’s previous technical employment includes: Supervisor of Help Desk and Computer Operations for Time Warner Cable, Network Administrator/Project Administrator for a local construction company, and a Network Support Specialist for Sta-Rite Industries.
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