Qualifications no substitute for experience

I'm a 28-year-old PC/network engineer in Auckland with 18 months' experience working in the head office of a large New Zealand-wide retail store chain that has a 500-user network in a complex environment.

Dear What Am I Worth,

I'm a 28-year-old PC/network engineer in Auckland with 18 months' experience working in the head office of a large New Zealand-wide retail store chain that has a 500-user network in a complex environment.

My responsibilities include day-to-day network administration (NetWare 5 and 3.12, NT4, Lotus Domino 5.0) and user support - troubleshooting Win2000 Pro, NT4Wks, Win98, Win95, Win3.11 + apps. Applications include MS Office, Lotus Smartsuite, IBM 3270 emulation and some in-house programs.

I'm also responsible for delivering some IT projects to end-users, such as WinNT workstation and Lotus Notes client rollouts, PC deployment and upgrade, plus regular updates of some mission-critical production software. In addition, I am also responsible for creating tech documents (ie installation guides) that are going to be included in the company support knowledge base.

I'm A+ certified, but will get my CNA in NetWare 5 soon. My next goal will be CCNA as I have two months' internship. My experience includes configuring Cisco products, hence I am quite familiar with the Cisco IOS. I also have basic knowledge in Linux, RedHat in particular. I also have 11 Brainbench certificates.

The support guy

IT @ Manpower replies: Your industry qualifications look good but they are no substitute for the 18 months of practical experience of supporting a complex network. It's great that you're looking after the network components as well as the desktop and server components. Assuming 18 months is the total of your IT experience and you have no other tertiary qualifications I would hope you're earning $40,000 in Auckland. (That would be about $37,000 to $38,000 down here in Wellington). I hope you're also developing your interpersonal and relationship skills, because they are important too.

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