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Is it more difficult for women entering networking field

I am a 36-year-old female and have just finished my associates' in networking. I have no experience, but love the networking field. I would like to specialize in security networking some day.

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Dear Hilda:
I'll start by blithely saying that it's no more difficult for women than it is for men to get started in the networking field nowadays, but quickly amend that remark to add that it's pretty difficult to find entry-level positions in the field at this time. That's because the economy is down, the job market is tight, and many companies and organizations are holding off on hiring in general.

It's absolutely essential that you find some way to get hands-on experience working with networking as you search for employment. Whether you volunteer for a church, charity, non-profit, or school, or find temporary or unpaid work on network installation, upgrade, or maintenance tasks, you'll want to get the proverbial "foot in the door" to help make the case that you know more about networking than you've read about in books, or studied in school.

If you search the "Ask the Expert" archives, you'll find other tips and replies I've formulated that address the next inevitable question "How can I get some experience when I have no experience?" There, you'll find more details about volunteering and so forth to help you get yourself jump-started.

Good luck and happy New Year!
--Ed--

This was first published in January 2003

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