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Networking resources for potential career

I am preparing to go into the Networking systems field and want to know as much as I can about its functions. I will start an associates program in April and want to do research on the field. Can you give me a list of books or resources I could use to learn the job requirements?

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Networking is a diverse field. Check out some of the leading job boards such as Monster.com to get a better idea of typical networking positions.

Overall individuals involved in networking do everything from installing cable to configuring routers. Add to that a basic understanding of security. Firewalls, proxy servers and intrusion detection systems are common networking components so as much as you can about these devices. You will need a good understanding of routing and routable protocols. Top of the list for routable protocols is TCP/IP. I would suggest Internetworking with TCP/IP by Douglas Comer.

Routing protocols are what routers use to "talk" to each other. These protocols can range from Border Gateway Protocol "BGP" to Routing Information Protocol "RIP". Routing TCP/IP by Jeff Doyle is another book you may want to read.

If at all possible setup a test system at your house. You can configure a Linux server with programs like IPChains, SNORT, and Tripwire for not much more than the cost of hardware.

Good Luck!

This was first published in April 2003

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