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Moving from LAN to WAN management/support

I'm a CNE (4&5), soon to be CCNA, 8 yrs experience in LAN administration. I really want to break into WAN management/support. I've an excellent working knowledge of WAN technology but little hands-on. How do you judge my prospects?
Given your number of years of experience, and your current pay grade, you may have trouble swallowing the kind of pay cut that might be necessary to let you switch from LAN to WAN specialization. If you're lucky, your current employer hires both kinds of people. If that's the case, I'd urge you first and foremost to approach your current employer about changing roles. That's about the only way I think you'll be able to avoid dropping down from your current pay level to a level commensurate with an entry-level IT WAN professional. I'm sorry to say that changing specialties sometimes incurs these kinds of penalties, particularly in the current economic climate where keeping salary costs down (or even reducing existing salary costs) is more or less a given in many high-tech companies.

An internal transfer will let you avoid or reduce the pain of a pay cut. Otherwise, you may have little or no choice. Given your current experience and your probable level of pay, I'd also urge you to contact a technical recruiter to see what kind of help may be available there. The more flexible you can be about pay and location, the more likely you are to be able to make the switch you desire; the less flexible you can afford to be, the lesser the number of options you'll probably have.

Sorry. HTH,
This was last published in May 2001

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