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Gigabit Ethernet technology as a skill

Dec 21, 20053 mins
Data Center

* Where to get Gigabit Ethernet training

Today we’re finishing up our look at where to get training for the technologies – VoIP, storage/storage-area networking and Gigabit Ethernet – that the Foote Partners’ most recent skills pay survey found to be the top-3 highest paying, non-certified network-related skills.

One reader wrote in puzzled at how Gigabit Ethernet could be considered a skill: “Gigabit Ethernet is no more a skill than being able to use a circular saw,” he wrote. I put that question to Chris Kehoe, director of training at BTS Training, which offers a number of networking courses including one named “Gigabit Networks, VLANs & Wireless LANs (Advanced Local Area Networks).” He says that no, Gigabit Ethernet is not a skill but a technology that you learn to be skilled at. Fair enough.

BTS appears to be one of a few training companies that offer vendor-neutral Gigabit Ethernet training that’s not part of an entry-level networking course, such as CompTIA’s Network+ certification. (Well, not a whole lot of training vendors came up when I entered “Gigabit Ethernet training” as the search term. But I’m sure I’ll be hearing from those training companies among you that’ll be writing in ASAP.)

According to BTS’ Web site, the hands-on Gigabit Networks course: “will discuss traditional Ethernet as it is evolving today and its future. Ethernet components and applications will be examined in detail including real-time applications (VoIP) and [virtual] LANs.”

Kehoe says the course is aimed at field technicians and “anyone dealing with networks.” It is vendor neutral because real-world networks don’t run equipment from just one manufacturer, he says. BTS’ instructors are also practicing IT professionals with 25-plus-years of experience and lead classes in which practical problems are discussed and answers sought, Kehoe says.

A variety of vendors manufacture Gigabit Ethernet gear, so why not get their certifications? Although students who go to BTS are often already Cisco-certified, Kehoe says it is not enough to learn about a particular vendor’s equipment. You are more useful to your employer if you’re able to provide solutions to problems that occur in multivendor networks, he says.

We’re taking a break next week for the holidays and will be back in the New Year. In the meantime, I’d like to know what your training goals are for next year. Are there particular technologies you want to focus on, or will your training be focused on soft skills, such as people management? After all, IT professionals are supposed to understand what the business wants and translate that into an IT strategy. Please drop me a line, and hopefully I’ll be able to share your goals in this newsletter (anonymously or attributed – your choice).

Happy holidays!