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Finding a job in wireless LANs

Since being laid off as a construction manager in cell tower and network build outs in early 2002, I have had no luck in getting back into wireless. I have heard about the new trends of in-building LANs and WLANs. Are there any real jobs in this area or am I dreaming? Do I need certification to be qualified for these jobs? Please advise.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are in your very same shoes due to the events following September 11, 2001, the poor economy and efforts by many corporations to cut costs and stockpile cash until the financial storm blows over. The good news is that the economy finally does seem to be struggling to its feet, and the number of people out of work in high-tech is declining. There are increasing opportunities in wireless -- especially in the enterprise, small business and home office markets. While it is always a good idea to get as much education and certification as you can, this is not often an option if you have to personally foot the bill for classes and training. Fortunately, there are many opportunities evolving for tech-savvy individuals to find work with small systems integration companies, or launch their own businesses that focus on 802.11 or Wi-Fi network development and deployment.

While most anyone can go out to the local electronics store, purchase a wireless access point and wireless access card or two and establish a wireless network through a cable or DSL connection, the projects become a little more difficult when you are dealing with a small business and must deal with security and reliability issues. This is why you now see a lot of small businesses and entrepreneurs offering services to help a company set up their wireless system and get all of its applications up and running. An increasing number of mobile workers also work from home, so their companies are taking a very serious approach to setting up secure wireless networks and systems that can help protect that system against most deliberate or accidental intrusions. Homeowners are also turning to systems integration companies to design wired and wireless networks that connect all types of electronics and media equipment.

If you do not want to take the self-employment route, there are an increasing number of vendors who are looking for tech support personnel to help install and support wireless systems, so you might want to check different company Web sites for opportunities. Cellular companies like T-Mobile and Verizon are also looking to beef up their Wi-Fi efforts -- especially as faster and more robust wireless systems evolve and we see the dawning of such things as metropolitan-area Wi-Fi nets. In-building and campuswide wireless LANs are all the rage right now, but the next big trend will be divisional and distributed wireless networks that operate autonomously, yet are controlled and managed through as central facility. So, it seems that even though Wi-Fi has its roots in small networking, the growth will be in large and more complex mesh networks -- which have a lot in common with the cellular towers and basic nature of your prior business. Good luck in your efforts!

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