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Any Cisco network engineers on RFD working in Canada?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 11th, 2020 9:46 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2011
1725 posts
524 upvotes
Edmonton

Any Cisco network engineers on RFD working in Canada?

My dad is a Cisco network engineer in Edmonton, Alberta. The job market in Edmonton for Cisco network engineer jobs is extremely tough. Most are 3 month contract jobs at best, and the full-time permanent jobs are very rare here. The full-time permanent jobs often require Cisco certifications he did not renew. Funnily enough, the reason why we still live in Edmonton was the job market in Alberta was much better than the GTA back in 2008. My dad struggled to find a job in Mississauga for months until an Edmonton company hired him with a Skype interview.

So my dad has tried working in American states like Utah and California, but his longest work was less than 3 years. He made great money in California by Canadian standards ($120k+), but the high cost of living there ($2000 USD 1 bdrm apt) and lack of control living alone actually put him in debt. Also tax seasons are never fun filing Canadian taxes as a TN Visa worker.

Amazon opening up an Edmonton warehouse soon has opened up some opportunities for my dad. He hasn't heard back yet though. They actually contacted him for a remote job in Seattle, WA, USA but wanted him to be located in Seattle. Luckily he is eligible for EI or CERB once EI runs out.

Calgary is a little bit better, but not much better. Vancouver, Toronto, or Ottawa seem like the ideal choices if my dad were to relocate for a job.

Problem is, can my dad handle living alone handling finances as someone with impulsive spending issues? Will our family be able to relocate to where he has a job? Me and my sister are both going to be in university by the fall (I've already been for 5 years), and transferring universities isn't as easy as transferring K-12 schools. My mom is extremely against relocating our whole family to anywhere else in Canada because of high costs of moving and higher costs of living. Even moving to Calgary would require at least $100k more for a comparable house than in Edmonton.

So I would like to hear from other Cisco network engineers on RFD what my dad's logical next step should be. Stay in Edmonton, renew his CCNA/CCNP and wait for a full-time job to pop up? Relocate to GVR, GTA, Calgary, or Ottawa if he gets a job offer? I don't think working in the US is a good option anymore after all that has happened to our family. Living in the US in general is worse than Canada in every aspect except salary, in my experience.

I think my mom does have a point because the cost of living in Edmonton is much lower than other bigger cities in Canada. Also Edmonton has been a very nice city. Never encountered overtly rude or racist people. Everything is within a 30 minute drive, mostly 15 minutes at most. In recent years Edmonton has actually offered more ethnic businesses than Calgary-- H Mart and Uniqlo are huge examples. The only time I really wish I lived in a bigger city is things like concerts, which never happen in Edmonton, but travelling isn't so bad.
7 replies
Member
Apr 25, 2019
233 posts
89 upvotes
tablo13 wrote: My dad is a Cisco network engineer in Edmonton, Alberta. The job market in Edmonton for Cisco network engineer jobs is extremely tough. Most are 3 month contract jobs at best, and the full-time permanent jobs are very rare here. The full-time permanent jobs often require Cisco certifications he did not renew. Funnily enough, the reason why we still live in Edmonton was the job market in Alberta was much better than the GTA back in 2008. My dad struggled to find a job in Mississauga for months until an Edmonton company hired him with a Skype interview.

So my dad has tried working in American states like Utah and California, but his longest work was less than 3 years. He made great money in California by Canadian standards ($120k+), but the high cost of living there ($2000 USD 1 bdrm apt) and lack of control living alone actually put him in debt. Also tax seasons are never fun filing Canadian taxes as a TN Visa worker.

Amazon opening up an Edmonton warehouse soon has opened up some opportunities for my dad. He hasn't heard back yet though. They actually contacted him for a remote job in Seattle, WA, USA but wanted him to be located in Seattle. Luckily he is eligible for EI or CERB once EI runs out.

Calgary is a little bit better, but not much better. Vancouver, Toronto, or Ottawa seem like the ideal choices if my dad were to relocate for a job.

Problem is, can my dad handle living alone handling finances as someone with impulsive spending issues? Will our family be able to relocate to where he has a job? Me and my sister are both going to be in university by the fall (I've already been for 5 years), and transferring universities isn't as easy as transferring K-12 schools. My mom is extremely against relocating our whole family to anywhere else in Canada because of high costs of moving and higher costs of living. Even moving to Calgary would require at least $100k more for a comparable house than in Edmonton.

So I would like to hear from other Cisco network engineers on RFD what my dad's logical next step should be. Stay in Edmonton, renew his CCNA/CCNP and wait for a full-time job to pop up? Relocate to GVR, GTA, Calgary, or Ottawa if he gets a job offer? I don't think working in the US is a good option anymore after all that has happened to our family. Living in the US in general is worse than Canada in every aspect except salary, in my experience.

I think my mom does have a point because the cost of living in Edmonton is much lower than other bigger cities in Canada. Also Edmonton has been a very nice city. Never encountered overtly rude or racist people. Everything is within a 30 minute drive, mostly 15 minutes at most. In recent years Edmonton has actually offered more ethnic businesses than Calgary-- H Mart and Uniqlo are huge examples. The only time I really wish I lived in a bigger city is things like concerts, which never happen in Edmonton, but travelling isn't so bad.
Canadian economy is fairly small than the advertised version to immigrants. Today, immigrants are in large number but there arent that much jobs. I know many cisco certified people who were not able to break in, I don't know why would renewing CCNA/CCNP will help him in a job. A valid CCNA/CCNP is only useful if the company is a reseller/cisco partner, it helps increase the partnership level to get better discounts on the products they sell. Today the concept is not much of use because today we have many CCNA/CCNP hanging around and companies can easily hire them to full fill the requirements. If your father wants to work for some end client then the company gets no benefit of it and I feel the employer might be faking a response.

In this covid session its almost not a good idea to relocate. I believe you have been living in Canada for quite some time so he may be eligible for govt jobs which requires secret clearance. Secret clearance requires 10 years of residency in Canada plus a citizenship , since new immigrants are not eligible for this your father will get less competition here. ADGA group does some heavy hiring for govt people and jobs are mostly in Ottawa. You can also search for defence contracting companies in Canada, get a list and see careers page if there is any opening.

Its tough to relocate an entire family based on an IT jobs. These jobs usually don't last as long as others because technologies change very fast and one becomes outdated, politics plays a role where younger team member wants to take over. Lots of companies in IT with young culture advertising free snake and coffee with in house PlayStation too but these companies do not have any financial backbone and go dark once they loose 1-2 major customers. Then layoffs follows, this might not be the case in govt jobs but its hard I believe.

Many people live near the border area and travel daily to US.For example, winsdor/detriot , nigara/buffalo etc. When you apply to jobs in US cities like this tell them you will relocate to US city but you can relocate only to Canadian border and not US later on. Cross the border daily and employer wont care. indeed is a decent job site.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2011
1725 posts
524 upvotes
Edmonton
dentonic88 wrote: Canadian economy is fairly small than the advertised version to immigrants. Today, immigrants are in large number but there arent that much jobs. I know many cisco certified people who were not able to break in, I don't know why would renewing CCNA/CCNP will help him in a job. A valid CCNA/CCNP is only useful if the company is a reseller/cisco partner, it helps increase the partnership level to get better discounts on the products they sell. Today the concept is not much of use because today we have many CCNA/CCNP hanging around and companies can easily hire them to full fill the requirements. If your father wants to work for some end client then the company gets no benefit of it and I feel the employer might be faking a response.

In this covid session its almost not a good idea to relocate. I believe you have been living in Canada for quite some time so he may be eligible for govt jobs which requires secret clearance. Secret clearance requires 10 years of residency in Canada plus a citizenship , since new immigrants are not eligible for this your father will get less competition here. ADGA group does some heavy hiring for govt people and jobs are mostly in Ottawa. You can also search for defence contracting companies in Canada, get a list and see careers page if there is any opening.

Its tough to relocate an entire family based on an IT jobs. These jobs usually don't last as long as others because technologies change very fast and one becomes outdated, politics plays a role where younger team member wants to take over. Lots of companies in IT with young culture advertising free snake and coffee with in house PlayStation too but these companies do not have any financial backbone and go dark once they loose 1-2 major customers. Then layoffs follows, this might not be the case in govt jobs but its hard I believe.

Many people live near the border area and travel daily to US.For example, winsdor/detriot , nigara/buffalo etc. When you apply to jobs in US cities like this tell them you will relocate to US city but you can relocate only to Canadian border and not US later on. Cross the border daily and employer wont care. indeed is a decent job site.
I see, thank you for your advice. Yeah, renewing the CCNA/CCNP today seems like a moot point but some jobs still list them as a job requirement for some reason. I guess it is better to stay in Edmonton until a new job pops up.
Member
Apr 25, 2019
233 posts
89 upvotes
tablo13 wrote: I see, thank you for your advice. Yeah, renewing the CCNA/CCNP today seems like a moot point but some jobs still list them as a job requirement for some reason. I guess it is better to stay in Edmonton until a new job pops up.

I think you are mistaken. The job requirement states "CCNA/CCNP" and not "Valid CCNA/CCNP" . Check the certificate of your father it will have a "certificate verification number" then put that into https://www.certmetrics.com/cisco/publi ... ation.aspx

It will probably show expired or suspended. Now this does not mean he should remove CCNP from his CV, you can still put it and you even don't need to put expired keyword there. The thing is end client do not care and do not even verify such things. These things are only verified if you are working for reseller and even then they ask a couple of times before doing the hiring because sometimes discounts are based on that.

My cousin got a govt. job in downtown Toronto with expired certs. The employer did ask for his number and later on he said that they were expired but he can do it again if the company fund it. The employer said we don't care, we just wanna make sure you did it at some point so used the same technique to find out (URL above). However, I have never in North America faced such question and employers only did crime, financial and academic record/university degree verification even though I have a plethora of certifications including ccie.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2011
1725 posts
524 upvotes
Edmonton
dentonic88 wrote: I think you are mistaken. The job requirement states "CCNA/CCNP" and not "Valid CCNA/CCNP" . Check the certificate of your father it will have a "certificate verification number" then put that into https://www.certmetrics.com/cisco/publi ... ation.aspx

It will probably show expired or suspended. Now this does not mean he should remove CCNP from his CV, you can still put it and you even don't need to put expired keyword there. The thing is end client do not care and do not even verify such things. These things are only verified if you are working for reseller and even then they ask a couple of times before doing the hiring because sometimes discounts are based on that.

My cousin got a govt. job in downtown Toronto with expired certs. The employer did ask for his number and later on he said that they were expired but he can do it again if the company fund it. The employer said we don't care, we just wanna make sure you did it at some point so used the same technique to find out (URL above). However, I have never in North America faced such question and employers only did crime, financial and academic record/university degree verification even though I have a plethora of certifications including ccie.
Yeah, my dad thought that too... Until he got a call back from a small data centre in Edmonton and they wanted a valid certification for some reason. I guess he should've worked on renewing it when his company in the USA were willing to fund him to renew.
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
1063 posts
806 upvotes
Ottawa
dentonic88 wrote: My cousin got a govt. job in downtown Toronto with expired certs. The employer did ask for his number and later on he said that they were expired but he can do it again if the company fund it. The employer said we don't care, we just wanna make sure you did it at some point so used the same technique to find out (URL above). However, I have never in North America faced such question and employers only did crime, financial and academic record/university degree verification even though I have a plethora of certifications including ccie.
Government is a bit different. I'm a telecom engineer with the feds in Ottawa. My job required that I "qualify to register as an engineer", not that I actually have my license. I happen to have my P.Eng, but none of the other engineers in my group are even licensed anywhere in Canada. We don't stamp or seal anything, though, so a license isn't mandatory for what we do.

My previous role was as a network engineer with an owner/operator in Calgary. I definitely didn't need any certificates for that role.

5 years ago I would have said your father would have more opportunities in Calgary, but with the oil downturn and subsequent recession there ended up being a bit of a glut of telecom and network people. O&G companies let a lot of people go, and Shaw laid off quite a few people 2 or 3 years ago. I don't know what the climate has been since we left a year ago, but there were definitely few jobs in the industry when I left.

Ottawa has a pretty big tech sector.

Depending on what your dad actually does, there are constant opportunities on the broadband funding and policy side. Broadband deployment is a huge priority for all levels of government and all parties right now, especially in light of the COVID working from home situation, so there are likely to be opportunities in that space for the foreseeable future if he has any experience in broadband deployment or policy (ex: business case development, system planning, etc).

He might consider looking at other technologies as well. I worked primarily with Alcatel-Lucent/Nokia gear, and fundamentally it's no different from Cisco. The commands are a bit different, but the theory is all the same, so it's not too much of a learning curve to jump into a position that uses someone else's stuff. And Cisco cert is WAY harder than ALU/Nokia.
Sr. Member
Jan 1, 2015
588 posts
469 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Seems like the root of the issue is your dad's poor impulsive spending habits.
Member
May 2, 2013
255 posts
50 upvotes
Toronto
1. Would advice to renew certification. 2. There are other networking companies too ex. Dell, HP, PaloAlto, Nokia etc... get certified from there as well. Never get stuck with one company.
3. Get training for SDWAN, and apply with companies like Bell, Rogers and Telus, they are always working with clients to implement something new. Now days they are also managed service providers, it means they manage specific hardware/software for the client.
4. Inform your dad to always keep updated, technologies are always changing and require new skills to be learned everyday. Sign up with website like INE, CBT Nugget etc...
5. Connect with people over linked In, specifically with recruiters and company IT managers where your father want full time job. Maybe they don't have position right now, but can always remember to call your father when there is one.

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