This summer I took on a job at my university as pretty much the assistant to the network admin. I learned a ton over the course of two months, one of these things being that networking is extremely boring. After the initial learning curve, it was all easy. I could pick up a brand new task in a matter of minutes. For example, there was one thing where we had to wipe the configs off of some old equipment. One of these was an old firewall that we didn't use, but the password to it was unknown, and the standard password bypass process just wasn't there. So in about half an hour I had set up a TFTP server client on my computer, found the right binary, and uploaded it to the firewall and got past the password prompt. I had never done anything even remotely like that before, and it took me less than half an hour to figure out.
Now I'm in a more CS oriented networks class (as that's my major), and that is even boring! I'm beginning to think that networking in general is just really boring and simple. Does anyone else share this feeling? Or am I just not into it enough?
You should fiddle with server admin work. I create automation scripts from time to time, and it is just so fulfilling to create a script that turns a several hour into a one-liner on the command line. If I were a sysadmin, I would use all of my spare time to create scripts... I think it would be a fun job. Sysadmins also cover more ground than network admins (They practically cover the job of a network admin + a lot more) so maybe that would interest you more. (They also pay well) average $76k. :) I am considering that as a profession myself.
I've actually thought about it. My official title is networking and systems assistant, and I was told I'd be able to work on both sides. So I might ask if I can work with the system admins for a bit to see what that's like. I do enjoy writing shell scripts, which I don't get to do at all working only with networks.
Networking is boring when everything runs as it should (after initial setup).
Try being at an ISP NMC (network monitoring centre) when you have servers failing or power outages in a part of the country (or your own datacentre).
Or when intrusion detection starts going beserk because someone is trying to get at your university's research.
Nonetheless, when everything runs properly and you don't have a support role as well, I can imagine it's pretty boring. If you want to make it more exciting, perhaps you can crawl the network for security vulnerabilities, but do make sure you get a good agreement with the university before you do.