So many IT fields. What are the sucessful routes?

watermelonswatermelons Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi everybody,

I'm in my starting stages in my career and have come to realize that many things complement each other i.e. MCSA certs and Cisco certs, and different Security certs. However, there are just too many certs.

I was looking over some of everyone's certs and I see CCNA jumbled with CISSP, added on with a VCP, and topped with MCSA.
Why did you decide to do MCSA, when you could of went deeper with Cisco to become a CCNP? What exactly do you do?
Why do some of you have certs that come in totally different directions and what happened?

I currently have my A+, and CCNA. I really do like Network Security and thought that it's only sensible to learn the Network before learning about security. Should I broaden my knowledge by learning and using WServer 2012, VMware, Kali Linux, Nessus, NMap? Then in that case, when do I go further down Cisco for CCNP then?


  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,770 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Only you can map out your future.
    There are a lot of reasons to take certifications. At first it's probably to show you have put in a little effort so you can convince someone to give you a job. Later you might be interested in job hoping and notice that certain certifications are in high demand that year. At some point you might become addicted and pick up a few way out there certs just for the high. Later you will finish rehab and hopefully start to specialize.

    Good Luck
  • W StewartW Stewart Member Posts: 794 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The one that you enjoy. I know it sounds like an easy answer that nobody wants to hear but anybody who's been there will tell you that peace of mind is more valuable than money. Most people will also tell you that if you enjoy your job then the money will follow. The more challenging jobs in my opinion tend to be more rewarding. My cisco certs have always caught people's attention because knowing the network is important even from a systems administrators perspective.
    Being a sys admin sucks but I love it
  • yzTyzT Member Posts: 365 ■■■□□□□□□□
    there is no successful route, you gotta build it.
  • devils_haircutdevils_haircut Member Posts: 284 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm studying towards the RHCSA certification, but I don't use Linux at work. I'm just doing it because I enjoy learning about Linux. I also don't have any "OS" certs, so even though I'm leaning towards a networking track, I think it's good to be somewhat well-rounded in terms of technology.

    What do you do professionally? It might help to study something that would apply to your day-to-day, but if we all just studied whatever our employers wanted, IT wouldn't be as much fun.

  • GoodBishopGoodBishop Member Posts: 359 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You might want to check out the salary thread. See what folks do and what they're paid.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,915 Mod
    As others said, your career is what you make of it. You and only you can make your own path. My advice is not to try to cover everything too fast as you can quickly lose focus. Keep in ind that you may have a plan but life may send you in a different direction. Be dedicated, dynamic, and more important, flexible. Adapt quickly and you'll succeed.

    In my particular case I started form Desktop Support, moved to Sys Admin, and currently am a Systems Engineer focusing on Security. I've always said that you can't secure what you don't understand, therefore all my different certs. I tend to cert on two things: what helps me do my current job better, and what is going to spearhead my career a couple of years down the road.
  • DigitalZeroOneDigitalZeroOne Member Posts: 234 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I started out liking computers in general, but I specifically wanted to be able to build my own PC. This was some time ago, but that's what lead me to the A+. I just didn't think that I could build my own machine unless I had that cert. Fast forward a little, and I eventually obtained my A+ while doing tech support over the phone. I moved into a job that allowed me to learn some different technologies, I thought I wanted to be a programmer, but it seemed too difficult, and I didn't like the idea of sitting all day and coding. I did learn a lot, but I moved into learning about Windows NT. It was basically Network+ type information, and then learning about Domains, trusts, and so on.

    What was great is having the opportunity to get my hands on things, and to find out early what I liked and didn't like. I feel old saying this, but back then, it wasn't as easy to try new things. If I wanted two OSes on the same machine, I had to dual boot, there wasn't Virtualization, or web sites that had free programming courses, or video, there wasn't youtube. I remember rewinding my VHS tape, so I didn't have to pay a rewind fee to blockbuster...sorry, I had a moment.

    Well, the point is, you have to try out different things and find out what you like. I now work with VMware and ironically, now I'm really into working with PowerShell. It's not technically programming per se, but the skills I learned back in the day from Visual Basic have really helped me with PowerShell. My main focus is VMware, specifically the vSphere suite, and of course PowerShell.

    The same reason I work with vSphere now, is the same reason I learned about hardware many years ago. When I first heard about it and saw it, I just could not get enough of it, I just had to work with it.

    One thing I never did, and I really didn't think about, was salary. When I wanted my A+ and to work with hardware, I read books, and tried anything I could to get my hands on stuff, when I had the opportunity to move into different roles, or learn about something new, pay didn't come to mind. Now it's somewhat different, I look at pay, and I would not go somewhere unless the pay was right, but now I'm at a point where it's much easier to find a job if I need one, it's much easier to keep my skills up because there are so many tools to keep me up-to-date that I don't need an employer as much if I want to learn something new. With the technology today, you can learn so much on your own.

    Ok, this is getting too long, so here is my advice:
    • Get your hands on as much as you can
    • Buy books, look at videos, ask a lot of questions
    • Don't spend thousands on something for the promise of a job, do your research
    • If none of this sounds fun, then IT is probably not your field

    Good luck. :)
  • TheEmperorTheEmperor Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Like everyone nicely stated above, it's hard to tell you which route to go; it's base on your personal goals: What do you want to do in the future, network admin, IT security experts, Pen testers, etc...? I must say that it's important to do something because you want to do it, not because the money is good. Imagine waking up early in the morning to go to a job you hate and spend 8-9 hours at that job, it's like living in h*ll. There's an old saying "do what you love and you don't have to work for another day", do what you love first, the money will come later (if you are good at it....)

    Let me give you a glimpse into my professional background:

    I graduated with a BS in computer science ten years ago, I couldn't find a job in my field when first graduated (job market was bad icon_sad.gif and I didn't have any connections), so I took odd jobs that had nothing to do with programming such as, sell car, sell insurance, retail.... I finally landed a job as a customer rep. for a fortune 500 company, stayed there just long enough so I can move to the MIS department, with that job I was able to find more IT jobs internally and externally and then landed at my current employer over eight years now. I handle all the IT related activities along with project management, it's not programming but I still get to use my skill sets.... I love this job, the pay is good, and the employer are flexible in terms balancing personal life and work..... a lot of people would do anything to be in my situation right now....but I'm at the top of my position here already, I don't have any where else to move up....I want challenges...therefore I'm contemplating of looking for other employment opportunities. I'm passionate about CyberSecurity so I think that's what I want to do...I try to earn my MCSA and MCSE 2012 first to learn more about system and servers....then go for CISSP....and whatever else... you can see from my work can never tell what you might end up have a plan set out but sometimes other factors (family, love life, economy, etc...) might change your plan. You just need to make sure you know what your goal is and go toward will most likely not a straight road but you will get there...

    hopefully my "mini-book" can help you decide on your career goal somehow. Good luck
  • watermelonswatermelons Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    OK! Thanks, everyone!
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    yzT wrote: »
    there is no successful route, you gotta build it.


    This is exactly how it's done.
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