IT cert help to further career

claudekclaudek Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
hello everyone,

i am at a dead end job doing general application support at a call center. worked here for a few years, real IT work here is very minimal, little bit of real IT troubleshooting with permissions, network troubleshooting or printer troubleshooting. the main focus is software troubleshooting, stuff that i cant take with me to the next job.

i would like to do a real helpdesk role or ideally a desktop support role to further my career, but i am having trouble getting my foot in the door. most of the IT positions i see go through recruiters, which is not ideal because i dont want to give up a full time job for a 3 month "with the possibility of hire" and paying health insurance out of pocket. i have had only one full time job interview this year and was not lucky enough to get it.

what certs can i obtain to help further my career for someone who is extremely entry level? I currently have the A+ and MCDST certification. I've seen mention of N+ and CCENT so I thought about going for the N+ cert, but isn't CCENT for someone who has been in the field for awhile? some people say yes, some people recommend it for newbies. i dont know which is it.

are there any other recommendations, advice for someone who wants to get a desktop support / real helpdesk role. most of the 'help desk' roles i've seen are point of sales troubleshooting which i am already doing. i would rather do something internally like resetting passwords, fixing OS issues, etc.


  • JeanMJeanM Member Posts: 1,117
    With A+ and MCDST that's enough for an IT help desk or even for most desktop support jobs imho. I've worked in government and private sector and a lot of help desk / desktop support guys/gals did not have more than maybe 1 cert.

    It just takes sometimes some time to "pay the dues" and then move into another position / role. To give you an example, not sure if this will help you or not - Personally I started my IT career first working in a computer store as a CSR, assisting customers with general computer upgrade questions etc, I did that for about a year (this was back in about 1999 and I got my A+ then) and then got into doing windows technical support for a big ISP. I Did that for a year and moved into desktop/pc support for a large computer company and stayed there for about 3 years. Got my MCP, then got hired to work for government agency and while there got N+ and S+ and moved up a couple of times from internal helpdesk after about 6 months into AD/Exchange administration work then security type of work and finally into system admin role working with servers and applications/wsus/sccm stuff, I did that for about 5 years until the economy started to take a hit and got laid off.

    Started getting myself more into networking side of things while looking for jobs, got again as AD admin since I had that experience with a local Healthcare provider, about about 1 year moved into another position closer to TOC/NOC and continued to learn more in terms of networking and monitoring of things. Got my CCENT and then CCNA while setting up a lab at home, and now getting more in Voice and VCP stuff to help me get into another role.

    So, I guess what I am trying to say is if you are fairly new, maybe you just need to stick with it for a bit but keep your eyes open and see if you can volunteer for IT tasks/projects internally to make a name for yourself so that if there is a position that you'll be a good match for you'll be considered for it? Sometimes getting another cert isn't an answer, it really depends on the situation/experience and job requirements. My 2 certs that I got were only because job required it and paid for me to take them, otherwise I would have probably never taken N+ and S+.

    Where are you located?

    Good luck!
    2015 goals - ccna voice / vmware vcp.
  • BloogenBloogen Member Posts: 180 ■■■□□□□□□□
    How many years of experience do you have? Work towards deeper levels in knowledge in an area which intersts you. Maybe work towards MCSA/MCSE or CCNA and put yourself on strict , ideally aggressive, time deadlines.

    Make sure you build a home lab in whatever it is you are studying. Work hard on this as well as your resume, maybe post it here for feedback. Don't forget about practicing for the interview as well.

    I understand you concern about recruiters and contract work, benefits etc, and I don't know your personal situation, but don't count recruiters and contract jobs out completely. You may be artificially limiting very lucrative options both for money and experience.
  • claudekclaudek Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm in Southern California, but you do make a good point about "certs not always being the answer". I've been at my job for 4 years and every day feels like a drag. I'm ready to move on.

    I wish I could volunteer for tasks internally but our main IT guy isn't at the office and only shows up whenever something happens (like our systems go down, etc). I'm just an expendable call center peon icon_sad.gif

    and while some people might not consider 4 years of exp "new", to me it is because it's all point of sales troubleshooting... no real windows troubleshooting. and some of the interviews I've had in the past (even a recruiter told me this) the interviewer seemed a little unexcited? I guess. because he told me that they arent looking for someone who is coming from application support (POS troubleshooting) and want someone coming from a job with more "IT" duties

    is there any secret to finding lots of full time jobs? I've searched online all over the place but it seems the majority of job postings I find are all through recruiters
    I understand you concern about recruiters and contract work, benefits etc, and I don't know your personal situation, but don't count recruiters and contract jobs out completely. You may be artificially limiting very lucrative options both for money and experience.

    that is a good point too and have sometimes wondered myself if I should take a contract job. it's a big gamble though because I'd be leaving a full time job + benefits for a 2-3 month contract with maybe the possibility of hire. I just get nervous because if it doesn't work out I'll be in an even worse situation making no money, but I really need the experience...
  • BloogenBloogen Member Posts: 180 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Identify your goal
    Create a plan to reach it (with an extremely short deadline)


    Goal: Desktop support or junior system admin job which provides expanded IT experience.

    Plan: Complete MCSA: Server 2012 and get a new job.

    Timeline: 3 months

    Step 1: PluralSight Subscription (watch videos)
    Step 2: Build Lab
    Step 3: Reinforce weak points with TechNet and reference books
    Step 4: Pass certs (Easy when you just write this way I know... :) )
    Step 5: Using new experience and certs, create an awesome resume which is vetted by experienced IT people. Work on interviewing as well.
    Step 6: Get new job making more money and offering better experience.

    Honestly though, one thing that could help you a lot is to find someone doing what you wish you were doing and try to emulate them, follow similar paths as they did, ask them for advice etc.

    What's worse, taking a job that might be tough, you might get fired etc or another 4 years going by and you are where you are now?
Sign In or Register to comment.