Which order to take these certifications?

RedGaiterRedGaiter Posts: 83Member ■■□□□□□□□□
I'm currently working in a helpdesk position, and making $41k, in a 2-man IT environment. It's just me, the complete noob, and my boss, the Sr. Systems Enginner. The environment in which I work is primarily OS X with OS X and Ubuntu servers. Because of this, I've decided to steer clear of MCSA/MCSE studying due to the fact that it won't be useful in my current role.

I've decided to pursue Linux and Cisco certifications before tackling Microsoft. That being said, I'm not sure in which order I should do the following certifications to help advance my career closer to a $100k salary.
  • Linux+
  • CCNA
  • RHCSA
  • ITIL v1,2,3
  • RHCE

Comments

  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    That order looks good to me, depending on how long ago you completed your CCENT. If your CCENT knowledge is fresh, I'd finish the 'NA 1st before diving into Linux.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • RedGaiterRedGaiter Posts: 83Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I finished CCENT this past June, but I haven't been able to implement a lot of what I learned into my current role, so I've forgotten a lot. When I finish CCNA, I was planning on refreshing CCENT with CBT Nuggets, before delving into CCNA.
  • diggitlediggitle Posts: 118Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm currently a penetration tester and have a base salary of $38,500 plus some commission. If I bill 18k (my quota) of work I receive an extra $660. The unfair part is I'm not in charge of getting the work because that's the security consultants (finalizes sales do ANA's), Project manager (scheduling), and sales team (sell service). Plus with having other employees and their quotas its hard to always get work. I have a security+ and am working on the CEH. How can I make a more money without a CISSP?
    c colon i net pub dubdubdub root
  • Khaos1911Khaos1911 Posts: 366Member
    diggitle wrote: »
    I'm currently a penetration tester and have a base salary of $38,500 plus some commission. If I bill 18k (my quota) of work I receive an extra $660. The unfair part is I'm not in charge of getting the work because that's the security consultants (finalizes sales do ANA's), Project manager (scheduling), and sales team (sell service). Plus with having other employees and their quotas its hard to always get work. I have a security+ and am working on the CEH. How can I make a more money without a CISSP?

    You may want to look into some GIAC certifications such as GWAPT, GPEN, GCIH, etc. These hold more weight in terms of respect thoughout the industry, but they are pricey. Look into the work study program for a more affordable deal. You also may want to look into another employer, 38K for pen-testing sounds pretty low.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I haven't used any of my CCNA knowledge/skills since I passed the exam back in February. It's unfortunate. And honestly, I've forgotten a majority of it by now. The only real advantage is that it'd only take me a few days to brush up and relearn it all - but I am unable to quickly recall things I used to be able to do in my sleep back while I was studying.

    Since you're more *NIX focused at the moment, the order you have looks good. Maybe even postpone the CCNA further down the list.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • aftereffectoraftereffector Posts: 525Member
    I don't think the exact order is too important (except for the Linux progression - you would want to do Linux+ before RHCSA, and RHCSA before RHCE, of course). I know some people would prefer to do a bunch of Cisco certs one after another, and then do a lot of Linux, and then Microsoft, whereas I skipped from one subject area to another.

    Are you looking to move into a Linux systems administrator role? I don't think RHCE is a good return on investment unless you want to deal primarily with Linux, at which point a CCNA may or may not be terribly useful. RHCSA is probably more than enough for most general helpdesk and server administration. Take my advice with a dose of skepticism, though, as I don't know anything about linux and I'm not a sysadmin :)
    CCIE Security - this one might take a while...
  • diggitlediggitle Posts: 118Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thank you Khaos1911 for your quick response. I'm also looking at getting the SSCP after the CEH.
    c colon i net pub dubdubdub root
  • bobloblawbobloblaw Posts: 228Member
    The longer you postpone the ICND2 the more difficult it's going to be.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Posts: 3,982Mod Mod
    RedGaiter wrote: »
    Which order to take these certifications?
    • Linux+
    • CCNA
    • RHCSA
    • ITIL v1,2,3
    • RHCE


    If you want my opinion, try this order:
    1) RHCSA
    2) RHCE

    This will help you get out of Help desk, so you can change jobs and move to more Linux sysadmin/support kind of environment, then you can pursue RHCE in that environment.


    Even if you don't manage to find another job after passing the RHCSA (highly unlikely), you can still study and pass the RHCE.

    In the new job, if you happen to have Cisco gear, then do those certs. Most probably this won't be the case, you might end up learning something like Nagios, puppet, backup software, some storage, or scripting. That's a good career path in the Linux and Unix world.
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Posts: 3,982Mod Mod
    ...

    Are you looking to move into a Linux systems administrator role? I don't think RHCE is a good return on investment unless you want to deal primarily with Linux, at which point a CCNA may or may not be terribly useful. RHCSA is probably more than enough for most general helpdesk and server administration...

    I disagree with this :)

    I think RHCE has an excellent ROI, the certs alone can get you interviews and Linux jobs. You learn a lot when you prepare for the cert, and the knowledge in the cert (in my opinion) isn't too advanced, it's just basic configuration of services. There's a lot more to be learned on the job, but the RHCE does provide a nice foundation and proves a certain level of competency.
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    UnixGuy - So you think an RHCE is good ROI, even if you work primarily w/ Routing/Switching?
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • SephStormSephStorm Posts: 1,732Member
    diggitle wrote: »
    I'm currently a penetration tester and have a base salary of $38,500 plus some commission. If I bill 18k (my quota) of work I receive an extra $660. The unfair part is I'm not in charge of getting the work because that's the security consultants (finalizes sales do ANA's), Project manager (scheduling), and sales team (sell service). Plus with having other employees and their quotas its hard to always get work. I have a security+ and am working on the CEH. How can I make a more money without a CISSP?

    How did you get a position as a penetration tester with just a Security+? In any case, if you are already Pentesting, consider the OSCP.
  • ExpectExpect Posts: 251Member
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    I disagree with this :)

    I think RHCE has an excellent ROI, the certs alone can get you interviews and Linux jobs. You learn a lot when you prepare for the cert, and the knowledge in the cert (in my opinion) isn't too advanced, it's just basic configuration of services. There's a lot more to be learned on the job, but the RHCE does provide a nice foundation and proves a certain level of competency.

    Agree completely.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Posts: 3,982Mod Mod
    DoubleNNs wrote: »
    UnixGuy - So you think an RHCE is good ROI, even if you work primarily w/ Routing/Switching?

    If you work with Routing and Switching and you want to continue working in Networking then Cisco certs have the best ROI

    If you want to move to move to the Linux/Unix world, then RHCE would be excellent for a career change
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • diggitlediggitle Posts: 118Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I got hired by a small company (the target recommendation to anybody that wants to get into pen testing) in 2012 that wanted a newb with a bachelors degree in information security. I got the security+ the same month after being employed and have been pen testing for about 2 years 5 months now. I'm working on getting my CEH at my employers request (They only pay for what they view worth it i might add, I paid for my Sec+ and the CEH i used the MGIB for the training and materials). My issue is even after I receive my CEH I'm looking at probably only a $1,000 - $1,500 increase in my base pay, with a very little increase in commission as well. I'm not greedy and am aware of my inexperience that they use as an excuse, but when I see Job postings (mainly contracts) for pen testers with 3-5 years in Charlotte paying 50-60/hr I'd expect to get at least half of that, you know like 25-35/hr. A+ technicians in Charlotte get 20+/hr (not that they're lower than me), I'm just confused as this is a highly technical field according to lots of people.

    My base salary over the years-->

    2012 - $36,000
    2013 - 37,000 ($1,000 increase)
    2014 - 38,500 ($1,500 increase)

    My commission schedule over the years ---> You get more if you bill more but not much.

    2012 - 465 after billing 10k (I smoked how much i billed in the first year i averaged 14k each month)
    2013 - 560 after billing 13k ( I smoked how much i billed in the second year i averaged 16k each month)
    2014 - 660 after billing 18k ( I've been billing 18-23k that equates to $800-$1,095 extra to my base)


    It will probably take me 5 years to get what I should be getting which is about $50,000. Employers logic = commission (you feel like you earn it), I'm good with that but when i bill over and above I don't get but the table scraps. My quota is 18k this year, I've been billing 19k+ for multiple months and I get only $800-$1000 for the work. I've spoken to the employer and they said they have a lot of over head, they also hinted at if I don't like it I can always leave (the republican at will mentality). But without having a CISSP and 5 years of Info Sec experience i feel like im between a rock and a wall. I say this because I work 60+ hrs at times, have all the grunt responsibilities and all the engineers i work with have "families" which gives them more options (working from home, getting flex time, more pay, etc). I want to work smarter not harder, i've learned my lesson from the army.

    What should I do?
    c colon i net pub dubdubdub root
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    @diggitle - You'd most likely get more help if you started your own thread.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • ccnpninjaccnpninja Senior Member EuropePosts: 1,008Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Forget about ITILv1, v2 and v3. Do the 2011 version straight. I recommend you leave it until you get a good understanding of how IT works and fits in a company.
    من طلب عزائم الأمور ، هان عليه بذل النفس فيها - محمد إبن ابي عامر
    www.keyboardbanger.com
  • diggitlediggitle Posts: 118Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Done. Thanks
    c colon i net pub dubdubdub root
Sign In or Register to comment.