What certs to go for after A+, N+, and Security+?

tjb122982tjb122982 Member Posts: 255 ■■■□□□□□□□
I am currently trying to decide how I am going to focus my non-working hours for the next 12-24 months. I should mention that I already have the A+, Network+, and Security+. Specifically, I am trying to decide between volunteering and going for more certifications. Let’s assume I am going for more certifications, I need to figure out what certifications I want to go for next. Right now, I am working as a full time hourly assistant for a Big Ten school helping running the computer labs. It’s a mixture of Windows and Linux computers. My office consists of me, the manager (my boss), two Windows admins, the Linux admin, and student workers. I am basically a glorified student worker. I take on more advanced and time consuming projects along with the simple stuff the (Windows so far) admins don’t have time for. With all of this being said, I think I may want to stay in higher education. Also I know the natural step would be to go for a systems admin role but all of the job postings I have seen tell me that I may not be ready. Right now I am thinking about going for the first level of Apple Cert and then the Linux+. Besides that, what can of MS certs should I look at? Right now I am really interested in Windows and Linux admin. I am also thinking about web and database development. i am more interested in web and database development but I don't know if I could get a job in those fields with a couple of years of desktop support and a low cert. I am really trying to decide between what would help me right now and what will help me down the road.

Comments

  • NovaHaxNovaHax Member Posts: 502 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Linux+ will definitely offer more ROI than an Apple support cert.
  • H3||scr3amH3||scr3am Member Posts: 564 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'd say pursue the Linux+ certification and then work towards an MCSA/MCSE for server 2003/8 if you want to get into being a network/systems admin. If you want to focus more on networking, perhaps go CCENT/CCNA and work on up from there.

    I don't see the Apple cert helping for anything more then becoming a Mac Genius and working at a genius bar. I mean few corporations run a strictly Macintosh environment. Certainly there are design studios and Photographers and such that utilize them, and some C-Levels will bend the rules to get a Macbook, but overall the average corporate environment is windows based desktops, with windows and linux back-end servers, and services. Now some corporations are even moving towards cloud based services. So I'd say focus on those two technologies before Apple.
  • tjb122982tjb122982 Member Posts: 255 ■■■□□□□□□□
    H3||scr3am wrote: »
    I'd say pursue the Linux+ certification and then work towards an MCSA/MCSE for server 2003/8 if you want to get into being a network/systems admin. If you want to focus more on networking, perhaps go CCENT/CCNA and work on up from there.

    I don't see the Apple cert helping for anything more then becoming a Mac Genius and working at a genius bar. I mean few corporations run a strictly Macintosh environment. Certainly there are design studios and Photographers and such that utilize them, and some C-Levels will bend the rules to get a Macbook, but overall the average corporate environment is windows based desktops, with windows and linux back-end servers, and services. Now some corporations are even moving towards cloud based services. So I'd say focus on those two technologies before Apple.

    The only reason I'm considering an Apple cert is that a lot of job postings I have seen ask for MAC OS X experience. My line of thinking is it will give me a leg up someone has no experience and no training, where as I will have a cert and no experience.
  • ccnpninjaccnpninja Senior Member EuropeMember Posts: 1,010 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Having Linux+ in your belt is a nice plus.
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  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    You have a lot of CompTIA, I would look into Apple Cert or MS Client Certifications
  • VeritiesVerities Member Posts: 1,162
    Agreed with N2IT. Time to move up to the big league certs.
  • tjb122982tjb122982 Member Posts: 255 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I talked to my boss and he pushed me towards the MS Systems Administration courses on Lynda.com (I have a free account through the university). His reasoning is he wants me to learn learn it and not to learn it to simply pass a test. However, would I be able to list that on my resume?
  • tjb122982tjb122982 Member Posts: 255 ■■■□□□□□□□
    He is also encouraging me to go for the Linux+.
  • JohnLJohnL Member Posts: 62 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I can understand his reasoning in wanting you to really learn the material and not just learn it to pass a test. I would really learn the material and then take the certification test. :) I do agree with going for the Linux+ cert.

    Also since you already work for a higher education institution do you have your bachelor's degree in IT? If not I would consider that as well. I know several of the universities near me significantly lower tuition if you work there....like 75% off.
    B.B.A. in Finance - 2007
    A.A.S. in Computer Networking & System Administration - 2014
    M.S. Information Security and Assurance - 2016
    CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, CEH, CHFI, CCNA: Routing & Switching
    Working on CISSP
  • tjb122982tjb122982 Member Posts: 255 ■■■□□□□□□□
    JohnL wrote: »
    I can understand his reasoning in wanting you to really learn the material and not just learn it to pass a test. I would really learn the material and then take the certification test. :) I do agree with going for the Linux+ cert.

    Also since you already work for a higher education institution do you have your bachelor's degree in IT? If not I would consider that as well. I know several of the universities near me significantly lower tuition if you work there....like 75% off.

    Well the problem with that is that I'm an hourly employee, so I don't (believe) I get that benefit. However, if I ever get a professional position, then I would be able to do that. And to be completely honestly, the university does not offer any programs I want to do. I'm really viewing this current job as a short term solution. However, I think I want to stay in academia.
  • tjb122982tjb122982 Member Posts: 255 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I should had asked this in the beginning. I know a lot people have stated in the past that certs and degrees don't mean crap without experience. With that being said, since I'm getting experience now, should I get certs that fit my current role or certs that are aimed at where I want to go?
  • joemc3joemc3 Member Posts: 141 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Mac is based off of Unix. Learn Linux and you will also understand Unix/Mac/Apple.
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 1,764 ■■■■■■■■■□
    My cert path:

    CompTIA > Microsoft > Cisco > ISC2 (working on it) > GIAC (next)
    Alphabet soup: CISSP, CCSP, CISM, CISA, GDSA, GPEN, GCIA, GCIH, GCCC, CEH, Azure Fundamentals, Azure Security Engineer Associate, ITIL 4 Foundation, and more.

    2020 goals: AZ-900, AZ-500, GDSA, ITILv4

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • tjb122982tjb122982 Member Posts: 255 ■■■□□□□□□□
    E Double U wrote: »
    My cert path:

    CompTIA > Microsoft > Cisco > ISC2 (working on it) > GIAC (next)

    Would a MCSA even help me as seeing I don't even have 6 months experience yet?
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 1,764 ■■■■■■■■■□
    tjb122982 wrote: »
    Would a MCSA even help me as seeing I don't even have 6 months experience yet?

    Look into MCDST
    Alphabet soup: CISSP, CCSP, CISM, CISA, GDSA, GPEN, GCIA, GCIH, GCCC, CEH, Azure Fundamentals, Azure Security Engineer Associate, ITIL 4 Foundation, and more.

    2020 goals: AZ-900, AZ-500, GDSA, ITILv4

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • DigitalBlazeDigitalBlaze Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Just wanted to drop word since I'm in the same boat as OP. Finishing off S+ in a couple weeks. Currently I'm working my way down the path that E Double U stated. It defintely seems most beneficial to me to move into MCSA/CCENT after finishing off the starter CompTIA certs. Though, i could also definitely see at least some value in getting the Linux+ cert, if nothing else just for the credential/experience.
  • ChitownjediChitownjedi Chasing down my dreams. Member Posts: 578 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Linux would be a great way to go, you can always circle back to Microsoft...
  • fuz1onfuz1on Member Posts: 961 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The world is now pretty open-source - even MS has had to adjust and cede to this trend. I'd get Linux+/LPIC-1/SUSE CLA because the value is through the roof right now - lots of CentOS/RedHat devops openings. I think MCSA/MCSE are great but then your choices are slightly lessened and limited to larger enterprise setups that are proprietary-locked.
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    The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows. - Buddha
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  • techfiendtechfiend Member Posts: 1,481 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Around here Linux is really only used in the enterprise, SMB's are mostly using 2008/2012. I'd personally suggest MCSA 2012, I think it has a lot more opportunity albeit with a lower ceiling then linux admins.
    2018 AWS Solutions Architect - Associate (Apr) 2017 VCAP6-DCV Deploy (Oct) 2016 Storage+ (Jan)
    2015 Start WGU (Feb) Net+ (Feb) Sec+ (Mar) Project+ (Apr) Other WGU (Jun) CCENT (Jul) CCNA (Aug) CCNA Security (Aug) MCP 2012 (Sep) MCSA 2012 (Oct) Linux+ (Nov) Capstone/BS (Nov) VCP6-DCV (Dec) ITILF (Dec)
  • thegreatbelowthegreatbelow Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    In hindsight I wish I had gone CCNA or MCSA directly after those certs... but got distracted with knocking out easier ones for WGU college credits...

    I have been looking for new employment.. and it seems Microsoft certs are the most in demand... a lot request compTIA .. but it's the Microsoft ones that get you the job.
  • fuz1onfuz1on Member Posts: 961 ■■■■□□□□□□
    techfiend wrote: »
    Around here Linux is really only used in the enterprise, SMB's are mostly using 2008/2012. I'd personally suggest MCSA 2012, I think it has a lot more opportunity albeit with a lower ceiling then linux admins.

    I have a feeling that more SMB's will go to Linux/OpenStack because of the cost of re-certifying guys every 5-10 years. There are many companies investing in NFV/SDN here doing things that will make Azure obsolete.
    timku.com(puter) | ProHacker.Co(nsultant) | ITaaS.Co(nstultant) | ThePenTester.net | @fuz1on
    Transmosis | http://transmosis.com | LinkedIn | https://linkedin.com/in/t1mku
    If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it. - Epictetus
    The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows. - Buddha
    If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you. - Unknown
  • DeathmageDeathmage Banned Posts: 2,496
    Since I'm not see the love here for VMware, I'd say go for your VCP-DCV. However for you to get that you do need some pretty deep soft skills in networking and windows server administration.
  • tpasmalltpasmall Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
    The big things I've seen companies looking for around here are .Net and VMWare
  • GForce75GForce75 Member Posts: 222
    Cloud+ !!! Took the exam not to long ago and is a great mix of A+, N+, and SEC+. Just understand abit regarding SAN drives, a tiny bit about servers, and VMs and you'll smoke it. The good thing it was not a trick type of test. If you know it, you'll be set.
    Doctoral Candidate - BA (33/60hrs) ~ MBA/Project Management ~ BA/Business-IT
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