Career in Microsoft vs Cisco (MCSE 2012 or CCNP)

Wali007Wali007 Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello Guys!
I am facing some confusion in deciding whether to focus pursuing a career in System administration (MCSA/MCSE stuff) or Network engineering (Cisco stuff). I have experience in both domains. I have held positions as Help desk support, PC Technician, Desktop Support, System admin, and jr. Network Engineer. At my current job I am an IT Infrastructure Admin (one man show for all IT stuff). I currently have several IT certifications which I was lucky enough to obtain through WGU as part of my Bachelor's degree icon_cool.gif. Those certs are;
MCSA 2008/ MCTS / MCP /MTA
CCENT / CCNA
CompTIA A+/Network+/ Security+
CIW Web design Associate (which I didn't see much use of..)
I am currently trying to decide whether to go for MCSE 2012, or pursue CCNP R&S and then CCIE after some time.
I have had more exposure to server and Windows administration than Cisco routing and switching. I still time to time come across configuring and troubleshooting Cisco IOS, and I enjoy it as well. I love building gaming PC's as well, my part-time hobby icon_cool.gif.
I Need some expert advice on which track (CCNP/CCIE vs MCSE) holds more value when it comes to Salary, job outlook, career advancement and any other important factors you guys could think of. I am mostly interested in the job market within Southeast US, specifically in the Atlanta area..

I would definitely appreciate your valuable feed-back and guidance..

Thanks!

Comments

  • joelsfoodjoelsfood Posts: 1,027Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    You might want to consider the Cisco Data center track as I am. I'm more than a decade in, old mcsa/mcse, mostly systems/storage experience, but also a good amoutn of networking (7 months in kuwait as full time network admin, as well as the regular network exposure you get over the years just being interested and doing one man jobs like yours). The Data center track covers networking (L2 and a bit of L3), storage, UCS servers and Nexus 1000V virtual switching, and would likely fit well into your bailiwick. I also find that betweeen the two, the Cisco certs get you past HR for higher paying jobs, whereas your MCSA and experience will cover most of the Systems jobs too.

    Just my .02. I'm biased though, I'm almost done with my CCIE Data center (assuming I pass on this next attempt, and can find a date soon :) )
  • nsternster Posts: 231Member
    To me, CCIE seems much harder than MCSE. As said above, there are different tracks as well, including going for CCDA/CCDP. I personally am going to go for the MCSE + VCP route, after which you can get different MCSEs and go for VCIX if you want.
  • joelsfoodjoelsfood Posts: 1,027Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    CCIE is definitely MUCH harder than MCSE, that's for srue
  • praminpramin Posts: 138Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I second going after Cisco rather than Microsoft. I myself started out with Microsoft and moved on to Cisco.

    This is just my viewpoint; but when Microsoft introduces new software there is a lot more to learn in the new software than when Cisco introduces new technology.
  • markulousmarkulous Posts: 2,389Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Honestly, both can be successful careers. Either one you can make a good amount of money in and have job security. What it comes down to is which one you enjoy the most. Whichever one you do enjoy more, choose that and don't look back.
  • srabieesrabiee Posts: 1,231Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    joelsfood wrote: »
    CCIE is definitely MUCH harder than MCSE, that's for srue

    Yes, the CCIE is more comparable to the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) certs, which have been permanently retired due to lack of popularity. Many IT professionals just don't have the desire, capability, or resources to reach that level of specialization and discipline.
    WGU Progress: Master of Science - Information Technology Management (Start Date: February 1, 2015)
    Completed: LYT2, TFT2, JIT2, MCT2, LZT2, SJT2 (17 CU's)
    Required: FXT2, MAT2, MBT2, C391, C392 (13 CU's)

    Bachelor of Science - Information Technology Network Design & Management (WGU - Completed August 2014)
  • nsternster Posts: 231Member
    srabiee wrote: »
    Yes, the CCIE is more comparable to the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) certs, which have been permanently retired due to lack of popularity. Many IT professionals just don't have the desire, capability, or resources to reach that level of specialization and discipline.

    I think it also has to do with demand. MCM level was rarely ever needed comparatively to CCIE, so the demand for CCIE certified individuals was much higher.
  • Wali007Wali007 Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    joelsfood wrote: »
    You might want to consider the Cisco Data center track as I am. I'm more than a decade in, old mcsa/mcse, mostly systems/storage experience, but also a good amoutn of networking (7 months in kuwait as full time network admin, as well as the regular network exposure you get over the years just being interested and doing one man jobs like yours). The Data center track covers networking (L2 and a bit of L3), storage, UCS servers and Nexus 1000V virtual switching, and would likely fit well into your bailiwick. I also find that betweeen the two, the Cisco certs get you past HR for higher paying jobs, whereas your MCSA and experience will cover most of the Systems jobs too.

    Just my .02. I'm biased though, I'm almost done with my CCIE Data center (assuming I pass on this next attempt, and can find a date soon :) )

    Thanks for the tip. I thought about Cisco Data center track. Would def look more into it. I have been working in Dubai for the past few years. Microsoft seems to be more popular in this region. In my current one man job role, I have gotten exposure to implementing and managing several different technologies and hardware.
  • Wali007Wali007 Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    What do you guys think of more specialized roles in Microsft like SCCM and Exchange admins, or Virtualization tracks (hyper v or Vmware) vs Cisco Voice and Data center tracks?
    I am also looking forward to starting MS in information system management from UMUC which includes PMP as a part of their curriculum along with cyber security policy as a second option.
  • PristonPriston Posts: 999Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    It sounds like you enjoy working with a wide variety of technologies and none of us can tell you want your going to enjoy the most. If your not sure what to pick why not look at the job boards in your area. What do you see the most openings for? Do you enjoy that technology? Are those openings senior roles or all skill levels? You want to pick a technology were when your ready you can easily move up.
    A.A.S. in Networking Technologies
    A+, Network+, CCNA
  • kohr-ahkohr-ah Posts: 1,277Member
    Both tracks can have very well and profitable outcomes.

    If you choose to go the Microsoft route learning virtualization is a must. It will do nothing but help you to learn that as well.

    If you choose to go the Cisco route I would go up to CCNP and get the relevant experience then go either CCIE or branch out your knowledge a bit to help market yourself. Meaning learn some Linux, juniper, python, or something to help learn other vendors that have popularity in the field and learning basic automation.
  • Mosaic3Mosaic3 Posts: 15Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    CCIE is one of the toughest certs out there, period. That being said though, it really depends on what kind of career track you want to take and what your interests are. Both can be lucrative careers.
  • compton2k15compton2k15 Posts: 22Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    CCIE is harder to get and thus more respected. There are more MCSE's out there...But there are also more Windows Admin jobs as well. The answer really lies in what you like more. In general,a CCIE will make more $ than a Windows Net admin.. But some people would be bored to tears working with routers all day...
  • hurricane1091hurricane1091 Posts: 918Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Cisco is more interesting, but the technology could change quite a bit by the time you get a CCIE and it could be a whole new ball game (but I guess that's the same with anything).
  • IIIMasterIIIMaster Senior Member Posts: 238Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    You seem experience and have certifications. So I'm not sure why your on here asking us what you should do. Follow what makes you happy as that is the best advise I can give you.
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