Help deciding career path with current experience!

TacoGuyTacoGuy Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
Okay so as the title says, i am seeking advice in which you think is the most valuable or pathway that will pay off the most/guarantee me a good job in the future. So first i will tell you about myself and my experience.

I am 21 years old, male. For the past 4 1/2 years ( started right out of highschool- first job) i have been a certified commercial communication technician. I have had alot of experience in layer 1, i started knowing nothing and quickly rose to a lead technician because of my work ethic, willingness to learn, common sense, and always take every occasion as a learning tool. So that being said i build networks, everything from the patch panel in an IDF that goes out to the end user (cubicles, wall drops, waps, tvs, counters, anything data cat5,cat5e, cat6, cat6a, CCTV goes to-ive ran it), to building full blown data centers from the ground up, including setting cabinets, racks, trays, grounding, cat 6a ties between cabinets and fiber backbones. I have pulled fiber and 100+pair cabling underground from building to building, installing on a lightning block and cross connect to the rack. I have experience in fusion splicing fiber optic, underground and in the IDF/MDF in fiber enclosures, also i can do anaerobic fiber ( hands on polishing), i can test and certify fiber optic cabling with OTDR and Powermeter testing, from singlemode 30k+ thousand feet to 200 feet of OM4 multimode 10gb links in a datacenter. I even have experience in security/intrusion systems ( card readers, door magnets, motion sensors, cameras, water detectors, window sensors, etc).

So that being said, i pretty much know the entire layer 1 cabling infrastructure and am completely confident in my work and can provide full turnkey systems for commercial companies ( do it everyday for schools, government buildings, military bases, work buildings such as a call center, etc).

What i am looking for is advice in which you think i would best fit as an IT professional and what path (certs or degrees to) to get there. I am currently halfway through an AAS in Cisco:Networking and Routing which will attain my CCNA, ordered books to study for my A+ and looking into security or others ( this is where i am unsure about which way to go)

I have alot of experience with layer 1 though not so much with layer 2 besides my schooling and my own setup programing a cisco switch LAN at home.

What certs should i go after, what jobs should i pursue? Should i go for a bachelors, if so which is the most useful? or AAS and CCNA, A+, and more certs?

Please help, any advice is useful i am seeking any input to help me find a pathway to devour! Thank you for your time.

Cody Helton


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    danny069danny069 Member Posts: 1,025 ■■■■□□□□□□
    In the world of computers, experience trumps all, next are certifications, then a college degree. I went a long way without a degree, but here I am getting a bachelors, because it will open more doors for you. My advice to you, is go for your Bachelor's degree, and along the way study for your certs. I'm not going to tell you not to go for your A+ because that's the cert that started my career. It seems like you are already going for your CCNA, so there is no need for your N+. After your CCNA go for your CCNP Routing & Switching, then CCNP Security.
    I am a Jack of all trades, Master of None
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