Which Certification?

LucmaneLucmane Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello Everyone,

I graduated last summer with a degree in Computer Network Security, been applying for entry-level/Junior IT jobs and working in retail at the same. I don't have much experience working in IT which I feel is a factor in getting that first IT job however I recently undertook work experience for two weeks working as an IT helpdesk assistant intern in hope of boosting my chances. I haven't been successful in finding a job yet, as such I am hoping to complete an IT certification, either the CCNA (covered quite a bit of Cisco material at uni) or MCSA cert, not sure which to choose from. Will this boost my chances of getting my first job in IT and is there any other certification that is more appropriate for me to pursue?


Appreciate any responses

Comments

  • LexluetharLexluethar Posts: 516Member
    Those are both pretty large certifications to tackle considering you have no other certifications and little job experience.

    I would suggest starting off with an A+ and/or Net+. From there decide if you enjoy networking (go with CCNA) or servers (go with MCSA). You can do both and plenty of people are experts in both areas but starting off with certifications is really easy to get overwhelmed. I would start off small and work your way up from there. Even once you land that first job keep plugging away. LOTS of people (i would say 80% of the people i've worked with or run into) become complacent once they land that first job and stop getting certifications. What there is a lot of opportunity costs out there with continuing your education. Also it will ensure you are on top of your game because there will always be someone waiting to take your spot.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Member
    Yes. Do this. CCNA or MCSA are both good. Hands on experience with tech is good. Some employers don't feel that degrees give enough of the specific skills they want, and certifications can alleviate some of that anxiety.

    You could start with A+, Net+ and Sec+. But I think probably if you have good Cisco experience and a degree, you can skip the A+ and Net+. The Security+ is useful as it is widely recognised. I'm not sure that there are other accessible (cheap), general security certifications worth doing. If you have the money, GSEC is worthwhile - any GIAC is good.

    eJPT from eLearnSecurity is cheapish. It doesn't have lots of recognition yet, but it is good hands on.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • LucmaneLucmane Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the responses, which certification will open more doors for me to get my first IT job, CCNA or MCSA?

    Are there any other Certifications that will allow me to do this for someone in my position and is the ITIL Foundation cert any good?
  • LexluetharLexluethar Posts: 516Member
    Both are very sold - but not easy exams. That's why i would start with something easier like A+ or Net+. CCNA or MCSA with no experience could take 6 months to pass if not more. Start small or you will get discouraged.

    Both CCNA and MCSA are 'professional level' exams and both would net you good jobs. CCNA would be more networking and MCSA would be more server administration (not to say you can't be network admin with MCSA).
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Member
    Lucmane wrote: »
    Thanks for the responses, which certification will open more doors for me to get my first IT job, CCNA or MCSA?

    Are there any other Certifications that will allow me to do this for someone in my position and is the ITIL Foundation cert any good?

    Check the job market where you want to work. There's a lot of variation in this. I'd suggest the CCNA only because you have Cisco experience already. There are likely enough networking jobs where you are to find something.

    The ITIL Foundation is a good thing, too. Enough places ask for it, that it does hurt. Mostly it is common sense, but there is a fair bit of jargon to learn. 30-40 hours study would be enough to pass the exam.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • LucmaneLucmane Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks again, i've made up my mind, will pursue the CCNA certification as i have some some experience with configurng Cisco Routers and Switches.

    How long would it typically take to complete the CCNA cert?
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Member
    Lucmane wrote: »
    Thanks again, i've made up my mind, will pursue the CCNA certification as i have some some experience with configurng Cisco Routers and Switches.

    How long would it typically take to complete the CCNA cert?

    The Net Academy courses which take you from a fairly basic level to CCNA R+S are about 160 hours including labs. If you've already got some experience, it would be less than that. If you spread it over too long, you will forget stuff before the exam, if you do it too quickly you will forget stuff after the exam. I'd aim for at least 10 hours per week, and at least 40 mins on at least 5 days a week. So you should be able to get there within 6 months.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
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