CCNA or MCSE?

DDStimeDDStime Member Posts: 113 ■■■□□□□□□□
Been cert stagnant for two years (after CISSP) and feel energized to shoot for another one.

I would love to shoot for a cert that gave me practical knowledge and increased my value to employers.

I'm a sys admin, but don't want to be one forever and am looking for a challenge. I deal with a lot of security as well.

What do you think CCNA or MCSE?

Comments

  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,741
  • SimridSimrid Member Posts: 327
    I would also say CCNA, but that's because I love networking so I am biased. One thing I would say is that the MCSE is "worth more" than a CCNA in comparison, I believe. So, perhaps looking at going for a CCNP.
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  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    Which CCNA and which MCSE? Where are you starting from? If you have CCENT, then CCNA R+S is a no brainer. If you have MCSA Server 2012, then maybe one of the MCSEs isn't too much to shoot for.

    Very roughly, the CCNA is about the same as MCSA, and MCSE is about the same as CCNP or CCIE Written (depending on the MCSE). I say this as someone who failed the last of the MCITP Enterprise Administrator exams, and someone who has studied for the CCNP R+S.

    Both are good options for a sys admin or for someone in Info Sec, but because the MCSE is likely harder, it will generally be worth more.
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  • DDStimeDDStime Member Posts: 113 ■■■□□□□□□□
    gorebrush wrote: »
    CCNA, imo.
    Noted. Any reason why? Or is it just preference?
  • DDStimeDDStime Member Posts: 113 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Simrid wrote: »
    I would also say CCNA, but that's because I love networking so I am biased. One thing I would say is that the MCSE is "worth more" than a CCNA in comparison, I believe. So, perhaps looking at going for a CCNP.

    When you say "worth more" are you talking about knowledge or employment?
  • DDStimeDDStime Member Posts: 113 ■■■□□□□□□□
    OctalDump wrote: »
    Which CCNA and which MCSE? Where are you starting from? If you have CCENT, then CCNA R+S is a no brainer. If you have MCSA Server 2012, then maybe one of the MCSEs isn't too much to shoot for.

    Very roughly, the CCNA is about the same as MCSA, and MCSE is about the same as CCNP or CCIE Written (depending on the MCSE). I say this as someone who failed the last of the MCITP Enterprise Administrator exams, and someone who has studied for the CCNP R+S.

    Both are good options for a sys admin or for someone in Info Sec, but because the MCSE is likely harder, it will generally be worth more.

    I have been a sys admin for about 5-6 years working in an enterprise environment with active directory, sccm, R2 and some other bells and whistles.

    While I do like the CCNA, my org has seperation of duties for switches and routers so I have very limited exposure to them. I know how to setup routers and switches and "some commands," but my environment is also migrating to brocade.

    I have not looked at the MCSA/E or CCNA in that much depth but as a sys ADM I am already very knowledgeable in windows and some networking.

    I would be starting with zero assosiated certs for both, but have a good foundation in IT from Linux+, CISSP, Sec+ and alot of self study/ work exp.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    DDStime wrote: »
    When you say "worth more" are you talking about knowledge or employment?

    Both (generally). The MCSE Server Infrastructure or Private Cloud are quite broad, and quite deep. The CCNA is networking 101 plus 'this is how to do it on Cisco gear'. I'd go so far as to say that MCSE Server Infrastructure is bigger than CCNP Route and Switch. CCNP R+S sticks to the core routing and switching stuff, and doesn't pull in too much from other areas. I think that the CCIE R+S has similar breadth to MCSE SI, but the lab exam for CCIE goes a step beyond.

    When it comes to comparing monetary worth, then it does depend a lot on the particular market and what else you are bringing to the table, but in most circumstances an MCSE is going to be worth more money than CCNA. If you have an MCSE, then it will be assumed that you have half decent networking knowledge anyway.

    For what you describe, sys admin with an interest in security, I think that CCNA is a good base level of networking knowledge, and something like MCSA would be a good base level of Windows knowledge. It then depends on where you are more interested in working - networking or services/OS - for whether you pursue MCSE or CCNP or something else (VCP, RHCE, AWS etc).
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  • DDStimeDDStime Member Posts: 113 ■■■□□□□□□□
    OctalDump wrote: »
    Both (generally). The MCSE m
    Server Infrastructure or Private Cloud are quite broad, and quite deep. The CCNA is networking 101 plus 'this is how to do it on Cisco gear'. I'd go so far as to say that MCSE Server Infrastructure is bigger than CCNP Route and Switch. CCNP R+S sticks to the core routing and switching stuff, and doesn't pull in too much from other areas. I think that the CCIE R+S has similar breadth to MCSE SI, but the lab exam for CCIE goes a step beyond.

    When it comes to comparing monetary worth, then it does depend a lot on the particular market and what else you are bringing to the table, but in most circumstances an MCSE is going to be worth more money than CCNA. If you have an MCSE, then it will be assumed that you have half decent networking knowledge anyway.

    For what you describe, sys admin with an interest in security, I think that CCNA is a good base level of networking knowledge, and something like MCSA would be a good base level of Windows knowledge. It then depends on where you are more interested in working - networking or services/OS - for whether you pursue MCSE or CCNP or something else (VCP, RHCE, AWS etc).

    Great explanation!

    Based in the info posted here and your info as well I will shoot for MCSA. I think CCNA would be knowledge lost as we are almost all brocade and I would imagine the CCNA would be a lot if CISCO IOS specific.

    One I get to the MCSA point I will make the decision on MCSE or CCNA.

    Its funny you mentioned AWS as I just finished the architect course designing networks and services running on them. It was fun, but if I go MCSA/E I will prob choose the azure route if I go cloud.

    At any rate thanks for the info, I see myself moving up in my org with MCSA/E but have limited opportunities with CCNA/P. Also, from what I can see in job postings MCSE will be the most sought after between the two.
  • ChinookChinook Member Posts: 206
    Perhaps the first question you should ask is what are your future career goals? Knowing networking (Layer 1 - 3) is beneficial for everyone in IT but if you're working in an silo style environment maybe not.
  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,649 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Well, if you are putting MCSE on the table... I think you could knock them both out. MCSE will take more work, more time, more money, and probably have a greater return when comparing MCSE to CCNA. I don't know if it holds true as much (because I have seen more than my share of sysadmins without the knowledge), but you should have a sound enough knowledge of networking basics to pull off an MCSE (OSI model, TCP/IP, subnetting, common ports, general knowledge of routing). So, with that knowledge... it should be easy enough to jump into the CCNA; it is about 50% general networking knowledge and 50% Cisco-isms, IOS commands, etc.)

    Some folks will likely disagree, but I think to be focused on security, you need to know about the platforms that you are working with... so, an MCSE kids you a foundation on Windows, CCNA on Cisco stuff... cover some Linux, you are plenty well rounded at that point.

    Of course, you could just do the MCSA and the CCNA, too. As some have suggested, I think the MCSE has also been around that CCNP level... and I think that holds more true now than ever. The MCSA has become a significant obstacle in its own right... perhaps above the CCNA, depending on if you are going the traditional R/S route, maybe on par if you follow those CCNA specialty track of do the R/S then your specialty.
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  • DDStimeDDStime Member Posts: 113 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Chinook wrote: »
    Perhaps the first question you should ask is what are your future career goals? Knowing networking (Layer 1 - 3) is beneficial for everyone in IT but if you're working in an silo style environment maybe not.
    That's a tough one. When I look into my future I don't really have a plan. I love IT and just want to keep learning so that's a hard question to answer.
  • DDStimeDDStime Member Posts: 113 ■■■□□□□□□□
    powerfool wrote: »
    Well, if you are putting MCSE on the table... I think you could knock them both out. MCSE will take more work, more time, more money, and probably have a greater return when comparing MCSE to CCNA. I don't know if it holds true as much (because I have seen more than my share of sysadmins without the knowledge), but you should have a sound enough knowledge of networking basics to pull off an MCSE (OSI model, TCP/IP, subnetting, common ports, general knowledge of routing). So, with that knowledge... it should be easy enough to jump into the CCNA; it is about 50% general networking knowledge and 50% Cisco-isms, IOS commands, etc.)

    Some folks will likely disagree, but I think to be focused on security, you need to know about the platforms that you are working with... so, an MCSE kids you a foundation on Windows, CCNA on Cisco stuff... cover some Linux, you are plenty well rounded at that point.

    Of course, you could just do the MCSA and the CCNA, too. As some have suggested, I think the MCSE has also been around that CCNP level... and I think that holds more true now than ever. The MCSA has become a significant obstacle in its own right... perhaps above the CCNA, depending on if you are going the traditional R/S route, maybe on par if you follow those CCNA specialty track of do the R/S then your specialty.
    I have a pretty good grasp of the OSI/TCPIP, ports, routing and protocols so I think I might take your advice and attempt the CCNA after the MCSA or E.

    I think I am leaning towards MCSA because of my exp. I already have a headstart with R22012, AD and being an admin so it will only reinforce my MS knowledge. I don't see myself using CISCO commands anytime soon so that help me make the decision. I want a cert that makes me better at what I do and gives me other options if I choose to explore them.

    I think MCSA can be attained in a month or two, but from what you described MCSE might take awhile.
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