Let's discuss about my future

ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi guys,

A wall of text below but please bear with me :)

My name is Erind and i'm currently working as a product designer for managed and hosted services in a big ISP, what it actually means is that in my company (the biggest ISP in the country) i am responsible about anything related to IT products for the businesses (starting from co-location to domain registration and mail servers) Mind you i'm the commercial guy leading the projects and have a platoon of professionals making things happen). I like to consider myself a really educated guy and at 31 years old i have a nice job with a great path ahead of me, BUT... Life is never easy or without surprises. I currently live in ALBANIA and through pure luck for which i wont go in details, I have the opportunity to move to USA (specifically Boston, MA) starting from MAY 2017

Now into my questions:

I never needed any certifications so i had none. i say had none cause i decided to get my A+ once i learned i would be moving and i got it within 3 weeks (yesterday it was online and active, my first Cert! yay!)

My current dilemma is what to go for next, the plan is to have CCNA and MCSA server by may 2017(is it doable? i have 8 year work exp in the field so i think it should be) are there any certs i'm missing?

I want to land an entry level job for starters and i learned that my uni diploma wont count for nothing in the states .I don't even know if my job experience will be taken into account. My goal is to get any certification that will help me enter the field and land a job. I have no preferred field as i can't afford one for starters.

Please guys any advice you may have would help me a lot so comment away.

Thank you,
Erind
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Comments

  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Member
    Get the certifications that you can get easiest first, the low hanging fruit.

    If you aren't confident that your degree/diploma will be sufficient, then it is really important that you are able to show competence, not just on paper but also in technical interviews. If you have a CCNA and someone asks you to explain CIDR notation, then you need to be able to do that. A blank stare won't be good enough.

    I think that a good path might be to get a few entry level certifications to cover a broad area, and then go in deep in a specialisation.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for your reply, ye i was thinking the same. I'm more concerned about getting an interview (cause i do great in those :D) honestly i'm not worried one bit about the professional side as i really do have the experience and knowledge. My only concern is getting the opportunity to talk to a recruiter and i need my CV and certs to get me into that room
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Posts: 947Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Sounds like you have done quite well for yourself.... I would probably stay in Albania.
    lol

    Don't believe all the hype about the U.S.
    :]
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Member
    volfkhat wrote: »
    Sounds like you have done quite well for yourself.... I would probably stay in Albania.
    lol

    Don't believe all the hype about the U.S.
    :]

    I'd work in the US, save up money to buy a nice house on the Adriatic, and then go back to Albania to live in luxury. I'd take Albanian Adriatic weather over Boston any day :)
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hahaha, believe me guys i though about that long and hard, but i have a wife and son and although i love living here and i'm not doing bad i still think a better future awaits me and more importantly my son there. Still its not final and i may come back. What is settled though is that i will give it a try. My best friend moved to Boston 2 years ago and that's why i'm going there but by no means are we set in stone for MA. i basically will have a green card in May weather i use it to live in the STATES or where is my choice.
  • NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA CCNA R&S, ITIL, Security+ ZZ9ZZAPosts: 543Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats! I was born and raised in Boston. If you have a family, I would suggest looking to live in the suburbs North of the city. There are trains that can bring you into Boston. Various things will cost you less living in the suburbs.

    'My dear you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly' Winston Churchil

  • ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks! My friend lives in Weymouth, MA so ill be there most likely at the beginning but he is by no means tied to the place. We would like to be close to each other though as we kinda grew up together and would be an enormous support for each other even if it is only emotional support :p.
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Posts: 947Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    OctalDump wrote: »
    I'd work in the US, save up money to buy a nice house on the Adriatic, and then go back to Albania to live in luxury. I'd take Albanian Adriatic weather over Boston any day :)

    You know, actually....
    i just did a little reading on 'People's Socialist Republic of Albania'.

    Kind of have a different perspective now.

    Good Luck in whatever you decide!
  • ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Damn that's our skeleton in the closet but the communism thing is almost 30 years ago. Hell our passport allows you to go anywhere in eu without visas nowadays so it ain't that bad. Also if you ever visit the Adriatic coast is a tourist trap go south on the ionian Sea, it's a paradise.
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Posts: 947Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    I wasn't knocking it :]

    i guess i was just saying that i "didnt know" the history.


    I got my ccna in 6 months; so it's definitely doable.

    but As for choosing between "ccna" or "mcsa"...
    i guess it depends on if you want to work with "networks" or work with "servers" :]
  • ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    That's it though I don't care what I work with for starters. Let me try to explain, my main concern is what certification gives you a broader range of possibile jobs. I think I can do any entry lvl job in the field so I want to get some certifications that increase my chances to be considered as a candidate. I mentioned CCNA and MCSA but by no means it's either one or the other it can be another thing entirely. So please suggest away.
  • skswitchskswitch Posts: 50Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Grats on the cert!

    First one always feels the best. Everything to follow will help you shake the nerves of testing til its almost a normal routine lol.

    I noticed no one has brought of the cost of living expectations in Boston since you mentioned a location it isn't set in stone. Former colleague of mine who I still keep in contact with works/lives out of that area. We are almost on same milestone in IT mid career path so we are open with salaries for comparison. From what we gather there is about ~10-15k difference in pay, Boston being the higher end of course to me being in Central FL. However, my house cost less than half of what he paid both being similar stats. There can be huge living difference here state to state or may not be very much at all. Something to consider if you decide to stay in that area for awhile.

    Best of luck!
  • ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thank you, :)

    Duly noted, is there any "sweet spot" State in which i can set my eyes on for the future? I mean something with lots of job opportunities and low cost of living. I currently have relatives living in NY, and my wife has relatives living in SC so those are places i could move to rather soon.
  • skswitchskswitch Posts: 50Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Erind wrote: »
    Thank you, :)

    Duly noted, is there any "sweet spot" State in which i can set my eyes on for the future? I mean something with lots of job opportunities and low cost of living. I currently have relatives living in NY, and my wife has relatives living in SC so those are places i could move to rather soon.

    You could do a search for top cities for IT or your desired career area. May get scattered results though. Just to name a few I would think Dallas Texas, Boston Mass, Raleigh-Durham North Carolina. I know Silicon Valley in California has a huge spread but cost of living may out weigh that and I have no experience with that area.

    I hear that Boston is a great area for IT from that friend. He has taken the path of Security and is near ~85k at the moment and is planning his next hop soon. Wouldn't be surprised if hes near six figures in a few years. To think we both started around low 30's only few years ago lol.

    Previously were I use to work we had our Corporate HQ in Dallas TX and they were moving IT personal out there from Boston and Central FL in waves. No infrastructure at the time but I could see the writing on the wall. Our former System Admin jumped shipped prior me getting hired for a 25k bump. And thats just by making a lateral move due to the area and vendor. That area has some potential if you are will to deal with the hot summers. :)

    Personally I'm hoping to leave this area in next few hears and head towards Raleigh-Durham area. The housing market is better than here (and they all don't look alike...stupid FL HOA copy/paste houses...). There's an area called Research Triangle Park consisting of three major cities, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill. A lot of big vendors are located there making it great for IT. I'm still doing my homework on what area would be best for me. Making sure I have enough experience and solid resume for a smooth transition.
  • ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thank you, ill definitely check out these places online. One more question, in your opinion is going for sec+ or CCNA:sec a valid path this early on, or should i look into it later. From the guides i was looking online, it looks like i could nail one of those down in a month or so after getting CCENT (which i scheduled for DEC 15)
  • skswitchskswitch Posts: 50Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Erind wrote: »
    Thank you, ill definitely check out these places online. One more question, in your opinion is going for sec+ or CCNA:sec a valid path this early on, or should i look into it later. From the guides i was looking online, it looks like i could nail one of those down in a month or so after getting CCENT (which i scheduled for DEC 15)

    Hard to say. I only have this path due to me being enrolled at WGU (Check it out sometime if you are interested in boosting your certs/degree game). You don't get credit for the class til you pass the exam and cert cost is built into the tuition with two attempts.

    I would almost say one or the other if you are coming out of pocket.

    - Security+ is pretty broad covering many topics and little depth. Kinda more an overview of everything (Protocols/OSI model/ Hardening an network environment) related to network security. Believe some government jobs seek this one out over CCNA Security this is easier of the two to get.

    - CCNA Security was more on Cisco ASA configuration and lots on theory on each level works. Depending on your background it may be harder to jump into without some background in networking. I actually found it kinda fun since it connect a lot of dots and questions I had of "I know it works this way but how does it do it..."
  • ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well i begin to see a pattern in CompTIA certs, broad knowledge but not in depth so ill consider their certs if i'm going into new fields(most probably linux+ or smth). Im definitely going for CCNA: RS cause its gonna be easy for me but after that i think some MS certs might do me good, considering the limited time i have for these things i was thinking maybe go CCNA sec directly from CCENT as it was doable. Still if CCNA r&s is better... oh well, decisions decisions.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Member
    Brass tacks: Sec+ is probably the only CompTIA worth looking at. The CCNA will out class the Net+, and an MCSA will out class the A+. The problem is that between Sec+ and CISSP, the only generalist InfoSec certs with reasonable visibility are GIAC - and they aren't cheap. CISSP isn't always an option.

    If networking is where you're strengths lie, consider doing dual CCNPs. CCNP x2 + MCSA should be sufficient for most networking roles. The Service Provider track might be appropriate given your background. Resist the urge to get 3 or 4 or 5 CCNAs. Get the CCNPs first.

    Cloud and virtualisation are also good areas, but it depends on you background and experience if that is appropriate. Play to your strengths.

    Also, look at some of the "soft skills" certs in project management and IT service management. They also align with your background, so could be useful. You might be eligible for the PMP, which is a great one to have.

    If you have an idea where you are going to live first, research that job market. See what they are looking for. Once you have some local work experience under your belt, it will be much easier. So getting those first steps right is important.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    As always great info :D,

    Funny thing about the PMP is that i was going for it before this massive change came into my life. the PMI guys made a training with a few people on my company ( as some HR catering to our future leaders mumbo jumbo) and they have plans to open a certification center in our country( right now you have to go to Greece to get certified). i was qualified as i have the 4 years worth of project management but the thing needs massive time to study and get it done. its not hard per se as my original major (which i dropped out of) was finance but going for it means no other certs. Also the money either comes out of my pocket or the company ties me up for another year if they pay for it. it means no possibility to break the contract or bye bye to my severance package and the cert cost on top.

    well for now CCNA seems a consensus so ill icon_study.gif for it .

    Thank you
    Erind
  • RepliconReplicon Posts: 124Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    mire se erdhet Erind on the forum.

    Difficult decision, I was in a similar position 3 year back, I had good government paycheck plus I was teaching at the university part time, my wife was manager in the biggest company back home, I and leave all that to come to Canada, and I am not sorry one bit for that. Life back home is not bad, but here my son future is way better then back home. Hope the same will be for you.
    Certs wide, I know for me having Microsoft certification made the difference, I actually found job ahead of time and came to Canada that why. (Get few certs and start applying even now, it does not hurt, put on the resume that you are PR or whatever is called in US, and date of arrival in MA) At that time I had MCITP Server, Enterprise, Virtualization and Database Administration etc and they open quite a few door for me. Recruiters are out there, make sure you tune your LinkedIN account, its not impossible to get offers even from Albania, while i was home I had offer from big company in Ireland, few mid level companies in US and Canada, having secured green card is a huge deal, now you just need to bump your resume.
    I thing you will be aiming desktop support/it support (hopefully jr admin) positions to begin with, so I'd go with Microsoft, get MCSA , Win 10 certificate, so you are able to apply for those positions, once you get a job and steady income then you can think of progressing. Having said that, dont put your expectations too low, just because you are new to the country doesn't mean you are worthless and you have to accept any offer, if you are good as you say you are few certs and you can be regular system admin and can skip the junior position. My first job in Canada was Senior System admin so its doable.

    Good luck man
  • ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Shumë faleminderit, është shumë mirë të dëgjosh nga dikush qe ka kaluar te njëjtën situatë. Honestly I'm a bit scared and you understand very well my predicament. I'll definitely get a MCSA certificate but do you think I need win 10 or server? I already started on the ccna path so I'll keep going for CCENT as I scheduled the test already(I put it 2 weeks from now just for funding issues :p) and with some luck by mid January I should be able to get the icdn2 and have the CCNA. I think by February I should be ready for the first MS test. Do you have a any recommendations for any cert past MCSA server 2012 as I'm not very familiar with the path ahead for MS certs

    Thank you again,
    Erind
  • RepliconReplicon Posts: 124Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well I put win 10 as if you want to cover desktop support positions and someone is looking for entry level positions where you will be re imaging machines, installment printers and those kind of things. If you do MCSA next step is MCSE, 70-413 and 70-414, but again, having certs will get you to the interview you you need to know that stuff in order to survive at the job. I'd radther choose to take 2-3 cers but to know them well then to get 10 certs and know knowing anything as when they hire you they will have expectations, while some things you will google you will need to understand things, so maybe spend some time hands-on, install hyper-v or get amazon/azure accounts if you dont have the infrastructure yourself, build a domain, create serves, play so you get hands on experience,
  • ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well well, let me put it this way, we have lots and i mean lots of hardware in the companyicon_lol.gif *fully fledged data center and all.One of the products i'm responsible for developing and marketing is virtual servers which we lease to our customers. Playing with them and making tests is part of my job :D, so believe me when i say to you i will be experimenting.

    about the help desk stuff in not worried honestly its like going back to my roots as i did the job when i was a student. Going back to deploying new machines and wandering why the hell the pixie boot image doesn't show up or getting to install XP on boards with non intel southbridges and Sata controllers or my personal favorite figuring out that the Brother printer you just installed needs you to drop some developer dust thingy in some low compartment below the toner cartridge to even work.(still scratching my head about this one 10 years later) is almost cathartic.

    I heard your comments loud and clear though and i want to assure you im not looking to get certified for things i'm not competent about.

    thank you,
  • RepliconReplicon Posts: 124Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Erind wrote: »
    Well well, let me put it this way, we have lots and i mean lots of hardware in the companyicon_lol.gif *fully fledged data center and all.One of the products i'm responsible for developing and marketing is virtual servers which we lease to our customers. Playing with them and making tests is part of my job :D, so believe me when i say to you i will be experimenting.

    about the help desk stuff in not worried honestly its like going back to my roots as i did the job when i was a student. Going back to deploying new machines and wandering why the hell the pixie boot image doesn't show up or getting to install XP on boards with non intel southbridges and Sata controllers or my personal favorite figuring out that the Brother printer you just installed needs you to drop some developer dust thingy in some low compartment below the toner cartridge to even work.(still scratching my head about this one 10 years later) is almost cathartic.

    I heard your comments loud and clear though and i want to assure you im not looking to get certified for things i'm not competent about.

    thank you,
    You have nothing to worry about, I as see you have the experience, get just few certs so you pass HR and you'll be good
  • ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hey Guys,

    New info, A director on my company was having a chat with me and told me to look into a PMI-PBA(bussines analyst) cert as it would be great for someone with my background. Any one of you guys know about it or if its a good choice or is it even recognized in the states.

    thanks,
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Posts: 947Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Fun Thread!

    Sounds like i need to start getting my act together too :]
  • ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hehe, nothing sets your arse on fire like a change of scenery. i may have rambled alot on this thread but i needed to vent out and ask everything i could as fast as i could. Truth be told i never thought this kind of scenario would play out so suddenly in my life.
  • ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    UPDATE, Got my CCENT the other day with a great score!! Scheduling my icdn2 for 6th of FEB and then on to the MSCA
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Posts: 2,235Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Boston is a good place to be for IT, there's plenty of start-up companies that are making great products and advancements in IT, there's big depamnd for pre-sales, post-sales, product and project manager's etc. There's also a need and as others have mentioned if you have the experience and seems like you do, don't settle for the first Helpdesk job or first desktop support job. Take the job for the income but continue your search, your skills will be wasted in those roles. Another thing to pay attention to, is your resume, make different version of your resume, for example, in one version you target a Helpdesk job, another version you target a desktop support job, another one you target a product manager job, another you target a system admin job etc etc. Once you have that start sending out resumes. Also if you didn't make a LinkedIn profile make one ASAP, LinkedIn is huge in USA and you need to start making contact in the Boston area with potential recruiters or potential employers. Use the advanced search setting on LinkedIn to find job opening in Boston so you can prepare your resume and to get familiar with different job responsibilities, this will be crucial. If you don't have time for PMP another easy cert to tackle is ITIL, very big in Europe but also recognized in USA also and you could get that from your home. You have taken a big decision in your life and it will work out but feel sorry for Albania because the country actually needs smart people that will bring a change and make a difference but unfortunately it doesnt offer much for the young and bright, very unfortunate. And also, don't knock down the Adriatic because there isnt any other place like Vlora in Albania ;) and congrats on your CCENT, keep going.
  • ErindErind Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for the encouragement, i kinda started to make my LinkedIn profile relevant (adding my certs and description of who i am and what can i do) but never actually though of making multiple resumes by targeting different positions. I will start doing that and maybe starting from march i will start applying for jobs from here. If things go as planned i might be able to squeeze in a SEC+ and VCA6-DCV certs after my MCSA since good old Microsoft makes a pretty huge discount in the exam fee for Albanians(i will pay 80$ for one exam :) :) ). About Albania let me say this: I love my country and it pains me leaving my life behind but do you want to know the main issue. Can you guess why am i taking one exam per month? let me tell you i did not take CCENT because i couldn't do the one exam path for CCNA, its money. That's right i am in a great job and my salary is very high compared to the average wages here but still i cant afford paying for more than one exam per month, So its either 2 jobs and forget my sons face or start a business (which i did once) and forget even my wife's face. Granted there are opportunities here but they require much more than skill and being adept for the job. :)

    PS

    I love Vlora cause i have some great memories there (PROM after party and some nice memories with my wife when she was still my GF, but you cant deny the coastline is much better after you go past it.
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