Certification Path Going Forward

tjb122982tjb122982 Member Posts: 255 ■■■□□□□□□□
Some background: I graduated with my AAS a couple of years ago and after my first IT job not working out as well as I had hoped and working retail for a while, I have been working as a school district building tech for the last 6 months or so. By far and wide, this is the best job I ever had and I think I can see myself staying here for 2-3 years for sure.

With that being said, I am trying to plan for my future. At the moment, I think my next move is to working in a higher education setting doing desktop support. Right now, in my current job, I support Windows, Mac, and iOS. My current certs are the A+, Network+ and Security+. I snagged them all when I was still in school with the course vouchers.

Now it is time to pay the piper if I want to renew my certs by the end of the year. There are three certifications I am interested in right now: ACMT, MCSA Windows 10, and MCSA Server 2012.

I should mention at this point; my job will not reimburse for anything other than the A+. Their logic being that the A+ is the only thing that is required for my job.

According to the CompTIA website, earning MCSA Server 2012 would cover renewing both the A+ and the Network+ but would hardly put a dent into renewing the Security+.

I know there is always the argument to be made that I shouldn’t even worry about renewing the CompTIA certifications but I do have a concern with this. While it may not affect me right now in my current job but what happens when my next job has it listed it as a qualification and they want documentation?

From what I have seen in job ads, not having the Security+ probably won’t hurt me that bad. So what is my best course of action: pass the Security+ again and then starting working on the other certs or just forget the Security+ and go for the MCSA?

Comments

  • PCTechLincPCTechLinc CISSP, CHFI, CEH, MCSA Server 2008, Project+, Security+ce, Server+, Network+, A+ King City, CAMember Posts: 641 ■■■■■■□□□□
    If you are concerned about keeping your CompTIA certs renewed, then only focus on Security+. CompTIA only requires you to sustain your highest-level cert.

    As far as marketability, IMO going for MCSA Server 2012 would be the most beneficial. However, since you are footing the bill for everything, you'll have to be very picky as far as what you pursue. Keep in mind that CompTIA no longer has a cap as far as how many CEUs you can accumulate with training. You can submit up to 50 CEUs for any Security+ related training hours to make up for anything not covered by the MCSA.

    Not having Security+ won't be a deal-breaker for a lot of jobs, but some of them are a requirement, depending on the job duties. Usually those are anything having to do with the government. At worst, you might have to retake it if you encounter a new position that requires it (which is what happened to me, but they paid for the voucher).

    My opinion is kind of biased though, as I have never let any of my certs expire, and would keep my Security+ valid. However, if my goal was to be more employable, I would go for Server 2012. I hope my answer wasn't too vague, and helps you make a good decision. Best of luck!
    Master of Business Administration in Information Technology Management - Western Governors University
    Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance - Western Governors University
    Bachelor of Science in Network Administration - Western Governors University
    Associate of Applied Science x4 - Heald College
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 947 ■■■■■■■□□□
    To be honest,
    you should probably weigh "how much you put in" with "how much you get out" from the Sec+.

    If you can figure out an easy way to get 50 credits; then definitely go for it.
    But things get "dicey" when it takes more effort (and it brings zero benefit to your current job).

    You are correct:
    https://certification.comptia.org/continuing-education/renewothers/renewing-security

    the MCSA Server 2012 requires passing 3 exams;
    but it only yields 8 credits.

    however, the JNCIA requires passing 1 exam;
    but it yields 10 credits.

    How does that make sense?

    Then consider options like Professor Messer's youtube study-groups;
    it gives you a max of 10 credits (easy & free).


    As for me,
    i discovered that the easiest way to renew a Security+ was by earning a CCNA.
    Comptia gives you 38 credits.
    (again, How does THAT make sense?)

    and After i roll in the Professor Messer credits... i'm practically finished.


    -
    Alternatively,
    you may want to consider just retaking the Sec+ exam to recertify everything.
    (The SY0-401 will probably be phased out in the next 4-6 months)
    Honestly, that may be the easiest option.
    http://blogs.getcertifiedgetahead.com/

    And if you take care of that, then you can focus on a MCSA (if you like), or CCNA (if you like), or Apple/whatever area you want to move into.

    hope that helps!
  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Member Posts: 1,539 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Not an ideal situation to be in...how many credits do you need? All 50 for Security+? I would say go for the SSCP (35 CPE) and then probably try to get the rest from videos/webinars (if you need all 50). The argument about renewing CompTIA certifications comes when you have higher level certifications....not when you still are at that experience level. For example, if you got a CISSP...Security+ isn't really as valuable.

    I would make a spreadsheet with all your certifications and never let yourself get into that situation again unless you specifically are going to let something expire...that means plan around 2 years out if not 3 years.

    After SSCP....do MCSA: Server, because people will probably think you are a lot smarter going this route and sets yourself up for an administrator job at some point, but you can always do Desktop too.
  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,127 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If you want to keep your Security+ current on the cheap just bang out some pre-approved CompTia Sec+ courses on cybrary.it. Cost=$0.00.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
    In progress: OSCP
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 947 ■■■■■■■□□□
    yoba222 wrote: »
    If you want to keep your Security+ current on the cheap just bang out some pre-approved CompTia Sec+ courses on cybrary.it. Cost=$0.00.

    Have you used this method yourself?

    I thought CompTIA still limited the amount of credits you can earn from online/webinars, etc?

    (just wondering)
  • PCTechLincPCTechLinc CISSP, CHFI, CEH, MCSA Server 2008, Project+, Security+ce, Server+, Network+, A+ King City, CAMember Posts: 641 ■■■■■■□□□□
    CompTIA used to have a cap on training units, but I found out that they lifted the cap. You can use training for all 50 CEUs if you so desire.
    Master of Business Administration in Information Technology Management - Western Governors University
    Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance - Western Governors University
    Bachelor of Science in Network Administration - Western Governors University
    Associate of Applied Science x4 - Heald College
  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,127 ■■■■■■■■□□
    volfkhat wrote: »
    Have you used this method yourself?

    I thought CompTIA still limited the amount of credits you can earn from online/webinars, etc?

    (just wondering)

    I did this last year to renew but not with Cybrary. All 50 points were from 8 or so different online training courses. I did spread the dates out over a few months. I happened to use the pre-approved DISA trainings, printed out the certificates, then submitted those to Comptia.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
    In progress: OSCP
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