At a cross roads with cert choices

Hello guys & girls. I'm about to finish my Sec+ and I'm a bit stuck when it comes to choosing what I should pursue next. Just to give you lot a brief run down of my situation at the moment, I was working in education before (teaching assistant) but decided I wanted to change careers and get into IT.

I love technology and have thought about getting in to the industry for a long time. I did try making an attempt when I was really young, but I lacked the confidence, dedication and discipline to put my head down and get to studying. I haven't actually gotten my foot in the door yet. Currently volunteering in a laptop hardware repair business while sending my resume out there. I am getting responses and I've been to some interviews. So should land employment in helpdesk or another role eventually.

Back to cert options. I wanted to go after a CCNA since I really enjoyed studying for my N+ (Aside from the exam itself. Ergh). But then I started looking at MCSA's and from everything I've read having a microsoft cert is almost mandatory since they dominate the industry so much. Given that I may well be fated to a helpdesk position very soon, going after MCSA Win 10 makes sense. But I've started growing interested in server 2012 / 2016 certs. I think I'd enjoy studying it, alongside learning some powershell too. Powershell in a month of lunches makes it look a lot less difficult. Going back to having to be stuck doing helpdesk, getting ITIL foundation would be a smart move. Except I do hear it's extremely boring to study that.

So the options are CCNA, MCSA win 10, MCSA server or ITIL. My problem is I can't decide which of them to do first. I'm somewhat tempted to try and study 2 of them at once. What do you lot think about this? Also Thanks to anyone who felt like reading this whole post.

Comments

  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAPosts: 4,012Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think to help decide your certification path it helps to know where your long-term goals lie. If you want to go into networking Cisco would be the way to go. If Systems Administration is your bread and butter then the MCSA/MCSE would be a great direction working with Server 2012/2016 and Powershell. I hope this helps you in your decisions.

    Microsoft and Cisco are both great directions but to maximize your time and ROI you need to align your goals and interests. This can help strategize and focus your plans more concretely. icon_thumright.gif
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  • jelevatedjelevated Posts: 139Member
    MCSA is good but not required. CCNA is...

    CCNA is tough if you don't have any hands on networking experience. You will have to spend $$$ to get lab equipment.

    In order of ROI I'd say CCNA > MCSA > ITIL.

    You don't need to do only one. I know these tests aren't cheap, trust me I do, but people will knock down your door if you have CCNA + MCSA. That would be my ultimate goal.
  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Posts: 1,539Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    What are you most interested in? You will enjoy studying the most if you enjoy the subject. Helpdesk, typically will desire MCSA more than the CCNA...but I would go for server instead of a client OS if you are going that route.

    Personally, I could never study for two at once. The quality of studying seemed to go down for both and it led to me getting distracted.
  • ande0255ande0255 Posts: 1,178Banned
    Ever since my "Intro to IT" first IT class in college, I loved the R/S Cisco cert route, and I was stubborn and stuck to that path throughout my help desk purgatory days, trying to get in good with network department managers and directors until I finally caught a break.

    Really it's either what is relevant to your job now, or like me back then, what I wanted to do and stick with it. I didn't want to get an MCSE, get a job as a server admin, and get swept away from my enjoyment of Networking.

    It took my a long time to catch that break, but it paid off in the end, as I've gotten pretty close to where I'd like to be (though there is always room for improvement up the IT food chain).
    Back in my day we used to route packets on 56k lines, through the snow, uphill both ways.

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  • Nik 99Nik 99 Posts: 152Member
    Well for a while I've felt that I'd like to get into networking and throughout my N+ I always planned to go into CCNA next. Had a change of mind and decided to be sensible and complete the CompTIA triad before doing anything else. I Don't regret this decison, I've actually liked doing Sec+, not to the degree that I liked networking, but still had some fun studying it.

    I've heard on this forum that people tend to figure out where they want to go during their helpdesk / first role days. I imagine that this will probably hold true for me as well. Of course I also read a story on here about a guy who thought he'd enjoy networking, got into the field and didn't like the work / enviroment at all once he got there. Who knows? Just have to see how things go. Even though I thought I want to get into networking the more I looked at MCSA server the more interested I become. Probably because I know very little about windows server overall.

    I have a question. How long do you think server 2012 cert will remain around for? Couple of years? A year give or take? I'm thinking it could take me somewhere between 6 months to a year to finish it given how little I know about the topic overall. It might not be a bad idea to begin studying just to start racking up the knowledge. I really am tempted to try doing CCNA and MCSA at same time and see how it goes.

    Thanks for the input so far. Kind of glad none of you are recommending getting ITIL =P
  • jelevatedjelevated Posts: 139Member
    Nik 99 wrote: »
    I really am tempted to try doing CCNA and MCSA at same time and see how it goes.

    I would not do this. CCNA demands full attention. If you want the "fastest" one I'd say MCSA goes first, then CCNA.
  • Nik 99Nik 99 Posts: 152Member
    jelevated wrote: »
    I would not do this. CCNA demands full attention. If you want the "fastest" one I'd say MCSA goes first, then CCNA.

    Really? it looked to me that there was more content to cover for server 2012 by quite a stretch.
  • TPowellTPowell Posts: 17Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm in the same boat. Studied a ton for my Net+ but never took it due to timing and then decided to just get my Sec+. I think I want to get my MCSA because I don't plan on JUST dealing with Cisco networking equipment in my career so why not go get a MCSA in Server 2012/2016 instead.
  • anhtran35anhtran35 Posts: 466Member
    Network Administrator/Engineers: CCNA CCNP CCIE.
    Microsoft System Administrator/Engineers: MCSA MCSE.
    Linux SA/SE: Red Hat Cert.
    DBA: Oracle Cert.

    Help Desk? A+ OR Wins7 or 10.
    DOD contracts? Sec + and depending on what track look above.
  • emekemek Posts: 42Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    If helps your decision process any, be aware that the MCSA study materials are far worse than what is available for the CCNA. This is coming from someone who attempted to study for the MCSA before giving up and getting the CCNA.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,801Mod Mod
    jelevated wrote: »
    I would not do this. CCNA demands full attention. If you want the "fastest" one I'd say MCSA goes first, then CCNA.

    No way. Plenty of example of people here are pouring months and months of study into the MCSA tests and failing and having to take the tests multiple times to pass. People seem to pass the ICND1 and then ICND2 tests at a much faster (easier) clip. Plus the study resources for Cisco are far better than whats out there for Microsoft.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
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  • PseudonymPseudonym A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+, ITIL v3, MCITP:EDST/EDA, CCNA R&S/Cyber Ops, MCSA:2008/2012, MCSE:CP&I Posts: 341Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Yeah, I'm going to say that from what I've seen on here, the CCNA will probably take less time than a server 2012 MCSA. It took me a year to get my 2008 MCSA from 0 experience. It's a broad body of knowledge, and as JoJoCal said, Mirosoft's study materials are by their own admission incomplete. I intend to do my CCNA later this year and anticipate it taking between 2-4 months.
    Certifications - A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+, ITIL v3, MCITP:EDST/EDA, CCNA R&S/Cyber Ops, MCSA:2008/2012, MCSE:CP&I, RHCSA
    Working on - RHCE
  • Node ManNode Man Posts: 668Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    In my opinion, for new entrants, the CCNA provides the highest credibility to recruiters. I have heard recently a AWS certification is also rising in value quickly. I'll probably look into that one myself.

    For new entrants, the best advise that worked for me, was to be willing to work evenings and over the weekend. Many many first jobs are graveyard shift. Mine was. For about 2 years.
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