New to the Forum, returning to IT.

AGAMAGAM Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello All,
I am new to the forum and in the process of returning to IT after more than around ten years doing other stuff. I held an A+ certification back in the 90s and have experience with network administration during the early 2000's in the military. My desire is to get back into the IT world and work my way up into network security.

I am in the the of building of a home lab for which I currently have a Dell Desktop system and two laptops. I also have sourced a older Cisco router :D and a juniper firewall from thrift stores and am exploring volunteer positions to get hands on experience.

I am planning on taking the MTA in Network Fundamentals this coming Friday and have been preparing via and practice tests from IT Certification Practice Tests and Exams | Online Courses | MeasureUp. I am consistently getting between 97 and 100 percent on those practice tests. I am also exploring starting WGU Washington for a bachelors degree.

My current certification goals for this year are as follows: MTA Network Fundamentals, MTA Security, MTA Server, CCENT, after this I am not sure which to do? Comptia Network+ and Security+, CCNA R&S? Any advice for the new guy?


  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    I'd say your most immediate goal, unless you have a particular career path in mind, would be to figure out what certs you'll be needing for that WGU degree and study for them. Nothing wrong with getting a head start and cutting down on the time (and money) you're putting towards school.

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  • Danielm7Danielm7 Posts: 2,264Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'd also skip the MTA certifications. If you're scoring nearly 100% already then you know the material and they don't really have any demand from employers. At that point you're just wasting money and time. I'd follow the certs for school idea that slowhand said.

    Also, you've had a LONG break, and it's good that you recognize that. But, once you feel even remotely comfortable at basic stuff then start applying for entry level jobs. I think you could probably skip the volunteering step if you want.
  • AGAMAGAM Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks Danielm7 and Slowhand for the the advice. I haven't figured out which of the WGU degrees I would be taking and will be posting on that later. That is good advice on the MTAs. I took the one today and passed and now I am on to COMPTIA Network+
  • YuckTheFankeesYuckTheFankees Posts: 1,281Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    My suggestions:

    1) Skip the basic exams...master the fundamentals, save the money and try for harder exams.
    2) Start looking for jobs and see what you can get. If you get a job dealing with networks, go for Cisco/Juniper exams. If the role is more Linux based, go for Red Hat exams.
    3) If you are having a hard time getting a tech job, start reaching out to smaller local businesses and ask if you can intern for free and learn from their IT staff...that's how I was able to get into forensics and realize it wasnt for me.

    If your goal is to get into security, you will most likely have to start with a network or sys admin role...get experience then move on to a security role.
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