Get more certifications, MBA or nothing at all?

relegatedrelegated Posts: 78Member ■■■□□□□□□□
I have been working in IT since I graduated in 2004 with a BS in network and communications management. I have my A+ (2001), Security+ (2013), SSCP (2016), CSSA (2017), CSSP (2017), MCP & MCSA (2014). Let me state that I don't like school, studying for or taking certifications (I have failed multiple times). That being said I think they have served me well.

I have lived mostly in the Dell/Windows/VMware/SonicWall most of my career which is fine but do enjoy security. I have wanted my CISSP for a long time, I even studied for it but never took it. Also seems I can upgrade my MCSA 2012 to MCSE 2016 with a single exam however I have found MS tests to be the most difficult by far. I have also looked into maybe getting my MBA from WGU. The last caveat is that I would like my company to pay for whatever I do, doubt they will do MBA.

So any suggestions, I don't really need to get anything else but I suppose it would be good.

Comments

  • EANxEANx Posts: 916Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you dislike studying, you joined the wrong career field. No one says you have to keep working on certifications but studying is part of staying in place with systems administration, networking and security. As the saying goes "if you aren't moving forward, you're moving backward".

    Figure out what you want and why and figure out what your company would want and why and see if there's any overlap.
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • stryder144stryder144 Posts: 1,489Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    EANx wrote: »
    If you dislike studying, you joined the wrong career field. No one says you have to keep working on certifications but studying is part of staying in place with systems administration, networking and security. As the saying goes "if you aren't moving forward, you're moving backward".

    Figure out what you want and why and figure out what your company would want and why and see if there's any overlap.

    That is solid advice!
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Posts: 1,535Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    You may have a bachelor’s degree, but you stopped at an associates level in certifications.

    If you really like Security, you should start by getting your CISSP while making sure you are in an InfoSec role or applying for one. Just a caveat...if you don’t like studying, you are really going to hate Security when you get into it because things change a lot more than in infrastructure type IT roles (sys admin, net admin).

    An MBA would probably help you more getting into an IT management position...it honestly sounds like you are just unsure where you want to go.
  • ITSec14ITSec14 Posts: 398Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Talk to your employer about attending 1-2 conferences a year. You'll learn more at one of those than you will studying for a particular cert.

    I'd also like to point out that certifications really aren't the primary solution to a successful career. I value what I learn more than the actual piece of paper. If a cert is just about getting the credential for you, then I think you found your reason why you hate the process of obtaining them so much. I've worked with people who have an alphabet soup after their name, but many times end up being LinkedIn jockey's who have no clue how to solve complex problems. Professionals are made in the workplace actually doing the work.

    Just my .02
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Posts: 2,186Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    ITSec14 wrote: »
    Talk to your employer about attending 1-2 conferences a year. You'll learn more at one of those than you will studying for a particular cert.
    Not sure I agree with that. I've been to Black Hat, every local BSides, all the vendor conferences nearby. It's nice to get out and listen to talks and such but unless they are doing a really targeted training for something you actually do there isn't anywhere near the amount of takeaway knowledge that I get studying a book/labs/etc.
  • NuclearBeavisNuclearBeavis Posts: 79Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I wouldn't recommend spending money on an MBA unless the company will pay for it. Given your time in IT, I'd pick a mid-level or high-level cert that focuses on the direction you want to go. Study and achieve that. You'll get a lot more out of it.

    I don't think masters degrees of any kind are terribly useful in IT. Very low reward/investment ratio. A bachelors will get you past most HR filters.
  • ITSec14ITSec14 Posts: 398Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I avoid all the vendor BS. Collaborating with people who are in the industry does a lot more for me than sitting and reading a book. Building your professional network will do wonders for your career. Joining local meetups, attending conferences and even twitter are great ways to expand knowledge. Don't get me wrong, studying a book is great too, but when you think of how much irrelevant content is in them they can be somewhat a waste of time. Labs I would consider hands on experience as well so that is also a great way to learn.
  • relegatedrelegated Posts: 78Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have room in my schedule at work for the next couple of weeks. Guess I can start studying and maybe take it in January or February.
  • Hatch1921Hatch1921 Posts: 257Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well...

    I'm going to say MBA... just for a couple of really basic reasons. It doesn't expire, you learn more about the business/management side of things... and if you ever decide to change careers .. the MBA can be used anywhere. If your work covers some of the costs... go for it. I would agree with ITSec14 as networking will help your career.

    hope this helps.
    Hatch
  • mzx380mzx380 This site changed my life New YorkPosts: 449Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hatch1921 wrote: »
    Well...

    I'm going to say MBA... just for a couple of really basic reasons. It doesn't expire, you learn more about the business/management side of things... and if you ever decide to change careers .. the MBA can be used anywhere. If your work covers some of the costs... go for it. I would agree with ITSec14 as networking will help your career.

    hope this helps.
    Hatch

    I second what Hatch says in terms of diversification. In today's job market, you need every last resource to set you apart from the pack. I think the best advice would be to decide on the career path first, do certifications in that respective area to align to your chosen specialty and once you're on solid ground in your job, dive head first into grad school at WGU
    Certifications: ITIL, ACA, CCNA, Linux+, VCP-DCV, PMP, PMI-ACP
    Currently Working On: Microsoft 70-761 (SQL Server)
  • yoba222yoba222 Posts: 885Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Wait -- what's your goal? Why are you considering an advanced degree or other certs?
    Obtained: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | CySA+ | PenTest+ | CAPM | eJPT | CCNA R&S | CCNA CyberOps | GCIH | LFCS
    2018: Virtual Hacking Labs
    2019: eCPPT &/or OSCP | CISSP
  • relegatedrelegated Posts: 78Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    yoba222 wrote: »
    Wait -- what's your goal? Why are you considering an advanced degree or other certs?

    Good question, I don't know really. At the moment I am content with where I am at not really because of the job itself but because of what the job affords me. It pays me well, is physically close to important things in my life and allows me a flexible schedule. I'm not saying that wouldn't exist somewhere else that might pay more or that I would enjoy more but I'm not sure I want to make that move at the moment.

    If I were to change I would like to move into either an information security role or IT management role, or a combination of both as a infosec management role. I'd like to start working with people more and doing more on the security side of things rather than generalized system administration.
  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Posts: 1,535Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    TechGuru80 wrote: »
    ...it honestly sounds like you are just unsure where you want to go.
    As I said...
  • NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA Stand-up Philosopher ZZ9ZZAPosts: 514Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hatch1921 wrote: »
    Well...

    I'm going to say MBA... just for a couple of really basic reasons. It doesn't expire, you learn more about the business/management side of things... and if you ever decide to change careers .. the MBA can be used anywhere. If your work covers some of the costs... go for it. I would agree with ITSec14 as networking will help your career.

    hope this helps.
    Hatch
    I was told by a recruiter this past year that my MBA is "out of date" and would not make me competitive.

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

  • relegatedrelegated Posts: 78Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    TechGuru80 wrote: »
    As I said...

    True, I would like to be a professional billionaire but I don't think that is going to happen...
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,595Mod Mod
    I was told by a recruiter ...

    That my friend is how every facepalm conversation starts.
  • EANxEANx Posts: 916Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I was told by a recruiter this past year that my MBA is "out of date" and would not make me competitive.

    But that taking a 10k cut in your salary requirements would make up for the degree no longer being competitive?
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • Hatch1921Hatch1921 Posts: 257Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    That my friend is how every facepalm conversation starts.

    +1

    Facepalm!

    Hatch
  • NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA Stand-up Philosopher ZZ9ZZAPosts: 514Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Recruiters have less character than turds that don't flush the first time. I admit my MBA is old and it has been wallpaper since I got it, but I still earned the bloody thing.

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

  • NuclearBeavisNuclearBeavis Posts: 79Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Recruiters have less character than turds that don't flush the first time. I admit my MBA is old and it has been wallpaper since I got it, but I still earned the bloody thing.

    I'm not a fan of them either. In my experience, they don't even look at your qualifications or see if you're a match for something. They just mass spam irrelevant job postings to lots of people, hoping one will bite.
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