How many certifications per period?

PantherPanther Posts: 114Member ■■■□□□□□□□
For a working full time person:
How many certifications do you focus on (per period, whatever that means to you)?

I just started on certs again.
I find I think I can only focus on 1 certification.

After work, I have 5-6 hours available:
1 hour for commute
1.5 hours for study
1.5 hours for exercise
1 hour for anything else (eat; prep for work next day; shower; etc.)

Comments

  • Danielm7Danielm7 Posts: 2,268Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Quality > quantity. Focus on one at a time, learn the material that's helpful for your current and future job and then move on. I never saw a point in trying to learn multiple certs at the same time unless they were all intertwined but even then still one after the next. If if takes you a year to get your MSCA, there is nothing wrong with that and you might know the material better than someone who crammed and passed it in three months.
  • fitzlopezfitzlopez PCIP,CCNA CyberOps,CySA+,Pentest+,Linux+, CSSLP,CISSP-ISSMP,CISM,CEH,ITIL F,Cobit F,ISO27K F Posts: 80Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I agree. If you study for multiple certifications at the same you run the risk of mixing up definitions. Best to do it one after the other in my case when I did the CISM I focused on that and then I read the material for the ISSMP, the material was pretty similar but the style is different and the practice exams also differed.

    Only exception would be if you're doing different exams on the same topic like Windows server 2016 .

    Cheers,
  • MitMMitM Posts: 592Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Danielm7 wrote: »
    Quality > quantity. Focus on one at a time, learn the material that's helpful for your current and future job and then move on. I never saw a point in trying to learn multiple certs at the same time unless they were all intertwined but even then still one after the next. If if takes you a year to get your MSCA, there is nothing wrong with that and you might know the material better than someone who crammed and passed it in three months.

    Well said!
  • AshenweltAshenwelt Posts: 260Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Your working on you. Don't over load yourself, but get it done. Focus on the ability to follow through. One complete cert is better that focusing on 3 for years and not completing. Now I like doing complimentary studying. Cert groups planned. Then one at a time.
    Ashenwelt
    -Always working on something...
    -The RepAdmin Active Directory Blog
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,773Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I prefer to focus on one test at a time. However I find myself drifting to other topics and have to reign myself in every once in a while.

    Currently I am spending the year doing MCSA. However I keep drifting towards CCNA which I let expire last year. I plan to renew it as soon as I am done with my MCSA. As a general guideline I hope to obtain one certification per year moving forward.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Posts: 2,475Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    2 a year is a lot, one every other year is about the norm for me.....

    I passed one this year and will be working on another and it's taking a lot out of me. I can almost bet 2019 I won't do one.

    Agreed with some of the others, quantity vs quality.
  • lucky0977lucky0977 Senior Member Posts: 211Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'd say take your time and do one or two a year and spend maybe 3-4 months each to absorb the information. Never understood how people learn anything by cramming it all in two to three weeks.
    Bachelor of Science: Computer Science | Hawaii Pacific University
    CISSP | CISM | CISA | CASP | SSCP | Sec+ | Net+ | A+
  • yoba222yoba222 Posts: 1,053Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    The monkey wrench thrown into doing certs one at time I've found is learning coding. You can't really learn coding for awhile and then stop for a few months to do a cert. It's a constant progression that will never end. Kind of like a curse really. :)

    I'm having good success in backing off learning coding big time when working on a cert to a trickle of like 15 minutes per day, 5-6 days per week. Still leaves plenty of time to dedicate to that one important cert. But if I stop, my coding skills really rust.
    2017: GCIH | LFCS
    2018: CySA+ | PenTest+ |CCNA CyberOps
    2019: VHL 20 boxes
    2020: OSCP | CISSP
  • Info_Sec_WannabeInfo_Sec_Wannabe Senior Member Posts: 385Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    As for me, it depends on current workload and career plans. Two years ago, I did none. Last year, I did two. This year, I did one and will keep it at that for the rest of the year (to work on other things).
    Three year plan: (2018) CISSP [X] and eJPT [ ]; (2019) eCPPT [ ]; (2020) OSCP [ ]
  • cochi78cochi78 Member Hannover, GermanyPosts: 71Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I agree on quality > quantity and not overworking yourself. Does not help you at all to cram knowledge until you fall off the chair with a brain aneurysm. Try to go at a sustainable pace and when you notice you lack the energy to stay on your plan - take a break.

    That being said, the sustainable pace will vary by person. As everybody in this thread is so careful, I gotta represent the other side of the spectrum: Including 3-4 recerts I have been going steadily at 10-15 certs per year in addition to my regular job. A nice mix of topics (project management, security, devops, cloud) and difficulty levels though. I am far from being the norm or to be considered a mentally sane person though ;)

    2019 Goals - LPIC 701, CASP✔, CCNA
    2019 Recert - Docker Associate, CySA+✔
  • shochanshochan Senior Member Posts: 871Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Ever since I left my MSP job (in 2015), I have managed just to get 1 cert every year after that & that is a goal I have set for myself. I still need one for 2018, but I have a couple of exams booked before the end of the year. I am in sort of that predicament of studying 2 certs at the same time though (Linux+ and CEH). I never had time to study while at an MSP because I was working over 60hrs a week & was sick of computers whenever I came home.



    "It's not good when it's done, it's done when it's good" ~ Danny Carey
  • nisti2nisti2 Posts: 485Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    This!! Some people don't have social life jejej.
    lucky0977 wrote: »
    Never understood how people learn anything by cramming it all in two to three weeks.
    2019 Year goals:
    AWS Cloud Practitioner
    Willing to take: ITIL Foundation, 70-410
    "Certs... is all about IT certs!"
  • SpiegelSpiegel Taco Tuesday FLPosts: 298Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Some of the easier certs (in my opinion) like A+, Net+, MTA, are maybe doable if you do multiple certs at once but even then I'd rather them one at a time at your own pacing. Once we get to the most specialized certs like Cisco, Microsoft, VMware, I'd dedicate my entire focus on those exams one at a time.


    Now if you're talking per period, as in, monthly, yearly, etc... I'd say that varies based and needs. I generally only study for certs if I need it due to a job requirement or for the next job I want in the future. At this point in my career I can see myself getting one once per year or every two years as the ones I have to look forward too are more advanced certs.
    Degree: WGU B.S. Network Operations and Security [In-Progress]
    Current Certs: A+ | N+ | S+ | MTA: OSF | CIW: SDA | ITIL: F | CCENT | CCNA R&S
    Currently Working On: CCDA


    2019 Goals: CCENT [X], CCNA R&S [X], CCDA [ ]
    Future Certs: LPI Linux Essentials | Project+| Cloud Essentials + | CCSP | CCNP Enterprise | CCNP Security | MDAA
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAPosts: 368Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Going to +1 the quality > quantity. Mastery over material is important. If you have 4 certs on your resume and sit for a technical interview, better believe anything that is covered in that material is fair game for them to expect you to know it. So if you only have a few that you genuinely understand, can troubleshoot and can explain clearly to people that can be even more impressive.

    I used to time my certs and set deadlines. Now, I just start, study at the pace I can, and when I am ready I schedule a test for about a week out. Spend that final week labbing and going over any areas that are not hammered down.
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,909Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Panther wrote: »
    For a working full time person:
    How many certifications do you focus on (per period, whatever that means to you)?

    I try to get one a year, this gives me a good personal time and certification balance I think.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 822Mod Mod
    I think because I'm young and trying to make a name for myself and get a decent job, I aim to get a few done in a single year so it backs up my CV. But the bad thing about that is you tend to forget some of the material you learned because you did it in such a short space of time. I can barely remember most of the content from my Sec+ cert, but luckily I don't use it in my current role.

    Now I strongly believe in pacing yourself. I have a full time job, a mortgage and a wedding to plan for, and barely have enough time in the day to get a couple of hours study in. I aim to get my MCSA for Windows Server done by the end of 2019. 3 exams in 16 months. Some may look at that and think it's too long, but seeing as I now work in a Server role I would rather take in as much knowledge as possible to solidify my current position rather than aim for something ridiculous in a short time frame.
    Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to. - Richard Branson
  • malachi1612malachi1612 Senior Member SwitzerlandPosts: 424Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    One cert a year, as doing 3 or 4 exams to earn 1 cert is enough.
    Certifications:
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP

  • E Double UE Double U Posts: 1,556Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    One at a time, but I've been doing one immediately after the other for years.

    2013 - CCNA Security
    2014 - CCNP Security (4 exams which I started in 2013)
    2015 - GCIH, CISSP (started in 2014 and failed twice)
    2016 - CEH
    2017 - GCIA, CISM
    2018 - CISA, PSM I, GPEN

    And I have had lots of training between all of this, but passed up on getting the certs (Qualys, Splunk, QRadar, etc). I started to feel the burnout while studying for GCIA last year, but powered through and knocked out those others because they had been on my to-do list plus I had the budget to complete them. If the money is there and you can find the time then I say why not keep knocking them out.
    Alphabet soup: CISSP, CCSP, CISM, CISA, GPEN, GCIA, GCIH, GCCC, CEH, etc

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • FluffyBunnyFluffyBunny CISSP, OSCP, CEH, RHCE, GCCC, Pentest+, PSM-1, alphabet soup CISSP, OSCP, CEH, RHCE, GCCC, Pentest+, PSM-1, alphabet soupPosts: 75Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    E Double U wrote: »
    One at a time, but I've been doing one immediately after the other for years.
    Yup, that's me as well.

    I aim for a minimum of one per year, to achieve the required CPE for maintaining my CISSP. Any remaining CPE can easily be gotten by listening podcasts during my daily commute.

    However, one per year leaves me with lots of extra free time and I quickly get antsy. I'm one of those folks who just can't sit still. I have to do something! So either I move on to the next cert or project, or I commit myself to learning a new video game thoroughly. A few years back I spent three months studying "League of Legends", hard! :D After that, I commited to a whole big wad of certs. Then I went to really learning "Civ6" and after that? Well, this year's been a flurry of beta-exams :)
    CISSP, OSCP, CEH, GCCC, RHCSA, RHCE, Pentest+, Linux+, PSM-1, alphabet soup...

    2019: Renew RHCE (with EX407) , CompTIA CySA+ , PTA CRTP , SANS SEC566 (GCCC)
  • EagerDinosaurEagerDinosaur Posts: 114Member
    I'm trying to limit myself to 2 exams per year, any more and the 50 hours of preparation per exam (approximately) in my own time becomes draining.

    I aim to maintain:
    - AWS associate architect certification (one exam every 2 years)
    - MCSD developer certification (one exam a year)
    - MCSA SQL Server (about 1 exam every 2 years, but I like SQL Server, so it's not really a chore).

    If my employer wants me to do anything more than that, they will have to allow me to do all the necessary studying during office hours, or pay for commercial training.
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