Where have certifications taken you?

LemonTimePartyXLemonTimePartyX Member Posts: 9 ■■□□□□□□□□
I've recently been hired on as a help desk technician at a small IT company. Certifications are widely encouraged here and are actually one of the only ways to move up. So, I have courses scheduled at my local college that are catered to the A+, Net+, and Sec+ to soon land myself in a higher tier.

I can't really think of a way to ask my question. I guess what I'm looking for is any success stories where you've perhaps landed a really good role after completing a certain certification. Or maybe a time where your colleagues stopped viewing you as a noob, but as someone of higher importance once they found out you achieved a certain certification. Or maybe certifications haven't played a huge role in your career and you became successful in IT in other ways.

Share your successes with me!! I'll even start:

In high school, I went to vocational school where they taught CompTIA and CISCO criteria. With the bit of knowledge obtained from there, I landed my first IT job, and first job period, as an easy tech associate at Staples. The goal was to go from here to help desk, but many forums on the internet suggested help desk positions were low level jobs and you would be the laughing stock of the IT world. So, I ended up working for my local ISP, which I thought "Hey. Being an engineer for the ISP sounds like a killer position. I'm going to work my way up to that!" Well, my job title was essentially "cable guy" and it was more labor intensive than technical. This sucked and everything I wanted to study had almost nothing to do with what I did on a daily basis. Morale was low, and the only way to move up was if someone in the next department retired or died.

So, after a few months of job searching, I found a company (current) who gave me a chance with no help desk experience, and a bit of computer repair experience I got from staples. Even though I'm close to the bottom of the totem pole, I'm still successful as I was able use my previous jobs as stepping stones to finally obtain a role where I can begin my career and move up.

Your turn!!

Mid-2019 | [ ] A+ --> [ ] Net+ --> [ ] Sec+
Late-2019 | [ ] CCENT --> [ ] CCNA | or | [ ] MCP --> [ ] MCSA: Server 2016


  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    edited November 2018
    Certifications have not specifically helped my career.
    My first certification was A+ in 2002. In 2013 I got my CCNA as part of my Associates degree.

    The CCNA is really what got me involved in certifications. Once I started looking at the resources available for taking certification tests I realized it was far more useful then a classroom. The year I am working on my Server 2016 MCSA and next year I will renew my CCNA which expired in 2016.

    Edit "I meant to say the knowledge from the Certs (not the specific certs) is what has helped me most in my career"
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 2,138 ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited November 2018
    I got a 3k raise after I got my A+ and Network+ certs. in 2003. Can't say my GIAC certs I obtained 2015 thru 2018, have yielded any return on investment yet, I did get promoted, but I believe I would have been promoted with or without those certs. I mainly have them for insurance, so if I do lose my job in the future, I have options. I have a 12 year gap in my certifications something I regretted, when I was unemployed and looking for work in 2013.    
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • Info_Sec_WannabeInfo_Sec_Wannabe Senior Member Member Posts: 428 ■■■■□□□□□□
    My current gig required the CISA when I was applying for it so I guess it did help (it doesn't now). I recently passed CISSP, but it is yet to yield any results. I guess more than the certification, what helped me the most was the knowledge I gained through experience and to a certain degree when studying for certification exams. 
    X year plan: (20XX) OSCP [ ], CCSP [ ]
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,469 Mod
    I don't have any one to one correlation between my certs and pay raises / jobs, but the knowledge I gained from pursuing those certs have definitely made a huge difference in my career & my confidence! 

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • spiderjerichospiderjericho CCNA, CCNP Enterprise, CISSP, CASP, SEC+, Pentest+, CYSA+, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, CISM, VCP 6.7 San DiegoRegistered Users, Member Posts: 877 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I’m in the military. Certs don’t matter lol, except for compliancy checks.

    I hope my certifications and experience can take me somewhere nice.
  • LonerVampLonerVamp OSCP, GCFA, GWAPT, CISSP, OSWP, AWS SA-A, AWS Security, Sec+, Linux+, CCNA Cyber Ops, CCSK Member Posts: 518 ■■■■■■■■□□
    First of all, there are two reasons to get certs, and I feel like both have impacted me.

    1- To Learn - I've almost always learned valuable and new things with the certs I've taken. Sometimes, I'll admit, it's to catch up or shake off some rust during some slower times in my career development. My knowledge and confidence markedly improved after each thing I've earned.

    You do make a good point about colleagues maybe changing their viewpoint of you. I think that's true, though in the long run, it's all about what you do that matters. But...at least on the surface, I think that can be true. People realized I wasn't just interested in infosec as a side hobby after I earned my CISSP. That was actually what I was most interested in.

    2- Pay/Jobs - My certs helped me make a rather successful turn from sysadmin/security work to pure security work. That's a hard turn to make unless you get lucky or network well. The OSCP didn't get me today's position, but it got me plenty of interviews and attention. The CISSP didn't get me anything when I got it (I stayed at that job another 5-6 years), but it was an immediate attention-getter when I did get on the market. Without it, I'd guess my recruiter contact rate would be far lower.

    Lastly, there is some benefit to certs to the company you work for. When I got my CISSP, I was the only one in the company, and as such they could bandy that around to some degree in marketing/client meetings or for some regulations. This got more pronounced later when I was with a more consulting/ISP firm for a year. Not a real direct benefit to me, but having a list of creds on staff can be an indirect benefit through the company.

    Security Engineer/Analyst/Geek, Red & Blue Teams
    OSCP, GCFA, GWAPT, CISSP, OSWP, AWS SA-A, AWS Security, Sec+, Linux+, CCNA Cyber Ops, CCSK
    2021 goals: maybe AWAE or SLAE, bunch o' courses and red team labs?
  • alan2308alan2308 CISSP, MCSA 2008, MCSA 2012, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security Ann Arbor, MIMember Posts: 1,854 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I got the interview that led to my first job in IT because I had the CCNA. Say what you want about certs, but they definitely matter to a Cisco partner. Especially a small one who wants assurance you can pass the ones they'll need down the line.

    And since I passed the CISSP, recruiters have been blowing up my inbox which led to a few interviews and the job that I just started a couple months ago.
  • PC509PC509 CISSP, CEH, CCNA: Security/CyberOps, Sec+, CHFI, A+, Proj+, Server+, MCITP Win7, Vista, MCP Server 2 Oregon, USMember Posts: 802 ■■■■■■□□□□
    My certs have all been personal goals. Either as part of my education (WGU) or personal reasons. None have gotten me a job or raise. The knowledge gained has been great, though. Still, it's been the experience that has gotten me the jobs. 

    CCNA, MCSA, CISSP, CEH, etc. are all great. But, so far they are just personal goals and have been very great goals. The knowledge gained has been amazing. Working on ELearnSecurity stuff now. Then to the OSCP. While I'd love to have it help with a future job, it's more about the personal goal and knowledge I gain while earning the cert. It's fun, it's relevant, and it's just exciting to me... Other than the ITIL, which I hope to get this year....Not exciting. :)

    The experience and knowledge gained helps me out. The cert itself hasn't done anything at all....

  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,237 ■■■■■■■■□□
    edited November 2018
    The Security+ strongly helped land three different jobs (two because DoD). I think the CAPM swayed a decision to land me an interview (I didn't get the job). Other than that, in terms of career advancement, nothing gained for any other certs. Lots of knowledge gained though. Maybe the CISSP next year (and the OSCP) will make me into a LinkedIn e-celebrity in terms of job offers.

    Edit: I forgot the eJPT. This gave me skill practice that permitted me to pass an online sort of practice job interview/pentest.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
    In progress: OSCP
  • ecuisonecuison CISSP, CCSP, TOGAF v9 Certified, Security+, Network+ Member Posts: 131 ■■■■□□□□□□
    My certs haven't taken me anywhere here, but I figured that after some time.  But with all the ones I am getting now, I know will help me with better opportunities with other organizations.  The knowledge that I have gained however, have tremendously helped me understand my job better, faster resolutions/solutions, better outcomes with projects and initiatives.
    Accomplishments: B.S. - Business (Information Management) | CISSP | CCSP | TOGAF v9.2 Certified | Security + | Network +
  • SpiegelSpiegel FLMember Posts: 321 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I got my first IT job at a telecom company via a contract gig back in early 2014. Didn't have an A+ at the time since it required zero experience and everything I needed to know I learned in their two week training session. Mostly did esupport for Internet connection issues for residential customers. Learned how to read line stats and how data traveled from the CO to the house. Given that it was an esupport job only chatted with my customers I was able to study simultaneously for my A+. Took about 6 months when I took the plunge and got my first cert. Then I decided to really pursue an "true" help desk job for an health organization which I obtained with experience and my cert. I started at a higher than normal pay rate, which was double of what I was making for the telecom company.

    I learned later that I probably could have gotten the help desk job without the cert but it did help me make a bit more money at my new job. Since then, the Net+ helped me land a Tier 2 position at the help desk and a Security+ got me a promotion as an intermediate level Desktop Support Specialist at hospitals we support. Currently working on my CCNA which will land me a Network Analyst job with the same company if all goes well.
    Degree: WGU B.S. Network Operations and Security [COMPLETE]
    Current Certs: A+ | N+ | S+ | Cloud Essentials+ | Project+ | MTA: OSF | CIW: SDA | ITIL: F | CCENT | CCNA R&S | CCNA | LPI Linux Essentials
    Currently Working On: JNCIA-MistAI

    2022 Goals: JNCIA-MistAI [ ]
    Future Certs: CCNP Enterprise
  • dave330idave330i Member Posts: 2,091 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Certs took me from unemployed to $100k+ in 18 months.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • PJ_SneakersPJ_Sneakers CompTIA, EC-Council, ISACA, Microsoft USAMember Posts: 884 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Certs got me my first job in info tech.  NOT keeping up with my certs and not having a degree got me unemployed.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
    I am not sure what certs have done for me other than help me drive my desire to learn new stuff and motivating me to escalate the IT/IS ladder. None of my certs were ever a key player in getting a new job, a promotion, or anything. Plust they got me stuck here blabbering to you guys :D 
  • mikey88mikey88 CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others Member Posts: 495 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I’m in the military. Certs don’t matter lol, except for compliancy checks.

    I hope my certifications and experience can take me somewhere nice.

    Security+ is a requirement for any DoD IT position. It will open some doors for you on this side.
    Certs: CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others | 2019 Goals: Cloud Sec/Scripting/Linux

  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Left the Army with 4 certs, got picked up right away. Train hasn't stopped since. 
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,745 ■■■■■■■■■■
    edited February 2019
    A+ and ITIL helped me get a PM job back in the day.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Certs got me to TE and I've been trapped here ever since.

    My first cert was the CISSP. I had been curious about it so I took it. I was wondering how long it would take to get the test results so I landed on TE. And I've been stuck here ever since. Dang it. >:)

  • malachi1612malachi1612 Senior Member SwitzerlandMember Posts: 430 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited November 2018
    Certs haven't got me anywhere so far.  15 years working in IT and it was experience what got me where I am right now.

    But over the last 2 years I wanted to learn and get a few certs under my belt.  So with two MCSA's, MCSE and ITIL, lets see if they get me anywhere.
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP, Azure Fundamentals, Security+.

  • Domm362Domm362 A+, Network+ Long Island, NYMember Posts: 26 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Getting my A+ certification helped me land the Tech Support job I'm working now (only a temporary contract, but still good experience). I think it all depends on the value that the employer places on the certifications. Experience outweighs it without a doubt, but being able to show that you have the knowledge via certs will help you get your foot in the door more often than not.
    "Winners focus on winning. Losers focus on winners."
  • c5rookiec5rookie CISSP-ISSAP, CCNA, GCED, GCFA, GCIA, GCIH, GCUX, GCWN, GPEN, GWAPT, A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+, Pentest+ U.S.Member Posts: 53 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Back in 2009 I was struggling to get an IT job with the CompTIA certs ( A+ Net+) I had at the time.  I stumbled across a Microsoft IT Academy program and picked up MCITP for Windows 7 and Server 2008.  Within a week of updating my resume I was getting emails daily about desktop and server support roles. After spending several years working in a Microsoft environment I decided it was time to move on and transition into the security side.  I picked up a couple EC-Council certs and that opened the door for work in the government.  Later on I was fortunate enough to take a SANS course and have been taking at least one of their courses each year since 2013.
    Another thing I would say about certifications is how you leverage what you learned and apply it to your current job or new job.  Those are the people that really stand out to show what they are capable of.  
  • Pmorgan2Pmorgan2 CISSP, CCSP, A+/Net+/Sec+/Project+, ECIH, ITIL v3, CIW SDA & WSP Member Posts: 116 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It's hard to say what your certs do for you since they're normally just one part of a complete package that leads to a new position / promotion / pay raise.

    For me, I've seen my CISSP directly help me twice.  My other certifications haven't seemed to matter, but perhaps they got me to the interviews.

    My first job out of the military was looking for a system administrator with compliance knowledge.  The interviewer later told me that my CISSP put me at the top of the list, and my interview performance sealed the deal.

    The second time my CISSP directly helped me was when switching from system administration to an information security role.  During the second interview for the position, I could tell they weren't hearing anything from me that could seal the deal.  Then someone asked what certs I have.  When I said Security+, there was a small nod.  When I said CISSP, suddenly the whole conversation changed in my favor.  It seemed to answer a bunch of questions they didn't know how to ask.  The cert was on my resume, so I'm not sure how they didn't know about it until the end.
    2021 Goals: WGU BSCSIA, CEH, CHFI | 2022 Goals: WGU MSCSIA, AWS SAA, AWS Security Specialist
  • jdancerjdancer Member Posts: 482 ■■■■□□□□□□
    For my teaching side gig, certs are a requirement to teach the course. As for my main job, it's immaterial.

    Yup, plan on getting more certs to teach other courses.
  • sil3nt_n1njasil3nt_n1nja OSCP, OSCE TurkeyMember Posts: 9 ■■■□□□□□□□
    When it comes to the offensive side of security, unfortunately pentesting certifications can actually help you secure a position in the market. I went for OSCP and OSCE before getting my first job.
  • MrNetTekMrNetTek 41 certificate exams, 51 training certificates, and a bachelor's and master’s degree. Member Posts: 100 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Certs landed me job after job, long before I had a degree. Without them, I doubt I'd be where I'm at now. Whether or not people think certs have value, many employers do. That was enough to keep me going. 

  • balancebalance Member Posts: 244 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I landed my current position based on Certifications and resume alone.  The military background helped along with the Government Clearance. 
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,140 ■■■■■■■■■■
    CCNA has had the most impact for me. I was working in a NOC when I earned the credential and passed the exam one week after being on an internal interview that asked if I planned to obtain CCNA. The hiring manager contacted me stating he had heard that I passed the exam and offered me the role on his configuration team. After that, I landed another internal role with our SOC and CCNA was one of the required credentials. From there I applied for an info sec role with another company that was interested in my Cisco experience so I assume CCNA was helpful there. 

    Outside of that, I have never been on an interview that asked me about my certifications. I have applied for jobs that required certain credentials so it is safe to assume that having them helped with landing the interview.

    I started getting certifications for raises and marketability, but then it shifted to just gaining knowledge. Besides credentials that are required by my employer (i.e. Azure, ITIL), certifications have become a hobby for me and I aim for topics that simply interest me without a necessity for monetary increase. Combining my yearning for learning with employers that provide training budgets will keep me on this path as a cert junkie. 

    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, etc.

    2022 goal(s): CRISC, land a new job

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • Chrisbari14Chrisbari14 Member Posts: 83 ■■■□□□□□□□
    edited November 2020
    When I received my first IT job, I had just finished my associates degree. I got that job based off the manager liking my personality and being honest about not having any experience. When there I obtained my A+,N+,Sec+ and Project+. Was offered the System Admin job after being there 3 years. Declined the offer since relocating. Next position was a similar help desk position where I was the most credential person among the helpdesk. Worked in the esupport role for two years and got offered the Network Admin position. My Comptia certs had no corelation to receiving this position. I am currently studying for my CCNA in order to educate myself. I've heard that the cert has opened doors for many. Will see how well it suites my career progression.
  • matt333matt333 Senior packet farmer Bay AreaMember Posts: 268 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Experience took me to where am I now career wise. I'm sure certifications helped get the first round interview but experience got me the job.
    Studying: Automating Everything, network API's, Python etc.. 
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