Certification Help

Macca10Macca10 Member Posts: 7 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi All,

I appreciate you may have had this a lot from other users, but I'm currently at a standstill with my career and I need certification in order to progress.

I'm currently working as an Infrastructure Engineer and have done for 5 years now and I had hoped to attain the MCSA for Windows Server 2016 and Exchange Server before those exams were sadly cancelled. This would have been more relevant to my role, I have still learned the material but I'm missing out on the certification to prove my skills.

My current role is based around Windows Server, Exchange and Citrix - Though at present I can't afford the Citrix training as it is too expensive, it is something I would have loved to complete and progress with.

I have access to CBT Nuggets and can purchase material if appropriately priced


My interests lie in cybersecurity and also interests in IT Management, Project Management, IT Risk and Compliance as well as anything Infrastructure related. I had looked at CISSP but I would miss out on the requirements. I guess I'm unsure where to go, there are so many avenues that I'm lost in all honesty.

Currently only have one certification to my name: AZ-900, Azure Fundamentals and want to attain more. I have started the AZ-104 but my current employer doesn't use Azure in anyway and I don't want to study for the exam, pass it and not have the real-world skills.

I hope this is everything that a post like this requires and I do apologise if there is anything I should have included.

Thanks,

Comments

  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    Are you looking to progress in your current place of employment or find a position with a new employer?
  • Macca10Macca10 Member Posts: 7 ■■□□□□□□□□
    JDMurray said:
    Are you looking to progress in your current place of employment or find a position with a new employer?

    I wouldn't be able to look for other positions at the moment due to personal issues, I'm the sole income at the moment.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    So you are looking to advance with your present employer. What certification(s) does your present employer value?
  • Macca10Macca10 Member Posts: 7 ■■□□□□□□□□
    JDMurray said:
    So you are looking to advance with your present employer. What certification(s) does your present employer value?

    I've managed to get access to CCA-V and CCA-P through Pluralsight - I have started this material to save me doing nothing.

    They would like us to have certifications aligned with this business, nothing specific is ever mentioned.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    It sounds like you get to determine what training and certifications would best benefit your present employer. Start with looking at certification your product vendors (Microsoft, Cisco, AWS, etc.) then move to general technology (networking, programming, Cloud, etc.) and then specialty certs (pentesting, digital forensics, risk management, etc.).

  • Macca10Macca10 Member Posts: 7 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the assistance @JDMurray, We work within a IaaS solution so I'm actually quite limited in that regard.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    What Cloud provider is hosting your IaaS solution? AWS, GCP, or Azure? Get those cert by practicing on their free usage tier.
  • yparkypark Senior Member NoVAMember Posts: 114 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Does your company have a high priority initiative that would be benefited by a certain knowledge? Is there a different team that you are looking to transition to (or promoted to)?

    Since you are content with your current employer, plan out your career path within the company. Then look at what skills would be valuable to achieve the next step in your career progression. I would personally look at what skills are in demand at your company and go with that.
    2021 Goals: [JNCIA-DevOps] [JNCIA-Cloud]
  • Macca10Macca10 Member Posts: 7 ■■□□□□□□□□
    JDMurray said:
    What Cloud provider is hosting your IaaS solution? AWS, GCP, or Azure? Get those cert by practicing on their free usage tier.

    It's actually provided by another hosting company that takes care of the kit hypervisors, storage, resource etc. As mentioned above I have passed the AZ-900, however with me not actually using Azure in any capacity I'm not sure it's the best option.
  • Macca10Macca10 Member Posts: 7 ■■□□□□□□□□
    ypark said:
    Does your company have a high priority initiative that would be benefited by a certain knowledge? Is there a different team that you are looking to transition to (or promoted to)?

    Since you are content with your current employer, plan out your career path within the company. Then look at what skills would be valuable to achieve the next step in your career progression. I would personally look at what skills are in demand at your company and go with that.

    I've asked - they would like me to have a certification relevant to the business but within our business model it isn't that much. Citrix certification would be sufficient which I have started, but I would like a long term plan.
  • thepawofrizzonthepawofrizzon Member Posts: 9 ■■■□□□□□□□
    If the company you work for would like you to pursue certifications in line with the business, and you're seeming to remain there for now, it seems at least pursuing the CCA certs would be beneficial in the short term.  My approach after your CCA certs would be to look at some CompTIA certs, if you're interested in cybersecurity, then consider Security+ then CySA+ and Pentest+, as all are general enough, vendor-neutral certs that will start getting your mind in the cybersecurity game (and really, any IT professional gains by having some cybersecurity knowledge, even if not working primary in cybersecurity.)  If you're more interested in cloud technologies or see that used more in your career path, CompTIA has the Cloud+ (and Cloud Essentials+ if you want to get a more basic cloud cert more quickly since you have some experience).  I like CompTIA's exams a lot to get familiar with a lot of different technologies at a foundational level, then when I have worked on vendor-specific certs those foundations get built upon.  Another plus with the CompTIA exams, is that several of them require CEUs, so as you take vendor specific training and certs, you can use that to apply toward recertifying, unlike some vendor certs where you either have to retest to recertify or advance into another certificate category.  

    I have over 15 years in IT doing desktop, server, and network, and have just been more cybersecurity specific in the last couple years.  From working with other analysts on the IT Security side, I can tell you that whatever desktop, server, or network knoweldge and experience you gain it will help you should you decide to do cybersecurity.  I've worked with analysts who started their job in IT security but have no idea how an email server works, and do not understand the basics of virtualization.  Have no fear that whatever you are doing now won't be helping you in the future.


  • Macca10Macca10 Member Posts: 7 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Update, the company I worked for went into Administration. During this period I partly studied for the CCA-V and CCA-P but I haven't come across one job that uses Citrix and fits my needs. EVERYTHING is cloud first.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,369 Mod
    I see you listed Risk and Compliance as one of your interests. Check out ISACA CISA then CISM and perhaps CRISC, they can open doors to Risk/Compliance Security type work and will give you a leg up with CISSP
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 1,975 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Macca10 said:

    I had looked at CISSP but I would miss out on the requirements. 
    Are you so sure of that? I have seen many people say that because they fail to realize that they only need experience in two of the eight domains. Of course I have no insight into your actual duties, but I would hope that some of your infra experience would actually satisfy the requirements. (ISC)2 does not scrutinize this the way some people assume. If you truly do not meet all of the requirements, but feel that you could within six years then go for the exam anyway which would allow you to become an (ISC)2 associate. That way you can have the hard part out of the way which is passing the exam. Then once you feel you have met the requirements just submit your application for the full credential. 
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA and more.

    2021 goals: AZ-303, AZ-304, maybe CRISC.

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    Many orgs may only care that you have passed the CISSP exam and not that you have the full CISSP certification or keep it renewed.
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