So what certs am I missing?

Hello guys,

I would like suggestions on what certs should I include in my certification plan... I am consultant (specialization in security) and up to now I have:

1.- CompTIA Network+
2.- CompTIA Linux+
3.- CompTIA Security+
4.- MSCA 2003
5.- MCSA Messaging
6.- MCSA Security

Now I'm preparing for MCSE, actually for the design stuff... I think thats important to know.

Then I thought "I need something more on networking", so I plan to add:

Why Cisco? I think they do great things and many big corps use their hardware.

Then, of course, I found CWNP certs... so lets add:

Security certs I must have (just have to wait for the exam date):

CompTIA Project+ is a good idea... and to close, lets re-enforce Linux:
* LPIC-1
* LPIC-2

So what do you think? Am I crazy?????

Maybe I am... After all, I work as an independent consultant... I wonder if I am doing the right thing...

So, if anyone wants to suggest new certs or tell me "don't do this, you don't need it pal!", I would love to hear it!


PS: I am from Argentina, and today we lost with Germany on the world cup... So sad! icon_sad.gif


  • rcooprcoop Member Posts: 183
    Not really any recommendations, as I think the best advice would be to seek out someone a little more senior doing the same job you do, and get their opinion (and if possible, use as a mentor).

    But... as a consultant (employed in a professional services division of an international company), I would think having a few highly visible and recognized certificates in your chosen area (security), specifically CISSP and possibly something more hands on like C|EH or CISA, and a more general, but recognizable in the consulting arena, such as the PMP (project management) certificate. Project+ or PMI's junior cert, would definitely complement your existing certificate base, and if you don't currently have a strong project management background, the education while studying would be very valuable.

    I would also become an expert in an area, as a generalist "networking" guy, there is usually some other consultant that specializes in the issue facing the customer... generalists are fantastic employees, and mold well when they learn a company's business model and processes... but a consultant is normally hired for a specific project or part of a project... here generalists are good project managers (know enough technology to talk to the specialists, or hire the right ones, and speak with the management team (the ones paying the bill, and are putting thier faith they have the right guy)... hate to say it, the project manager takes a tremendous amount of the pressure of a project (they become a consultants' "sh*t umbrella in a sh*t storm"... and they will often pay more for the specialist than any generalist... to ease any burden they will endure in their own role. They use the certifications to easily sell the cost of your role, so, CCIE, MCSE:Security/Messaging, CISSP, or other "buz" cert, that will still gain a bit of respect from the CIO or other technical professional you are brought in to work with (or for).

    So, if you are a security guy, get CCSP, Firewall (CheckPoint or Cisco's) cert, and definitely CISSP (regardless of how high-level the skill-set is)... since it is the only one I know about, the CWSP might be something that could enable you to display wireless security strengths.

    Not sure how you get jobs as a consultant in Argentina, but in the professional services business, each job is often a referral from an earlier successful one (or working for a project manager or company that had you on their team during a successful project... and now you have a trust-based built relationship). Remember, certificates may get you a job or two, but your skills and professionalism are what the jobs (and increasing pay and long career) come from.

    Take Care,
    Working on MCTS:SQL Server 2005 (70-431) & Server+
  • rcooprcoop Member Posts: 183
    Like I didn't type enough above... sorry.

    I also believe that if Linux/Un*x is your thing, getting a Solaris, HP-UX, or AIX Administration (or security if they exist) certificate would be a good idea. GNU/Linux is a wonderful OS (Kernal), and is making wonderful headway into corporations, but within large corporation and government data centers I have only seen commercial UNIX variants (the three listed above account for 95% of the Unix projects I've been involved with)... and believe me there is a tremendous amount of money and demand for individuals with this knowledge and experience. The Administration certification exams are no more difficult than the LPIC-I exams, but to a Solaris house means a great deal more than the Linux+ or LPIC exams... the RHCE seems to be the only respected one from the Unix people I've spoken too (and these guys use Solaris, BSD and Linux as their desktop OS of choice).

    Take Care,
    Working on MCTS:SQL Server 2005 (70-431) & Server+
  • MunckMunck Member Posts: 150
    CISSP, CISA and CISM are pretty much asked for everywhere, so keep them on your to-do list. If you're into the "soft" side of security, I recommend adding some more auditing stuff to your arsenal - for example BS7799.

    I don't see why doing SSCP when CISSP is also on your list?

    Cisco and Checkpoint are also used everywhere, so if you're into firewalls, keep them in mind. I wouldn't bother with the CCDA. Security-wise, it's a dead end, and remember you have to recertify every three years.

    Take a look at the SANS certs. They are very highly regarded in the security industry. They are vendor-independant, so they'll give you a whole "new" perspective. Good luck icon_cool.gif
  • SieSie Member Posts: 1,195
    How about looking into a more mangement / project management certification to go with your technical ones?

    Dont know whats avail so cannot be more specific sorry. icon_sad.gif
    Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools
  • AlienAlien Member Posts: 398
    Its a question of which technology you'd like to learn or which is mostly used in your job tasks. There are people with certs but no skills and people with skills but no certs. What would you like to learn?
    Hard times on planet earth.
  • agustinchernitskyagustinchernitsky Member Posts: 299
    Hello guys! First of all, thanks so much for your feedback! I really appreciate it!

    Rcoop, thanks for your post... were can I find more info on PMP? I will sit for CompTIA project+, but I would like to have another cert on that... The more you study, the more you know. My idea is to know as much as possible of everything and combine also some specialization (ie security)... We Argies are known to be "very resourcefull guys", so its in our nature :D .

    Do you know were I can get more info on Solaris, HP-UX, or AIX Administration??? Well HP-UX I guess in HP web site... AIX is IBM no? Maybe if a sit for those, I won't do LPI-C... It's an interesting alternative. So thanks for the tip!

    Hey Munk! Whats BS7799? Actually I'm not into the soft side of security and I already thought of SANS certs, I think they are very respected as you say... So I'm planning them for the future :)

    What is it that you don't like about CCDA? I would love to know!

    Is Checkpoint a "must have" on security? From Cisco I plan to sit for CCSP, where I will have some PIX in it... Do you suggest Checkpoint also? It sure looks interesting... and its recognized worldwide.

    Regarding SSCP, if I study for CISSP, I also study for SSCP... Two for the study of one :) Don't you think?

    Hi Alien! The funny thing is that I have degree (or 4-year degree, I really don't know how you call it) in business administration... but... I worked all my life in IT. I won't tell you why I studied that because I will bore you icon_wink.gif .

    The thing is... I need to have these certs to proove my customers that I know (they already know that, but many new customers are requesting certifications... you know how this is.) So, I'm actually 50% of my time working and 50% studying. What I want to learn? As I said before, everything!! I started working in IT when I was 18... So I've learnt a lot, and now its time to certify.

    The more I know, the more confident I feel, the better I can help others (customers or people like you in this forum) :)

    Once again guys, thanks so much... I really appreciate it... saludos from Argentina!

    PS: IF someone here is from England, I'm really sorry you lost with Portugal... Those f*cking penalties shoot outs also left us out of the world cup!! icon_cry.gif

    PS2: Rcoop, you are 100% correct... Consulting is built on a strong relationship with the customer, because this customer will recommend you. I always say " build a good relationship with your customer, making him feel that he can rely on you... then you'll win an ally, who happens to be hiring you and recommending you".
  • OlajuwonOlajuwon Inactive Imported Users Posts: 356
    That's a lot of certs you plan on achieving. I hope your head remains in one piece after getting these certs. :D
    "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years"
  • AlienAlien Member Posts: 398
    I do have a degree in IT too but i have come to appreciate that a BA and IT is a perfect combination and as a matter of fact i intend to pursue BA once i get the time. I would also like to point to you that its advisable to concentrate on one thing at a time or atleast for me thats how it works but i understand that people are different. I see you have the drive and thats a good thing. Whatever you choose, goodluck icon_wink.gif .
    Hard times on planet earth.
  • agustinchernitskyagustinchernitsky Member Posts: 299
    Hello Olajuwon, what head do you mean? head..... head...... Ahhh! You are refering to that thing hanging between my sholders... ja ja ja! :D

    Alien, thanks for your support... a degree in BA, in my case, gave me the inside looks on how an organization works... And that is quite important in being a consultant. It also helps you in your own administration, so if you can do it, I recommend it. Luckyly, I also had a subject called "communication" and there I learnt a lot on how to "talk" to people.

    Thanks a lot guys!

    Saludos amigos!! :D

  • rcooprcoop Member Posts: 183
    Hola Augustin,

    Looks like you are off to a great start with the right attitude.

    Here is some more information, hopefully it isn't just for North America:
    PMI : PMP / CAPM :

    HP : HP-UX Certification :
    Sun : Solaris Certification :
    IBM : AIX Certification :

    Best of luck,
    Working on MCTS:SQL Server 2005 (70-431) & Server+
  • MunckMunck Member Posts: 150
    BS7799 is a British standard for IT-Security. it defines what is considered "best practice". Many companies base their policies on it. Recently it has been made an ISO standard.

    Checkpoint and Cisco are the two big players in the firewall market. As a consultant you should know both.

    I don't like the CCDA because is has nothing to do with security, I hardly ever see it advitised in job ads, and one have to recertify every three years.
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