Thoughts on direction?

GT-RobGT-Rob Member Posts: 1,090
Hi all. Long time lurker, first time poster ;)

Anyway, I am just trying to plan out my goals for 2007 as far as certifications and just looking for a little input.

First of all, I am looking to get into a network/system admin position. I am still young with little experience (mostly ISP call center). Took programming in college (hated it), and just doing odd work while doing certs on my own time. I started this august, and now hold A+, N+, and just passed CCNA Intro yesterday. I am not sure where to go after CCNA though?

My first thought was doing some more vendor neutral ones like, L+, and sec+, maybe even server+, and then some of the new MS certs. Now I am wondering if I would be better off concentrating more on 1 path, and go farther. I have been looking into CCNP, as well as CCDA/CCDP. I see alot of those tests cross over. Some day would love to take it to IE, but am realistic and realise that it will take time.

So basically my question is this. Is it better to round out your knowledge over many areas, or be an expert in one? This is short time obviously, long term I would like to have it all as I love to learn, but just trying to land a good job that I will enjoy next year. What would make me more employable I guess you could say.

Sorry if this is a common question, or if it is in a FAQ somewhere. If someone has a thread somewhere that answers this please link.

Thanks for any input


  • remyforbes777remyforbes777 Member Posts: 499
    The first question to yourself should be "what do I want to do?" Are you wanting to do administration type things such as with Microsoft certs, or networking things (CCNA). Are you wanting to get into security, database management? There are a myriad of things to do in computers. What I do is I know that I want to get into the network side of things so CCNA. But when I am not studying for it hard core I do things on the side, such as set up Win2k3 server and create a home lab, and test things like group policy, DNS configurations, things like that. Put most of your effort into what you want to do as a career and when you have down time, dabble with other things. It can make you well rounded.
  • SlowhandSlowhand Mod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    It's always a good thing to expand your knowledge as much as you can. If you have an interest in Cisco, then stick with it and study as much as you can. (Chances are, you'll need as much Cisco experience as you can get your hands on to tackle the work you'll do at an ISP, if you should choose to take another job like that.) Branching out a little bit doesn't hurt, either. The Linux+ is probably a good idea, you'll more than likely see some *NIX machines, and having some foundations with the filesystem and tools is always good, as well as giving you the starting point towards other Linux or Unix certs. I'm very thankful I decided to do the Linux+, because it really helped me understand things I'm studying now.

    Going for your CCNA is a good thing, learning more about Linux/Unix is a good thing, and expanding out with Microsoft will benefit you. If you want some frank advice, I'd say go for either the MCSA or MCSE after you're done with CCNA, then take a look at the Linux Professional Institue Certifications (LPIC). In a lot of cases, you'll get some direction from your employer, based on the requirements of your job. If you're not working, cover all your bases and learn as much as you can about "just about everything". You can get an idea of what kinds of credentials and experience is required of you by taking a look at job ads in your area, and you'll see what I mean. Having Windows, *NIX, and Cisco experience gives you a broad range of skills to help you get your foot in the door and to stay competitive.

    Just don't neglect what you want to be doing and get lost in the cert-shuffle, it's easy to burn yourself out and get sick of IT altogether.

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  • seccieseccie Member Posts: 53 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Short term: I'd prefer to be an expert.
    Long term: to know something about everything and everything about something.
  • GT-RobGT-Rob Member Posts: 1,090
    Thanks for the input. I really am enjoying the cisco material and either way plan to do CCNP in the next year. The reason for my question is because I am going to really put myself out there next summer and wondering what would make me more employable. GF is done school and we are looking to move up in the world, so that is why I am aiming for the summer.

    I did a interm job managing a network/workstations at a small company once. Very small, maybe 10 stations, a webserver with database. Something like that on a bigger scale would be my dream job.

    see ya around
  • tony0101tony0101 Inactive Imported Users Posts: 46 ■■□□□□□□□□
    A cool cert is CEH- certified ethical hacker. That is only if your niche is security. I have been studing it for fun..... kinda sad. Choose what you want to do, then work towards that goal.
    Say Hello To MY little friend!!!
    TONY Cleaveland
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