Best Starting Point

DaikosDaikos Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
I posted once before asking a few questions about certs and I've been doing a lot of reading on the matter but I still feel that I am a bit in the dark. I'm coming close (a year off) from having a Bachelors in Applied Networking and Systems Administration from RIT. The school provides no real advice on certs or practice for certain certs.

What they do provide is 5 years worth of schooling in everything from programming, scripting and systems administration in Unix and Windows to networking, security and hardware troubleshooting. I've taken classes in all of these fields and have been most interested in the sys admin and security aspects. In addition I've already worked full time as a Computer Technician and an Asst Sys Admin as part of the requirements for graduation.

That all being said once I graduate I'd like to get right into a job as a System Adminstrator somewhere. I am equally experianced with Unix and Windows Server so I have no real preference which I work with once I graduate. I figure though it would be best to have some certs under my belt before I'm tossed into the "real world".

What would be the best to have on my resume for System Administration and possibly a bit down my road security?

Thanks for all the help!

Comments

  • DaikosDaikos Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Also if anyone could recommend the best books to study from for the recommended certs that would be great. Being a student I have a limited amount of money to spend on study materials so I don't want to waste any on a poor book.
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned
    You really need to make you mind up. Both might be a nice long term goal, but you'll spread yourself too thin if you're looking at getting these taken care of soon.

    The best Windows certs are currently the MCSA/MCSE and will be the MCITP: Server Administrator/Enterprise Administrator in the near future.

    Linux typically starts with the Linux+, and then you can do the LPIC and/or RHCE.

    When are you graduating?
  • DaikosDaikos Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    dynamik wrote:
    You really need to make you mind up. Both might be a nice long term goal, but you'll spread yourself too thin if you're looking at getting these taken care of soon.

    The best Windows certs are currently the MCSA/MCSE and will be the MCITP: Server Administrator/Enterprise Administrator in the near future.

    Linux typically starts with the Linux+, and then you can do the LPIC and/or RHCE.

    When are you graduating?

    At the very least I'll be graduating in a year and a quarter. So probably early 2010?

    I guess one of my questions then would be which I'm more likely to encounter in the field: linux or windows. But then again I guess that's rather split at the moment as well?

    As for those Windows certs is there a good path leading up to them or with my described experiance just jump right to those?
  • nicklauscombsnicklauscombs Posts: 885Member
    The best advice to give you is choose a career path because it interests you not because it is more popular then another option. That being said if you go for windows administration you still have some unix experience through school which always will help or vice versa if you choose the linux/unix path. Good luck!
    WIP: IPS exam
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned
    Since it's going to be awhile before you get out there, I'd encourage you to start with the MCITP: Enterprise Administrator.

    70-620, Configuring Vista should be the one you start with for that. The MS Press Book should be all you need for that one (along with a little hands-on).
  • DaikosDaikos Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    dynamik wrote:
    Since it's going to be awhile before you get out there, I'd encourage you to start with the MCITP: Enterprise Administrator.

    70-620, Configuring Vista should be the one you start with for that. The MS Press Book should be all you need for that one (along with a little hands-on).

    Thanks that definatley looks like a good place to start. Is there any set period of time I have to take all the tests within? Or to phrase it another way: if I were to take the 1st one in a few months then the next 4 or 5 months later and then finish the rest closer to graduation (or some other assortment of times) would I have to retake my 1st one due to it expiring (I hope that made sense).

    I really appreciate all the help.
  • undomielundomiel Posts: 2,818Member
    None of the MS tests/certifications expire if you've taken them, you take one and then you can take the next whenever you'd like down the road. Only catch is that tests do get retired after a while so if you did take many years then a test that you need could be retired and you wouldn't be able to complete that certification after all. Of course if you do take that long to complete a certification then that certification probably won't be very relevant any longer.

    Short answer -- No, if you take the tests at the rate you propose then you will be just fine.
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon -- http://www.jefferyland.com/
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned
    Actually, I believe the MCITPs (not sure about the MCTSes <= see what I did there?) are going to require renewal every three years or so.

    I've never seen a set amount of time you have to complete the entire track in though. If the MCTS certs do expire, you'll still be looking at a window of three years, which should be more than enough.
  • undomielundomiel Posts: 2,818Member
    From: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/newgen/lifecycle/default.mspx

    Your MCTS, MCITP, or MCPD certifications will retire when Microsoft discontinues mainstream support for the related technology. Typically, mainstream support is discontinued 7 to 10 years after the initial product release. When support ends, your related certification will retire.

    So there isn't really anything to do with renewal it sounds like. You just need to get certified in the next greatest Microsoft product.
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon -- http://www.jefferyland.com/
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned
    Trika wrote:
    Will the new MCTS and MCITP certifications expire in the future?

    MCTS certifications will expire when the support for the product expires (usually 7-10 years from initial release). MCITP certifications will expire 3 years from the date they are awarded UNLESS you recertify. You will be required to recertify every 3 years. You will need to pass a specific recertification exam. If you don't pass, you will lose your certification (it will come off of your transcript).

    http://blogs.msdn.com/trika/archive/2007/01/30/q-a-from-the-jan-23-sql2005-cert-live-meeting.aspx

    Something else I came across said they dropped that three-year requirement, and now I can't find it on the MS Learning page, so maybe it is gone icon_rolleyes.gif
  • undomielundomiel Posts: 2,818Member
    From my previously posted link:

    Q. Is there a recertification policy for Professional Series certifications?
    A.
    In our initial communications about the Professional Series certifications, we announced that a "refresh" or recertification of the MCITP and MCPD credentials would be required within three years. This policy has changed. To address the needs of our worldwide customer base, the updated policy is to retire a certification when mainstream support for the related technology retires, as described at the top of this page. There is no action required from you if you earned a Professional Series certification before the policy change; the updated policy applies to your certification, which will be valid until mainstream support for the related technology retires.

    That should clear it up for you!
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon -- http://www.jefferyland.com/
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned
    Well I didn't follow your link because I was busy trying to find my own so I wouldn't look stupid. I don't think that worked out so well though... icon_cry.gif

    Thanks for the update :D
  • undomielundomiel Posts: 2,818Member
    Oh don't worry I just provide the links so that there will be different coloured text in my posts. Purely decorative. It makes it just a bit more festive don't you think? :D
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon -- http://www.jefferyland.com/
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