which entry-level certification to take?

begoodbegood Member Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
i'm a Masters student in ECE. i'm interested in a networking career. i want to go for a entry-level certification like CCENT or Network+ etc.are there any other certifications offered by other vendors that can fit my requirement of entry-level certifications? is CCENT only about the Cisco way of dealing with N/Wking? also i want to grow in Network Security or wireless networking field.which of the two has a stronger job market?i have a good knowledge and 1.5 yrs work exp. in java. will that be of any use in building a career in network security/wireless networking?what kind of entry-level jobs should i take up to grow in the Network security/wireless networking field?
pls give a reply.


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    TechBoy22TechBoy22 Member Posts: 81 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Im in the same position. Most people even myself will tell you to get your A+ first. As far as networking certs, the CCENT and CCNA are aimed at Cisco products. It certifies you to only deal with their equipment. Switches routers ect. I know there is a certification for wireless I believe, but I myself am not familiar with the name. Security + would be good to learn as well. Network+ is a more general certification. It all depends on you. Check out the cisco website. I am already a fan of their certs which is why I have a high interest in getting them. They kinda break down your job title with each cert and your expected salary. Also as far as job demand, youll have to just do research within your area to see what is available to you. It all depends on location. I live in NJ 10 minutes from NY. My area might be more hungry than say MO or SC. Good luck in your decision and search.

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    dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    CCENT is a good starting place. You could do the Network+ first if you really want to ease into things, but I don't think it's necessary. Security and wireless are both hot right now, so you're not going to go wrong with either. There is a lot of overlap between the two anyway, so you're probably going to be learning about both regardless. Also, Cisco recently added wireless and security (and voice, if you care) specializations to the CCNA, so you'll probably want to look at those as well. The Security+ is a good all-around introduction to security, and that one would probably help you out as well.

    As far as jobs go, take anything you can get while starting out. It can be difficult to get your foot in the door, so you might not want to be too picky when starting out. As soon as you get 2-3 years of experience under your belt, many more options will become available to you.

    Cisco programmed their SDM utility in Java, and there seems to be a decent amount of opportunities for Java on the security side of things. I believe JD (programming, wireless, etc. moderator) is doing Java security research now, or at least he was recently.

    Good luck, and welcome to the forums!
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    w4nn4b1337w4nn4b1337 Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I’m not sure what that means to be a masters student in ECE so it's hard to gauge where you should go with certifications.
    I've been in the IT field for about 15 years or so with most of that time as a Sys Admin/helpdesk. I've decided to go the networking route and chose the Network+ exam to start with. I then went the route of the CCNA. I passed them both and I can tell you that I thought I had a lot of experience in networking but these exams proved me wrong. The Network+ exam is very top level stuff. Meaning it doesn't get much further then the basics of the several OSI layers. It is a great primer for the CCNA and is great for a new IT manager who wants a general understanding of networking principles. Though the CCNA really digs into the nitty gritty of network design and implementation, the first 4 chapters of the ICND1 pretty much covers Network+. CCNA does go into the IEEE standard protocols that are used outside of the Cisco proprietary routing protocols in just as much detail. However, as someone already mentioned it is obviously Cisco biased so keep that in mind if you get hired as a network guy. (However, if know the Cisco IOS and you get a chance to get on the CLI of an HP device you will feel at home. They are similar in many ways.)

    Just a story from experience of being hired to fix a network. My studies and experience have been focused on Cisco products but the company had a strong HP background. The point being is get the Network+ first and understand the vender neutral viewpoint of networking as each vendor often use their own terminology for the same thing. For example: an extended star topology is essentially the Cisco model of Core/distribution/access layers as HP will use Core/aggregation/edge. All of these are arguably the same on a fundamental level.

    If you are new to networking I recommend the Network+ cert to start with. HP has certifications as well but is more focused on configuring their devices it seems while Cisco seems to be focused on fundamentals and deploying their devices to an industry BBP.
    Hope that helps.
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    mamonomamono Member Posts: 776 ■■□□□□□□□□
    CompTIA - Network+

    Cisco - CCENT and CCNA - As mentioned, for the "Cisco" way of networking...

    CWNP (Certified Wireless Network Professional) - Wireless#, CWNA, CWSP, CWNE - Wireless vendor neutral networking...

    Juniper - JNCIA, JNCIS - Routing and switching technologies that are Juniper specific.

    Linux - CompTIA Linux+, RHCE, LPI - You'll want to consider also. I've been told by some people in the networking field that it is something good to know in conjunction with networking focus because many tools you'll need to use and systems that you need to access are Linux based.

    Security - CompTIA Security+, CISSP, CEH, CNDA - Understanding security from both ends of securing and intrusion.

    There are many routes to take, many more certs to obtain. Best to decide for yourself, where and what do you want to accomplish first and then decide based on that what path you'd like to take.
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    SlowhandSlowhand Mod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    If by ECE you mean Early Childhood Eduction, you're definitely well-suited for IT and handling the average user. If it's something along the lines of Electrical and Computer Engineering, you're on your own. Trial by fire, like the rest of us. icon_lol.gif

    As for starting certs, I'd say this. Start out with CompTIA, probably A+ and Network+, possibly Linux+ as well, to get some well-rounded experience with different aspects of IT. They offer lots of other certifications as well, but those three are a good start.

    Once you've got an idea for what you like to do, there are lots of options. For server and systems administration, there are Microsoft certs, Red Hat certs, as well as offerings from Sun and LPI. For network administration and engineering, you've got a couple of choices. Cisco is still the defacto standard for networking technology certification. However, other companies, like Juniper and Nortel have training and certs for you to check out as well.

    There are also other options for certs, like specialties in messaging and databases; these are available from lots of different vendors, not just Microsoft. You mentioned that you'd worked with Java for a while, you might want to check out the developer certs from Sun. There are also developer certs available from Microsoft, among others, but if you're working with Java it might be good to go with your strengths.

    Whatever you choose to do, I wish you the best of luck. Don't be afraid to participate on the forum, ask questions, answer questions, and make yourself at home with the rest of us geeks. :D

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    robertguessrobertguess Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I work with a very large training provider. I have 20 years IT experience in many areas. I will be posting some relevant information but thought this was a good thing to answer first.

    Now one question why wouldn't you stay in java with the experience you have??

    To answer your question I tell everyone to get A+ reason is simple the industry really demands this certification based on computer warranties. If your not A+ you cannot open the box or your void the warranty. This being said is not a great job IE: You can get A+ and work for best buy computer city circuit city compusa etc..

    If you do not have networking fundamentals then you should definitely work on network plus as a bridge to any other certification IE: microsoft MCSE or equivalent and CISCO CCNA being first.

    I would say definitely I see a push in security which will be adding a topic shortly about dod directive 8570.1 which is security driven but basically tells all DOD personal military and non military and consultants that they have to have certain levels of certification. A+ NETWORK+ AND SECURITY + are all on first two levels of tech's. CISSP and GIAC are added with many other security certifications.

    If your a programmer I suggest java especially j2ee .net visual basic and visual C++ MCSD

    if database is gig go after dba in oracle 11 and mcdba sql.

    if you want web master CIW and Macromedia adobe and flash and dreamweaver are hot.

    If you have experience Project Manager is awesome

    CCIE is be all end all to me CISCO of course. Voip seems hot but the security might be better.

    Security is HUGE and think is gonna grow. Is a lot of theory so some of you IE: Book lovers will do very well if pick some of that up:)

    I hope this helps some peeps:)
    IT certification training adviser
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