Need some personal direction...

Hello everyone, I'm looking for some advice on where I should head regarding my career and certification goals. First, a little background:

I work for a very small software company (about 5 users) doing their network administration. I also provide phone based technical support to the customers who purchased the software we create.

I don't want to make this post long so I'll post what I think my marketable skills are. I have above average experience with Active Directory, SQL server, and Windows operating systems. I'm also well-versed in troubleshooting TCP/IP issues.

I also consider myself to be strong with Cisco devices but lack real world experience. I've passed my CCNA as well as A+ and Network+ but have only demonstrated Cisco experience on a lab at home.

My big questions are based on the fact that I have a very bland resume that doesn't really distinguish me from other prospective employees. The only thing that sticks out is CCNA but I lack the real world experience to support it. I consider myself a great interviewer who is very engaging.

My two questions are:

1. What do you think my next learning track should be? My future goals include wanting to be more on the networking side moreso than administration that's why I chose the CCNA but I'm wondering if I should go for the CCNA: Security track or try to attain a specialty cert (Voice, Exchange, SQL etc.)

2. What type of jobs should I be looking for? I don't consider myself entry level because I've worked in IT for three years but I can tell from an employer's point of view that I probably am.

These are pretty vague questions, but I'm hoping to get a dialogue going. It's been about three weeks since I passed the CCNA and my learning break is coming to an end. I'll answer any questions you guys may have and I really appreciate all of the great advice I've been given here so any help is immensely appreciated.

Comments

  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'd pick a direction and focus on that. If you want to get into networking, I wouldn't mess around with things like SQL certs. I think the CCNA specializations are a great way to keep learning without risking being over-certified for your experience.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Posts: 4,049Mod Mod
    From what you said, your skills are not entry level skills, and many employers will appreciate that.

    Now that you passed CCNA, I suggest you focus on getting a job doing more networking work. You need to do serious job hunting. Once you get a networking job..then you can continue with your CCNP or CCNA: sec...
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • jscimeca715jscimeca715 Posts: 280Member
    Thanks for the thoughts guys. I have been doing some serious job searching and have been applying to about 2-3 positions a week. I've been looking at getting into some scripting/programming but am confused at where to start. I feel like this would be a good place to advance my learning while I'm waiting to get a few calls. Any suggestions?
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Posts: 4,049Mod Mod
    Thanks for the thoughts guys. I have been doing some serious job searching and have been applying to about 2-3 positions a week. I've been looking at getting into some scripting/programming but am confused at where to start. I feel like this would be a good place to advance my learning while I'm waiting to get a few calls. Any suggestions?

    scripting/programming is a different field and help you more with system admin work not with networking.

    I started my programming with C++, using this book:
    C++ How to Program, 4/e
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • Solaris_UNIXSolaris_UNIX Posts: 93Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    If you are good with Active Directory (and you enjoy working with it) then your next step should probably be to take Microsoft's 70-290 exam for Windows Server 2003. There's a really good forum about it here:

    70-290 Windows 2003 Server - TechExams.net IT Certification Forums

    There's still a lot of demand for people with good Windows sysadmin skills in the job market right now.


    ps -e -o pid | xargs -t -n1 pfiles | grep "port: $PORT"

    dtrace -n 'syscall::write:entry { @num[zonename] = count(); }'

    http://get.a.clue.de/Fun/advsh.html

    http://www.perturb.org/display/entry/462/
  • KasorKasor Posts: 912Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    First, you need to look into your career perspective and see are you able to grow within the company to become a supervisor

    Second, are you looking into IT business or just being a Techie..

    Third, are you looking for higher pay job or career. Then you need to look at your local area IT market

    Fourth, DO NOT GO AFTER CERTIFICATION WHEN U DON'T HAVE A CAREER GOAL. This is an endless path
    Kill All Suffer T "o" ReBorn
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