Wanting Opinion

Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
I want to be a System Admin, a Linux admin and a cisco engineer. I am trying to decided after my (S+ and CCNA:S) which cert to do next. I want to focus on *nix servers, but I also want to move up in the company (which is a very MS/Cisco focused company, although we do use alot of RH/Solaros boxes).

I was curious to know what existing engineers thought about going L+>SCSA/SCNA/RHCE/RHCSS or L+>RHCE/RHCSS. The reason for my choices is that (by the numbers I pulled from dice) the SCXA certs are no where near as popular as the RHCX certs. Although many jobs for *nix admins also want MS certs, so I was wondering if an MCSA/MCITP should be in my mix.

What do you guys think?

Comments

  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    If you're not looking for a new job, I'd go with what interests you. If you want to do RH, focus on that and don't worry about the MS stuff. Get the Jang book and git'r done.
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    dynamik wrote: »
    If you're not looking for a new job, I'd go with what interests you. If you want to do RH, focus on that and don't worry about the MS stuff. Get the Jang book and git'r done.

    I am looking for a new role but not a new job so I might just set up a couple of Server2003/08 Vms just to test openLdap/AD authentication and Samba.
  • ColbyGColbyG Member Posts: 1,264
    My opinion is that you worry far too much about your future certs. Go one step at a time, maybe plan one or two certs in the future, but stop worrying about 8 certs down the line. Pick what interests you right now and start studying it.
  • Hyper-MeHyper-Me Banned Posts: 2,059
    It wouldnt hurt to get at least a bit of MS knowledge...there just so much MS out there that at some point you are probably gonna have to work on it or interface your systems with it, so its best to know some basics at least.

    Do you need to go as far as certifying on it? thats totally up to you, but I would at least pick up some knowledge of it as you go.
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    ColbyNA wrote: »
    My opinion is that you worry far too much about your future certs. Go one step at a time, maybe plan one or two certs in the future, but stop worrying about 8 certs down the line. Pick what interests you right now and start studying it.

    But how do you know if you are on the right path if you have no map? (This is a serious question)

    Hyper-Me wrote: »
    It wouldnt hurt to get at least a bit of MS knowledge...there just so much MS out there that at some point you are probably gonna have to work on it or interface your systems with it, so its best to know some basics at least.

    Do you need to go as far as certifying on it? thats totally up to you, but I would at least pick up some knowledge of it as you go.

    This is true. I don't think I will go as far as an MCSE, I considered (and since the price is so great, I still am ) doing the MCSA and seeing where that leads me but Idk I am not sure. I have set up a domain in my home before and at one time had all of my machines authenticating to it. I also managed to set up IIS, SQL Server, and some other things (not exchange).

    I just don't want to be another MCSA with no exp. I do think it would be more marketable for me to go with the MCSA/E MCITP:SA/EA than for me to go with the SCSA/SCNA. Why? Because employers actually mention MS certs in their requirements and even a lot of unix jobs don't mention Sun certs.
  • ColbyGColbyG Member Posts: 1,264
    knwminus wrote: »
    But how do you know if you are on the right path if you have no map? (This is a serious question)

    But you haven't picked a path, you want high end certs in MS stuff, Linux stuff, Juniper stuff, and Cisco stuff. If there was a map, you'd be all over it.:P

    I'm not trying to be mean or discourage you, I'm just trying to offer an outsider's perspective. I think you should focus on something and follow it through. If you want to do MS work, go that route, same for *nix. I don't know anyone with high level certs in diverse fields. I also don't know too many "experts" in all the fields. Most of the people I know are experts in one thing. At the upper level of IT, you aren't Microsoft and nix and networking. You're doing one of the three and that's it.

    Just some stuff to think about.
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    ColbyNA wrote: »
    But you haven't picked a path, you want high end certs in MS stuff, Linux stuff, Juniper stuff, and Cisco stuff. If there was a map, you'd be all over it.:P

    I'm not trying to be mean or discourage you, I'm just trying to offer an outsider's perspective. I think you should focus on something and follow it through. If you want to do MS work, go that route, same for *nix. I don't know anyone with high level certs in diverse fields. I also don't know too many "experts" in all the fields. Most of the people I know are experts in one thing. At the upper level of IT, you aren't Microsoft and nix and networking. You're doing one of the three and that's it.

    Just some stuff to think about.

    You may have a point.

    The way I see it is this: Most jobs require you to not only know, networking, they also want a OS as well. Even the *nix jobs here require the CCNP. The point I am making is in order to set myself up for where I want to go, I need multiple skill sets. Not just *nix, not just Cisco (and for the record the Jun stuff is because work needs it) , not just storage or virtualization. I need to know a little bit of everything. Wouldn't you agree.
  • ColbyGColbyG Member Posts: 1,264
    No, I wouldn't really agree. Maybe your area is different than mine, but for high level network positions here, they want networking experience and networking certs. Few postings list CCNP + MCSE/RHCE and the ones that do are usually made by dumb HR people. I don't browse the Systems postings much, so I can't speak to those. I see a lot of CCNA + MCSE, but those are smaller shops or consulting gigs, both of which want people with a little knowledge on a lot of things. Those aren't the high level positions.

    My company is very specialized. I don't touch the servers and the server guys don't dare touch our gear. That's how enterprise usually works, people have very specific jobs and they don't stray from their duties. The two ISPs I've worked for were the same.
  • ColbyGColbyG Member Posts: 1,264
    Here's something interesting:

    CCNP+MCSE Jobs | Indeed.com

    That's a nationwide search for listing requesting a CCNP and MCSE. It gave me 29 hits... in the entire country. Here's CCIE and MCSE:

    CCIE+MCSE Jobs | Indeed.com

    That's 54 in the country. And, of the ones I looked at, they seem to be asking for all the certs in the world, which usually signifies a stupid HR person.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    It doesn't sound like your job is representative of what's out there. Why would you need a CCNP to do *nix work?

    Edit: There's only 166 for CCNA+MCSE? That seems low...
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    knwminus wrote: »
    But how do you know if you are on the right path if you have no map? (This is a serious question)
    A map that is constantly changing is worthless.

    And talking about taking a trip isn't the same as actually taking a trip.

    What are you doing/learning to impress people (boss/team lead/manager) in your current job?

    What are you doing/learning to prepare for your next job.....
    knwminus wrote: »
    I want to be a System Admin, a Linux admin and a cisco engineer.
    That's a little bit like a kid wanting to be a fireman, astronaut, and doctor.... which is fine for a kid. You might be able to "mix those up" as a first level data center support...., but until you pick one and become good at it, you're not going to make the big bucks.

    Multiple skill sets are fine -- but there are lots of people who are mediocre at lots of things, and very few that are really good at a few things.

    And the doctors that have become astronauts took more than 10 years to get there.... and probably focused on getting through med school, residency, and internships before they bother applying to become an astronaut.

    And what have you done to today to move closer to your longer term goals (whatever they are today)?
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    ColbyNA wrote: »
    Here's something interesting:

    CCNP+MCSE Jobs | Indeed.com

    That's a nationwide search for listing requesting a CCNP and MCSE. It gave me 29 hits... in the entire country. Here's CCIE and MCSE:

    CCIE+MCSE Jobs | Indeed.com

    That's 54 in the country. And, of the ones I looked at, they seem to be asking for all the certs in the world, which usually signifies a stupid HR person.

    I guess again you do have a point.
    dynamik wrote: »
    It doesn't sound like your job is representative of what's out there. Why would you need a CCNP to do *nix work?

    Edit: There's only 166 for CCNA+MCSE? That seems low...

    Why we need a CCNP? Because cisco certs = life. Everything else comes second. And in the Noc (Tier II) they are expecting us to have more than a ccna level skill set.
    mikej412 wrote: »
    A map that is constantly changing is worthless.

    Very true.
    mikej412 wrote: »
    And talking about taking a trip isn't the same as actually taking a trip.

    What are you doing/learning to impress people (boss/team lead/manager) in your current job?

    I am studying Linux lightly. I haven't gone into the Solaros world...yet, so Im not simply talking, at least in some regards.

    As far as my current job, I am doing a couple of things. Making myself available in for everything thing that is asked of me (required or otherwise). Gleaming from the Engineers for everything that I can get info wise. Covering shifts when needed. Doing my work and the work of others and constantly looking for more. Getting the CCNA (huge) and working on the next cisco cert, CCNA:S.
    mikej412 wrote: »
    And what have you done to today to move closer to your longer term goals (whatever they are today)?

    Ordered the R/S vol 1 (2nd edition) to add to my networking library.
    Order Darrils S+ guide
    Ordered Network Warrior (because I cannot keep checking this book out from the library)
    Started reviewing the exam cram for CCNA:S
    (Still searching for a ethernet card for my 1721 and my memory so lets call that a wip)

    Oh my Goal never changes, it is just my goals that get swapped and so on.
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    mikej412 wrote: »

    That's a little bit like a kid wanting to be a fireman, astronaut, and doctor.... which is fine for a kid. You might be able to "mix those up" as a first level data center support...., but until you pick one and become good at it, you're not going to make the big bucks.

    Multiple skill sets are fine -- but there are lots of people who are mediocre at lots of things, and very few that are really good at a few things.

    I would have to disagree. If I said I wanted to be like the pretender
    The Pretender (TV series) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    that would be more accurate analogy. For an example our security guys work on Windows and*nix, they also work on multiple firewall platforms, cisco and juniper routers and some other stuff. Each one of those different platforms requires a different skill set but all of those skill sets were build on a firm foundation of a base knowledge. That is what I am aiming towards and that is my point.

    A better analogy would be someone who is a police officer and also moon lights as a security guard somewhere. Maybe this person also does concealed weapons classes and self defense classes. Even though they are different roles/jobs, they still build off of a based level of knowledge or skills.
  • stephens316stephens316 Senior Member Member Posts: 203 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You just need to focus on Security Plus for now once you get that out of the way, you can think about the what the direction you should go for systems admin. I am trying to focus next year in networking and some linux.
    ______________
    Current Studying : GPEN |GCNF|CISSP??
    Current Reading : CISSP| CounterHack|Gray Hat Hacking
    Completed 2019 : GCIH
    Free Reading : History Books
  • impelseimpelse Member Posts: 1,237 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It's just one at the time. Focus in one certification or technology, learn that technology without be an expert, of couse, sometimes you will work with another technology, you will learn some of that technology, yes you can be specialist but overtime you will be generalist, but REQUIRE TIME.

    I do not know how much exp you have but in my case I am generalist and I am trying to specialize, takes some time. I normaly worked for small companies (in tha place you are all the trades), you learn a little bit of everything.

    Do not burns yourself with many certifications in your mind, just finish one now and move to the next and the next and the next, later you will decide acording your skills, exp and interest where to go.

    Sure you need a map where to go, and focus in that map, there is a saying in spanish that you can not take all with your arms, just some.
    Stop RDP Brute Force Attack with our RDP Firewall : http://www.thehost1.com
    It is your personal IPS to stop the attack.

  • AlexMRAlexMR Member Posts: 275
    I agreee with Mike, Colby and the others :p. I think being all over the place is good in th short term . I think specializing should be the goal. I doubt CCIEs are creating accounts in linux/MS servers or ever connecting domains and configurng AD...CCIEs are just way too expensive to be doing that kind of works.

    In the mean time, to open the horizons, it's good to learn a lot of stuff, but as hyper-v said, maybe getting to "certification level" is not "required". I decided I was going to stop thinking about a bazzilion certs unless an employer requires it. I am now focused on Cisco and my gooal is the CCNP. Since I am not working now and have way too much time Im also studying some microsoft server stuf but the goal is not certification forr now. Just to be familiar wwith the material and practice to be able to work with different things.

    I think TestOut's trainings are great. I went through the 70-640 material and I learned a lot.
    Training/Studying for....CCNP (BSCI) and some MS.
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher A cornfield in OhioMember Posts: 4,299 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Sorry for the long post...

    K, I think I know where you are coming from. When I was starting my certification path I obsessed about what the right certs were and what I needed to do to get the job and pay I wanted. The fact is most of the employers I interviewed with cared very little about my certs and were more concerned with demonstrated ability. What had I touched, what had I done, what was my work record like?

    The fact that I lead a Lean/Six Sigma style initiative at a previous job getting our turn time down from 3+ days to 1.5 days made far more of an impact than the fact that I had Sec+ or MCDST.

    The combination of a good work history with my certifications has gotten me noticed. Having a broad range of skills has gotten me noticed. These things are all a part of my mid range career plan. I believe that having a good foundation in many technology topics is important in our part of the country. We have a lot of small to mid-sized firms here and they expect you to be able to fill many roles. Microsoft, Cisco, Linux, and whatever might be a part of your short-term and mid-term career plans. But beginning to specialize is also important. But I don’t think you are there yet. My suggestion is this:
    Based on your strategy you need to make some short term tactical decisions about what you are going to do to enact that. What are you doing to get the knowledge and experience you need to land a job as an admin working with Cisco and Linux? Now, this is not specifically IT related. There are components to it.

    1. Building your professional profile. What have you accomplished in your current and past roles?
    2. Building Knowledge Base. What are you studying and learning about to progress as a professional? Certifications, labs, training, degrees.
    3. Building your technical profile. What are you doing to demonstrate your personal KB?

    I see the 2nd and 3rd as the bricks and the first as the mortar that holds the foundation together. So my suggestion is that you break things down into a 1, 3, and 5 year plan with specific benchmarks and goals. Occasionally, when you are feeling off track, perhaps like you are now, make a 30-60-90 day plan about what you are doing to accomplish this strategy. These goals must be realistic and must logically flow, one to the other. Going from a help desk to MCSE to a MS Engineer making 100K in 2 years is not reasonable.

    I know how you are feeling right now. I have been in your spot, thinking if I could just do this or that then I would get where I want to be. But I have realized it is a lot more complicated than that and I need to do things in phases and I cannot be taking the advanced steps before I have completed the steps required to get to the advanced in the first place.
    Your goals might look like this.

    1st Year. Improving performance at my current position so as to be recognized by my peers and management as an exceptional employee. Obtaining CCNA:S and Linux+ and performing volunteer work with Linux+ and Cisco equipment at non-profits.

    2nd year-3rd year. Obtaining an admin position with a mid-sized firm working with Cisco and Linux. Obtaining my RHCE and CCNP certifications. Participating in Cisco and Linux professional groups to expand my contacts, skills and open new opportunities.

    4th-5th year. Continuing to participate in Cisco professional groups and refreshing my skills. Obtain a mid-level position in a large firm as a Cisco engineer.

    Next: Creating a new plan to obtain my CCIE and to obtain a position as a Sr. Cisco Engineer. At this point you will have 10 years of experience and knowledge behind you.
  • impelseimpelse Member Posts: 1,237 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Good post RobertKaucher, that's the way I think.
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  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    Your main problem is that you want to do everything :)

    And that's good, but the worst case scenario is that you get you wish - you end up doing everything, and you can kiss your compensation good bye.

    I'm a damn fine unix admin. But ever since I moved to networking, I'm not allowed to touch servers anymore. I used to jump in and lend a hand when the sysads were slammed, but it came down from the president of the company (aka, Himself) that I was not going to touch servers unless directed to do so by my direct supervisor. The company has very clearly defined roles, and despite the fact that I'm more than capable of doing both, they want it seperated that way. If you pursue your networking certifications to the levels you state, you'll find that you don't have alot of time to handle anything else. And you'll probably find that you don't want to. Now the only server I touch is my departments, where we run stuff like smokeping, nagios, cacti and router proxy.

    By being all over the place, you risk two things - #1 is burnout. #2 is that you never actually get anything done. If you spread yourself too thin, you'll never really master anything.

    And I will state that having Unix skills is a very very good thing for a network engineer. Some form of scripting experience, whether it be bash, python, or perl is quite useful. Being proficient with tcpdump and the other tcp/ip suite commandline tools is also quite useful (ex, using ping with it's DF bit set to troubleshoot MTU problems). Being able to configure and run quagga is useful (makes a wonderful route reflector). And then there's nmap. I love nmap. But being able to setup things like LDAP, apache, and mysql? Not so useful.

    As others have said, pick a focus, and go after it. Everything else needs to be secondary. I know the lure of other shiny stuff as well, I keep wanting to go off and play in Juniper land, but I've committed myself to obtaining a CCIE, and planned my road accordingly, so it'll be a couple years at least before I can pursue that. And I'm ok with that.

    And I've said this before - if you want to get good with Linux, the best way is total immersion. Excise Windows from your life as much as possible (ie, if you have to use it at work, you're stuck, but at home? blow it away). Trying to find the ways to be able to do the same things in Linux that you're used to doing in windows will teach you a whole lot about how linux works, and it can provide a fun distraction from your regular studies when you need to give your brain a chance to recover from what you're studying, but still be learning something useful. There comes a point where you have to stop talking about it and start actually doing it.

    Your enthusiasm is admirable, but you need to temper it with a healthy dose of pragmatism and reality.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Everything Forsaken said.
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