Life advice...where I am at now...

ITVinceITVince Member Posts: 143
Hello all,

I found this forum, I think i'll fit in well here. It's very motivational to see users here with very high certifications...I hope I'll one day be in the same boat...let me tell you a little about me and my current issues.

I am 22, live in Florida, currently finishing up my B.S IT degree with a concentration in Computer Security Administration and minor in Business (Long huh??) I'll have this completed by July 30th (NEXT MONTH!) Needless to say this has been my main focus over the past 4 years...I will be graduating with Latin Honors, Cum Laude.

Inbetween I've managed to recently obtain my A+ certification, I found this rather simple, however I did learn some great troubleshooting information and general information I was not aware of...and it does show great initative...

Currently I am working on my Net+ certification, very beginning stages, need to dedicate more time to this...

I have been working as a Helpdesk Support Tech for 2.5 years while in school and I have actually been offered a full time position at about $18.00 an hour.

My question is....now what? There is no doubt this is a great opportunity is such an economy, however I do not want to be a Helpdesk Support Tech forever...The opportunity for growth here is limited as all higher jobs Networking..Security are our located out west and I am not looking to relocate. All jobs i've seen require a lot of expereince, there's little to no entry level positions and I do not have the priviledge or really digging deep into our servers and server room here, mainly client side work. I feel like i'm only qualified to do the work I am doing now... Help desk...and dont have the expereince to leap into a higher junior networking position, etc.

I've been trying to zoom in on a specific area in the IT field. Networking/Network Security is this still too broad? I'm trying to find things to help me gain expereince, to study, to keep me busy and put me ahead...but i'm lost in all the information out there on topics...


What certifications should I persue?

I was thinking A+, Net+(Need to finish this), then Sec+, then my CISSP to be honest or is this to big of a leap? I work with a fellow CISSP who would be able to sign off for me....

Any help...career advice is appreciated :)
Currently studying for:
MCTS 70-642 Network Infrastructure

Comments

  • ITVinceITVince Member Posts: 143
    Someone has to have some insight here....
    Currently studying for:
    MCTS 70-642 Network Infrastructure
  • Warsh1pWarsh1p Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    If I was you, I would take the $18/hour job and pursue certifications on the side.

    If you feel you don't have enough experience with servers.
    Purchase them and set up a home lab.

    So...
    Take job -> Set up home lab -> Network+ -> Security+ -> Skys the limit icon_lol.gif
    #Current Studies#
    || B.S. in Management Information Systems
    || MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit: Configuring Microsoft Windows 7
    || Element K Windows 7 Configuration Courses
    || Transcender: MCTS Windows 7 Practice Exam

    #Certification Path#
    || August 2010: MCTS Win 7 Config (70-680)
    || November 2010: CompTIA Network+ (N10-004)
    || February 2011: CompTIA Project+ (PK0-003)
  • NetAdmin2436NetAdmin2436 Member Posts: 1,076
    You can always take the full time tech support job and keep looking for something better. If you are bored or have downtime at the full time job, study icon_study.gif. That's actually how many of us are able to get the higher certs. 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there, throughout the day it adds up.

    Keeping studying your Network+ and Security+. Them certs let employers know you have a solid fundamental understanding and will help with the higher certs.

    +1 for a home lab....or virtual PC on your work computer icon_wink.gif

    Good luck!
    WIP: CCENT/CCNA (.....probably)
  • phantasmphantasm Member Posts: 995
    Take the $18/hr job and get your certs on the side. This will set you up for a better position in the future. The B.S. degree and a few certs + experience is good. But you will need certs.

    Dabble a little here and there and decide if you want to go the systems route or networking. No reason you can't do both but generally find the one you like and keep at it.
    "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -Heraclitus
  • 2E1512E151 Member Posts: 81 ■■□□□□□□□□
    As one of the previous posters mentioned, take the full-time position with this firm and then pursue certifications on the side.

    A smart way to do this would be to find a local community technical institute and take night classes with them for the certifications you want. Since Tech Schools are more hands-on based than 4-year institutes, I believe you can count the time you spent studying as experience.

    IE: My local technical college has a year long CCNA course. 4 classes, one a quarter. That means for an entire year your working on routers & switches 2 nights a week, 4 hours a week. So once you finish up you not only have a CCNA, but a year of practical experience to put on your resume

    Additionally most of these local technical institutes tend to have very low tuition rates for instate residents. I’m currently paying 355.00 for a six credit class each quarter. Not to mention many of these schools have programs established with Microsoft, Comptia and Cisco to provide discounted vouchers. (I get my Microsoft & Comptia half off)
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    2E151 wrote: »
    As one of the previous posters mentioned, take the full-time position with this firm and then pursue certifications on the side.

    A smart way to do this would be to find a local community technical institute and take night classes with them for the certifications you want.
    Additionally most of these local technical institutes tend to have very low tuition rates for instate residents. I’m currently paying 355.00 for a six credit class each quarter. Not to mention many of these schools have programs established with Microsoft, Comptia and Cisco to provide discounted vouchers. (I get my Microsoft & Comptia half off)
    Strongly agree with this, if you can afford it. Where I live it's not that expensive if you go through the local community college.
    Since Tech Schools are more hands-on based than 4-year institutes, I believe you can count the time you spent studying as experience.

    IE: My local technical college has a year long CCNA course. 4 classes, one a quarter. That means for an entire year your working on routers & switches 2 nights a week, 4 hours a week. So once you finish up you not only have a CCNA, but a year of practical experience to put on your resume
    Strongly disagree with this. It's just blatantly dishonest to put down a year of work experience with network gear when an employer is expecting a year of production experience, not classroom lab time.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    ITVince wrote: »
    Hello all,

    I found this forum, I think i'll fit in well here. It's very motivational to see users here with very high certifications...I hope I'll one day be in the same boat...let me tell you a little about me and my current issues.

    I am 22, live in Florida, currently finishing up my B.S IT degree with a concentration in Computer Security Administration and minor in Business (Long huh??) I'll have this completed by July 30th (NEXT MONTH!) Needless to say this has been my main focus over the past 4 years...I will be graduating with Latin Honors, Cum Laude.

    Inbetween I've managed to recently obtain my A+ certification, I found this rather simple, however I did learn some great troubleshooting information and general information I was not aware of...and it does show great initative...

    Currently I am working on my Net+ certification, very beginning stages, need to dedicate more time to this...

    I have been working as a Helpdesk Support Tech for 2.5 years while in school and I have actually been offered a full time position at about $18.00 an hour.

    My question is....now what? There is no doubt this is a great opportunity is such an economy, however I do not want to be a Helpdesk Support Tech forever...The opportunity for growth here is limited as all higher jobs Networking..Security are our located out west and I am not looking to relocate. All jobs i've seen require a lot of expereince, there's little to no entry level positions and I do not have the priviledge or really digging deep into our servers and server room here, mainly client side work. I feel like i'm only qualified to do the work I am doing now... Help desk...and dont have the expereince to leap into a higher junior networking position, etc.

    I've been trying to zoom in on a specific area in the IT field. Networking/Network Security is this still too broad? I'm trying to find things to help me gain expereince, to study, to keep me busy and put me ahead...but i'm lost in all the information out there on topics...


    What certifications should I persue?

    I was thinking A+, Net+(Need to finish this), then Sec+, then my CISSP to be honest or is this to big of a leap? I work with a fellow CISSP who would be able to sign off for me....

    Any help...career advice is appreciated :)

    First off, let me say that you are much better positioned than most of your fellow recent graduates. You have a leg up on the rest with your 2 1/2 years of real work experience to on which to hang your hat. All the while graduating with honors. Good for you.

    I agree with the others - go ahead and take the job. I think you already know that your future isn't with this company; don't fret, that the way it goes in IT or really anything else these days. Your next move will either be a bump in pay and/or position, or a lateral move that opens up into your next bump up. In the mean while, keep working on those certs in your free time. Do it now while you are young, motivated, and have the free time.

    And don't be shy about your ambitions to your current employer. They just might throw you a bone or two and give you a little more responsibility; after all, they have held on to you this long and are offering you a position so they obviously like you work ethic.

    Best of luck to you.

    -b
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • 2E1512E151 Member Posts: 81 ■■□□□□□□□□
    blargoe wrote: »
    Strongly agree with this, if you can afford it. Where I live it's not that expensive if you go through the local community college.


    Strongly disagree with this. It's just blatantly dishonest to put down a year of work experience with network gear when an employer is expecting a year of production experience, not classroom lab time.

    Notice I never said work experience. Claiming such training as work experience would indeed be blatantly dishonest. However I said practical experience, because after taking such a course you will have vital hands-on experience on said equipment. Much more so than someone who studies the CCNA guide and plays around with the Boson simulator for 3 months.


    Dishonestly on one's resume is a recipe for disaster, but with that in mind you should'nt short change yourself either.
  • ipconfig.allipconfig.all Banned Posts: 428
    You are doing quiet well for a 22 year old. Take that 18 dollars per hour job and do not do any more entry level certifications like N+. If you want to move out of helpdesk and do networking or system admin/engineering work do mid to high end certifications like CCNA/MCSA/MCSE on the side while you are working.
  • thenjdukethenjduke Member Posts: 894 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I am just repeating what everyone else has said. Take that job and get your certs on the side. They have become a big part of the hiring process and IT Managers tend to know if you are big on getting them that you have a foundation. I have been a MCSE since NT 4 days and just do upgrades path and one thing I have always been asked are you certified in this and that. Microsoft and Cisco are two huge certifications and I am starting to notice a huge trend in CompTia. It is finally nice to see that paper certs disappearing I hope :)
    CCNA, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCDST, MCITP Enterprise Administrator, Working towards Networking BS. CCNP is Next.
  • ITVinceITVince Member Posts: 143
    Thank you very much everyone for the advice I appreciate all of your time. I will be sure to accept the position and I will keep everyone up to date with what progresses next for me. Going to community colleges to get some hands on experience is a fantastic idea. I've had some friends that have actually done this, for a fairly low cost. Looks like I get vision, dental , health and 401k benefits here as well.
    Currently studying for:
    MCTS 70-642 Network Infrastructure
  • fly2dwfly2dw Member Posts: 122 ■■■□□□□□□□
    ITVince wrote: »
    Thank you very much everyone for the advice I appreciate all of your time. I will be sure to accept the position and I will keep everyone up to date with what progresses next for me. Going to community colleges to get some hands on experience is a fantastic idea. I've had some friends that have actually done this, for a fairly low cost. Looks like I get vision, dental , health and 401k benefits here as well.

    Good choice, and as everyone has suggested here, make sure you keep on top of the certs, whilst stacking up the experience. Don't worry, when I started I was like you, always looking for the next step. Some times you need to step back and look at where you currently are and what you have achieved in a relatively short amount of time. You will see you are in a pretty good position. It will now be a game of patience and self discipline, and in another 2-3 years you will see all the hard work pay off, if you keep to it. Trust me icon_thumright.gif
  • 2E1512E151 Member Posts: 81 ■■□□□□□□□□
    ITVince wrote: »
    Looks like I get vision, dental , health and 401k benefits here as well.

    Congradulations on that one! Benefits are often as big a part of a job offer as the financial compensation, if not bigger in some instances.
  • ITVinceITVince Member Posts: 143
    It's amazing to come back to this thread 4 years later, time flies unbelievably fast....26 now, I'm now a Systems Engineer Making double what I was just 4 years ago! Specializing in VMware now, and working for a Cloud Hosting company.....My advice for those starting out in the Helpdesk jobs like I did is theres hope in getting out! Just need to find someone willing to give you a chance to take that next step!
    Currently studying for:
    MCTS 70-642 Network Infrastructure
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thats great man! Good job. And thanks for returning to the same thread to share, thats impressive. Well done and keep going. Update your certs on your Profile for us :P
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • VAHokie56VAHokie56 Member Posts: 783
    ITVince wrote: »
    It's amazing to come back to this thread 4 years later, time flies unbelievably fast....26 now, I'm now a Systems Engineer Making double what I was just 4 years ago! Specializing in VMware now, and working for a Cloud Hosting company.....My advice for those starting out in the Helpdesk jobs like I did is theres hope in getting out! Just need to find someone willing to give you a chance to take that next step!

    Good for you man! love success story's!
    .ιlι..ιlι.
    CISCO
    "A flute without holes, is not a flute. A donut without a hole, is a Danish" - Ty Webb
    Reading:NX-OS and Cisco Nexus Switching: Next-Generation Data Center Architectures
  • CJWelch89CJWelch89 Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    ITVince wrote: »
    Thank you very much everyone for the advice I appreciate all of your time. I will be sure to accept the position and I will keep everyone up to date with what progresses next for me. Going to community colleges to get some hands on experience is a fantastic idea. I've had some friends that have actually done this, for a fairly low cost. Looks like I get vision, dental , health and 401k benefits here as well.

    Congratulations on your success! Very inspiring, I'm hoping to follow in your footsteps!
  • cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
  • lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    As I was scrolling down I was wondering who necro'd and why...always great to see a follow up from an OP (years later!) with great news. Congrats @ITVince! icon_cheers.gif
  • pitviperpitviper CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT Member Posts: 1,376 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Good for you and thanks for the update! I figured it was going to be good news…not too many people resurrect a thread after 4 years to say “hey guys I took your advice and am now working at McDonalds” :)

    CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT
  • ThexzenoThexzeno Member Posts: 44 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Same age as the OP when he made the post, so much inspiration on this website

    OP i have a question though did you just go from the help desk to the systems admin or was there other steps in between?
  • ThexzenoThexzeno Member Posts: 44 ■■■□□□□□□□
    fly2dw wrote: »
    Good choice, and as everyone has suggested here, make sure you keep on top of the certs, whilst stacking up the experience. Don't worry, when I started I was like you, always looking for the next step. Some times you need to step back and look at where you currently are and what you have achieved in a relatively short amount of time. You will see you are in a pretty good position. It will now be a game of patience and self discipline, and in another 2-3 years you will see all the hard work pay off, if you keep to it. Trust me icon_thumright.gif

    Wizard!!!! lol
  • ITVinceITVince Member Posts: 143
    Hi all, thanks so much for the responses, I could not have done it without everyones advice. Basically when I wrote this post, I was at my original job for 2.5 years, I got out of there about getting into year 4, and landed a job as a System Administrator for a Cloud Hosting company, similar to office 365 / Rackspace on a smaller scale.

    It was a huge, scary leap, but I found the right person who saw the fire in me and was willing to give me a chance to take that next step into my career. I've been working happily there now for about 2.5 years. I started off at the company for the first 6 months doing Tier 1 Support, and quickly moved myself up the ranks to a Systems Engineer. My previous corporate job did not want to give me the opportunity to advance, there was no room to grow so I had to get out of there! I joined an organization that was growing fast and had room for me to advance.

    Now I am solely project implementation, and infrastructure management. I'm responsible for a couple hundred physical/virtual systems ranging from SharePoint, Exchange, VMware, Xenserver, Lync, Webhosting, etc. I've had the opportunity to work with so many great technologies. Ive had the opportunity to design and implement all of the above technologies.

    Certifications are fantastic and a great start, I've focused on Networking (CCNA) and VMware solely as that's my focus (VCP5-DCV and VCP5-Cloud). Virtualization!!, especially VMware is going places!

    But there's nothing better then REAL WORLD PRODUCTION experience!!!
    Currently studying for:
    MCTS 70-642 Network Infrastructure
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Wow! - it's always great to read such stories. Thanks for sharing. It's sure it's helpful to many people to read that it can be done. Well done indeed!
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAMember Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Congrats ITVince and VMware woot woot!! icon_thumright.gif
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
    *Bachelor's of Science: Information Technology - Security, Master's of Science: Information Technology - Management
    Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."

    Certs/Business Licenses In Progress: AWS Solutions Architect, Series 6, Series 63
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