What's the fastest way to escape help desk?

camarrowoodcamarrowood Posts: 2Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi everyone,

I am looking for some advice on which certification that I should go after.

Here's my background. I graduated from college back in '09 with a B.S. in Computer Science (Gardner-Webb Univ.) and quickly realized how foolish I was not to have been more competitive with my grades. I had a 3.2 overall g.p.a. thanks to my attitude towards liberal studies classes. 3.72 in my major area class (which is what I put on my resumes lol) Anyways, I had to spend the next 8-9 months paying for my decision to make b's and c's in classes like history or biology when I should have made A's. Job hunting was tough for new grads in the summer of '09 no doubt. But if nothing else I learned that you don't take over the world in a day. You start at the bottom, and you're damn happy to be there. But you never take your eye off where you want to be.

So now here I am at the bottom. Approaching my 6 month mark working as tech support/help desk. The job pays horrible, but it has got to be killer on a resume. I write code in vb/vba, network p.c.s, and troubleshoot windows all day long. I mean customer service, tech support, AND programming. That's like 3 departments rolled into one guy. The job is SUPER busy too, and I love it! (minus the customer service. I hate customers.)

And now my dilemma: I am here in a help desk position that would look good on a resume along side a network cert when trying to get a job as suppose say a server admin in about 2 years. (I've had my eye on a government run data center near my house for some time now and I occasionally apply when they post job openings, but never do I hear back. Still a guy can hope.) However, I would really rather be gearing up for a job as a software developer. Software developing has got to be the hardest field to get your foot in the door, and in the end I don't even know if it will be worth it.

So I'm wondering now, should I stay the course and pursue being a network/server administrator? If so, what certification should I start with?
I have none right now, and I thought possible an A+ to warm up with and then buy home network lab and shoot for a CCNA cert right after.

OR Do I follow my what I THINK I love (I say think because I've never had a full time programming position) and start looking into getting some type of programing cert. Like a .net certification? I don't even really know how you get a .net certification. I'm sure there's a link to it on here somewhere though. I've only heard it's a valuable certification in some areas.


I am grateful for my lowly help desk job, but I don't want to be doing it for more than 2 years. Even less than that if I can escape. Answering tech support calls was surprisingly enough NOT in my curriculum at college. Strange since it's what I do now more than anything else lol. I just want to be prepared next time I find myself unemployed and hopefully avoid it all together, but still keep my career moving forward at all times.

Comments

  • ipconfig.allipconfig.all Posts: 428Banned
    Have a long and hard think about what you want to do further down the track if it is programming get some MS .net certifications or other vendore based programming certifications, if it is infrastructure stuff that you want to do start by getting your mcsa/e there is no need for you to do the basic comptia stuff I am pretty sure you know the fundementals by now
    Im a depressed loser :sad: none wants me.
  • asuraniaasurania Posts: 145Member
    1. I never had had anybody ask me about my GPA
    2. Definatly get your your A+, then your MCSE/MCITP:EA and your CCNA if you want to get into Network/Server side of things or the programming cert if you want to get in that
    3. Get your resume profesionally done via resume edge or something (best thing i done in my life)
    4. Get interview mentoring (i liked seattle interview cach - www.seattleinterviewcoach.com)
  • camarrowoodcamarrowood Posts: 2Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I appreciate your input. I'm starting to lean more towards going after a mcse now that you mentioned that. I like the idea of getting a .net cert, but with no actual full-time programming experience on a resume I don't think it'll help me as much as I would like.
  • phoeneousphoeneous Posts: 2,329Member
    What's the fastest way to escape help desk?


    The front door.



    Seriously though, just do what you are passionate about and what you want to do. You already have experience with programming through your cs degree but do you want to be a programmer? If you want to get into server/network admin stuff then definitely go for A+ and Net+. After that you should consider MCSE/MCITP or CCNA or both. A sysadmin with programming experience is a plus in my book.
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Posts: 4,212Member
    There have been many similar posts, so I will just quickly give you my $.02

    Build a resume. There are three parts to this.
    1. Experience: Your help desk experience will help you land a new job, stick with it and do good work. Network with others in your company, especially those working in a position that interest you.
    2. Education: Having a degree on your resume always helps, if not required.
    3. Certifications: The catch-22 about finding a job is that you need experience to get a job, but if you can't get a job then where does this experience come from? Well the answer is (given away by the title to number three) certifications. They don't quite hold the power of working experience but they do show that you have been working with the technologies. Working in a test enviornment is different than a production enviornment, but it can help.

    Once you have built up a resume featuring those three pieces, maybe a company will take a chance on you to do more than answer the phones. Get your resume out there, and use the connections that you have made.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Posts: 4,212Member
    asurania wrote: »
    1. I never had had anybody ask me about my GPA

    From what I have read on resume writing sites is don't list your gpa unless it is 3.5 or better. If you don't list it, I don't think anyone will ask.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • brad-brad- Posts: 1,218Member
    Im just curious why you think your 3.2 GPA 12 years ago hurts you today? I had a measley 3.1 overall when i graduated several years ago...and not one person has ever asked about my GPA. It never comes up. The only question on formal education has been if you have a degree or not.

    Maybe it is different in other regions of the country IDK.
  • asuraniaasurania Posts: 145Member
    Hey would it not be betterto do MCITP:EA over the MCSE
    Two less exam, and MCITP: EA would last a lot longer over then MCSE, and has the same weight since the MCITP:EA replaced the MCSE

    Wouldn't most employer just see if u have one or the other?
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Posts: 4,212Member
    asurania wrote: »
    Hey would it not be betterto do MCITP:EA over the MCSE
    Two less exam, and MCITP: EA would last a lot longer over then MCSE, and has the same weight since the MCITP:EA replaced the MCSE

    Wouldn't most employer just see if u have one or the other?

    MCSE never expires, the technology just becomes outdated.

    And no, they don't have the same weight. There are several discussions on this forums that point out that many HR, and even people in IT who don't know what MCITP is yet.

    There is a debate as to which one a person should work on, and if you want to join that debate, you should go find one of the threads.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • phoeneousphoeneous Posts: 2,329Member
    asurania wrote: »
    Hey would it not be betterto do MCITP:EA over the MCSE

    Not if you only work with Server 2003 which some if not most people still do.
  • thenjdukethenjduke Posts: 894Member
    Hi everyone,

    I am looking for some advice on which certification that I should go after.

    Here's my background. I graduated from college back in '09 with a B.S. in Computer Science (Gardner-Webb Univ.) and quickly realized how foolish I was not to have been more competitive with my grades. I had a 3.2 overall g.p.a. thanks to my attitude towards liberal studies classes. 3.72 in my major area class (which is what I put on my resumes lol) Anyways, I had to spend the next 8-9 months paying for my decision to make b's and c's in classes like history or biology when I should have made A's. Job hunting was tough for new grads in the summer of '09 no doubt. But if nothing else I learned that you don't take over the world in a day. You start at the bottom, and you're damn happy to be there. But you never take your eye off where you want to be.

    So now here I am at the bottom. Approaching my 6 month mark working as tech support/help desk. The job pays horrible, but it has got to be killer on a resume. I write code in vb/vba, network p.c.s, and troubleshoot windows all day long. I mean customer service, tech support, AND programming. That's like 3 departments rolled into one guy. The job is SUPER busy too, and I love it! (minus the customer service. I hate customers.)

    And now my dilemma: I am here in a help desk position that would look good on a resume along side a network cert when trying to get a job as suppose say a server admin in about 2 years. (I've had my eye on a government run data center near my house for some time now and I occasionally apply when they post job openings, but never do I hear back. Still a guy can hope.) However, I would really rather be gearing up for a job as a software developer. Software developing has got to be the hardest field to get your foot in the door, and in the end I don't even know if it will be worth it.

    So I'm wondering now, should I stay the course and pursue being a network/server administrator? If so, what certification should I start with?
    I have none right now, and I thought possible an A+ to warm up with and then buy home network lab and shoot for a CCNA cert right after.

    OR Do I follow my what I THINK I love (I say think because I've never had a full time programming position) and start looking into getting some type of programing cert. Like a .net certification? I don't even really know how you get a .net certification. I'm sure there's a link to it on here somewhere though. I've only heard it's a valuable certification in some areas.


    I am grateful for my lowly help desk job, but I don't want to be doing it for more than 2 years. Even less than that if I can escape. Answering tech support calls was surprisingly enough NOT in my curriculum at college. Strange since it's what I do now more than anything else lol. I just want to be prepared next time I find myself unemployed and hopefully avoid it all together, but still keep my career moving forward at all times.

    One thing I suggest is get MCITP and then CCNA. My biggest suggestion get use to liking customers because end users are your customers even as a network admin / engineer. Learning people skills is always priceless. I just went through a 5 session course at work about people skills and what is right and wrong in work especially with co-workers. My employer is huge on people skills. I have learned alot here about people and how to approach people.
    CCNA, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCDST, MCITP Enterprise Administrator, Working towards Networking BS. CCNP is Next.
  • Michael.J.PalmerMichael.J.Palmer Posts: 407Member
    Just to add what everyone else has said above, another reason why you may want to stay out of programming and go the networking route is mainly due in part to availability of jobs.

    The easiest jobs to outsource are programming jobs, with that being said, there's a limited supply of domestic programming jobs because of that. Programming can be done anywhere as the end product can be sent to another location after the programmers are done, so it doesn't have to be done domestically for the product to be used domestically.

    Now let's look at the reverse of that, positions from DST's all the way to Network Administrators normally require the person to be in a close to proximity of the location they're working. So that means you'll find more of these jobs domestically as a network admin will have to be local to work on the servers if they have any problems at some point or just do general work. A company can't afford the downtime to ship something out of country to get fixed by an outsourced position and then have it shipped back. An hour of downtime at some business could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars lost, so several days would put them out of business.

    Get my drift here? You may struggle to find a programming job if you don't have any prior experience. Go with the MCITP: Server Administrator and get the CCNA like someone else suggested, that'll be a good start into getting a decent network admin job at most major companies. After that, if you want to specialize in something like SharePoint or Exchange then you may be able to put yourself into a position to make more money then you could ever imagine making in programming.
    -Michael Palmer
    WGU Networks BS in IT - Design & Managment (2nd Term)
    Transfer: BAC1,BBC1,CLC1,LAE1,INC1,LAT1,AXV1,TTV1,LUT1,INT1,SSC1,SST1,TNV1,QLT1,ABV1,AHV1,AIV1,BHV1,BIV1
    Required Courses: EWB2, WFV1, BOV1, ORC1, LET1, GAC1, HHT1, TSV1, IWC1, IWT1, MGC1, TPV1, TWA1, CPW3.
    Key: Completed, WIP, Still to come
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Posts: 4,212Member
    Go with the MCITP: Server Administrator and get the CCNA like someone else suggested, that'll be a good start into getting a decent network admin job at most major companies.

    I agree with the route you are going with here, but I wouldn't start here. Start with A+ to build confidence and ensure general knowledge. You can also use it to possibly get a better job so that by the time you finish your MCITP or CCNA that you also have some more advanced IT work experience.

    Some will disagree with this, they will say that you already have the skills needed for an A+ so don't bother with it. Well if you already have the skills, this should only take a week or two of your time and a couple hundred bucks.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
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