At a Cross Roads

Krusty_47Krusty_47 Member Posts: 74 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hello All,

I am looking for some advice when it comes to the order I should get my certs.

Currently I'm in a helpdesk position where I basically reset passwords for people all day. Nothing challenging at all. Even though I do cover support for 7 different companies. Most of them large internation corporations. I've been here for 7 months. This is my first real IT position. (I don't really count my residential cable tech support as IT). I'm pushing very close to 30 and I want to start fast tracking my career.

Right now just my dedication to doing a great job I am being put up for 2 seperate desktop positions for our clients. One I have already been working for on my regular days off. I have also been switching from 3rd shift (my regular shift) to 1st shift (shift I work for one of our clients) and back every week. I'm working 50+ hours a week on two shifts. Fun times but I feel it's what I need to do to get where I want to be. I should be in a desktop position in 2 more months. That's half the time they usually like moving people from the helpdesk.

After talking with my boss and the manager of our consulting side I'm left a little lost by what certifications I should get to fast track where I want to be.

So far I only have my A+ and plan on taking my Network + on the 2nd of Aug and my Security + on the 31st of August.

I want to end up as a network admin. I know cisco is probably the way to go on this plus I like working with cisco products. So Cisco certs are already on my list of certs to get. I'm just wondering if getting my MCSE and my MCITP would be worth getting and what would be the most natural progression to get my certs moving forward.

Also, what other certs would be of benefit to forwarding my career.

All of your insights will be much appreciated.
Goals for 2011.

Graduate from WGU by Dec 2011. I have almost 80 CU's starting in February. This is also my new years resolution for 2011.

On the list for January 2011
Project+ and CIW Foundations.


  • TheShadowTheShadow Member Posts: 1,057 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Hi there. Unless you play guitar and your name is Robert Johnson you need to get away from that cross road pretty quickly. Bad things have been known to happen there. First lets be sure what it is that we are talking about. Network Admin and Network engineer/technician are two different things Cisco is always a path but unless you are in a small organization it does not have much to do with administration. Let me give you a definition that you will probably find in most college and secondary school career centers.
    A network administrator oversees computer networks to ensure that they function smoothly. A network consists of a grouping of computers that communicate with each other or a central computer known as a server, on which computer files, programs, and other information are stored. A network may be as small as two or three computers or as large as the Internet, the world's largest computer network.

    Whereas a network technician or engineer designs and sets up the infrastructure for a computer network, a network administrator usually configures and manages an existing network. He or she may be responsible for customizing the network to an individual company's needs by connecting the necessary hardware and software to the network. Once the network is configured, the administrator adds computer programs, such as e-mail, database managers and productivity suites that the company's employees use on a daily basis.

    After mulling that over a little bit then you create your plan and then work the plan. Keep in mind that you want a mixture of what you are doing today (on paper) and what you want to do in the future. You need to work on how you will get experience into your plan. Many are surprised after they get a cert that no one is willing to turn them loose in their server room or on a rack of routers and switches with little experience.

    Every certification has an experience pre-requisite that many just ignore. Part of that has to do with HR types and head hunting agencies but that is how the game is played.

    Anyhow you seem to be following Microsoft's road map that recommends A+ net+ and security+. Look at the little thumb nail in this message and then go the following URL and download the full size one as a PDF. This is Microsoft's progression up thr road into IT. You can have some real fun analyzing the psychology behind the colors that they picked for each path but that is just me playing with one of my hobbies.

    Microsoft ICT Curriculum Roadmap: Pathways to Success

    Hope this helps and watch out for old scratch and his contracts :)
    Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of technology?... The Shadow DO
  • Krusty_47Krusty_47 Member Posts: 74 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well right now I'm at a service desk level. My end goal would be Network Engineer I want to design networks for companies. With that being said it's a long term goal and I have a ways before I get there. I guess my question is what would be the most natural progression to get there.

    I may be way off base here but I believe that you must have knowledge and experience in all facets of a network in order to properly design a properly running network. So with that being said I believe I should study and get experience in both Network and Server admin before moving to engineering those networks.

    So here is where I'm stuck at right now. I know I want to go with cisco but I believe having those Microsoft certs under my belt will be nice too. So after my network + and Security plus should I dive right into Cisco and get my CCNA and CCSA or should I pursue my MCSA and MCSE then go Cisco and come back and do my Upgrade tests to MCITP:EA and MCITP:SA?

    Right now I'm trying to get as much experience in the "field" as I can. Being in my position right now it's hard to do so. Hopefully I will be getting some more experience in the near future. I'm hoping they will let me build a virtual microsoft learning lab and a cisco lab very soon. We could really use one for our service desk team and we have the extra servers and cisco equipment to build a pretty nice lab.

    I'm sure that will be some really nice experience to start off with.
    Goals for 2011.

    Graduate from WGU by Dec 2011. I have almost 80 CU's starting in February. This is also my new years resolution for 2011.

    On the list for January 2011
    Project+ and CIW Foundations.
  • TheShadowTheShadow Member Posts: 1,057 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Well as I tried to explain to you before it depends on what size company that you see your self working for. If you wish to design networks then your initial goal MIGHT be to hire on with a Cisco partner and find your self a mentor. You are not just going to fall off of the turnip truck and one day start designing networks. There is much more to it than just garnering a few certs. One of the biggest requirements is being able to analyze a businesses IT needs and then convert that to an infrastructure. This is a skill that few possess until after years of experience.

    It is nice to have goals however goals require pathways. I would say that you are missing the pathways, which is why you can't make up your mind. Define where you see yourself in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years. There is a reason that a variation of this is a common job interview question.

    No one can set these goals for you, certainly not I. People can only point out to you the things to consider. This is what I tried to do, also by pointing out to you Microsoft's PDF. For Cisco I would look to include CCDA and CCDP besides CCNA if you wish to do design.

    I would imagine that everyone here took a different path to get where they are. I started as a hardware designer before certs or PC's even existed and then moved into large scale C/C++ software development before the small systems calling. My path therefore, would be of no use to you.

    Remember my friend Time exists so that everything does not happen at once. Pick part of your specific path and start down it now not later. You might find that your goals and desires change with each benchmark along the way.

    Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of technology?... The Shadow DO
  • it_consultantit_consultant Member Posts: 1,903
    It may be worth going to a technical school that offers the MS and Cisco certs as part of the degree program.

    The quick answer to your question is you should do both, sooner rather than later. I get more traction with my Cisco certs as far as getting jobs, but I apply Microsoft much more. In other words, Cisco to get the job, Microsoft to keep the job.
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