Where to next? A lost little I.T boy

Hi All,

Let me give you a quick run down. I have been working in I.T for the past 4 1/2 years for a mid sized company (120 users) in a desktop support engineer role. Being a small team i get the opportunity to do a lot of system admin work as well. It is however getting to that time where i need to start thinking what i want to do with my life in I.T (Im 2icon_cool.gif. As much as i love helping people, i dont want to be re-setting passwords and patching phones for the rest of my life. So i guess im a little at the cross-roads;

Earlier this year i sat my CCNA and smashed it out the park (926 first sitting) and as much as that was one of the most rewarding things ever, i just dont know if my heart is set on networking. I mean i had to study really hard to understand the content. I just dont think i have the passion in networking to pursue it any further. I got through it through sheer determination and a promise i made to myself to do it.

I do enjoy the sys admin work i do and i can usually grasp it all fairly easy (for example building wsus, wds servers.etc) But i guess my strongest asset is my communication skills. I get along with people really well and love that side of my job probably the most.

I have studied a few things and passed me CCNA, MCP (270, 290), A+. When i get going on the study i usually love it! About 3 months ago i started watching the exchange 2003 videos but it just didnt grab me.

I think now however im ready to get back into it and become focused again but i just dont know what i should be doing. I dont want to study something that i have no interest in, or wont utilise down the track. I mean understanding the concepts of networking has helped me to a degree (I dont sit in some meetings these days lost like i use to) but for all the work i put in to learn so much, about 80% has already been forgotten simply because i dont use it.

I know this is very vague but i was just hoping someone else in these forums might have had a similar period in there careers where they didnt know where they wanted to head? I do like working in IT and want to stay but im not sure the technical stuff is really for me.

If I had to answer the question "Where do you see yourself in 5 years time", the answer would be "working in IT in a team leader or management position". Im currently toying with the idea of sitting the ITIL exam. After doing the CCNA i would imagine i could do that blindfolded :)

Anyways thats my little spiel, would just to love hear peoples thoughts and personal experiences. Things that helped them? Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

Comments

  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Hello.

    First of all you should at least finish the MSCA. You are very close and it would be kind of stupid not to. Now the question is do you feel like you should complete the MCSE or move up to 2008 certs. I'll let someone who is more MS oriented answer this in detail (or you can do some searches in the forum) but in short the general advise is MCSE then MCITP.

    I would give you the advise of looking for more work in your company but for a company that size, your promotion is probably going to come in the form of a new job. Look around your area and see what type of sysadmin positions are available. ITIL will probably help as it seems to be a pretty popular requirement when dealing with larger companies. IMO if you have been working on desktops for 4 years, you may also want to highlight your sever experience on your resume. You may need to look at JR Sys Admin positions to get the title of "Sys Admin" (or engineer) on your resume.

    You may also want to consider getting a linux cert and a security cert such as security+ simply to round out your skills as an admin.

    Edit: Oh it looks like you got CNA so forget the linux cert lol.
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Member Posts: 2,687 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I would definitely finish the MCSA, you need the 291. You could also do the Net+ to finish out the elective or security+. Both look like they would be easy for you.You could then do the MCSE or upgrade to the MCIPT paths.

    Having some cisco and MS would give you solid credentials.
  • Mike-MikeMike-Mike Member Posts: 1,860
    is your "HDA" cert a HDI certification? my SCA is support center analyst, and I think it used to be called Help Desk Analyst
    Currently Working On

    CWTS, then WireShark
  • albangaalbanga Member Posts: 164
    Wow! Thanks for all the speedy replies! Awesome stuff! Really appreciate it.

    I think the MCSA really does seem like th logical thing to do. Deep down i sort of new this might be the case, which is why i started studying the exchange portion of it. I think i might just have to get the motivation to get this done :)

    haha oh yeah that CNA is a gold mine........Did that course about 6 years ago and could not even tell you a single thing about Novell these days. I'll be honest though, im not losing any sleep over it.

    Also i think ur right about the new job. Once i completed my CCNA i was going to move on but i ended up staying because the work started to get interesting again. Me and my boss are currently working very close on implementing a VOIP solution so the next 4 months is going to be pretty exciting. Im looking forward to getting my hands dirty with that.

    Again thanks for the feedback Psoasman. I think ur both right and the MCSA is what i should be doing. I might also look into the other + courses. I sat a practice exam on the Net+ after i finished my CCNA and got about 90% so im pretty confident i could knock that over in a month or so. Just need to learn a lot more about cable types.

    And yes Mike-Mike that is correct. It is a Help Desk Analyst. Not sure if it counts for much these days?
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Member Posts: 2,687 ■■■■■■■■■□
    albanga wrote: »
    I sat a practice exam on the Net+ after i finished my CCNA and got about 90% so im pretty confident i could knock that over in a month or so. Just need to learn a lot more about cable types.

    Since you did so well on the CCNA, the Net+ should be easy for you. Good luck!
  • Mike-MikeMike-Mike Member Posts: 1,860
    albanga wrote: »

    And yes Mike-Mike that is correct. It is a Help Desk Analyst. Not sure if it counts for much these days?


    I had a class on it at my local university, and I was theonly one in the class to take the actual certification... I am not sure if it will help at all, but I figure it certainly won't hurt
    Currently Working On

    CWTS, then WireShark
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,621 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Why bother with the Net+ if you have a CCNA?
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,298 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Paul Boz wrote: »
    Why bother with the Net+ if you have a CCNA?
    I was about to ask this myself. This is like finishing your MCSE and then going to take the MCDST. A waste of $200.

    If you send me the $200, I can have my wife diagnose you as "certifiable." This would include a free, 72 hour vacation at the local psych ward of your choice. And god knows people in IT occassionally need that!

    That might be money better spent. icon_wink.gif
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Member Posts: 2,687 ■■■■■■■■■□
    He can use the Net+ as his other elective for the MCSA.
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,298 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Psoasman wrote: »
    He can use the Net+ as his other elective for the MCSA.

    Already holding the CCNA, it would cheaper and more flexible to get the Windows 7 MCTS for the elective so that if he desired to upgrade to the Server 2008 certifications he could use that as the client exam.

    Of course going for an enterprise level application cert would be even better, in my opinion.

    Granted with the CCNA passing the Net+ would be easy, MS exams are a bit cheaper. I just can't see getting the net+ after already achieving the CCNA just to use it with the A+ as an elective for the MCSA.
  • ssampierssampier Member Posts: 224
    Security+ would be a better elective. It's good for life (if taken before December 31st) and even if the OP has no interest in security it's a pretty easy elective and valid for both MCSA and MCSE.

    It is more expensive than the Windows 7 cert, however.
    Future Plans:

    JNCIA Firewall
    CCNA:Security
    CCNP

    More security exams and then the world.
  • kiki1579kiki1579 Member Posts: 47 ■■□□□□□□□□
    From my experience it's best you just keep learning, and don't stay in one place for too long, whether it be your job, or whatever. The more you stay up to date and consistant in your certs, the better off you will be. Getting CompTIA certs will help for starters, like A+ or Sec+ but those are a building block certs. They will help with your MCSA, but getting anything else is probably a waste of time/$. You probably want to start by finishing up on your certs and completing the MS 2008 Server track and the MCITP: EA or SA

    For now, if I were you think about if your happy in your job, and you can move to a new position in your company where you can get your hands into new stuff OR just find a new position somewhere else.
  • albangaalbanga Member Posts: 164
    I was about to ask this myself. This is like finishing your MCSE and then going to take the MCDST. A waste of $200.

    If you send me the $200, I can have my wife diagnose you as "certifiable." This would include a free, 72 hour vacation at the local psych ward of your choice. And god knows people in IT occassionally need that!

    That might be money better spent. icon_wink.gif

    haha vaild point! Hence the whole "lost little I.T boy" in the subject line. To be totally honest i didnt know you could even use Comptia+ certs as an MCSA elective!!

    In your other post as well you mentioned enterprise level cert would be the way to go and I think you may be right. I use exchange 2003 everyday at work and I have studied it already so it seems the smart thing to do would be to actually get some motivation and try and finish that off and then take on the 291.

    Again thanks everyone for the posts! I think its safe to say you have helped make my mind up about where i should be heading.

    I think the game plan may be stay here for another 6-8 months and finish off my MCSA as they allow me to study for an hour a day. During which time i will be heavily involved in a VOIP implementation which wont hurt when i start looking for that next job.

    Cheers all! :D
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