MS certs or a CCNA..a dilemma

My background includes mostly I.T. contract work, mostly in NOCs doing monitoring, some troubleshooting, and configuring of Cisco 2500s, HP Openview, etc.

I was laid off, went into management (non I.T.), and then owned/own an ecommerce (home based) for the past 5 years, until recently getting a position in Operation Engineering, which entails me doing minor configuring some equipment on the wireless production network, but also some finding I.T. solutions for deploying things such as XP in a production environment using WAIK.

That all being said, I have no desire to work the rest of my life in I.T. Its not that I don't like it, I just don't love it. My passion is building my business back up, and working for myself. However, until I am able to properly fund my expansion by working in I.T., I can't safely leave again for self employment 100%.

So my question is...which path would offer me the most employment opportunities, with a moderate amount of experience, Microsoft (MCITP), or Cisco. While my background includes what I would consider light/moderate Cisco, I am in a Microsoft environment, with the eventual involvement in implementing WDS in a production environment. Some MS certs would certainly help my confidence, and prob expose me to greater levels of responsibility, although technically I'm not in I.T. in this role, there are I.T. similar roles. To what level, I don't know. My main concern, after looking for a perm job for well over a year, which path will attract the most attention on the market. I know experience trumps all, and good experience trumps so-so experience, but the first step is getting past the resume readers and to a face or phone interview. I'm not really worried about that part, as I'm a good interview (and no, I don't bs. If I don't know something, I'll say it, as I believe if your interviewer is the hiring manager, they'll know when you're full of it). We basically support a production VAR environment, and if they need something, printer down, wireless network settings lost, we do it. Anything to make things go faster, my accurately, and smoother.

I have no idea of how long it will take me to get to where I can leave for permanent self employment, but I'm hoping/planning its 2-3 years of full time work outside my business at best, but life happens. I'm also not going to go into it again half arsed. And really, if I could find a job I really like, and could maintain my home based business comfortably at the same time, I would. I just prefer doing my own thing. Especially since I'm over 40, and enjoy spending time with my kids, which my business afforded me. The time goes fast, and I don't want to miss that much time.

Its prob comparing apples to oranges, and I'm sure some will say that I need to figure out what I like, but I'm pretty flexible. I'm looking at this as an indirect investment in my business.

Any advice is appreciated, at least constructive advice.

Comments

  • it_consultantit_consultant Member Posts: 1,903
    Do both. I don't remember who said it, it was in another thread, it went something like this:

    "Networking is far more important to a sysadmin than servers are too a network engineer".

    If your in an MS environment then you certainly want to pursue that cert path. Doing Cisco too will greatly increase your effectiveness even if you rarely touch a Cisco device.
  • pml1pml1 Member Posts: 147
    If you're in an environment now where you're working with Microsoft products, I would say go with the Microsoft certifications first, especially if that will help your confidence in your current job and lead your to more responsibility there. Cisco certifications would definitely be valuable to you, but I think it makes more sense given your current situation to pick up an MS cert or two.
    Excellence is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities.
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,298 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Do both. I don't remember who said it, it was in another thread, it went something like this:

    "Networking is far more important to a sysadmin than servers are too a network engineer".

    If your in an MS environment then you certainly want to pursue that cert path. Doing Cisco too will greatly increase your effectiveness even if you rarely touch a Cisco device.

    I believe that was me! Although I cannot find the post... So it may not be so.

    But how correct you are to point that out to the OP. I'd say start with CCENT then do some MS certs then maybe finish the CCNA. The MCITP: Desktop Administrator 7 focuses a lot on WAIK. Just throwing some stuff out there.
  • snokerpokersnokerpoker Member Posts: 661 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Do MCSA, CCENT, and then finish off the CCNA.
  • howiehandleshowiehandles Member Posts: 148
    Do MCSA, CCENT, and then finish off the CCNA.

    Server Admin? Win 2003 stuff, or more like some desktop stuff. I was actually looking at 680+686 first, as I'm currently doing some stuff with WAIK.
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Member Posts: 973
    Ive just worked as a technician in companies.

    But I do have a lot of experience on interviews and job searching.
    My personal opinion is get BOTH.
    Obviously the better you are prepared the best, but thats not why.

    When you look for jobs in the server admin scene, they usually ask for both. CCNA and MCSE complement each other really, really good. Who knows if they work with each other better than any cert combination around.
    Usually the most demanded cert to work with networking is CCNA, and with servers MCSE.
    Usually they search for someone that can admin their windows server while if networking trouble rises or troubleshooting needed, they can work their way around routers, switching, cables etc etc.
    So you see they work very well together.
    This happens a lot in small/med size networks.
    By the time you get to big networks you wont be asking us about this certs at all.
    meh
  • jojopramosjojopramos Member Posts: 415
    Yes...I agree that MCSE along with CCNA cert complement each other...
  • snokerpokersnokerpoker Member Posts: 661 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Server Admin? Win 2003 stuff, or more like some desktop stuff. I was actually looking at 680+686 first, as I'm currently doing some stuff with WAIK.

    You do both with the MCSA or MCSE. You will need to do a client OS exam along with some server exams. The client OS exam should help you with doing desktop stuff and the server exams will prepare you to be a server admin.
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,298 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Server Admin? Win 2003 stuff, or more like some desktop stuff. I was actually looking at 680+686 first, as I'm currently doing some stuff with WAIK.

    Do the 680+686, which is what I suggested in my post. Those were very heavy on the WAIK. Desktop Admin is not really a helpdesk type of cert. It's deployement and desktop GPO design. It seems it would fit in well with what you are currently doing.
  • howiehandleshowiehandles Member Posts: 148
    Sounds like a consensus to me.

    What would you recommend, outside of my current work situation, would it be better to grab the two 7 certs, 680+686, or CCNA, for the greatest marketability. While I kinda like my job, but boss is a real pain in the arse. I want to keep my options as open as possible.
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,298 ■■■■■■■■■■
    100% CCNA in that case.
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