Seeking Advice

PaullieTPaullieT Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
I recently started poking around this site looking for information about certifications and it seems that I have found a gold mine.

I went ahead and registered today to get an idea from you guys where I might start my certification path.

Here is little bit of info about my career:

Starting in 2000, I got a job as an entry level Help Desk staff in a Windows environment. After a few years, I was the Help Desk Supervisor, supervising a staff of 2-3 employees. I began to get my hands wet on our Microsoft Servers and was basically a Junior Systems Admin keeping track of the day-to-day production in a Call Center environment. I left this position in 2007 as the company was no longer a place I desired to work.

I ended up back tracking in my career and got a job working as an IT Consultant for a Small Business IT Support company. I performed some Server admin tasks, but it was more like a support role. I left that job and am at my current role as a Network Admin & Desktop Support role for a retail company in the Houston area.

My main roles are in system setup/deployment, daily server administration, printer management, hardware/software procurement and license compliance.

Along the way, I completed my BS in Information Technology through the University of Phoenix, as I had never finished my degree in the 1990s. I feel like I am at a dead end without any certifications and an online degree.

At our company we are just getting into virtualization with a big project of virtualizing desktops at many of our retail locations through VMWare.

I have had aspirations to start with the A+, N+ tests, but now feel like I missed the boat by not getting them prior to 2011. My interests and background are in Windows Server, Exchange, perhaps SQL. I have no formal networking background, so that might be a better outlet for my pursuits.

Either way, I feel like I am at a dead end, until I can improve and prove to myself that I have the knowledge and know-how to interview for some more exciting positions to increase my earning potential.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


  • docricedocrice Member Posts: 1,706 ■■■■■■■■■■
    You probably don't need to look at the A+, but the Network+ and Security+ might be decent baseline certs to start with, even though they have expiration dates attached to them now (which I don't think is a bad thing). A CCNA would give you additional grounding as well since it gets into subnetting and the basics of routing, switching, NATs, ACLs, etc.. Any Windows client / server environment is going to deal with those subjects to some degree.

    Sounds like you're leaning towards the Microsoft technologies, to which you can start looking into the MCITP-related certifications. That's what I would do if I were in your position. Microsoft adds more features into their products at each release and are getting pretty complex to manage. Your experience gives you good leverage.

    For now, if you're concerned about how you look on paper, get the low-hanging fruits like the CompTIA and maybe a few Microsoft ones. Be ready to invest in a lot of time to fill in your knowledge gaps. The fact that you have working experience helps a lot. That's better than a few certs and no experience.
    Hopefully-useful stuff I've written:
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