Advice needed with which certifications to go with (First Timer)

Arvin GillArvin Gill Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi guys,

I am 22 years old and have completed my Diploma in IT (majoring in Computer Networks) in September 2010. Before i miss out, i am from Malaysia, and after graduating , i have been working in HP as a contingent worker providing level 1 support for Windows based servers (WINTEL).

I will be doing my degree (Bachelor of ICT specializing in Enterprise Networking) early May 2011, in an open university (Asia E University). I believe i would be able to do it online, and attend some classes on certain days. Since it is going to take at least 5 years to complete the course, i am planning to proceed with my IT certifications to boost my career.

I am most interested in the network aspect of things being networks and servers.

As of this moment, i am planning to proceed with CCNA , MCSA, MCSE certs. I am quoted RM12500 (roughly around 4090 USD) by a local IIHT institution, which includes 3 classes per week. The estimated time of completion would be in 5 - 6 months.

Is this a fair deal? Are such certifications necessary in helping me to boost my career? Should i be looking at something else?

All replies would be much appreciated :)

Comments

  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Arvin Gill wrote: »
    Hi guys,

    I am 22 years old and have completed my Diploma in IT (majoring in Computer Networks) in September 2010. Before i miss out, i am from Malaysia, and after graduating , i have been working in HP as a contingent worker providing level 1 support for Windows based servers (WINTEL).

    I will be doing my degree (Bachelor of ICT specializing in Enterprise Networking) early May 2011, in an open university (Asia E University). I believe i would be able to do it online, and attend some classes on certain days. Since it is going to take at least 5 years to complete the course, i am planning to proceed with my IT certifications to boost my career.

    I am most interested in the network aspect of things being networks and servers.

    As of this moment, i am planning to proceed with CCNA , MCSA, MCSE certs. I am quoted RM12500 (roughly around 4090 USD) by a local IIHT institution, which includes 3 classes per week. The estimated time of completion would be in 5 - 6 months.

    Is this a fair deal? Are such certifications necessary in helping me to boost my career? Should i be looking at something else?

    All replies would be much appreciated :)

    Do what you like is my best advice. Also, if you are going to do both Cisco and Microsoft than skip over the older 2003 and go with the new 2008 track.
  • Arvin GillArvin Gill Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Do what you like is my best advice. Also, if you are going to do both Cisco and Microsoft than skip over the older 2003 and go with the new 2008 track.

    Thanks veritas. At the moment, at work, we're still dealing with windows server 2003, and majority of the servers , except for clusters, are on 2003. Is it still advisable to skip 2003 and proceed with 2008?

    By the way, i noticed your signature ,
    Certification Path for 2011: CCENT --> CCNA --> CCNA:Security --> (SSCP, CCDA, MCITP:SA?)

    I am currently being offered CCNA by the institution. What about CCENT? Should i take it up first or is it not necessary?
  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    In addition to what veritas said, unless your employer is sending you to that course, I'd stay away from it. You'll spend the money better by buying yourself a decent computer, books and practice exams. Additionally, I can assure you that you will learn more by studying for these exams yourself.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Arvin Gill wrote: »
    Thanks veritas. At the moment, at work, we're still dealing with windows server 2003, and majority of the servers , except for clusters, are on 2003. Is it still advisable to skip 2003 and proceed with 2008?

    By the way, i noticed your signature ,



    I am currently being offered CCNA by the institution. What about CCENT? Should i take it up first or is it not necessary ?

    Unless you have past experience with Cisco I have always been advised to do the two part track.
  • Arvin GillArvin Gill Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Essendon wrote: »
    In addition to what veritas said, unless your employer is sending you to that course, I'd stay away from it. You'll spend the money better by buying yourself a decent computer, books and practice exams. Additionally, I can assure you that you will learn more by studying for these exams yourself.

    Essedon, after some thinking, i believe i'd agree with you that by self studying i'd actually gain more. However i am stumped as to where to begin. Say if i am planning to proceed with MCSE 2008 , where do i start? Is there any books that are available worldwide for me to purchase? (I prefer to read physical books rather than e-books). What else would i need besides a computer and the OS?
    Unless you have past experience with Cisco I have always been advised to do the two part track.

    I have no prior experience with cisco, so i should take up CCNE since i am now leaning towards self studying rather than going for the course.
  • jtoastjtoast Member Posts: 226
    I'm studying for the CCNA myself at the moment. The official Cisco study materials breaks it down into two books which you can buy as a set, one for the CCENT and the second for the CCNA.

    I'm reading through the first book now. Once I finish it I will skim the second book and decide whether to take the first test or dive into the second book and get it done in one test.
  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Arvin Gill wrote: »
    Essedon, after some thinking, i believe i'd agree with you that by self studying i'd actually gain more. However i am stumped as to where to begin. Say if i am planning to proceed with MCSE 2008 , where do i start? Is there any books that are available worldwide for me to purchase? (I prefer to read physical books rather than e-books). What else would i need besides a computer and the OS?

    Just so you know mate, the track for server 2008 is now called MCITP: Enterprise Admininstrator and MCITP: Server Administrator. The EA exam is 5 exams and the SA is 3. Check this link for more info: MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) | Training Courses for IT Professionals

    There are quite a few books available for these tracks. You can have the Microsoft Press books from Amazon. Check this link: Amazon.com: MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exams 70-640, 70-642, 70-643, 70-647): Windows Server® 2008 Enterprise Administrator Core Requirements (9780735625723): Dan Holme, Nelson Ruest, Danielle Ruest, Tony Northrup, J.C. Mackin, Anil Desai, Orin T

    You may find that you'll save some money by buying from ebay or somewhere else where they sell second hand books.

    Word of caution though, the new exams in the MCITP: EA/SA track now contain 2008 R2 material. No need to panic or anything, just ensure the books you buy are updated with 2008 R2 content. (When some of these books were printed, Microsoft used to test on the 2008 OS, but now they have the updated the tests to have 2008 R2)

    Besides the computer and the OS (the OS, 2008 R2, is available for free download from Microsoft at this link : Download Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 ), you will need a virtualisation software. This software eliminates the need to have multiple physical computers. So in the one decent computer, you can run multiple servers just like you would on physical machines. I recommend that you use VMware for virtualisation, simply because of its widespread use in the industry, but you can also use VirtualPC or Virtualbox. There are heaps of tutorials available on the internet to get you started with these virtualisation programs.

    And yes, you should go with the CCENT since you dont have any experience with Cisco.

    Another word of advice, get your feet wet with one Microsoft cert and one Cisco cert, see what you like more and pursue that certification. Microsoft is systems and Cisco is all about networking. It just depends on what you want to do in your career.

    Hope this helps and feel free to post, there are plenty of people on here willing to help!
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • Arvin GillArvin Gill Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Essendon wrote: »
    Just so you know mate, the track for server 2008 is now called MCITP: Enterprise Admininstrator and MCITP: Server Administrator. The EA exam is 5 exams and the SA is 3. Check this link for more info: MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) | Training Courses for IT Professionals

    There are quite a few books available for these tracks. You can have the Microsoft Press books from Amazon. Check this link: Amazon.com: MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exams 70-640, 70-642, 70-643, 70-647): Windows Server® 2008 Enterprise Administrator Core Requirements (9780735625723): Dan Holme, Nelson Ruest, Danielle Ruest, Tony Northrup, J.C. Mackin, Anil Desai, Orin T

    You may find that you'll save some money by buying from ebay or somewhere else where they sell second hand books.

    Word of caution though, the new exams in the MCITP: EA/SA track now contain 2008 R2 material. No need to panic or anything, just ensure the books you buy are updated with 2008 R2 content. (When some of these books were printed, Microsoft used to test on the 2008 OS, but now they have the updated the tests to have 2008 R2)

    Besides the computer and the OS (the OS, 2008 R2, is available for free download from Microsoft at this link : Download Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 ), you will need a virtualisation software. This software eliminates the need to have multiple physical computers. So in the one decent computer, you can run multiple servers just like you would on physical machines. I recommend that you use VMware for virtualisation, simply because of its widespread use in the industry, but you can also use VirtualPC or Virtualbox. There are heaps of tutorials available on the internet to get you started with these virtualisation programs.

    And yes, you should go with the CCENT since you dont have any experience with Cisco.

    Another word of advice, get your feet wet with one Microsoft cert and one Cisco cert, see what you like more and pursue that certification. Microsoft is systems and Cisco is all about networking. It just depends on what you want to do in your career.

    Hope this helps and feel free to post, there are plenty of people on here willing to help!

    Essendon, thank you so much for your reply once again! I appreciate the details you have included.

    What is the difference between MCITP: Enterprise Admininstrator and MCITP: Server Administrator (I've checked the site and like you said, the EA has about 5 exams to e completed). Is it necessary for me to take both if say i am interested to go down the system route for certification rather than the networking route?

    Also, after doing some research, like everyone has suggested, its better to self study and so, i am planning to purchase a computer for this task. As of this moment, i have a Pentium D desktop-PC and an atom netbook at my disposal. Both are of the x86 architecture, so running a 64bit version of 2008 server is going to be impossible.

    I am now looking into purchasing a 64bit capable computer to install windows server 2008 on it, and start with the self study. I am thinking of getting a AMD based computer.

    For cisco, i've learnt that there is a free simulator from Cisco named " packet tracer" that would help with the self study. Is this recomended?
    Another word of advice, get your feet wet with one Microsoft cert and one Cisco cert, see what you like more and pursue that certification. Microsoft is systems and Cisco is all about networking. It just depends on what you want to do in your career.

    Hope this helps and feel free to post, there are plenty of people on here willing to help!

    Prior to this, i was confused on which direction i should go in obtaining my certificates. With what you've said, now i know better. Thank you.

    To everyone else, thank you all for your posts. Certainly it has steered me into the right path. :)
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