Updating your skills

mikeszmikesz Member Posts: 115
Hi All,
I wonder how many certifications/new skills do aim for every year?

Since I started in IT (3 years ago), I have managed to do 3-5 exams/certs per annum. It seems that with all the experience I gained over this time, new certs/skills are coming much easier then in the past. I am thinking to slow down a bit - I'm quite tired of studying and working onlyicon_sad.gif

Still I feel that with all the changes in IT, doing 3 certs a year might now be enough to keep myself upto date and on the top.

What are your thoughts? What are your annual certs commitments?

Mikesz
icon_smile.gif
Long term plan:
2011: CCNA (70%), CCNA: Security, MCITP:Messaging
2012: VCP, CEH, Linux+, start RHCA/E
2013: finish RHCA/E, CCNP

Comments

  • sina2011sina2011 Member Posts: 239 ■□□□□□□□□□
    hey mikesz

    The certs im aiming for to get done this year is:

    Exchange Server 2010
    Sharepoint Server 2010
    SQL Server 2008
    Linux +

    I just finished doing my MCITP:EA that I started May Last Year.
  • ArmymanisArmymanis Member Posts: 304
    Holy crap! You guys do 3-5 certs per year while working? How do you find the time? I work part time, and go to school to get my AA and I have trouble doing 1 cert per year. Any tips you guys have? For 2011 I plan on getting my N+ cert. Arn't you guy's worried about the certs expiring together in 3 years and then having to re-take the tests?
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    mikesz wrote: »
    Hi All,
    I wonder how many certifications/new skills do aim for every year?

    Since I started in IT (3 years ago), I have managed to do 3-5 exams/certs per annum. It seems that with all the experience I gained over this time, new certs/skills are coming much easier then in the past. I am thinking to slow down a bit - I'm quite tired of studying and working onlyicon_sad.gif

    Still I feel that with all the changes in IT, doing 3 certs a year might now be enough to keep myself upto date and on the top.

    What are your thoughts? What are your annual certs commitments?

    Mikesz
    icon_smile.gif

    I think you are pretty good on the certification side of things. Enjoy life :)
  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,012 ■■■■■■■■■□
    i do 2 to 3 a year and i work fulltime.

    @ Armymanis - going to work partime and school fulltime is already a tough burden. In essence your cert study time has already been used up by your school study time. It is very hard to come up with extra time for your cert studies. At this point if i were you, continue with you schedule, get your degree first, and get your yearly cert as well. I would suggest you aim for high end certs like microsoft or cisco certs since you can only obtain 1 a year. Dont waste your time on comptia stuff anymore. Depending on your future goals, start with CCNA or a microsoft server entry level cert.

    By the time you are done with school , depending on how much longer you have to go, you will have a solid foot into the cert path you choose. Maybe you could possibly be half way done with a very respectable professional level cert. It is possible because once you pass the first cert, your second will be a little bit easier since you build up from the last cert.

    I hope this makes sense, i am in a hurry hahaha
    Certs: CISSP, OSCP, CRTP, eCPPT, LFCS, CEH, AZ-900, VHL:Advanced+, Retired Cisco CCNP/SP/DP
    2020 Goals:
    Courses: VHL (completed), CQURE: Windows Security Crash Course (completed), eLearnSecurity: WAPTv3 (completed), eLearnSecurity: IHRP (completed), eLearnSecurity: PTXv2, BlackHills InfoSec: Breaching the Cloud
    Certs: VHL: Advanced+ (completed), OSCP (completed), AZ-500 (in-progress), MS-500, eLearnSecurity: eWPT, eLearnSecurity: eCIR (in-progress), eLearnSecurity: eCPTXv2
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    I'd say it depends on your position and what you are working with along with what you want to learn.

    When I first got my network analyst position, I studied a lot of different technologies and never took a certification test. After a year or two in the position I had firm grasp and then started to take the certification tests, last year I might have gotten around 6 certs. (I was literally taking a test every other month)

    Armymanis wrote: »
    Holy crap! You guys do 3-5 certs per year while working? How do you find the time? I work part time, and go to school to get my AA and I have trouble doing 1 cert per year. Any tips you guys have? For 2011 I plan on getting my N+ cert. Arn't you guy's worried about the certs expiring together in 3 years and then having to re-take the tests?

    School with a job can be tough. I'd consider school your "study" time. Once you graduate and get your foot in the door somewhere it will be easier for you to study, the hands on experience helps a lot with learning technologies.
    My Networking blog
    Latest blog post: Let's review EIGRP Named Mode
    Currently Studying: CCNP: Wireless - IUWMS
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    Armymanis wrote: »
    Holy crap! You guys do 3-5 certs per year while working? How do you find the time??

    One makes time...I'm studying for the MCTS 70-640 as I type this (I take few minute breaks in between.) I work 40-60 hours a week (we're in the middle of a major upgrade; stuff isn't gonna happen by itself). I'm also at WGU and that requires me to spend at a minimum 20 hours a week. I have nights/mornings to do that stuff not to mention weekends. I still hang out with my girl and get stuff done. It's all about priorities, my friend...it's always been about priorities.

    If you have time to go to the bar or smoke up with your buddies...you have time to work on certs.

    Armymanis wrote: »
    For 2011 I plan on getting my N+ cert. Arn't you guy's worried about the certs expiring together in 3 years and then having to re-take the tests

    My A+/Network+ combo is over 5 years old. Only reason I got them was because I thought I'd be gunning for the MCSA to later go toward the MCSE. Unfortunately, I had gotten another job, so I never got to complete that. However, now I have no choice but to gun for my MCITP:EA (if I don't get it, I don't get to graduate college....[of course, I could switch to a business major or something, but I want to get my EA...]). The only value for an A+/Network+ cert is to jump into an entry-level help desk position or perhaps get some warranty work at a vendor shop. Those days are long and gone now...I moved on to bigger and better things. If you were to get A+/Network+ today, you should already have at least a few higher-level certs from Microsoft and/or Cisco...making the need to "recertify" entry-level certs a moot point.

    Unless you work for the DoD or a vendor shop that requires up-to-date CompTIA certs, recertifying a lower-end cert is useless.
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAMember Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    N2IT wrote: »
    I think you are pretty good on the certification side of things. Enjoy life :)

    Yep I agree!! I plan to do the same by taking a break from certs once I get my MCSA/MCSE and CCNA finished.
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
    *Bachelor's of Science: Information Technology - Security, Master's of Science: Information Technology - Management
    Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."

    Certs/Business Licenses In Progress: AWS Solutions Architect, Series 6, Series 63
  • rsuttonrsutton Member Posts: 1,029 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Most of my free time is spent with my wife and son. That leaves me with a goal of one cert per year. If I was just starting out in the IT field I would probably go for more.
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    erpadmin wrote: »
    It's all about priorities, my friend...it's always been about priorities.
    Setting priorities is definitely required. You have to find at least some time for certs or you won't obtain any. How much time will vary, though...
    Armymanis wrote: »
    Holy crap! You guys do 3-5 certs per year while working? How do you find the time?
    If you're working in IT, time you spend at work may directly apply to certs, which should reduce the time dedicated to certs. I've taken and passed some exams with literally zero prep time, while other exams required many hours of studying over weeks or months.

    Besides the overlap between cert exams and work, there is overlap between exams themselves. If you have an MCSE 2003, the MCITP: EA will be easier since you know most of the material. In this case, Microsoft recognizes this and lets you take an "upgrade" exam since it shouldn't be necessary to retest you on everything. This also applies to cases where there is no upgrade exams, for example the MCITP: VA exams will be much easier if you have the MCITP: EA.

    Also, it gets easier. Once you start taking exams, you find ways to study more effectively. You will have favorite study guide authors or publishers, be better able to wade through vendor documentation, have a lab environment that works for you, among other things. This forum is a fantastic resource for improving this.

    Besides studying for exams more effectively, you will be able to take exams more effectively. You will get comfortable taking the exams, and will have a favorite exam center and a routine for taking the exam. Lastly, you simply get better at taking the exams. You will read a question and get the key information quickly, and long and (sometimes) poorly worded scenarios and questions break down into a few keywords telling you the answer. At least that has been my experience (I've passed about 24 exams since January 2009).
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,882 Mod
    Everybody brings good points. As ERPadmin, I juggle work, certs, college coursework, family, friends, tech gigs and hobbies.
    erpadmin wrote: »
    If you were to get A+/Network+ today, you should already have at least a few higher-level certs from Microsoft and/or Cisco...making the need to "recertify" entry-level certs a moot point.

    Agree. I am sure CCNP/CCIE and CISSP folks don't care much about keeping their Net+ and Sec+ current.
    erpadmin wrote: »
    One makes time... It's all about priorities, my friend...it's always been about priorities.
    True, true, true.
    If you're working in IT, time you spend at work may directly apply to certs, which should reduce the time dedicated to certs.

    Absolutely. I breezed through my MCITP because I do that stuff every day, both at work and in my home lab. I'm working now on my CCNA and it's not that easy as I rarely handle Cisco at work. I solely depend on my CBT, books and home lab.

    The time is there, you just have to play with it. I don't sleep much which means that I have 2-3 study hours every night after everyone goes to bed. Also, I have a 45 minute train ride each way. That another 1.5 hours of study time. Some weekends are all booked for family/friend/hobbies purposes. Other we just want to relax so we stay home which means more study time.

    The important thing is that you must enjoy your studies. The minute you force them, you'll lose interest and motivation. Don't feel bad taking a few days off the books and CBTs. Everybody at some point needs to stop and look at things from another angle. Establish a plan and try to stick to it, but be flexible.
  • alan2308alan2308 CISSP, MCSA 2008, MCSA 2012, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security Ann Arbor, MIMember Posts: 1,854 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Armymanis wrote: »
    Holy crap! You guys do 3-5 certs per year while working? How do you find the time? I work part time, and go to school to get my AA and I have trouble doing 1 cert per year. Any tips you guys have? For 2011 I plan on getting my N+ cert. Arn't you guy's worried about the certs expiring together in 3 years and then having to re-take the tests?

    What are you going to school for? I had quite a few classes that were designed around a particular cert while doing my Associates.
  • instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    I've passed a test in January, a test in March, and a test in April. (Let's not mention any failures ... haven't had any *this year* but they can happen, LOL.)

    It's just now May, and I am now trying to decide what other ones I can do this year, in the midst of starting up my Master's this summer.

    And, yes, I do work full time.
    Currently Working: CCIE R&S
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lewislampkin (Please connect: Just say you're from TechExams.Net!)
  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,647 ■■■■■■■■□□
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    Agree. I am sure CCNP/CCIE and CISSP folks don't care much about keeping their Net+ and Sec+ current.

    I never really cared for it, which is why I never did A+ or Sec+... and the Net+ was just a gauge for my halfway point to CCNA. As a matter of fact, I am going to de-list my CompTIA roughage out of principle.
    AZ-203 [ ] AZ-400 [ ]
    2020 Goals: Azure Developer, Azure DevOps Expert
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