What Keeps you motivated to get certs?

Alright guy's, having a real problem. I love IT and dealing with computers as well as troubleshooting hardware and software problems. I have a 3.8 in school and am about to get my AA in Technical Support. Then I will move onto a Bachelors in IT. I also have my A+, but I am having a really hard time picking up another certification and studying for it. I knew that the A+ would help me back up my 6 months of volunteer experience I have in the IT field, which is repairing PC's. That would then lead me to a real job, which I did acquire even though it is a 4 month contract position.

I would really like to get another certification, but am not motivated as much as I was when I am in school or when I was studying for the A+. If some of you are thinking that I have ADD, you are wrong. I am perfectly normal. I know IT is the place for me and I know I want to be in IT for the rest of my life.

Can you guy's give me any tips on how you study and what keeps you motivated? Cost is another issue that I am dealing with, I have no problems with the cost of the tests, but the training videos are really expensive. I guess I just have to find the right cert that is for me.

The reason why I did not finish the N+ is because I am going to school and it expires in 3 years so there would be no point and the Windows 7 exam had misleading information from the book that I had got, so I did not take the test then.

Any information on how to keep myself motivated to get certs as well as maybe some certifications that do not expire that I can get? I really want to learn Cisco, Windows Server, Linux, and Mac.

Comments

  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Armymanis wrote: »
    Alright guy's, having a real problem. I love IT and dealing with computers as well as troubleshooting hardware and software problems. I have a 3.8 in school and am about to get my AA in Technical Support. Then I will move onto a Bachelors in IT. I also have my A+, but I am having a really hard time picking up another certification and studying for it. I knew that the A+ would help me back up my 6 months of volunteer experience I have in the IT field, which is repairing PC's. That would then lead me to a real job, which I did acquire even though it is a 4 month contract position.

    I would really like to get another certification, but am not motivated as much as I was when I am in school or when I was studying for the A+. If some of you are thinking that I have ADD, you are wrong. I am perfectly normal. I know IT is the place for me and I know I want to be in IT for the rest of my life.

    Can you guy's give me any tips on how you study and what keeps you motivated? Cost is another issue that I am dealing with, I have no problems with the cost of the tests, but the training videos are really expensive. I guess I just have to find the right cert that is for me.

    The reason why I did not finish the N+ is because I am going to school and it expires in 3 years so there would be no point and the Windows 7 exam had misleading information from the book that I had got, so I did not take the test then.

    Any information on how to keep myself motivated to get certs as well as maybe some certifications that do not expire that I can get? I really want to learn Cisco, Windows Server, Linux, and Mac.


    It's a skill in itself to complete things. Each time you start something up and then quit before you completed it you just reinforced that behavior. I would focus on something that you can apply to your daily world. Are you using servers right now or Linux? If so I would go with something like that. If those are just dreams and wishes I would probably steer clear and go for something functional. Personally you are in a good place. You have a certification which shows drive plus you are in the midst of graduating with a AA in IT support.

    I am not going to suggest a certification you will have to make that decision. At this point it sounds like you started and stalled on N+ and Windows 7. Why not just focus on school and your job or get a job (IT related). Personally that is what I would do.
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Member Posts: 2,687 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Armymanis wrote: »
    Alright guy's, having a real problem. I love IT and dealing with computers as well as troubleshooting hardware and software problems. I have a 3.8 in school and am about to get my AA in Technical Support. Then I will move onto a Bachelors in IT. I also have my A+, but I am having a really hard time picking up another certification and studying for it. I knew that the A+ would help me back up my 6 months of volunteer experience I have in the IT field, which is repairing PC's. That would then lead me to a real job, which I did acquire even though it is a 4 month contract position.

    I would really like to get another certification, but am not motivated as much as I was when I am in school or when I was studying for the A+. If some of you are thinking that I have ADD, you are wrong. I am perfectly normal. I know IT is the place for me and I know I want to be in IT for the rest of my life.

    Can you guy's give me any tips on how you study and what keeps you motivated? Cost is another issue that I am dealing with, I have no problems with the cost of the tests, but the training videos are really expensive. I guess I just have to find the right cert that is for me.

    The reason why I did not finish the N+ is because I am going to school and it expires in 3 years so there would be no point and the Windows 7 exam had misleading information from the book that I had got, so I did not take the test then.

    Any information on how to keep myself motivated to get certs as well as maybe some certifications that do not expire that I can get? I really want to learn Cisco, Windows Server, Linux, and Mac.

    Perhaps you are taking on too much. I was working on the 680 exam, while having a heavy load at school. It was too much, so I put the 680 aside and finished it up my last quarter, when I had easier classes.

    One of my main motivations is to stay current and keep myself employed. I have a family to take care of, so that keeps me going. A close second is that I like to learn new stuff.

    As far as certs go, pick something that complements what you are currently learning or will learn in the future. Always use more than 1 source when studying. If the MS press ( I am guessing this was the one with misleading information) is bad, get another source. Yes, CompTIA and Cisco certs expire, but in 3 years. That's a long time to recertify or take a refresher course.
    With the M$ certs, I always set up a lab and go through all the exercises. I start taking the tests, once I have gone through the material, to gauge what I still need to work on.
  • ArmymanisArmymanis Member Posts: 304
    N2IT wrote: »
    It's a skill in itself to complete things. Each time you start something up and then quit before you completed it you just reinforced that behavior. I would focus on something that you can apply to your daily world. Are you using servers right now or Linux? If so I would go with something like that. If those are just dreams and wishes I would probably steer clear and go for something functional. Personally you are in a good place. You have a certification which shows drive plus you are in the midst of graduating with a AA in IT support.

    I am not going to suggest a certification you will have to make that decision. At this point it sounds like you started and stalled on N+ and Windows 7. Why not just focus on school and your job or get a job (IT related). Personally that is what I would do.

    The job that is a 4 month contract job right now is mainly dealing with hardware and some software configuration. I mainly install hardware, and would like to go back to school full time instead of part-time. They are keeping me employed, so I can work during the summertime. Many people who move up in their company start where i am, which is dealing with computer hardware, and then they either move onto a leadership position in IT or deal with Server hardware. It seems like the company I am with now as a contractor mainly does hardware installations.
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    Forget the fact the Network+ expires in 3 years. Most certs have an expiration date anyway, my RIM certifications seem to expire every year and half...

    It's good they expire it forces you to stay current or advance.

    The motivation to get certificates are entirely up to you. If you can perform your job and you are doing more then well in school then continue your current momentum. The last thing you want to do is overburden yourself and go backwards.

    If you really want to get another certification fit in small amounts of study here and there when you can, everyone learns at their own pace so everyone's time frame is different.

    A+, Network+, Security+ seem to be foundation of many IT people. You might also want to look into the Server+ if your are currently more interesting in the hardware aspect of it.
    My Networking blog
    Latest blog post: Let's review EIGRP Named Mode
    Currently Studying: CCNP: Wireless - IUWMS
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Armymanis wrote: »
    The job that is a 4 month contract job right now is mainly dealing with hardware and some software configuration. I mainly install hardware, and would like to go back to school full time instead of part-time. They are keeping me employed, so I can work during the summertime. Many people who move up in their company start where i am, which is dealing with computer hardware, and then they either move onto a leadership position in IT or deal with Server hardware. It seems like the company I am with now as a contractor mainly does hardware installations.

    I'm not sure I follow you.

    So you work for a company that present opportunities but you are a contractor who mainly deals with hardware and some software configurations?
  • ArmymanisArmymanis Member Posts: 304
    SteveO86 wrote: »
    Forget the fact the Network+ expires in 3 years. Most certs have an expiration date anyway, my RIM certifications seem to expire every year and half...

    It's good they expire it forces you to stay current or advance.

    The motivation to get certificates are entirely up to you. If you can perform your job and you are doing more then well in school then continue your current momentum. The last thing you want to do is overburden yourself and go backwards.

    If you really want to get another certification fit in small amounts of study here and there when you can, everyone learns at their own pace so everyone's time frame is different.

    A+, Network+, Security+ seem to be foundation of many IT people. You might also want to look into the Server+ if your are currently more interesting in the hardware aspect of it.

    I am also interested in software troubleshooting, but only have the basic foundations down.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Armymanis wrote: »
    I am also interested in software troubleshooting, but only have the basic foundations down.

    Only one way to get better. Practice
  • ArmymanisArmymanis Member Posts: 304
    N2IT wrote: »
    Only one way to get better. Practice

    So Server+ would be a good one to get? I have looked at the material and all the books are old.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Armymanis wrote: »
    So Server+ would be a good one to get? I have looked at the material and all the books are old.

    From what little information I have I would agree it would be a nice one for you too pick up. It's really good for break fix for servers and it gives you some exposure to other parts of server technology. eg software, configurations, and types.

    Is your degree not challenging enough for you? It would seem to me that a job and a college degree program would be quite a bit on your plate. Heck I struggle to get certifications and I already graduated from the University.
  • bigmantenorbigmantenor Member Posts: 233
    Personally, my primary motivation to get more certs/education would be my fiancee and parents; these people are my rock, and my main goal in life is to get to a point where none of them want for anything. Certs are one of the ways that I am going about achieving that goal. I'm not really into fancy things; my version of a Porsche would be a paid-off mortgage and a well-stocked emergency fund. A secondary motivation would be personal edification, and a distant third would be because they look good on my wall icon_thumright.gif.
  • ArmymanisArmymanis Member Posts: 304
    N2IT wrote: »
    From what little information I have I would agree it would be a nice one for you too pick up. It's really good for break fix for servers and it gives you some exposure to other parts of server technology. eg software, configurations, and types.

    Is your degree not challenging enough for you? It would seem to me that a job and a college degree program would be quite a bit on your plate. Heck I struggle to get certifications and I already graduated from the University.

    Since I was sixteen I have worked. So I have always been stuggling to keep up in school and work.

    For awhile, I did a part-time job in retail for around 10 months the second halfway through my degree as I was taking my degree part-time. I am now 1 class away, and as I start heading for my bachelors, I am sure I will have no time. I was really lucky to be able to work this 4 month contract IT job so that I can see what IT was like and I am pretty sure this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I just need the motivation to get certs during the summer just in case I cannot find another contract job within the recruiting company that I am currently with for next summer.
  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Member Posts: 1,403
    My parents, a better quality of life, my girl, and pretty much a better future than my parents.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I dont implement anymore. But I do need to understand operational issues so I can align technical strategy to what we need on the platforms. Studying helps me relate to what the senior operations guys are telling me. I need to lead a team of network designers. Studying helps me understand and approve the designs they produce and make suggestions for improvement. When things break and Im on the operations calls to rescue the platforms I can help troubleshoot thanks to experience and studying.
  • odysseyeliteodysseyelite Member Posts: 504 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I'm not a big fan of the server+ cert. I have it and it has never been looked at for any of the jobs I have done. It's a expensive cert.

    You want to have some certs under your belt by the time you graduate. I remember when I first got out with my degree. The first question was what certs do I have. I just spent 20k for a degree!!!!

    Look at getting your Windows 7 exam to count as your MCP (do they still use that term?). Get your Network+ and maybe your security+.

    If you are interested in networking, then work on your CCENT\CCNA after those. I believe you will get the most bang for your buck that way.

    It does suck that comptia made their exams expire, but most other certs do except for the MS one's.

    Remember that studying for a cert it not just about putting it on a resume. Its also about learning the material so you can move up to the next higher cert.
    Currently reading: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
  • cxzar20cxzar20 Member Posts: 168
    My motivation is to keep myself marketable in the workplace. I enjoy my job and the company I work at so I don't plan to leave and job hop, but as with any business you never know when your time is up. If I do hit the rat race again I want to be prepared, I dont want to be unemployed and say to myself "I need to get X Y Z to compete".

    At the same time you need to set a limit for yourself or it will consume your life. There needs to be an end game to where you tell yourself "once I get X Y Z I am going to stop and enjoy free time". Then you can stay up on current trends using different means.
  • MrRyteMrRyte Member Posts: 347 ■■■■□□□□□□
    cxzar20 wrote: »
    My motivation is to keep myself marketable in the workplace. I enjoy my job and the company I work at so I don't plan to leave and job hop, but as with any business you never know when your time is up.
    Same here. IT is a job field that you simply can't afford to stagnate in. icon_sad.gif
    NEXT UP: CompTIA Security+ :study:

    Life is a matter of choice not chance. The path to your destiny will be paved by the decisions that you make every day.
  • xenodamusxenodamus Member Posts: 758
    My bottom line is the desire to know more, do more, and make more ($).

    Studying on my own time (whether for certification or not) is vital to progressing in those areas. Remember that it's not all about exams and credentials. The reason you study is to further your knowledge and be better at what you do (or want to do).
    CISSP | CCNA:R&S/Security | MCSA 2003 | A+ S+ | VCP6-DTM | CCA-V CCP-V
  • ArmymanisArmymanis Member Posts: 304
    I guess I just need to concentrate on school and finish up my AA and move onto my bachelors. Should I get all the Technical Certificates the school has to offer if I already have most of the credits? I am not sure how employers view technical certificates from a school when you are pursuing your bachelors vs. actual certifications, which are mostly book taught/video taught.

    The School's certificates are mostly hands-on work with some book mixed in.
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    Armymanis wrote: »
    I guess I just need to concentrate on school and finish up my AA and move onto my bachelors. Should I get all the Technical Certificates the school has to offer if I already have most of the credits? I am not sure how employers view technical certificates from a school when you are pursuing your bachelors vs. actual certifications, which are mostly book taught/video taught.

    The School's certificates are mostly hands-on work with some book mixed in.

    If the class is gearing you up for a certification I would try and pursue the certification at the same time. The certification will mean more then college credits. Just remember to stay on track.

    When I was going for my AS degree years ago the classes prepped me for my A+, Network+, MCSA, CCNA, Linux+.. I only graduated with my A+, MCP (3/4 tests for my MCSA) of course as time went on I completed everything but the Linux+, but you just have to find a pace that is good for you.

    Just be safe.. Are we talking about certificates from Microsft/CompTIA/Cisco?? Or are we talking about certificates from the school itself?
    My Networking blog
    Latest blog post: Let's review EIGRP Named Mode
    Currently Studying: CCNP: Wireless - IUWMS
  • instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    There was an old saying we used to have on certcities.com: "Certs without experience are worthless" you won't have that issue, though, as you have a job right now.

    With that being the case, you are advised to certify on the stuff you're using at work right now.

    As far as costs of preparation, you have to get creative. Before virtualization was so big, things were really expensive to prepare for stuff.

    Nowadays, you can get dynamips for routing, and you can buy cisco 3550 switches for less than $100 off ebay (if you're patient on auctions). Heck, if you're with the right company, you can just use IOU.

    If you want to learn about server operating systems, you can easily virtualize those, and just use evaluation copies to study.

    I saw one site, they have free videos on learning some basic certifications.
    Professor Messer, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Nework+, Microsoft Certification Training

    Also, there is youtube.com, with all sorts of training videos on there, just search on the topic you need.

    Also, there are the vendor websites. Some vendors give away the material that you need to prepare (in their documentation), you just have to dig for it, and won't find it in a ready-made text book.

    For example, Microsoft TechNet will show you step-by-step the workings of their technologies, Cisco has their documentation support site, etc.

    I hope this helps.
    Currently Working: CCIE R&S
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lewislampkin (Please connect: Just say you're from TechExams.Net!)
  • ArmymanisArmymanis Member Posts: 304
    SteveO86 wrote: »
    If the class is gearing you up for a certification I would try and pursue the certification at the same time. The certification will mean more then college credits. Just remember to stay on track.

    When I was going for my AS degree years ago the classes prepped me for my A+, Network+, MCSA, CCNA, Linux+.. I only graduated with my A+, MCP (3/4 tests for my MCSA) of course as time went on I completed everything but the Linux+, but you just have to find a pace that is good for you.

    Just be safe.. Are we talking about certificates from Microsft/CompTIA/Cisco?? Or are we talking about certificates from the school itself?

    I am talking about the certificates from the school itself. Not sure what they are actually worth to an employer. I do know that the actual certification is worth more then that.
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,407 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Armymanis wrote: »
    Alright guy's, having a real problem. I love IT and dealing with computers as well as troubleshooting hardware and software problems. I have a 3.8 in school and am about to get my AA in Technical Support. Then I will move onto a Bachelors in IT. I also have my A+, but I am having a really hard time picking up another certification and studying for it. I knew that the A+ would help me back up my 6 months of volunteer experience I have in the IT field, which is repairing PC's. That would then lead me to a real job, which I did acquire even though it is a 4 month contract position.

    I would really like to get another certification, but am not motivated as much as I was when I am in school or when I was studying for the A+. If some of you are thinking that I have ADD, you are wrong. I am perfectly normal. I know IT is the place for me and I know I want to be in IT for the rest of my life.

    Can you guy's give me any tips on how you study and what keeps you motivated? Cost is another issue that I am dealing with, I have no problems with the cost of the tests, but the training videos are really expensive. I guess I just have to find the right cert that is for me.

    The reason why I did not finish the N+ is because I am going to school and it expires in 3 years so there would be no point and the Windows 7 exam had misleading information from the book that I had got, so I did not take the test then.

    Any information on how to keep myself motivated to get certs as well as maybe some certifications that do not expire that I can get? I really want to learn Cisco, Windows Server, Linux, and Mac.

    Not to be a negative Nancy ,but lately I'm not motivated. Its been hard to even think about doing more certs, because I can't even find an IT job. Certs are great and all , but they're only icing on the cake(the cake being a resume). Experience is key and most of the time experience is what will get you the job in my opinion.

    My advice-I think others have said this too



    Go to school part time or full time and get a ful time IT job. You sounds like you have alot of passion for IT and technology in general, don't let it go to waste. The economy is rough and it's hard to start out in IT in any market.

    Side note-a find a compnay that will pay for you BA degree

    B-you can get certs along with your education, but don't feel like it's a race. When I was in school hardly any of the students worked in IT or had any certifications. So I think you already have a leg up on them. This is my opinion though.

    Good Luck!!
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    Armymanis wrote: »
    I am talking about the certificates from the school itself. Not sure what they are actually worth to an employer. I do know that the actual certification is worth more then that.

    Certificates from the school I wouldn't put much effort in them. I'd work toward the actual certificate from a legit source (CompTIA, Cisco, Microsoft, VMWare, etc). Or focus on breaking into the IT Job market.
    My Networking blog
    Latest blog post: Let's review EIGRP Named Mode
    Currently Studying: CCNP: Wireless - IUWMS
  • ArmymanisArmymanis Member Posts: 304
    Thanks guys. My plan is to work during the summer at an IT contracting agency that I currently work with and go to school during the school year until I finish my Bachelors. By the time I finish not only will I have the education, a couple certs, but I will also have a little bit of IT experience.
  • CenturionMarioCenturionMario Member Posts: 82 ■■■□□□□□□□
    NetworkingStudent: You should try to get an interview with this recruiter, she's always looking for candidates.

    Leigh Threlkeld | LinkedIn
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