Boss says Comptia certs don't mean anything?

gui4lifegui4life Member Posts: 40 ■■□□□□□□□□
So...

I have A+, Network+, and Security+. My title is a Network Management Center Technician (AKA Network Operations Center Technician) for an ISP. Jack of all trades.

My boss says the Comptia certs are "low level" certificates. The company will reimburse us for the certificates, but as a NMC technician they don't gain us any kudo points toward a pay raise, or performance bonus.

He considers CCNA to be a NMC level certificate, and CCNP a senior NMC tech level certificate.

What are your thoughts? How do your employer handle certificates and pay raises?
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Comments

  • Blu3Blu3 Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yea I think CompTIA certs are more for entry level jobs like Help Desk. You should start on your CCNA studies if your already working in a NOC.
  • snokerpokersnokerpoker Member Posts: 661 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I don't think any certifications are "low level". My former manager said the same thing even though he didn't have ANY certifications. All you can do is continue to study and gain more knowledge from hands on experience. If I were you, I would look into getting Cisco certified asap.
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■■□
    They are low level certificates.
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  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    gui4life wrote: »

    What are your thoughts? How do your employer handle certificates and pay raises?


    Generally, (from my experience) when an employee refuses to grow in their knowledge (in the case of IT, certs that pertain to their area of work or additional degrees if they pertain) the employee no longer has a job.

    SO, there are no 'raises' per se because I can think of 6 companies who all require their employees to keep themselves current. The company will pay for 1 exam and one place pays for books as well as 1 exam and the employee is expected (as part of the employement) and if the employee cannot handle a client's network, that employee will run out of work.

    Perhaps think of making the investment into yourself, rather than worrying about if your employer might or might not pay for your training/education.icon_thumright.gif
    Plantwiz
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  • ThePrimetimerThePrimetimer Member Posts: 169 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I agree that they are entry level, but I have found that the information they have is pretty broad and good to have. I have really enjoyed getting my CompTIA certs and learning the material that they have covered.

    I plan on adding more CompTIA's certs to my arsenal, such as the very basic A+ and Linux+
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  • andy4techandy4tech Member Posts: 138
    yea,people call them entry level but there is a lot of information one gain there.it opens your eyes to a lot of foundational areas.
  • Dr ITDr IT Member Posts: 351 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Comptia are basic level certs which covers a broad range of a certain topic . Your boss is right on saying that for a NMC CCNA > CCNP route is considered a better option and one that might push you up the ladder in levels of expertise and a Pay Packeticon_biggrin.gif
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  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'd have to agree with your boss somewhat. After you've gone past entry-level, they arent useful any more.

    Cisco and MS certs offer far more ROI over any CompTia cert. S+ is perhaps the lone exception.
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  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    yeah, they are entry level certs. Comptia certs dont seem to be considered valuable from my experiences in the UK. Im not saying there not valuable, they have there place, its just the impressions given from employers past and present and interviewers.
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  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,658 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Not to be disrespectful to folks here that have certifications from CompTIA, but I certainly don't hold in any value in them. As a matter of fact, I have joked several times that if it weren't for the DoD 8570, Security+ would merely qualify someone to be a shift-manager at a fast food restaurant. That may seem harsh, but in reality, if you have grabbed up A+, Net+, and Sec+ and start applying for jobs, chances are you have no IT experience and your actual work history may have been from that industry.

    To be honest, I wouldn't even bother with CompTIA, at all... but that is knowing what I do now. I did the Net+ a long time ago, as my first cert; although my purpose was to gauge my general network preparedness on my way to doing CCNA, it was still a waste. I didn't know any better at the time... which is exactly my point...
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  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I wouldn't say they are a waste, but I agree - they are entry level. Why would a company give out raises for certifying entry-level knowledge. Maybe if someone was starting out at ground zero in a callcenter or helpdesk, and needed the cert to gain more responsibility.
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  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    They are pretty basic.

    The project + certification was pretty informative and taught me more than I thought it would.
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,214 ■■■■■■■■□□
    To put it very bluntly... Boss is an idiot. Ever hear of the Security+? Department of Defense knows what that is about.

    That aside, A+ is a big door opener for people. Net+ will get good knowledge while studying but the cert itself isn't great. Linux+ is another big one again now that they partnered with LPI. Are they on par with Microsoft or Cisco? Not really, but far from not meaning anything.

    It is very easy for someone to declare something as worthless if they haven't put the time in themself to get it.
    Plantwiz wrote: »
    Generally, (from my experience) when an employee refuses to grow in their knowledge (in the case of IT, certs that pertain to their area of work or additional degrees if they pertain) the employee no longer has a job.

    SO, there are no 'raises' per se because I can think of 6 companies who all require their employees to keep themselves current. The company will pay for 1 exam and one place pays for books as well as 1 exam and the employee is expected (as part of the employement) and if the employee cannot handle a client's network, that employee will run out of work.

    Perhaps think of making the investment into yourself, rather than worrying about if your employer might or might not pay for your training/education.icon_thumright.gif

    I agree with everything you said here, but I want to take it a step further. Are you really just interested in maintaining your job or are you looking for more? My employer doesn't pay for certs (There is a tuition assistance program however). I spend the time and money on them because I'm expecting that one day I am going to take a step up the latter. Say it comes with a $5k promotion, after a year and a half it has already paid for my last 2 years of certifying.
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  • xenodamusxenodamus Member Posts: 758
    I agree that they are entry level. They have their place, though. A+ and N+ are a great combo to get your foot in the door for a helpdesk or desktop support position. In your case, working in a NOC, the CCNA is normally considered an entry level cert for that environment. If you want to pursue a career in networking, you should start looking into vendor specific certs from Cisco or Juniper, depending on what your environment is made up of.
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  • billyrbillyr Member Posts: 186
    Although he could maybe have phrased it a bit better, your boss is bang on the money.

    They are good for giving you a beginners mile high overview of certain topic areas, but that's it. The only reason I did the Sec+, was as an easy elective for the MCSE. I thought it was a terrible course that did nothing except have you learn definitions of a few areas of security.

    Once you have your foot in the door in I.T, you really want to drop them.
  • MrRyteMrRyte Member Posts: 347 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Entry-level? Yes. Don't mean anything or aren't valuable? Depends....

    Suffice to say that they are the very basic certs to acquire to start your IT journey. It may get you get a help desk job but it would be very foolish to assume that your job will give you some extra compensation just for having them.
    NEXT UP: CompTIA Security+ :study:

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  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    powerfool wrote: »
    As a matter of fact, I have joked several times that if it weren't for the DoD 8570, Security+ would merely qualify someone to be a shift-manager at a fast food restaurant.


    One of my colleagues is going for a doctorate at a for-profit university. One of his courses on security got him to study for the CISSP.

    My "shift-manager cert" allowed me to have a conversation with him on steganography....something eggheads have an interest in.


    He's actually using a Shon Harris AIO guide to study for the CISSP....when I scanned it, I saw a lot of it was Security+ topics that were discussed at a much, much higher level. (Same could be said for Project+ for the PMP.)


    Mind you I could have agreed with everything you said in your post....but I do take issue a bit with your little fast-food comment. Yes, I don't expect to get *blank *blank* *blank* with CompTIAs and once you get to a certain level they stop having any use. But they will give you a solid foundation to get to that next level.....they are not entirely useless.

    To the OP, the boss is correct...if you are working in a NOC, the time for CompTIAs are over and you are now ready to shop for big-boy pants (getting higher-level certs). All CompTIAs were meant to do was get you through the door of IT.
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    What difference does our opinion make? The person who can directly effect your paycheck said they are worthless and get the CCNA/CCNP. Go get the cussing CCNA/CCNP. Done deal.

    To answer your question I think Sec+ and L+ are the only two comptia certs that have value and even that is debatable.
  • petedudepetedude Member Posts: 1,510
    Devilsbane wrote: »
    To put it very bluntly... Boss is an idiot. Ever hear of the Security+? Department of Defense knows what that is about.

    That aside, A+ is a big door opener for people.

    Oh [cussword] [/cussword].

    Worse than being a door opener, it's going to be a necessary part of your foundation unless you've obtained higher-level certs already. For example, HP sez about its desktop repair cert:
    ■While HP does not mandate A+ certification, it is highly recommended. The Comptia A+ training and testing provide a valuable knowledge foundation that can be built upon to efficiently and effectively support HP products.

    I've read these materials, and they would definitely be more difficult to grasp without an A+ foundation. Also, more IT departments in large organizations are being audited and expected to maintain some minimal requirement in terms of certs-- usually the A+ covers that.
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  • SdotLowSdotLow Member Posts: 239
    CompTIA certification value is entirely relative to what your objective is.

    CompTIA certs are very valuable to have if you plan on involving yourself with the government or a company that works for them. It is required.

    If you're trying to get your foot in the door (my case) they have quite a bit of value. Every job opening I see is asking for A+ / Net+ / Security + and whatever additional certs are specified, whether MS or Cisco. They help provide eye candy to HR depts. These are of course NOT net admin jobs.

    In your specific case, you're already in the door. And for your specific role you have no need for CompTIA certs outside of possibly Security+ if you're dealing with goverment or have the possibility to through a promotion. I'd say CCNA/Juniper is where you need to be headed depending on what you have there.

    I'll be taking my CCENT this Saturday, and then studying for my Security+ since it's supposedly a walk in the park. Why? Because it's in high demand in my area, and everything seems to be government related. If it didn't have such a huge impact on my obtaining a job, I wouldn't even bother to be honest.
  • zaxbysaucezaxbysauce Member Posts: 94 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Technically Sec+ is only one of several certifications that count for IA Level 2 DoD 8570 compliance, but the point is still well made. CompTIA certs are ENTRY-LEVEL, VNEDOR NEUTRAL certifications meant to give you a firm grasp of the ground level concepts and ideas in a particular area. They are a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Think of them as the first step on a staircase, you can probably take a leap and skip straight to the second step, but you may end up on unsteady footing.
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  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,214 ■■■■■■■■□□
    zaxbysauce wrote: »
    Think of them as the first step on a staircase, you can probably take a leap and skip straight to the second step, but you may end up on unsteady footing.

    You may also need to come back and get them later. A friend of mine got a job doing e-discovery for the Department of Justice with just her degree. She is now finding out that everywhere she wants to go next is requiring A+ certification. (And she has her ENCE) Elementary, yes... but still required. Security+ is another one that she didn't need to get in the door but will likely need to get to continue up the ladder.

    Some of it is just the government applying the cover your ass principal. You want to see it on paper that someone is certified to work with computer hardware before allowing them to possibly destroy evidence.
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  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Member Posts: 1,403
    I think CompTia certs are entry level.
    A+ = good if you want to get into geek squad
    Sec+ = it will help you get you a DOD job
    Network+ = You wont get a job in my area if you have this. My employer wants at least a CCNA.

    Other than that they have Project+, Linux+ and I think server+.
    You might as well go for PMP rather than Project+ to get the respect of other managers and directors.

    Linux+ = you might as well get Red Hat certs.
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Devilsbane wrote: »
    You may also need to come back and get them later. A friend of mine got a job doing e-discovery for the Department of Justice with just her degree. She is now finding out that everywhere she wants to go next is requiring A+ certification. (And she has her ENCE) Elementary, yes... but still required. Security+ is another one that she didn't need to get in the door but will likely need to get to continue up the ladder.

    Some of it is just the government applying the cover your ass principal. You want to see it on paper that someone is certified to work with computer hardware before allowing them to possibly destroy evidence.


    This has got to be a hyperbole. She probably doesn't need A+ just a IAT level 1 cert which SSCP covers level I+II:

    Information Security Certification - GIAC

    I would be shocked if they said A+ or bust.
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,214 ■■■■■■■■□□
    This has got to be a hyperbole. She probably doesn't need A+ just a IAT level 1 cert which SSCP covers level I+II:

    Information Security Certification - GIAC


    Hmm, not sure. I'll send this her way. Thanks for the link. Even if that is so, this page still provides evidence that CompTIA certs are worth it.
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  • demonfurbiedemonfurbie Member Posts: 1,819
    project+ is good for itil/pmp education credits that they require

    net+ is good for people who admin networks but dont want to go the cisco route

    linux+ is good for a transition for windows admins to linux then on to redhat/suse
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  • zaxbysaucezaxbysauce Member Posts: 94 ■■□□□□□□□□
    This has got to be a hyperbole. She probably doesn't need A+ just a IAT level 1 cert which SSCP covers level I+II:

    Information Security Certification - GIAC

    I would be shocked if they said A+ or bust.

    This is not necessarily true. It depends on how your top level organization interprets 8570. In my case I work on the military healthcare system. DHIMS is the top level organization that controls it for all the military services. They have recently reinterpreted 8570 such that to them, they think you need BOTH level I and level II if your job role requires you to have level II. So if you are in a position that requires Sec+ (or any level II cert), you must also get A+ (or any level I cert) to be in full compliance. Again this is entirely dependant upon how your organization interprets the regulation. I personally think it is kind of stupid, but since they pay the people that pay the bills, I do what they say.
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  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I guess to say if they are worth it or not I guess we need to first define our criteria for worth. IMO given the amount of money they cost and the potential return (ie job prospects, promotions) there are much better vender and vender neutral certs out there, especially in networking and security.
    zaxbysauce wrote: »
    This is not necessarily true. It depends on how your top level organization interprets 8570. In my case I work on the military healthcare system. DHIMS is the top level organization that controls it for all the military services. They have recently reinterpreted 8570 such that to them, they think you need BOTH level I and level II if your job role requires you to have level II. So if you are in a position that requires Sec+ (or any level II cert), you must also get A+ (or any level I cert) to be in full compliance. Again this is entirely dependant upon how your organization interprets the regulation. I personally think it is kind of stupid, but since they pay the people that pay the bills, I do what they say.

    I've heard of that. Again SSCP covers both.
  • zaxbysaucezaxbysauce Member Posts: 94 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I've heard of that. Again SSCP covers both.

    Not in this case. DHIMS specifically said that for anyone working on the contract they must have both A+ and Security+ to be in compliance. I'm not saying its not a bad interpretation, but what they say goes.
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  • grauwulfgrauwulf Member Posts: 94 ■■□□□□□□□□
    NOC-Ninja wrote: »
    I think CompTia certs are entry level.
    A+ = good if you want to get into geek squad
    Sec+ = it will help you get you a DOD job
    Network+ = You wont get a job in my area if you have this. My employer wants at least a CCNA.

    Other than that they have Project+, Linux+ and I think server+.
    You might as well go for PMP rather than Project+ to get the respect of other managers and directors.

    Linux+ = you might as well get Red Hat certs.

    Most of the CompTIA certs are designed to be entry level certs. That doesn't mean that they are worthless, just that they have more value to somebody trying to get in the door than they do to somebody already on the inside. In general I think of the "+" certifications as being proof that the person has basic clue and won't shoot themselves in the foot. I've gotten the ones that are relevant to my work because *shrugs* why not? I've also learned a good deal of the background you don't normally deal with on a daily basis. For me the "+" certification were worth it if only for the learning opportunity that they gave me.

    Exceptions to the Rule:
    Project+: This was a hard test and a good baseline for technical management skills (notice I didn't say leadership). To sit the PMP you have to have around 5 years of documented full time management experience. That's a lot. I found this test to be challenging and the materal to be comprehensive to the goal. It's not as complete as the PMP, but it does follow PEMBOK and is considered a good stepping stone to the PMP. Much like SSCP is for CISSP.

    CASP: This test is coming out in the fall of this year. I was a beta tester for this exam and I can verify that it is a beast. Look at the cert list to the left. now look back at me... A BEAST. If the exam that hits the streets is anywhere near the technical difficulty level of the test I took, I will be looking for this cert on the resume of future interviewees. I really think this has a chance to take some market share from the CCENT and CCNA.
    To be fair; as a beta tester I had no prep for this test. There are no study guides, no chat boards, no reviews, no suggestions. Just what I had in my brain pan. That said, I remember walking out of the testing center and thinking 'damn, they raised the bar on that one.'
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