Direction to go after End User Support/Desktop Support...

SponxSponx Member Posts: 161
Hi All,

I have a complicated question to some but easy to others... I currently work as an End User Support and Applications Specialist for a larger Healthcare company here in the US; however, my current site is based our of Maine. I am looking to expand my knowledge and employment opportunities for lateral reasons by taking certifications.

I have a high-school diploma, no college, A+ certification, and significant work experience (in several areas of business and IT).

I would like to gain a job (however, unsure of what the descriptions of each one would be)... In not necessarily the "hardware" component aspect, but applications (not coding or designing them, but working with them through the GUI), or Security aspect. Here are my couple of issues...

1. NETWORKING - I would love to work in Networking however I don't want to be responsible for setting up/deploying/wiring new datacenters in the job field.

2. SECURITY - I am afraid if I put a lot of time and dedication into Security a lot of the systems will become automated, or my job would mainly be writing and managing protocols.

3. NOC - Would love to work in the network operations center; however, there is very little growth.

4. DESKTOP SUPPORT SR. - Well, bright side I can always just grow and retire in Desktop Support if I had to... However this is not something I feel is practical. I don't want to get stuck, and I would like to keep moving through the company.

5. SYSTEM ADMIN - Not even sure what their main responsibilities are?

Thoughts/Comments on where I should grow to? What should I focus on?

Thank you for everyone's input.
Personal Website | LinkedIn Account | Spiceworks Account | Field Services Engineer

Certifications (Held): A+, CWP, Dell Certified
Certifications (Studying):
Network+, Security+
Certifications (In Planning): Server+,
ICND1 (CCENT), ICND2 (CCNA)

Comments

  • Novalith478Novalith478 Member Posts: 151


    Don't settle for Desktop Support. From my understanding it's generally low end and doesn't really go anywhere. If I were you I'd go get your CCNA and then start working on Microsoft certs.

    Systems administration is basically managing servers, systems, etc. on an enterprise network. You need a baseline amount of networking knowledge, so getting your CCNA is a good all around cert to have. You can then move on to MCITP or even some linux certs if you're interested in linux servers.

    Also your fear of networking and security are a little far fetched. If it interests you: go for it. Data center jobs aren't all networking jobs (in fact I imagine they are quite few). Networking is usually setting up and maintaining enterprise networks. Unless you get into high level stuff, chances are you won't be building networks from scratch.
  • SponxSponx Member Posts: 161
    Thank you for your feedback...

    Based on others interactions I have had, it has been told to me that "high end security officers" more so enforce and write the security protocols... Not necessarily work on application access, or defending networks, etc... A Systems Administrator sounds like something I wouldn't mind doing...

    My thought process (before this post) was:
    • Security+
    • MCITP (70-680, 685, 686)
    • GIAC
    Is this not the route I should go? In our company MCITP certifications hold a lot of weight (as I am sure a CCNA would as well).

    Thank you.
    Personal Website | LinkedIn Account | Spiceworks Account | Field Services Engineer

    Certifications (Held): A+, CWP, Dell Certified
    Certifications (Studying):
    Network+, Security+
    Certifications (In Planning): Server+,
    ICND1 (CCENT), ICND2 (CCNA)
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Sponx wrote: »
    Based on others interactions I have had, it has been told to me that "high end security officers" more so enforce and write the security protocols... Not necessarily work on application access, or defending networks, etc...

    I think maybe its security policy not protocols. Senior security officers are involved in developing policy and standards as part of their normal role.
  • SponxSponx Member Posts: 161
    Sorry, mixed up the name for them. I meant policies, thank you for correcting me there.
    Personal Website | LinkedIn Account | Spiceworks Account | Field Services Engineer

    Certifications (Held): A+, CWP, Dell Certified
    Certifications (Studying):
    Network+, Security+
    Certifications (In Planning): Server+,
    ICND1 (CCENT), ICND2 (CCNA)
  • sprint100sprint100 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Sponx wrote: »
    Thank you for your feedback...

    Based on others interactions I have had, it has been told to me that "high end security officers" more so enforce and write the security protocols... Not necessarily work on application access, or defending networks, etc... A Systems Administrator sounds like something I wouldn't mind doing...

    My thought process (before this post) was:
    • Security+
    • MCITP (70-680, 685, 686)
    • GIAC
    Is this not the route I should go? In our company MCITP certifications hold a lot of weight (as I am sure a CCNA would as well).

    Thank you.

    If Systems Admin is where you want to go, I don't see anything wrong with the path you are choosing. The only thing I would throw in there would be some sort of cert that'll show networking. The CCNA could be very time consuming to study for, so I'd go for a Net+ or CCENT
    Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Sponx wrote: »
    I would like to gain a job (however, unsure of what the descriptions of each one would be)... In not necessarily the "hardware" component aspect, but applications (not coding or designing them, but working with them through the GUI), or Security aspect. Here are my couple of issues...
    It sounds like you have an idea of what you enjoy. Sometimes that's the biggest hurdle. Figuring what to do for a living icon_wink.gif
    1. NETWORKING - I would love to work in Networking however I don't want to be responsible for setting up/deploying/wiring new datacenters in the job field.
    in some large enterprises, network admins and engineers don't actually touch the hardware. There are specialize facilities staff that do that work. Usually folks with mechanical and electrical backgrounds. Configuration and management of network equipment are performed remotely.
    2. SECURITY - I am afraid if I put a lot of time and dedication into Security a lot of the systems will become automated, or my job would mainly be writing and managing protocols.
    There are numerous functions within infosec that will always require humans. For example - forensics, pentration testing, governance, IT audit.
  • SponxSponx Member Posts: 161
    Thanks everyone for helping out here...

    I don't know if Systems Administration would be the route I wish to take (Need to research more what they do). What I do know is that I like working with applications, access, active directory, and the "GUI" sides of things. I have not had A LOT of hands on experience with server-side applications, or even networking. I know I use Active Directory for work (granting access to users, group policy kinda things, etc...), CISCO applications (Like CUPC, CUCM, WebEx, SharePoint, etc..), and obviously ticket management software, deployment consoles, software portals, and security software.

    I just know whatever route I take, I would like something to help me move out of Desktop Support, and into the management/overseeing/applications side of things. - I don't even know if I am being descriptive enough to help here! Haha.

    If I wanted to go these routes, would this be the best:

    - Security: Security+, Network+, CCENT, CCNA?
    - Systems Administrator: MCITP (but in what aspects), Security+, Network+? (Would this suffice?)
    - Networking: MCITP (Windows 2008 enviroment), Network+, anything else?
    Personal Website | LinkedIn Account | Spiceworks Account | Field Services Engineer

    Certifications (Held): A+, CWP, Dell Certified
    Certifications (Studying):
    Network+, Security+
    Certifications (In Planning): Server+,
    ICND1 (CCENT), ICND2 (CCNA)
  • Novalith478Novalith478 Member Posts: 151

    What you said is basically systems administration. I'd go get your Network+/CCENT and then start on the Microsoft certs.
  • elToritoelTorito Member Posts: 102
    I believe a natural route to take from Desktop Support is, in most cases, Systems Administrator. You've learned to fix desktop-related problems (both hardware and software) and troubleshoot basic networking issues as a Desktop Support technician. The next step is to learn what's behind the desktops.

    As a Systems Administrator, you're automatically going to get exposed to enterprise-level networking equipment, servers and databases. You're also going to learn about storage, virtualisation, some programming (scripting) and, yes, security. Once you feel you've acquired a decent grasp of all the facets of systems administration, you pick a specialisation.

    Just as I think some desktop support experience is useful for a sysadmin, I believe some years worth of experience as a sysadmin is invaluable to any networking engineer, security officer, storage architect, database administrator, developer and so on. I can't count the number of times I've had to deal with so-called "specialists" who were pretty much clueless about issues that went even slightly beyond their area of expertise.
    WIP: CISSP, MCSE Server Infrastructure
    Casual reading: CCNP, Windows Sysinternals Administrator's Reference, Network Warrior


  • SponxSponx Member Posts: 161
    Thank you all for the time and feedback!

    So, I guess I will start going the System Administration route...Then into Security/Networking (whichever may present itself first).
    Personal Website | LinkedIn Account | Spiceworks Account | Field Services Engineer

    Certifications (Held): A+, CWP, Dell Certified
    Certifications (Studying):
    Network+, Security+
    Certifications (In Planning): Server+,
    ICND1 (CCENT), ICND2 (CCNA)
  • Mike-MikeMike-Mike Member Posts: 1,860
    I have found this thread super helpful, thanks to all involved, i may choose the same route as the OP
    Currently Working On

    CWTS, then WireShark
  • SponxSponx Member Posts: 161
    Been looking around at SYSADMIN jobs and they are usually requiring:

    Security+ (or equivalent IAT Level II certification), Computer Operating System (VMWare Preferred)

    And would like to see:

    CCNA, MSCE or MCTIP:EA, A+, Network+, VMware Certified Professional

    And the average salaries are:

    $60,000 - $115,000

    Just thought I would post this information as it might be useful for some.
    Personal Website | LinkedIn Account | Spiceworks Account | Field Services Engineer

    Certifications (Held): A+, CWP, Dell Certified
    Certifications (Studying):
    Network+, Security+
    Certifications (In Planning): Server+,
    ICND1 (CCENT), ICND2 (CCNA)
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Looks like you have a certification plan mapped out in front of you. Probably skip the MCSE since it's outdated.

    I know that VMware certification is extremely hot. The CCNA is a oldie but a goodie. Can't go wrong with that one either. You get VMware with knowledge you should be in really good shape.
  • cmitchell_00cmitchell_00 Too many to name Member Posts: 247 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Sponx wrote: »
    Been looking around at SYSADMIN jobs and they are usually requiring:

    Security+ (or equivalent IAT Level II certification), Computer Operating System (VMWare Preferred)

    And would like to see:

    CCNA, MSCE or MCTIP:EA, A+, Network+, VMware Certified Professional

    And the average salaries are:

    $60,000 - $115,000

    Just thought I would post this information as it might be useful for some.


    I think Security +/Net + would be good foundation track. Then grab your CCENT/CCNA and some Microsoft certs would add extra money into your bank account while gaining more exposure in the industry world.
  • SponxSponx Member Posts: 161
    Yeah... I think I am going to work on the following (listed by priority).

    1. MCITP (70-680 & 70-686, then probably go down the route for MCITP:EA/SA)
    2. Security+
    3. Network+
    4. CCENT or VMWare or CCNA...
    Personal Website | LinkedIn Account | Spiceworks Account | Field Services Engineer

    Certifications (Held): A+, CWP, Dell Certified
    Certifications (Studying):
    Network+, Security+
    Certifications (In Planning): Server+,
    ICND1 (CCENT), ICND2 (CCNA)
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