What are your strategies for your overall certification paths?

bugzy3188bugzy3188 Posts: 213Member ■■■□□□□□□□
The question seems a bit vague, bit it is something that I am curious about. I personally feel very disorganized right now, one day I am considering one cert and the next another. I see quite a few of you out there with some very impressive looking certs and titles that I, quite frankly, have no clue about. IT is something that I am set on though it is what I see as being my life long career and I have a very high aptitude towards learning the material. My problem is staying on task. So what do you guys do? do you write your goals down? have a strict plan to abide by? or do you just kind of learn what you see fit as it comes? what other tactics do you use to stay the course?

Also, how many of you have official training or schooling for your certs? I figure I may be able to reach MCITP Enterprise Admin and Network+ on my own, but anything after that just seems unattainable without training. Of course the upper rungs always look blurry and hard to reach from the bottom of the ladder.

Thanks in advance for any info...
If you havin frame problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a switch ain't one

Comments

  • MrBishopMrBishop Posts: 229Member
    I believe the first thing you should do is define what you want to do in IT. Then you should go out and search jobs related to that field and see what if any certifications these jobs are requiring. If you're just taking certifications just to take them for no apparent reason, I fell you'll be wasting valuable time instead of studying what will make a difference in landing a future job.
    Degrees
    M.S. Internet Engineering | M.S. Information Assurance
    B.S. Information Technology | A.A.S Information Technology
    Certificaions
    Currently pursuing: CCIE R&Sv5
  • bugzy3188bugzy3188 Posts: 213Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well I have a goal of IT management at the moment, I won't know which direction I really want to go in the long run until I get in to the field and gain more experience. My short term goals are to become a Help Desk grunt and gain some oh so valuable on the job experience, and hopefully work my way up to Network Admin within a year.
    If you havin frame problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a switch ain't one
  • MrBishopMrBishop Posts: 229Member
    IT management? So I'm guessing you're going to enroll in college to gain a associate's or bachelor's degree?
    Degrees
    M.S. Internet Engineering | M.S. Information Assurance
    B.S. Information Technology | A.A.S Information Technology
    Certificaions
    Currently pursuing: CCIE R&Sv5
  • bugzy3188bugzy3188 Posts: 213Member ■■■□□□□□□□

    Yeah, I'm most likely going to enroll in fall classes, I wanted to knock a few certs out first and actually get a position in the field before working on a degree. I don't want to end up like some of the people on here with a bachelors or even a masters settling for a help desk position.
    If you havin frame problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a switch ain't one
  • MrBishopMrBishop Posts: 229Member

    I have a bachelors now and currently working on 2 master's and I'll never settle for working at a help desk position. I'm not trying to offend anyone but I worked very hard to get a networking position and I won't settle for less. I don't think starting at a help desk position for me would help, but rather hinder my progress. If you're willing to move or wait for the right job opportunity, it will eventually work out!
    Degrees
    M.S. Internet Engineering | M.S. Information Assurance
    B.S. Information Technology | A.A.S Information Technology
    Certificaions
    Currently pursuing: CCIE R&Sv5
  • kremitkremit Posts: 85Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I would agree with the other posters on what section of IT are you most interested in, then go that route. I can tell you from a couple network admins I know, it wasn't necessarily the certs that got them their job, more of their 30 years of management experience that got them the job. Lastly, one of the network admins did the following, got A+, network+, server+, and MCSE certs. He did a year with a consulting company and got a network admin job. I hope any of this info helps you out.
    Pending:
    640-816; ITIL 2011
    2013:
    Sharepoint, ITIL, CCNA
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    1. Find a tech you enjoy working with.
    2. Learn as much as you can about it.
    3. Learn as much as you can about complementary techs.

    If you're interested in IT management check out ITIL.

    Only training class I've attended is VMware training because its required to become VCP. Most of the people I know self study.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • X10MMXX10MMX Posts: 81Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I only got into IT about 8 months ago.. I was working on the helpdesk for a year during a placement within my university course and stayed on to do some project work after. I am now working in a role where we support companies with second and third line calls. The issue i faced when i first started is that we supported various technologies. Server 2003 and up, Hyper-V, VMWare and Xen centre, Citrix(Xenapp, Xen desktop, App sense), Netapp and the list goes on and on. I found myself building wanting to build on my current server knowledge and networking knowledge so for 2012 I have set my certification path for MCITP:EA along with my CCNA. Big ask for a 12 months but I think I can do it. Perhaps 2013 Virtualisation and Storage.
  • JasonXJasonX Posts: 96Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Taking into account that I had completed an Undergrad and Masters in Information Systems, I knew if I wanted to steer away from application development I would need to gain other credentials (certifications) to jumpstart into another field of IT.

    My initial Cisco training (minus some courses during undergrad) started with a CCNA Bootcamp class back in the fall of 2011 and I took the composite exam end of February 2012 or beginning of March. To try and make me stand out a little more then a standard CCNA and bearing costs in mind, I went for the CCNA:Security as my only cost were for the exam and I could add an additional line to my resume.

    Appears to me, to obtain a salary inline with what I make as a programmer, I'd need to even further my knowledge. As I recall an interviewer asked me if I knew about BGP, though the limited scope of my Cisco studies did not touch up on BGP and this appears to be a topic in Route for the CCNP. So I hope to aggressively study Route for 8-10 weeks and attempt that exam.

    I essentially set a timeline to finish the CCNP track in 9 months.

    I'm looking at certifications the same as I would for a college curriculum. Set aside a few hours a day to study and have a deadline +/- a few weeks if I feel comfortable with the material.
    2016 Certification Goals:
    CCIE R/S Written: ???
    CCIE R/S Lab: ???
    Add me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/jason-meier/38/912/280/
  • odysseyeliteodysseyelite Posts: 500Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Research what you want your role to be in the next three years. See what they are looking for, check out job boards. Find a tech you love, not like but love. It makes it much easier to focus and study for that goal.

    I've only taken the VCP training because it was required. I did take the cisco acad but didn't apply myself. I use CBTs, books and a home lab to study for most of my certs.

    Check out ITIL and PMP if you want to go management route. You may want to check out getting a MBA as well.
    Currently reading: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    Like ERP mentioned in another thread, create a plan and align your strategies towards it.

    I like business, process, data, project analyst roles and operational management roles. That's why I study SQL, VB, Project, Excel, Access, ITIL, PMI etc
  • bugzy3188bugzy3188 Posts: 213Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the info guys, as mentioned I don't really know the long term goals of my career, I won't have that information until I broaden my horizons a bit. I guess I was more curious on the different methods that people use to learn the material that they choose, studying habits, short term goals..things like that. Also, is it realistic to think that I could become a Network Admin within 1 year of getting my first Help Desk gig without a college degree? I mean of course, if I got the right certs while gaining experience at work...
    If you havin frame problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a switch ain't one
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Posts: 2,338Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    bugzy3188 wrote: »
    Also, is it realistic to think that I could become a Network Admin within 1 year of getting my first Help Desk gig without a college degree? I mean of course, if I got the right certs while gaining experience at work...
    Yes, that's a realistic goal for a year from now if you're a motivated person. I would say the same thing even without that "Windows 7 Configuration" certification and helpdesk experience. Do I think that folks working the help desk for a year normally become network admins? No, no I don't.
  • bugzy3188bugzy3188 Posts: 213Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Cool, that is good to hear. Well here are my certification goals that I hope to launch me in that direction within the next year, MCITP Enterprise Admin, Network +, and Cisco. I am not familiar yet with Cisco certifications, how far up the ladder should i expect to climb to land my first Admin position?
    If you havin frame problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a switch ain't one
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Posts: 973Member
    my strategy right now is
    study for ccna with the time my work + MS studies leave me
    not much =\
    meh
  • rensationalrensational Posts: 30Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hey, just wanted to say I am in a similar boat. I think you had another thread I responded to about help desk, which I just got started in. There are so many different things I keep thinking I want to study. I have gotten IT jobs, but I still need to get A+, Network+...my current job seems as if the only way to advance is to learn about servers, so I am kind of thinking of Server+ now, as well, although I know I probably won't stay here. My ultimate goal involves getting into programming, so I have been studying C++, too...which takes focus away from A+ and Network+. And there are other languages I want to explore.

    I have used a combo of classes and study guides. I took an online class for C++ and have a study guide, and a few years ago I took an A+ class more so to have guidance in hands-on activity (I know I didn't need to take a course but didn't just want to read and fool with an old computer). I thought my current job was going to teach me more about networking and get my feet wet with that since it's an ISP, but it's not working out that way.

    I also am wanting to get a mentor now (if anyone wants to sign up for that...) to go to with questions, advice and maybe to learn more.
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,013Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    bugzy3188 wrote: »
    ... as mentioned I don't really know the long term goals of my career, I won't have that information until I broaden my horizons a bit.
    Your statement in itself is a great start. It's ok not to know what your long term goals are... otherwise you may end up with a narrow focus. Sounds like you already made the first big step which is to decide that you like IT.

    I have always advocated that its better to focus on the current job that you are doing and do it well. If you always look at what's over the horizon, you may never get good at what you are doing today.
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