Certifications to get before obtaining Degree

Wilson502Wilson502 Posts: 68Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hey everyone, Ive been doing some research on my own searching through various threads on this site and have researched on the best resources to use for studying for the certs, and to give a heads up to everyone, ill be graduating from CSU Fresno in Spring 2013, and i do have a few yrs of experience in the field mainly doing help desk stuff and server administration, and working with GE's Electronic medical record system. My degree will be in business administration with a focus in Computer Information Systems. I plan on leaving the area after graduation since there's very little in the way of IT work in this area due to it being an agricultural area. I was wanting to pass at least the 70-680 and 70-640, 70-642 this summer, but i was wanting to get feedback if perhaps theres better suggestions for certifications to obtain since the ones i was shooting to try to obtain before graduation were the MCITP:EA, CCNA, Security+, and maybe throw in the Net+.
Currently Studying: MCITP:SA, B.S. Business Administration with Focus in Computer Info Systems, Cal State Fresno
Degree Completion: Spring 2013
Future Studies: MCITP:EA, MCSE 2012, CCNA/CCNP, VCP5, Security+, Linux+, SQL

Comments

  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    If I were you, I'd work on the CCNA and the EA. You have a few years of experience, you should go for higher-level certs. For the EA, I'd start with the 640, see if you like the Microsoft at all. If you dont you can always switch to the CCNA and go from there. The Net+ is pointless for someone with a few years of experience, it's an entry level cert that entry level should get. The Sec+ can be useful for DoD work. The EA exams have undergone a change so you should check which exams you should do. I cant get my head around the EA exam structure and I dont give a toss about MS exams any more (okay maybe I'll do a Hyper-v cert sometime later this year), so I cannot advise on the path you should take.
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  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    I'm a little on the fence about the Network+ for your situation. On the one hand, you've already got the A+ and you're thinking about doing Security+, which would mean you'd be renewing all three certs every time the Security+ CE renewal happens. On the other, it's a lot of money to spend if you're feeling comfortable enough with networking to be hitting up the likes of 70-642 and CCNA. It's a cert that'll look good on your resume up-front, but will be very much overshadowed by the Microsoft and Cisco certs down the road, so that's your call.

    As for your plan, I'm going to agree with Essendon here and say you're on the right track with going for the MCITP: Enterprise Administrator and CCNA certs. They're going to build you a great foundation for pretty much any path you choose to take. I could also recommend going for Linux+ at some point, if you really want to round out your skill-set. Since I'm not too far form you, geographically, I can tell you that most employers in California are going to want to see some Exchange skills on your resume if you're focusing on Windows and Active Directory administration, so you may want to think about putting 70-662 on your to-do list for later as well.

    You're on a very similar track as my roommate who just started working in the field last year after earning his A+, Network+, and Security+. I can give you a basic overview of his 1 - 2 year plan if it'll help you on your way: -
    As I said, it sounds like you're on a similar path. He wants to do the Server Administrator cert as a mid-step so he can get some other work done, then get back on the Microsoft path afterwards. He's doing these tests while he's working, and planning to start taking part-time classes again soon, so finding the time will be challenging. . . but doable. Hopefully you can find a good balance between academia and cert-studies, as well.

    If you're starting out with either the CCNA or MCITP tests while you're still in school, you'll probably have plenty of things to put on your resume, along with your experience, by the time you graduate. Start looking around for work in the area you want to move to in the spring, well before you graduate, and you should be able to get an idea of what you're in for in terms of "other skills" you might need, (like understanding the basics of VMware, working with backup utilities, enterprise-level AV, etc.)

    Hopefully that helps, best of luck with both your academic and cert-related studies. icon_thumright.gif

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  • Wilson502Wilson502 Posts: 68Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I like your suggestion slowhand, ya i was planning on moving to the orange county area with my gf, most of the jobs down there are in the irvine area so ill be looking for jobs in that area at least a few months before i plan to graduate (they even tell u that in your senior success packet, but i bet a lot students dont follow its advice.) Plus post graduation id like to get the CCNP and perhaps some of the other big certs and SQL related stuff, I also think im gonna wait about 2-3 yrs before i start my masters, (was looking into CSU Fullerton's IS or IT program).
    Currently Studying: MCITP:SA, B.S. Business Administration with Focus in Computer Info Systems, Cal State Fresno
    Degree Completion: Spring 2013
    Future Studies: MCITP:EA, MCSE 2012, CCNA/CCNP, VCP5, Security+, Linux+, SQL
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    Sounds like you're on your way, then. If you're shooting for the CCNP as well, down the road, then you're going to be in good shape. In northern California, we call people who have mid-to-high level skills in multiple areas of interests "IT hitmen". If you're working, earning your certs, and then going back for your Master's degree, I think you're going to find it easier than most of us to land a nice gig for more-than-decent pay when all is said and done.

    Of course, make sure you pace yourself and keep those goals realistic. The certs are tough, and there will be pitfalls and failures along the way. You might need more time than you expect for some of the material, and less time for other things. Either way, don't give in to the temptation to let your frustration get the better of you: we've all made grand plans and had to adjust our expectations as we go.

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  • Cherry YuCherry Yu Posts: 1Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    :)just want to have a look
  • powerfoolpowerfool CISSP, MCSE Posts: 1,626Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    It just depends on you.

    I had the Network+ and MCSE 2000 before I began my undergrad. It served me well. I figured I could get the MCSE completed more quickly than my undergrad, which I did. It helped to make up for my lack of degree, to an extent.
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  • Wilson502Wilson502 Posts: 68Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Ya i started doing the labs in the MS Press kit and watching the cbt nugget videos for the 70-640, and im gonna get the lab going for the 70-680 as well. VirtualBox is awesome for this purpose. From what i can gather the 70-640 hits hard on FS, CS, AD RMS, and GP.
    Currently Studying: MCITP:SA, B.S. Business Administration with Focus in Computer Info Systems, Cal State Fresno
    Degree Completion: Spring 2013
    Future Studies: MCITP:EA, MCSE 2012, CCNA/CCNP, VCP5, Security+, Linux+, SQL
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