Which cert should I obtain first: Net+, MS 70-680, or CCENT?

wellnowwhatwellnowwhat Posts: 56Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi, all.

I've picked up quite a bit of info after just a few posts here and it's been extremely helpful. As of right now, I am looking at the following three certifications as possibilities: Network+, MS 70-680(Windows 7 Config), or the CCENT.

The problem, however, is I don't know which one would be a good starting point. Would it be better to go for the more vendor-neutral Network+, or get the Microsoft one done and see where that takes me? Or, would it be better to just dive right into the CCENT?

It's my goal to transition out of my current job (tech support and repair for Apple computers and devices) and into a Network Admin position. I do realize that I may have to start lower on the rung to get to that point.

Thanks in advance!


  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAPosts: 4,117Mod Mod
    Short answer: It depends.

    Long answer: Are you comfortable with basic networking and system admin concepts? If you have the basics out of the way, I would say to start with the CCENT as there is a lot of overlap from the N+. I've heard that that 70-680 is a hard exam but if you're extremely proficient in Windows 7, you might be able to skip it. Are you strapped for cash and need to ensure more bang for your buck? Are you looking for more of a network role or systems role?
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • wellnowwhatwellnowwhat Posts: 56Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I am fairly comfortable with networking concepts. I know how to set up a router, define static IP addresses, set custom DNS settings, that sort of thing. I'm not super familiar with subnetting, and I just started learning the OSI model.

    I am a little strapped for Cash. I'm also a little tired of being in a Helpdesk role, which is where I'm currently at, but I understand that transitions take time.

    I'm more interested in the infrastructural/networking side of things than the systems side. I have setup Linux servers before, but I find that I like the data flow and access stuff a bit more.
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAPosts: 4,117Mod Mod
    Since you're just starting with the OSI model, I would say to pick up a Network+ book and study it. It's just to you if you want to pay $250 for an exam if you're strapped for cash, but you should at least learn the material. It'll give you an advantage when it comes time to work on the CCENT/CCNA since there is a lot of overlap. I don't know if you're a student or not but Microsoft offers a very cheap student rate on vouchers. If you're not a student, click on the "Exam Vouchers" link on the left-hand bar and check out the clearance section. Every month they'll have early expiry vouchers that you can get.

    If infrastructural/networking is your passion, I would say to skip the 70-680
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    Agree on skipping an OS certification like Iris mentioned. Sounds like you are ready to embark on the CCNA journey. If you have routing and switching skills down I would go with the CCNA. It would help get you to where you want to go networking/infrastructure.

    good luck!
  • H3ckH3ck Posts: 7Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    @Iristheangel, might I say you are a badass. I hope to have a repertoire like that in the future. I just obtained my first Certification (ITIL) and have a solid foundation in the Cisco curriculum. When I was in high school I took the courses (am currently Cisco Academy Alumni) but didn't pass by a couple questions. Never got around to taking it again even though I've keep up to date on the material and took another course in college.

    My question is simply this, should I just do some review for the CCNA and work toward that or pursue one of the other certifications I'm interested in (Security+, MCTS: 70-433 <MSSQL>, Linux+) which are probably more sought after (based on what I've seen)?
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I believe 70-680 isn't about windows 7, but how to deploy windows 7 in enterprise environment.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • sratakhinsratakhin Posts: 818Member
    I passed Network+ about half a year ago with a pretty high score. Now studying for CCENT and it looks like there is a huge overlap between the two exams. I would say that before you start reading about Cisco stuff, pick up a book on Network+. Even if you don't want to pass the test, it will help you a lot.
    I also wanted to do 70-680, but after reading this topic http://www.techexams.net/forums/general-certification/69594-certifications-have-brought-you-most-success.html, decided to take on CCENT and CCNA first.
  • Kai123Kai123 Posts: 364Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I highly recommend the Passport Comptia books for studying with, especially if you have some knowledge to start with. The books are small and handy and to the point. I bought a Passport Security+ second-hand for 8 Euro last week (it was a little bit sticky though...I know networking can be an exciting subject but still).

    You could pick up a second hand Passport Network+ and read it all within a week if you wanted to.
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    Thanks for the heads up sratakhin
  • H3ckH3ck Posts: 7Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    I definitely agree about the Passport book line. They are very good and I've used them in the past. I've revised my current cert lineup and think it's down to Linux+/LPIC-1, CCNA, Security+. Not sure which one should take precedence though.
  • ltgenspecificltgenspecific Posts: 96Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    H3ck, my .2 (coming from someone studying InfoSec atm), go ahead and focus on the Linux+. It will make becoming proficient in the field that much easier given the slight industry preference towards that platform. Make the CCNA second on the list, it may be proprietary but it will make so much more sense of what you'll be encountering down the road in the InfoSec world. After the CCNA, the Sec+ should be a breeze as core concepts will be already firmly implanted in your mind. More experienced members may feel differently, as I said just my .2
  • H3ckH3ck Posts: 7Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Itgenspecific, I definitely appreciate the advice. That makes a lot more sense after thinking about it. I may just go ahead and take that path.
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