What certifications should I pursue?

Jerry_03Jerry_03 ■□□□□□□□□□ Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi all, first post here, though I had been lurking reading posts since about February.

I'm sure there are a lot of posts like this, but anyways: I just graduated from a community college in may with a Associate of Science in Computer Networking. Majority of the classes was Cisco switches and routers. With one class on PC hardware and about 3 programming classes (Python, Java, Ruby). Since 2010 I've been working oncampus at the community college, first in the Computer lab and now with Tech support as a Helpdesk technician.

I will continue my education onto a University to pursue a Bachelors degree. Right now I applied and got accepted as a Computer Science major. However I'm starting to think if maybe I should go into computer engineering, as I do like the hardware side of computers a bit more, but ill save that debate for a separate thread. I will continue working at my former community college's tech support department until at least the upcoming fall semester, and hopefully look for a good oncampus job at the university in IT. maybe doing some networking or server work.

Now onto my question, I'm trying to decide what certification to pursue. I procrastinated on getting certs all through community college. I am looking to knock out A+ and Network+ by the end of this year. At this point in my educational career, do you think it would be a waste of time getting these two certs and maybe just pursue my CCNA instead?

as stated above I hope to get a part time job doing networking or server admin type of work early next year (or earlier if possible), so would a CCNA be a better choice right now?

the reason im still holding out for A+ and Network+ is because looking at a lot job listings in my area for Networking technicians, a lot of them still list A+ and Network+ as a requirement with CCNA as desirable.

thanks for reading and sorry for the novel, lol

Comments

  • networkjutsunetworkjutsu Senior Member Posts: 275Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    IMO, A+ and Network+ are good foundation for people who are new to IT. Now, taking the exam will depend on the person's desire and budget. When people ask me about this stuff, I never recommend them taking the exam but I do recommend to at least read the books. If you're looking for a network career, then CCNA exam is like the prerequisite for a lot of networking positions. I've seen companies that won't even interview a candidate without at least CCNA on their resume even though they have more than 5 years of experience and working within the same company just different network department!
  • Jerry_03Jerry_03 ■□□□□□□□□□ Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    I see. well two of the networking classes I took at community college were classes based off the Cisco Networking Academy, preping for the CCNA. so i definitely will be getting CCNA in the future but i guess im just trying to decide if I should just get it ASAP or get it after achieving A+ and Network+. I forgot to mention i also have Security+ on my scope as well.

    As of today right now my career goal is in computer networking. but after my first semester of CS this upcoming fall, I dont know that might change to Software Engineering. Or like I was saying earlier maybe it might change to Computer Engineering. so in summary, I really dont know what career I want, lol.
  • paulgswansonpaulgswanson Posts: 311Member
    IMHO take them in sequential order. A+ then N+ then S+ and finish up with CCNA.
    In degree of difficulty you can't really go wrong in this order.

    And they all look good on a resume`. So whats the harm? and The foundation you will build in the process is priceless. :)
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  • instant000instant000 Posts: 1,745Member
    Jerry_03 wrote: »
    I see. well two of the networking classes I took at community college were classes based off the Cisco Networking Academy, preping for the CCNA. so i definitely will be getting CCNA in the future but i guess im just trying to decide if I should just get it ASAP or get it after achieving A+ and Network+. I forgot to mention i also have Security+ on my scope as well.

    As of today right now my career goal is in computer networking. but after my first semester of CS this upcoming fall, I dont know that might change to Software Engineering. Or like I was saying earlier maybe it might change to Computer Engineering. so in summary, I really dont know what career I want, lol.

    If you're taking the Cisco Networking Academy, then go for the CCNA. The Security+ only makes sense if you want a DoD job. (Of course, no harm to gain the knowledge from studying it, as that is still quite useful.)

    I look at one of my "goal texts" from a couple years ago, and the goal on it was MCITP. Nowadays, the goal on it is CCNP. Things are fluid. Just, whatever you're doing right now, do it your very best.
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  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran ■■■■■■■■□□ Posts: 2,338Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    It depends. The A+ may be helpful if you're looking for low-level work while you're a student, since you don't yet have a degree to back you up. I found jobs without.

    I'd definitely have your CCNA ready by the time you're looking for post-degree jobs! At that point, a Network+ won't help you open the best career doors.
  • networkjutsunetworkjutsu Senior Member Posts: 275Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Jerry_03 wrote: »
    As of today right now my career goal is in computer networking. but after my first semester of CS this upcoming fall, I dont know that might change to Software Engineering. Or like I was saying earlier maybe it might change to Computer Engineering. so in summary, I really dont know what career I want, lol.

    If you're still unsure about what career you want to pursue then it is not a good idea taking bunch of certifications that you may not use. Sure, there's something to say about gaining knowledge but paying $150+/exam seems to be pretty steep for a college student. I don't know about your situation but when I was in college and working part time I didn't have money to spend on certifications.

    Definitely read the books for A+, Network+, Security+, and CCNA to get a feel if you really want to pursue this path. Now, taking the exam is debatable. You have two camps here in TE, the ones who recommend taking the "trinity" and the ones who do not recommend collecting the "trinity". When I say trinity that means the three CompTIA exams - A+, N+, and S+. I'd say at least take the A+ and forget the rest of the CompTIA exams. Read the books and learn from it but don't spend the $ that you may or may not have.
  • Jerry_03Jerry_03 ■□□□□□□□□□ Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    hmm...very good point networkjutsu about spending money on certifications for a career that I may not end up being in.
    It depends. The A+ may be helpful if you're looking for low-level work while you're a student, since you don't yet have a degree to back you up.

    that was probably my biggest reason for taking the A+ and/or Network+ certs to help get a entry level part time job while going to school.
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg Posts: 2,472Member
    Knowledge is knowledge. Whether you want the threesome of ASN, or not... I'd still suggest going over the books. Once.

    You may not want to test for them. You may want to test once on a whim. Or you may want to test till you pass. The tests are expensive, and have entry certs can only help and keep doors open. I've read that some employers won't look at non-Security+ resumes, others don't care.

    I would definitely not skip the knowledge just because you don't want the piece of paper. Know something about it, you may learn something different, discover something you didn't know. Take the book with you in the bathroom, you may find yourself enjoying the topic a lot more than you though :)
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  • Jerry_03Jerry_03 ■□□□□□□□□□ Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    thanks for all the replies, really insightful. i think im gonna start by getting my A+ soon maybe by early September. after that ill decide if ill get Network+ and Security+ or just go right into CCNA.
  • KronesKrones Posts: 164Member
    The new A+ (801 and 802) test is rumored to launch late September or October. You can still take the 701 and 702 tests until August 2013. Most employer's wont ask what version of the A+ you posses but there is a shift in the objectives that might make it worthwhile to take the updated exam. I would skip Network+ unless you have the money to burn. I've read multiple times on this forum that there is a lot overlap between Network + and the CCENT.
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