Help with career decisions

rschecklerrscheckler Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi all,

I graduated college with a B.S. in C.S./Networking back in 2008 and since then have been working mainly in Jr. Network Admin roles primarily in MS Server 2003/2008. None of my employers have been big backers or fans of IT certs claiming that they are all a waste of money and time and because of this I never felt the need to pursue any. I now am at a point where I want to accelerate my career and really become attractive to the job market around me. I am currently 26 years old and even though I wish I would have been more aggressive with acquiring IT certifications in the past, I now realize that I cannot afford to lose any more time if I am looking at getting ahead with my career. With taking into consideration the fact that most of my experience has been revolving around Microsoft products, in your opinion what would be the best route I should take to get ahead in the IT field?

All of your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Given your background, MCSA: Windows Server 2008 would probably not be difficult and would be a good way to validate your existing skills. I would probably start there, if I were you.

    Outside of that, you have to think about where you want to go with your career. If a given area or piece of technology interests you, study for the relevant cert. If you are happy with your current direction, then MCSA 2008 --> MCSA 2012 --> MCSE Server Infrastructure is a pretty standard path that will definitely look nice on your resume and help you move up. CCNA or Security+ would be good entry points if you want to branch deeper into networking or security.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
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  • NutsyNutsy Member Posts: 136

    What you company means is that IT certs are not valued to them. There is value. The reason there is value: it is an easy way for HR to quantify high salaries.

    As far as which way to go in your technical aspirations here are the two competing thought processes. Choose which one suites you.

    1. Go after whatever technology gets your blood pumping. It will make the day quicker, and you happier.

    2. Look at which technologies pay. Then cross reference what skills will support the life style you want. Maybe technology X gets you excited but technology Y is going to get you into that new house you and your spouse desire. Thus, play the "trade-off" game.

    As a side note: perspective number 2 has become popular recently because of the glut of educated individuals who can't find a job. Thus, while a certain major made them happy, it doesn't pay the bills or even give them a career.

    Lastly, know your market. If you know that technology X is going to make you happy, and technology Y is going to make you a lot of money, and neither is in your locale, you are up a creek. Either move, to where you can work on them, or suck it up and go down a different path. Most, likely both technologies are in your locale, you just need to scout out which companies need those skills. (You figure this out by either networking, or looking at job advertisements every day and cataloging in your mind who needs what.)
  • rschecklerrscheckler Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for the great advice! I was looking at starting my MCSE right at 2012. Do you think this is foolish since I have experience with 2008 already?
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    No not foolish at all. One MCSA is as good as 2 or 3 imo for most IT folks. I think 2008 will be easier because you actually work with the technology but then again learning 2012 would be advantagous to your career because it will fill in some gray areas that you may or may not possess.

    I think one MCSA in either 2008 or 2012 would be great. Honestly with a CS degree and a lot of good experience you really don't need to many certifications. I personally feel you will waste a lot of time and not get much return if you go beyond one MCSA - MCSE.
  • SolitonSoliton Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Some employers feel that way, but remember that others don't. You've obviously bee with the company for some time, and you are trying to up your game. If they can't appreciate it by calling it worthless, then definitely look around. There may be an offer waiting for you out there. An MCSA is definitely a good start, since it does have MS Server 2003/2008 components.

    Also, start focusing on become really good on a few specific technologies or software(s). Preferably something you enjoy learning and working with everyday. Then become certified in that, and employers will surely drool for you.
    ~ A+ - Passed ~ CCNA - In Progress
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  • JayTheCrackerJayTheCracker Member Posts: 169
    just my humble opinion, i'd recommend an official vmware training icon_thumright.gif
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Can't argue with Jay - :)
  • About7NarwhalAbout7Narwhal Member Posts: 761

    Wouldn't it be better to get the 2k8 certs then upgrade to 2k12? Best of both worlds with less exams overall.
  • jonny72jonny72 Member Posts: 69 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Some non-technical certs covering service management (ie ITIL) and project management (ie Prince2) are worth considering. They will improve the way you work and start opening up a lot more job paths for the future.
  • darkerzdarkerz Member Posts: 431 ■■■■□□□□□□
    ITIL Foundation, Project + and actual Technical PM experience under my belt has opened more doors than I can handle.
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