General question re which cert path to take

corey1980corey1980 Member Posts: 41 ■■□□□□□□□□
I know this is going to come off as a very general question, but I am really having a difficult time deciding what I want to do in the IT industry. I originally started out in the IT industry as a graphic designer/web developer but didn't have a degree and was mostly self taught. This worked out great in the ".com boom" because you didn't need a certification or degree to get hired. Well, after the crash of the tech world I had a really difficult time getting a job due to my lack of certifications/degree. I decided that I would really like to get away from the web design/graphics genre and move towards the support environment.

I decided to start with A+/Net+ because they seemed to be the starting point for a lot of people in IT and I really don't have a lot of experience. I recently passed my Net+ cert and am currently studying for A+. However, now I have a dilema of choosing what path I want to take after that. Why I am having such a hard time? Well, honestly I am not 100% sure of what responsibilities a MCSE would have when they get a job. How does it differ from CCNA/MCDST/MCSA? I guess I am just a little confused which path to take because I am not sure where they would lead me when it comes to applying for a job.

Maybe somebody can enlighten me which cert path leads where when you finally hit the light at the end of the tunnel.



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    johnnynodoughjohnnynodough Member Posts: 634
    I worked as a contractor for years, worked out pretty good because I got tons of exposure to many different aspects of the wonderful IT field. Decided I wanted to work in server ops, been doing that for a few years. Now I am tired of that and want to get into Net ops, I would love nothing more than to never talk to another end user again (server ops keeps me away from EU's as well) : )

    I started out on the bench, doing hardware board swapping and soldering (thats right, it didnt used to always be board swapping icon_eek.gif )

    I hear you about the .com boom, believe me, I am in the .com boom and bust zone, and I have been lucky to keep my job for as long as I have up here in good ol Seattle.

    Try to land a contractor job with a good IT outsourcing firm, you will often be doing something new every 6 months, so you get around a bit.

    If you are young, dont sweat it to much (dont be dismissive about it either), life is to short to worry about what you are going to do for the rest of your life, no matter what anyone tells you. Especially if you are young, you dont get those years back.
    Go Hawks - 7 and 2

    2 games againts San Fran coming up, oh yeah baby, why even play? just put then in the win category and call it good :p
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    mikey_bmikey_b Member Posts: 188
    I agree with becoming a contractor, when I started out I was a service technician swapping boards out for warranty work. What a boring job. I wanted more. So I wound up doing help desk and then getting more involved with networking. I stuck with that for 7 years before I decided I wanted more for myself. While working on the help desk I got my A+ and Net+ certs and those took me from a help desk to a contracted position with a ginormous IT firm. Since then, I've done deskside support, network support, server support, Exchange administration and a few other odd jobs and it's been great. I've been able to focus on a specific career path for myself and put my experience to use in study and examination. If I was locked in help desk still, I don't know what I would do!
    Mikey B.

    Current: A+, N+, CST, CNST, MCSA 2003
    WIP: MCSE 2003
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    ad5mbad5mb Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Check out this page, halfway down, under

    Market Share for Top Servers Across All Domains August 1995 - July 2005


    The blue line is Apache server, typically running on Linux

    The red line is Micro$oft.

    Every time I took an MCSE cert test, it got retired within a month. No more MCSE for me.

    I went A+, Network+, i-Net+ ( useless ), Server+, and I'm working on Security+. Then CWNA, then decide whether to pursue the wireless path or do Linux+.

    Another choice is more hardhat than IT related, but there are network cabling certs. If you prefer IT to sawdust and mud, this would still be good to have if you want to act as a liason between IT and construction.
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    TheShadowTheShadow Member Posts: 1,057 ■■■■■■□□□□
    The windows version of Apache runs quite well so it is really hard to say what the division of Linux/Apache versus Win/Apache is. Unfortunately the surveys never say. Apache drastically pulled away from windows server after the windows version of Apache first became available. win32 2.0.53 is pretty stable. Heck that version is even available for OS2 and 2.0.50 runs on a Mac and 2.0.40 on a OS390. Granted Linux probably supports the majority of Apache but one can't really assume anything, anymore simply because those that do the surveys do not seem to break out which Apache.
    Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of technology?... The Shadow DO
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