How do stay motivated to study?

dsa1971dsa1971 Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
Not just motivation for 1 exam but for the many exams required for certs like MCSE. I've been in IT for about 10 years and never had that much motivation to get certified but I do like technology so I've have always read about other areas of IT that I don't always use just because I find them interesting. Anyway, I'm currently studying for A+ and then plan on going after Network+ and then maybe MCDST. My plan is to complete these certs over the next 6 months. I tend to be overly cautious by nature so I tend to study more than may be necessary to pass the exams but I guess that's okay. I am wondering how everybody stays motivated to keep studying over long periods of time. Right now, I'm really motivated and I hope I can keep that up long-term. I'm motivated by trying to get certified so I can move into a different area in IT, get out of my current job, general interest in the information I am studying, and the good feeling of having certs to validate some of my knowledge.
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Comments

  • /usr/usr Member Posts: 1,768
    I don't study nonstop, year around. I usually take breaks, maybe even for 3 months or so, before really starting to study for another exam. If you try to study as much as you can for an extended period of time, you're going to burn yourself out and be completely sick of it.
  • dsa1971dsa1971 Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
    /usr wrote:
    I don't study nonstop, year around. I usually take breaks, maybe even for 3 months or so, before really starting to study for another exam. If you try to study as much as you can for an extended period of time, you're going to burn yourself out and be completely sick of it.

    I agree. I'll probably take a couple of weeks off between exams but I currently feel like I need to get a few of these certs on my resume within the next 6 months.
  • /usr/usr Member Posts: 1,768
    It's not that bad if you just take breaks. I did A+, N+, and Sec+ all in a row. Then I didn't get my CEH until about 7 months later. I'm taking the CWNA a week from Monday, and it has been 8 months since I finished Sec+.

    I take my time to study, but I also have tons of other stuff (work, school, etc.) going on and I really don't have that many opportunities to study.
  • dsa1971dsa1971 Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
    /usr wrote:
    It's not that bad if you just take breaks. I did A+, N+, and Sec+ all in a row. Then I didn't get my CEH until about 7 months later. I'm taking the CWNA a week from Monday, and it has been 8 months since I finished Sec+.

    I take my time to study, but I also have tons of other stuff (work, school, etc.) going on and I really don't have that many opportunities to study.

    I've pretty much scheduled 2 hours of study time each evening after work. My biggest issue is getting my wife to understand that I need to do this to be happy and to advance my career. I actually enjoy reading some of the information in study guides but as you know study guides can be really dull.
  • /usr/usr Member Posts: 1,768
    My biggest issue is getting my wife to understand that I need to do this to be happy and to advance my career.

    icon_confused.gif
  • dsa1971dsa1971 Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
    /usr wrote:
    My biggest issue is getting my wife to understand that I need to do this to be happy and to advance my career.

    icon_confused.gif

    She actually is pretty good about it but every once in awhile there are cries icon_cry.gif for attention.
  • /usr/usr Member Posts: 1,768
    So make a deal. Study 5 days a week, two hours each day, but leave the weekends free?
  • dsa1971dsa1971 Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
    /usr wrote:
    So make a deal. Study 5 days a week, two hours each day, but leave the weekends free?

    The deal is I'm allowed 2 hours of study time each day including weekends. No matter what the deal there will always be occasional cries for attention.
  • /usr/usr Member Posts: 1,768
  • Ricka182Ricka182 Member Posts: 3,359
    I just finished 215, and only have 218 left to complete MCSA. As tempting as it is to just go and do it, I am already half-burned out. I probably won't start 218 for at least a week or two. I actually want to practice some 215/218 stuff, to solidify what I passed already. After I feel a little more comfortable, then I'll go with strictly 218 studies.
    i remain, he who remains to be....
  • Ten9t6Ten9t6 Member Posts: 691
    dsa1971 wrote:
    /usr wrote:
    My biggest issue is getting my wife to understand that I need to do this to be happy and to advance my career.

    icon_confused.gif

    She actually is pretty good about it but every once in awhile there are cries icon_cry.gif for attention.

    Dsa1971......my wife used to be exactly like that. It took a couple of tests for it to really sink in that I was doing it to better our life style. I remember taking out a loan for an MCSE NT 4.0 track. That went over like a ton of bricks. But, it paid off pretty quick......My company saw what I was doing and gave me a raise and moved me to another department. And, it his been getting better and better since then.

    Stay motivated....my first job, when I got out of the Army was for 10.00 an hour. Within two years that raised to about 25.00 an hour...for the past year or so, that has been more around 50.00 an hour with the potential to go much higher. (I got out of the Army at the end of 199icon_cool.gif

    A lot of people say you have to be in the right spot at the right time....But, I actually think you create the atmosphere for those opportunities. Stay motivated...it will all work out.

    Kenny
    Kenny

    A+, Network+, Linux+, Security+, MCSE+I, MCSE:Security, MCDBA, CCNP, CCDP, CCSP, CCVP, CCIE Written (R/S, Voice),INFOSEC, JNCIA (M and FWV), JNCIS (M and FWV), ENA, C|EH, ACA, ACS, ACE, CTP, CISSP, SSCP, MCIWD, CIWSA
  • dsa1971dsa1971 Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Ten9t6 wrote:
    dsa1971 wrote:
    /usr wrote:
    My biggest issue is getting my wife to understand that I need to do this to be happy and to advance my career.

    icon_confused.gif

    She actually is pretty good about it but every once in awhile there are cries icon_cry.gif for attention.

    Dsa1971......my wife used to be exactly like that. It took a couple of tests for it to really sink in that I was doing it to better our life style. I remember taking out a loan for an MCSE NT 4.0 track. That went over like a ton of bricks. But, it paid off pretty quick......My company saw what I was doing and gave me a raise and moved me to another department. And, it his been getting better and better since then.

    Stay motivated....my first job, when I got out of the Army was for 10.00 an hour. Within two years that raised to about 25.00 an hour...for the past year or so, that has been more around 50.00 an hour with the potential to go much higher. (I got out of the Army at the end of 199icon_cool.gif

    A lot of people say you have to be in the right spot at the right time....But, I actually think you create the atmosphere for those opportunities. Stay motivated...it will all work out.

    Kenny

    Thanks for the encourage. I currently make decent money as a programmer working from home. It's nice working from home and people find it hard to believe I would ever want to leave that but the programming bs I've had to deal with over the years has really started to irritate me and I have always been pretty interested in networking. What's driven me nuts about the programming is being forced to release a crappy product that got that way because of a)little to no specifications other than a few sentences of verbal specs b) unrealistic timelines c) the we'll fix-it later mentality d) lack of understanding of the importance of testing. Unfortunately, this is the sort of thing that I have run into at many programming departments. With that being said, every IT area and departments have their fair share of problems just like any job so that's just life. I may end up getting my foot in the door somewhere with my programming experience which does including some minor network experience and plenty of customer support. Once I get my foot in the door somewhere I can hopefully start to get some network experience. I am lucky since my wife makes good money so even if I took a bit of a pay cut to get some experience I would be okay. I think my wife only partially understands the road that lies ahead. I've explained that the first couple certs (A+, Network+) are not all of sudden going to thrust me into a network admin job and that there's a lot of work ahead. She's starting to get the picture though.
  • mikey_bmikey_b Member Posts: 188
    I remember my parents getting all excited when I passed my A+ tests many moons ago, they seemed to think I was the be-all end-all to IT. They had no idea what path lay ahead. After A+ came CNA for Netware 4.11, upgraded to 5.0, then got Net+. Passed 70-210 and 70-270 and started working towards 290/291. Maybe complete the entire MCSE track. Then on to Cisco CCNA eventually, and I'd like to move on to the CCSP designation and then CCIE:Security. That's a lot of exams. But I want myself and soon-to-be wife to have opportunities that our friends will never have and our parents have never had. I want to retire young enough to look back and say I earned it and it was all worthwhile.

    Personal satisfaction is more important to me than money, anyways.
    Mikey B.

    Current: A+, N+, CST, CNST, MCSA 2003
    WIP: MCSE 2003
  • pmannpmann Member Posts: 79 ■■□□□□□□□□
    dsa,

    Not sure whether it'll help, but here's a list of study tips I came across and posted a while back.

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3842

    The one I particularly like is right at the end;
    * Many long for the day exams are over and done with, but when that day comes, the hidden pleasure and excitement of learning is gone. So enjoy the journey, arriving at the destination will only make you want to travel again.
    It sounds a bit philosophical but I think there's a lot of truth in it. I guess it's all about balance, study hard but make time to play too. I'm not convinced the 'journey' ever ends, or particularly want it to end either. I'm fortyten years old and still studying!
  • dsa1971dsa1971 Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
    pmann wrote:
    dsa,

    Not sure whether it'll help, but here's a list of study tips I came across and posted a while back.

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3842

    The one I particularly like is right at the end;
    * Many long for the day exams are over and done with, but when that day comes, the hidden pleasure and excitement of learning is gone. So enjoy the journey, arriving at the destination will only make you want to travel again.
    It sounds a bit philosophical but I think there's a lot of truth in it. I guess it's all about balance, study hard but make time to play too. I'm not convinced the 'journey' ever ends, or particularly want it to end either. I'm fortyten years old and still studying!

    that's a great post. I have made a point of scheduling time to study every day after work so having a set time does help. The 40 minute tip is good too and I can definitely tell when I am starting to zone out and not concentrate which is when I take a break. This is really good forum. I'm glad I joined.
  • dsa1971dsa1971 Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
    mikey_b wrote:
    I remember my parents getting all excited when I passed my A+ tests many moons ago, they seemed to think I was the be-all end-all to IT. They had no idea what path lay ahead. After A+ came CNA for Netware 4.11, upgraded to 5.0, then got Net+. Passed 70-210 and 70-270 and started working towards 290/291. Maybe complete the entire MCSE track. Then on to Cisco CCNA eventually, and I'd like to move on to the CCSP designation and then CCIE:Security. That's a lot of exams. But I want myself and soon-to-be wife to have opportunities that our friends will never have and our parents have never had. I want to retire young enough to look back and say I earned it and it was all worthwhile.

    Personal satisfaction is more important to me than money, anyways.

    your cert track is similar to mine. how did you find the network+ exam?
  • ad5mbad5mb Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm 50 years old and I've been laid off from every job I ever had.

    I've seen many older men in pain, saying "this is the only thing I know how to do". As a rule, they can do more than they know, but you have to get past the grief to explain that.

    I have a long string of documents to prove to HR people half my age that I can still learn to a standard set by others. These documents also demonstrate that I have the will, discipline and determination to finish what I start. Which, in my not at all humble opinion, is the true benefit of certifications.

    And I hate, loath and despise television.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,161 Admin
    I stay motivated for school (Masters in InfoSec) by realizing that I'm doing it for me and it's my money that I'm spending. When I was younger, I went to college, but I didn't realize that I was doing it for myself. I just did it because I was suppose to. Being older, I now appreciate education more--including studying for certifications.

    And my wife already has her Masters and knows how difficult it is to achieve, so she never bothers me when I need to study. I do, however, make time for "date night." icon_wink.gif
  • LucaspLucasp Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I hit a brick wall at my job. There's so much stuff I want but can't afford and I was doing nothing to change this. For me the following phrase kept popping into my head "Stop wanting and start doing!" Everytime my mind bends towards to the 42in HDTV LCD "Stop wanting and start doing."




    "Stop wanting and start doing."
    This doesn't really make any sense but as always you are right.
  • mobri09mobri09 Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 723
    I don't really look at it is being motivated, i just look at the picture on "I must get certified and stay ontop of things to make it in the IT world today" that's just my perspective.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,161 Admin
    mobri09 wrote:
    I don't really look at it is being motivated, i just look at the picture on "I must get certified and stay ontop of things to make it in the IT world today" that's just my perspective.
    It sounds like your motivation is a fear of being found incompetent. There must be a Greek "phobia" word for that.

    BTW, I have exactly that same phobia too. icon_wink.gif
  • dissolveddissolved Inactive Imported Users Posts: 228
    i keep thinking about all the toys I want
  • garv221garv221 Member Posts: 1,914
    I'm on my nine month of not studying for a cert!
  • 3000GT3000GT Member Posts: 212
    My silver toy keeps me going for more certs/higher paid job, as she is expensive to keep on the road.....but its worth it :D
  • QUIX0TICQUIX0TIC Member Posts: 277
    Wow... I was thinking about creating a motivation thread myself recently. I failed my ccie lab attempt about 4 years ago and then it just hit me like a step-child. (Step-children out there... dont take offense... its just a saying! icon_wink.gif ) I actually stopped studying... I let my certs expire... and I just stayed stagnant for about 3 years now.

    I thought that I was a failure but of course 3 years later I realize that people dont pass it on their first time and Im only a failure if I dont try it again. So, Im back to studying from scratch... CCNA all the way to CCIE and Im giving myself 3 to 5 years to do it.

    I admit that I was recently motivated by a couple of other outside resources... like NLP and Tony Robbins. These two subjects have made me realize to get back up and work on them again. But, Ive programmed my mind to not want to study and just stay where I am at. Even though I keep complaining about where I am at.

    Well either way... Im glad I read this post. And Im glad I join this forum.

    Ten9T6... do you like only IPExpert or have you tried CCBootcamp labs also?
    "To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation."
  • mobri09mobri09 Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 723
    thanks Jdmurray! :D hahaha i bet your right. When you get one cert JUST one cert under your belt...You will want more. Trust me..Good luck
  • garv221garv221 Member Posts: 1,914
    It has got to be CCIE that keeps me motivated. The one cert that will make things happen for you.
  • QUIX0TICQUIX0TIC Member Posts: 277
    Ya... Ill agree. My whole goal is to obtain IE and then I can assure move to Thailand. Can you imagine the dollar to baht ratio in Thailand. Cant wait til I go to the Land of Smiles.
    "To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation."
  • Ten9t6Ten9t6 Member Posts: 691
    RobsonGTO wrote:
    My silver toy keeps me going for more certs/higher paid job, as she is expensive to keep on the road.....but its worth it :D

    hey..I have a 'silver toy' too.........I want to upgrade it to a new 'silver toy' .......'06 Z06..... icon_wink.gif

    ten9t6.jpg

    Kenny
    Kenny

    A+, Network+, Linux+, Security+, MCSE+I, MCSE:Security, MCDBA, CCNP, CCDP, CCSP, CCVP, CCIE Written (R/S, Voice),INFOSEC, JNCIA (M and FWV), JNCIS (M and FWV), ENA, C|EH, ACA, ACS, ACE, CTP, CISSP, SSCP, MCIWD, CIWSA
  • EdTheLadEdTheLad Member Posts: 2,111 ■■■■□□□□□□
    QUIX0TIC wrote:
    Ya... Ill agree. My whole goal is to obtain IE and then I can assure move to Thailand. Can you imagine the dollar to baht ratio in Thailand. Cant wait til I go to the Land of Smiles.

    Similar idea's to me icon_smile.gif , ill be in LOS in Jan.
    Networking, sometimes i love it, mostly i hate it.Its all about the $$$$
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