Need Career Advice/Path...

bhankins000bhankins000 Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Hello, and thanks for reading. I will try to shorten this as much as possible. I've been in IT for a little while (3-4 years on an enterprise IT scale). I have Sec+, Net+ and self studied for MCITP 2003 (took a small college class online 2 years ago), and 9 months self study for CISSP. I'm not certified in either. I have mostly done help desk work with little desktop support and system administration.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A brief overview:
[/FONT]Helpdesk for an outsource company where I learned ADUC and basic helpdesk work and was really good at troubleshooting, documenting, etc in a very short amount of time and was hired on another helpdesk/desktop support for another company who paid a lot more. This was for a total of a year and a half.
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After the helpdesk, I enlisted in the Army for 3 years (honorable discharge) in IT field (information security was my job at my duty assignement) and had lots of training (or more so familiarization in servers, cisco networking, vulnerability scanning ect.) During my 3 years I really didnt do anything except monitor and track tickets (not actually performing the work). I think they call this "receive & route". I did take HBSS Admin certification, CCNA boot camp, and self studied for CISSP for 9 months but only certified in HBSS which seems to be used in government only (however, I never had hands on with any of this stuff).Of course I did end up teaching Sec+ for 1 week per month and was highly recognized for this. Also had a lot of desktop support things.

Now, I work for a small company (30 users) as a network/systems administrator...my first day I found out the IT director was just fired two days ago and left nothing. I had to learn everything here and in 3 weeks I have. Sever 2008R2 with multiple Hyper-V machines, Digium for VOIP, Domain Controller with DHCP, Fortigate firewall with VPN, Cloud email in rackspace, etc. I liked running my own IT here (even though there is a ton of issues - no off-site backups, errors on the current backups, all users are admins, all static passwords for login's, etc.) Now they hired a new IT Director [side note: I'm actually working through a temp agency and the HR here who just left said she wasnt sure if they were going to keep me long term and she couldnt guarantee anything since I may just be here until this new director gets everything going..you see how the ball is turning regardless of the phenomenal job I was doing] and now I'm bored. He is having me just keep the users happy, the network is mostly stable (restart a server now and then), until he gets his hands and mind on it all...oh we're disabling MS updates and most computers dont have AV or out of date AV and also there. Did I mention this guy just really wants to program and develop as he came from a place where it was really well and easy going which he built up.[this is not about him just background info]

So, now I got this new remote job that starts in couple weeks from today that pays more (I wasnt sure from this current job if I'm just really temporary until I give him all my knowledge I learned from this network and then 'poof' I'm let go), but the new jobs seems to be really easy. No ADUC; just managing user accounts in a secured environment but even I have little access too. It's a short term contract so after I'll want to get back into something more IT related..I just dont know what. I interviewed for a IT security position but he thought even with my CISSP it would on be "addition-to" experience and not a guarantee hire or six figure pay check. I dont blame him, I read the job descriptions all the time and think...I read about ISO27001, PCI, C&A, and policies but have never worked with any of it. So....

So now I'm stuck. I cant decided what I like to do (partially because I have had the 5 or 6 years go by working in the field but feel like I dont know anything IT). I dont know what certification I should go for next or what I should do. I read countless articles on this site and others on do CCNA then CCNP, or get CISSP or CEH, or go for MCSA then MCSE. However, I dont have experience except for this month of server stuff (sure I can learn anything IT very quickly and I dont like helpdesk or desktop support roles. I'm very good with people (was in sales for a bit) but I would rather have something more "at my desk" related. I'm over 30 years old and I have the GI Bill that can pay for most online training (was looking into New Horizon) but what should I do? I have opportunities to work as a contractor as a server admin (possibly a network admin) but I really want to work in the normal business side of things and a friend who just left there said management is having a lot of issues right now.

Any advice would be really helpful. Thanks.
-B

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Comments

  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Finish the certs you started studying for - no reason to leave them half finished.
    Then after, play around w/ some more tech until you find something you want to truly excel at and go for it.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
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