New to IT and the forums

sd37sd37 Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey all, I'm a new IT student pursuing a cyber-security certification program (might do an associates, it just depends). I'm finishing my first semester now (doing A+ and Network+) and plan to look for a help desk job within a few months after I study up a bit more for the cert exams. Second semester is looking like CCNA 1 and 2, and then Security+. I'm just curious as to what anyone out there thinks about certifications vs a 4 year degree? I'd like to get a 4 year someday, but for right now it's just not doable. Any and all opinions are welcome.


  • NytrocideNytrocide Member Posts: 225
    Nice! Where are you currently a student?
    Goals for 2014: CCNA: Voice / CCNA: Security
  • sd37sd37 Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm at Collin College in Texas. Their cyber-security program is supposed to be pretty top-notch (and it's still dirt cheap, not enough people have caught on yet)
  • Arod95Arod95 A+, Net+, Security+, CCENT Member Posts: 216 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Welcome to the forums! I would say that based on a lot of higher level jobs they usually require a 4 year degree. But they also require experience so starting at an entry level job should usually only require a high school diploma/some college education. Certifications are good to introduce you, and help you understand technology, or any other info better. But nothing replaces experience. So I would say 4 year degree over certs, but if you can do both do both! They compliment each other especially if you get a job the adds experience related to your certs!
  • sd37sd37 Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yeah I definitely want to finish my 4 year one day as a personal and professional goal, but I just want to get a decent job with my certs so my wife can go back to grad school first. Within a year I would have taken A+, Net+, Security+, CCNA 1 and 2, and from there I was going to do Windows server 2008 and possibly Windows 7. I know windows 7 pretty well since my A+ course is up-to-date, but I know the cert might give me a leg up. Does anyone have any other suggestions for certs that can make a new IT professional look more attractive on a resume? Any tips on which ones are a waste of time?
  • Arod95Arod95 A+, Net+, Security+, CCENT Member Posts: 216 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well the comptia trio you have there is a good place to start. The CCNA which I'm currently studying for will also be very good. The windows 7/Server 2008 will be good as well, and if you take those you only have to take upgrade test to windows 8/ server 2012 which those test are mainly based on new objectives/ technology added. Others one that will probably help will be Linux+ if the company uses Linux machines, and Vmware is very popular in the IT industry. You could either do Citrix or VMware. These are the more common entry level certifications to get into Networking/System Admin related jobs.
  • sd37sd37 Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Cool. I keep hearing that Net+ is kinda useless if you're planning on doing CCNA, but I figure if I sat through the class I might as well get something out of it. I was lined up to do Win7 next semester but dropped it to hit Sec+, which oddly enough isn't required for our cyber-security certification program... My prof did recommend learning Linux for certain security procedures so I might do that. I'd hate to drop out of the running in a job because one guy knows Linux and I don't.
  • Arod95Arod95 A+, Net+, Security+, CCENT Member Posts: 216 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Yea thats why its good to know alittle bit about everything. Net+ is technically useless in the sense CCNA has better value, but Net+ covers all networking topics in general, and doesn't go in depth too deep. Where as the regular CCNA is routers/switches, CCNA Wireless (As its name implies) Covers Wireless technology, and the other special CCNAs cover their domain. Where all those CCNA have their own complementing certifications that teaches you the theory where CCNA teaches you hands on, and configuration with review of theory. Some of these certifications are CWNA(Wireless) Security+, and Net+. Theres other specialties but those are the more common ones. I did Net+, and it is definitely helping with the concepts of CCNA so I'm mainly focusing on the actual configuration, commands, and the more in depth for my studies.
  • DissonantDataDissonantData Member Posts: 158
    The problem with net+ is that most employers would probably prefer CCNA. Only if you have a CCNA will employers pay attention to your resume.
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