A+ after CCNA? Here's my thinking...

aluchenialucheni Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey folks, just curious about what people think about my effort to re-enter the I.T. workforce. I was a CCNP ~4 years ago, having about 10 years of desktop/tech experience followed by three years experience as a network guy (I'm 34). Next, I decided to go full time for a university degree in economics. I'll be graduating next May and at first I thought I'd re-certify the CCNP ... though, I've been out of the game for so long that I'm wondering if it would be more useful to get an A+, CCNA, and MCSA (server) instead.

I'm sitting in for the CCNA composite in a few days (shouldn't be a problem). I know that the CCNA is considered more "advanced" than the A+, but the A+ seems to cover a lot of material that's quite unrelated. My thinking is that for an employer, an A+/MCSA/CCNA combo could be evidence of a broad commitment to I.T., while the CCNP would be too specific for someone who has been out for a while.

Any thoughts?

thank you,
Allan

Comments

  • CoolAsAFanCoolAsAFan Member Posts: 239
    With 10 years desktop/tech experience plus some networking experience, I would say skip the A+ because I do not see much of a benefiti for you. It sounds like you may just want it for your resume? In that case, I guess it depends on what your trying to do for employment. If your going networking, I would skip it and go for the CCNP or perhaps Security+, if your staying in helpdesk, then perhaps you can make the arguement to get it, but with 10 years doing helpdesk I imagine that your trying to get as far away as possible from that type of position. Why the econ degree when it sounds like you want to get in IT?
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  • gbdavidxgbdavidx Member Posts: 840
    why did you get an economics degree?
  • jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 911 ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you can correlate and display your 10 years of desktop support experience with no problems, I'd say skip the A+.
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  • aluchenialucheni Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    The econ degree is sorta what ended up happening. I wanted a degree, thought I would do computer science, then ended up really liking some of the intro econ courses (this is OSU in case anyone is in Columbus). Three years later, it seemed quite futile to attempt to build a career as an economist. You need a grad degree, most likely a PhD, and in the end you're not making much more than a senior level I.T. person. That, and there's the opportunity cost of being in school forever. Also I'm old!

    Now I hope to leverage the degree as a way into a management position several years down the road. In the meantime, a technical job sounds great. Also, I don't much care for managers who have zero technical skill. Perhaps it's naive, but I'd rather work my way into a senior technical position, do that for a while, then go for management afterwards. Hey if that doesn't pan out, I happen to enjoy working with technology anyway. :)

    Thanks for the responses so far.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    If you want to get back into Networking, why not re-cert the CCNA, revert the CCNP, then take the MCSA?

    W/ 10 years of experience, regardless of how long you've been away from IT professionally, I'd skip the A+ unless you wanted to do help desk/desktop support/break-fix.
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  • superksuperk Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    some I.T. jobs require you to get an A+ cert, and the CCNA isn't a replacement for it. I remember seeing job postings online that gave you options for other certs to get instead of A+, but because some jobs make it a downright requirement, you may as well get it. You already know a lot of the stuff and besides the cost the whole experience will be a cakewalk for you.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    My current position "required" 3-5 years worth of IT experience. I had 6 *months* when hired.
    I'm quickly learning to take job ad requirements loosely. If you can do the job (and get past HR for the interview,) you can do the job.

    I doubt an employer would see someone w/ a CCNP + 10 years of applicable experience, applying for a Cisco-networking-intensive role, and reject them solely off the fact that he doesn't have an A+ certification.
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  • instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    A+ makes no sense with as much experience as you have now. It'd be a waste of money. You worry about being broad versus focused, but the reward will be richer for you with CCNP, versus being too broad.

    Knock out CCNA, update your resume, then knock out CCNP, and update your resume again.

    If you got the CCNP four years ago, you'll enjoy taking it this time around, as it'll be three tests (ROUTE, SWITCH, TSHOOT) instead of four.

    Hope this helps.
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  • aluchenialucheni Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    instant000 wrote: »
    A+ makes no sense with as much experience as you have now. It'd be a waste of money. You worry about being broad versus focused, but the reward will be richer for you with CCNP, versus being too broad.

    Knock out CCNA, update your resume, then knock out CCNP, and update your resume again.

    If you got the CCNP four years ago, you'll enjoy taking it this time around, as it'll be three tests (ROUTE, SWITCH, TSHOOT) instead of four.

    Hope this helps.

    Thanks instant (and others). Here's what I think I'm going to do: The A+ is pretty expensive, and a cursory glance at the exam requirements tells me I'm already solid on ~75% of its contents. On account of its cost, I think I'm just gonna give the Mike Meyers A+ guide a good read on my own time, while continuing to re-certify the CCNP. It looks like some file-system and hardware stuff has changed, so I do still think it will be worth it just so I don't sound out of touch when talking to helpdesk folks who are escalating problems.

    DoubleNN, I have until May before starting a job search and I'm still in school. I think a CCNP + MCSA would be pretty tough to achieve in this amount of time. Perhaps a good idea in the long run though?

    As for people studying for the A+, go for it! Without schooling or prior experience, it does seem like a good way to get into I.T.. Just figured I'd mention that. Too bad that the exams are so expensive now.

    thanks again!
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Yeah, I meant in the long run. You could recert the CCNP by May. Then get the MCSA while working in order to add breadth to your skill set.
    But I think recerting the CCNP should take precedence over the MCSA.
    (Just my opinion.)
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