Lost and Directionless...

HatahHatah Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
I have recently completed my A+ and S+ exams. I am unsure as to what the next step to be. I have recently gotten the study materials for the CCNA and SSCP courses. However I am unsure which direction to go first. I am more interested in the InfoSec side of the IT world. I have done Helpdesk until I am no longer able to talk on the phone without feeling like I am about to Hulk out. Desktop Support over the past 2 years and now I am ready for something more challenging. If InfoSec is my desired direction should I focus more on the SSCP, then on to the CISSP? Or CCNA, then CCNA-S? I am completely aimless at this point. Thanks in advance!!
2014 GOALS: CCENT [], CCNA [], CCNA-S [] , CISSP []

Comments

  • BetrayalBetrayal Member Posts: 108
    Get your Network+ and then move onto Cisco certifications.
  • slotzeroslotzero Member Posts: 68 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hatah wrote: »
    However I am unsure which direction to go first. I am more interested in the InfoSec side of the IT world.

    Here's a good resource as far as where to go next:

    https://www.isc2.org/choosing-the-right-credential.aspx

    It lists different experience levels and appropriate certs in the security space.

    Also some pentesting training would be a huge help and is affordable:

    Welcome to SecurityTube.net

    Hope that helps.
    WGU BS:IT/SF In Progress...
  • HatahHatah Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have been flirting with the idea of getting the Network+. But many people states that it is not needed if you are going to obtain the CCNA or not really required for the InfoSec field. As you can see, I am clearly turned all around.
    2014 GOALS: CCENT [], CCNA [], CCNA-S [] , CISSP []
  • Z3-MasterdZ3-Masterd Member Posts: 61 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Network+ would give you a really good base if you're going to go after CCNA. Even if you don't take the certification test, reading through some of the course material would certainly benefit you in the long run.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,015 ■■■■■□□□□□
    How much experience do you have? Do you have the experience for the SSCP/CISSP?

    Have you worked w/ Cisco IOS at all yet to know whether or not you're even interested?
    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
  • HatahHatah Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Z3-Masterd wrote: »
    Network+ would give you a really good base if you're going to go after CCNA. Even if you don't take the certification test, reading through some of the course material would certainly benefit you in the long run.

    I didn't quite look at the Network+ on those terms. I will definitely pick up a book soon.
    2014 GOALS: CCENT [], CCNA [], CCNA-S [] , CISSP []
  • antielvisantielvis Member Posts: 285 ■■■□□□□□□□
    N+ makes for a great base and will enhance your marketability. Anything CISCO, especially the CCNA R&S is always a good addition to your resume. Knowing networking WILL be beneficial to your career. Example: I saw a firm having printing issues a couple years ago. The on-site tech guy spent hours and hours tinkering to get things to work unaware it was a simple VLAN issue. You don't even need to get the cert, just understand how things work.
  • PolynomialPolynomial Member Posts: 365
    All the advice in this thread is kind of stock if you ask me.

    Are you going networking because that's what everyone on here says to do? Or is it something you WANT to do?
  • HatahHatah Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I was looking more into the Software or Firewall Security aspect of things. But the more I read here and speak to people, I feel like I would be shooting myself in the foot, by not going into or keeping my options open to Network Security and Networking.
    2014 GOALS: CCENT [], CCNA [], CCNA-S [] , CISSP []
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I don't see ANY reason to take the Network+. Here is what I would suggest since you are interested networking and security. Do the CCNA either by doing the CCENT + ICND2 or direct CCNA. I think the Network+ is a complete waste. The CCENT and CCNA are really not THAT hard. Yes you may give up six months of your life, but it's better than forking out money for a useless certification.

    I think your best plan is CCNA --> CCNA:Security. It will give you some exposure to ASA and help you better understand how to secure Cisco devices. You could go for the CISSP Associate, but I'm gathering from your post that you don't have enough years to have the full CISSP title.

    If I could go back in time I would have never done a single CompTIA exam except for the Security+. I currently have A+, N+, Project+ and Security+. None except the Sec+ has helped me career wise.
  • j.petrovj.petrov Member Posts: 282
    I think the Network+ is a complete waste. The CCENT and CCNA are really not THAT hard. Yes you may give up six months of your life, but it's better than forking out money for a useless certification.

    I agree. If I had to do it again I would not have wasted money on the Network+ cert. It did not get me any interviews when I was in the midst of changing careers. It wasn't until I got the CCNA that I started getting more interest from employers. In fact I had a few people tell me that they would not have even called me in if I didn't have it. I'd go for the CCENT -> CCNA path. You will get better visibility in the job market.
  • HatahHatah Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yes you are correct, I am no where close to having enough years of experience to get the full CISSP title. I have the CCNA books and the 2 test route seems like it will be the best when it comes to setting small goals for the big picture. 6 months? Really? It takes that long to study for the CCNA?

    @j.petrov
    I really want to thank all of you for your wealth of information you have given me so far. It is really giving me a clear path to take.
    2014 GOALS: CCENT [], CCNA [], CCNA-S [] , CISSP []
  • antielvisantielvis Member Posts: 285 ■■■□□□□□□□
    @j.petrov

    I understand the statements about "this cert, that cert" not going to help me get a job. I realize some people don't have the money or the resources to complete every certification they want. But a certification should be about more than just getting a job. It should be about building a skillset that's broadly based (at least until specialization). In the OP's situation, he's in Desktop and N+ would make a nice addition to his A+ and S+ assuming he can afford it & doesn't mind reading a book for a few weeks.

    @Hatah: The new CCNA is actually pretty tough compared to the old one. 6 months is pretty reasonable (and it would help if you have some CISCO gear or at least Packet Tracer)
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Hatah wrote: »
    Yes you are correct, I am no where close to having enough years of experience to get the full CISSP title. I have the CCNA books and the 2 test route seems like it will be the best when it comes to setting small goals for the big picture. 6 months? Really? It takes that long to study for the CCNA?

    There is a lot going on when it comes to the CCNA. Since you have no networking experience the two test route is not a bad choice. Don't cram the exam, you want to KNOW the material. Network engineers are notorious for catching crammers in interviews :) If you don't have family responsibilities (a wife and kids) than you could probably kill it in six months. I have kids so it took me over a year to finish.
  • j.petrovj.petrov Member Posts: 282
    antielvis wrote: »
    It should be about building a skillset that's broadly based (at least until specialization). In the OP's situation, he's in Desktop and N+ would make a nice addition to his A+ and S+ assuming he can afford it & doesn't mind reading a book for a few weeks.

    @antielvis: I will not argue this, the Net+ definitely helped me when going for the CCNA. Its definitely a good basic foundation. If you have the money go for it, but don't expect it to open any doors.

    The Net+ shows employers that you have basic network knowledge, while the CCNA shows a more in depth knowledge and that you know how to apply it, ie configuring routers and switches.

    @Hatah: I you do go the cisco route then I would also recommend Packet Tracer if you can't buy any gear. I used it exclusively to pass the exam, and would not have passed without being able to do some labs. Good luck in your studies.
  • HatahHatah Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Just another wrinkle to add here. Is there another side of Security that requires very little to no networking. I am not running from networking. But just wanting to gather as much intel as I possibly can.
    2014 GOALS: CCENT [], CCNA [], CCNA-S [] , CISSP []
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Do you have a bachelors degree, if not what about one with an infosec lean?
  • HatahHatah Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    REMOVED UNNECESSARY QUOTE FROM PREVIOUS POST

    Sadly I do not. I through away my money on a B.A. that I will hardly ever use.

    I just wanted to come back around and say THANK YOU to everyone that took the time to respond to my questions and your input. Since I have very limited knowledge in networking. I just signed up for Networking Protocols and Route Protocols/Concepts at the local Community College to get me started with at least the CCENT. Thanks again everyone. Back to icon_study.gif.
    2014 GOALS: CCENT [], CCNA [], CCNA-S [] , CISSP []
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    In IT simply having a Bachelor degree is a plus. I wouldn't be worried about that. A bachelor + CCNA will be sufficient to get you headed towards Network Engineering. You may have to pay your dues in a NOC for a while though.
  • ehndeehnde Member Posts: 1,103
    Have you looked into the OSCP? Offensive Security Certified Professional

    It's a very difficult certification to get and requires some serious talent. You could work on it as something like a 5 year plan...need some coding skills, know linux, and understand stuff like packet captures and **** files.
    Climb a mountain, tell no one.
  • fishinmiamifishinmiami Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I know just how you feel. I have been looking for an IT job for the first time in 22 years and seen to have been passed by. While I was complacent in a job I thought would be there forever an is now gone. I really do only blame myself I was comfortable and lazy and now I am paying the price. I have listed the certification I am currently working towards starting with the A+ which I plan to take in about a week or so. I have taken several practice tests and seem to have firm grasp on the material without studying the Network+ will hopefully be about the same. If anyone can make suggestions to the list of certification I am working on I would greatly appreciate it. I have found job search is currently very humbling everyone I have interviewed with is younger than me and experience does not seem to count for much without certifications.
  • instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    Hatah wrote: »
    I have recently completed my A+ and S+ exams.

    Congrats. :)
    Desktop Support over the past 2 years and now I am ready for something more challenging.

    Hey, if you feel ready, go for it!
    If InfoSec is my desired direction should I focus more on the SSCP, then on to the CISSP? Or CCNA, then CCNA-S? I am completely aimless at this point.

    As someone who's done a little bit of infosec work in his day, and who interacts with infosec guys on a daily basis, I would recommend CCNA/CCNA-S/SSCP/CISSP. I say this because you will bump into a lot of infosec guys who don't understand the network that is carrying the data back and forth.

    You may worry about the experience requirement, but you can be an Associate of (ISC)2 in the meantime.

    Also, since you have study materials for CCNA and SSCP, you're already showing what you are interested in, you just don't know what to study first. CCNA would be more practical, as you can pursue roles where you can be a junior network admin. Many people in infosec came into it after having experience in other roles first. Since your interest is networking and security (based on the materials you acquired), then you may want to come into it via the firewall.
    Thanks in advance!!

    You're welcome.
    Currently Working: CCIE R&S
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lewislampkin (Please connect: Just say you're from TechExams.Net!)
  • HatahHatah Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    instant000 wrote: »
    As someone who's done a little bit of infosec work in his day, and who interacts with infosec guys on a daily basis, I would recommend CCNA/CCNA-S/SSCP/CISSP. I say this because you will bump into a lot of infosec guys who don't understand the network that is carrying the data back and forth.
    QUOTE]

    Since I have very limited knowledge in networking to self study for the CCNA. Do you think it would benefit more to at least to take the classes for the CCENT at a local community college?
    2014 GOALS: CCENT [], CCNA [], CCNA-S [] , CISSP []
  • ehndeehnde Member Posts: 1,103
    Since I have very limited knowledge in networking to self study for the CCNA. Do you think it would benefit more to at least to take the classes for the CCENT at a local community college?

    Depends on your style of learning. Do you prefer a classroom environment or independent self-study? You can pass CCENT without going to school.

    If you go to the school you will get:
    Access to lab gear
    Lab guides/study materials are provided
    If you get lost you have help from your instructor and classmates

    The downside is that you'll probably be doing your labs in a group...not independently.

    I did both. In 2004 I took the Cisco Network Academy classes and even though I got an A in each class it didn't really 'click'. Then again in 2009 I self-studied and it all made much more sense.
    Climb a mountain, tell no one.
  • instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    Hatah wrote: »
    Since I have very limited knowledge in networking to self study for the CCNA. Do you think it would benefit more to at least to take the classes for the CCENT at a local community college?

    Keep in mind that a course is only as good as the instructor. The content of the course, you can get yourself. (INE provides the CCNA:R&S video streaming course for free, as an example.)

    The single biggest tip for passing the CCENT would be labbing. The more time you can devote to practicing things hands on, the better things will turn out for you. I don't know what your timeline is, as far as how much time you have to put into it.

    You can have a great instructor and great content, but if you don't conduct periodic labbing of the topics, as well as review of flash cards, you will find yourself forgetting things. Keep in mind that you don't have years of experience having done the things before, so you'll be learning it from scratch. Looking at things from the bright side, you won't have many bad habits to un-break.

    If you feel that you need an appropriate introduction, then the course from the local community college would be the way to go.

    If the course includes sizable blocks of time for labbing, and is as inexpensive as community colleges usually are, it could be a sound investment in your future.

    Make sure that you go home to follow-up and practice whatever is covered in the class, and come back with questions when things don't turn out as expected.

    I encourage you to leverage the course, by getting to know your classmates and the instructor. Let them know that you're looking for opportunities.

    Keep this in mind: certs don't hire people, people hire people. :)

    Hope this helps.
    Currently Working: CCIE R&S
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lewislampkin (Please connect: Just say you're from TechExams.Net!)
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I am currently taking the Netacad courses at my local community college. It is part of the associate in computer science courses. I think the Netacad content is great but the courses are not that well organized. Groups of students lab together but really not enough hands on to justify the cost.

    If you like a classroom environment to keep you focused and answer questions then I say go for it. If you want to self study and save money then I say buy a few good books and some used equipment. It will be a lot cheaper and you will probably learn more.

    Learning style and motivation are the two things you should consider. I find driving to class forces me to focus and do the assignments on time.

    Good Luck
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