A+ And happily Employed but Looking for Growth - What Next?

jerrdufordjerrduford Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi All, I obtained my A+ certification a little over a year ago just to get into the field and have had mostly good experiences. I am currently a hardware support team manager where I manage several activities, namely providing a retail chain with hardware support (fixing, shipping, and troubleshooting of all of the systems in a retail environment). However, I am looking for better opportunities.

I am not sure what I want to specify in (networking, Server, Linux, etc.) but my main goal is improved employ ability and pay. These may not be the right goals in the eyes of the community, but at the end of the day, it's what we work for.

I have looked briefly into CCENT/CCNA, MSCA, and have thought also that NET+, SERVER+ and SEC+ would be easily obtainable. My question is which of these are actually going to be most valuable to me and my employers? Are there any of these or other certifications that are extremely valuable?

Any general personal advice would be great - If you know of a cert and materials that you personally used to obtain and would recommend, please do! It is much appreciated.

Comments

  • stryder144stryder144 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,684 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I would suggest starting out by studying for Net+ and Sec+. They will indicate to you whether or not you like the technology enough to pursue other, more indepth certs (CCNA/CASP). Besides that, are there any technologies that your current employer uses that you could learn? For instance, MCSA: Windows 7? If you enjoy the company you work for, I would suggest pursuing certs that directly apply to them, then branch out into other areas that interest you.

    Cheers
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  • jerrdufordjerrduford Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    stryder144 wrote: »
    I would suggest starting out by studying for Net+ and Sec+. They will indicate to you whether or not you like the technology enough to pursue other, more indepth certs (CCNA/CASP). Besides that, are there any technologies that your current employer uses that you could learn? For instance, MCSA: Windows 7? If you enjoy the company you work for, I would suggest pursuing certs that directly apply to them, then branch out into other areas that interest you.

    Cheers

    Thanks for the input. I do already have an exam cram for Net+ and began studying but lost interest fast as a lot of it just seemed to be memorization of some key points but not a lot of concepts that I could put into practice. I'm a decent test taker and will likely pass this way but am concerned that I would be wasting my time studying content that I won't be able to put to practical use.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    ITIL Foundations might be up your alley. CCNA is a nice certification especially if you have networking experience to go with it.
  • jerrdufordjerrduford Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    N2IT wrote: »
    ITIL Foundations might be up your alley. CCNA is a nice certification especially if you have networking experience to go with it.

    I checked out the official page but have not heard much about ITIL or how standardized it is here in the United States. Do you mind sharing any personal experience with it?
  • IS3IS3 Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Network + and Security +. Foundation is the key!
    :study:
  • jerrdufordjerrduford Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    IS3 wrote: »
    Network + and Security +. Foundation is the key!

    Thanks! I have picked up my studying for Net+ again. Any resources you might recommend or general suggestions?
  • IS3IS3 Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    This is the book i used in class and I am taking my exam in April.
    http://www.homeworkmarket.com/sites/default/files/q1/24/09/cover-chapter_12_1.pdf

    I also watch videos on youtube like Prof Messer Network +, Mike Meyers, CBT micro nuggets.

    I am hoping to pass the exam but so far these are the resources i am using. Hope it helps!
    :study:
  • PolynomialPolynomial Member Posts: 365
    N2IT wrote: »
    ITIL Foundations might be up your alley.

    N2 made the same suggestion to me a while back. Honestly it was worth the time investment just to keep up with the Director level buzzword barrage ;)
  • ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    I think the CCENT and specifically the CCNA certifications are well recognized across the entire industry, and helped me get my foot in the door for my current position which involves all types of networks (voice / data / video / wireless). So despite my lack of experience in a network role when I became certified, it opened the door for huge experience down the road.

    You really have to do what you enjoy though, and I loved playing with my lab even after my studies. If I were having a bender drinking night on a weekend, I'd keep stacking network protocols / acls / nat rules on my network, and wake up the next day all hungover and troubleshoot it - was often hilarious seeing the show run after a long night of alcohol fueled configuration :D

    Definitely get the foundations too, I skipped learning huge topics completely like servers and linux, and am now playing catch up on that knowledge, so I might recommend doing server+ and linux+ as well.

    Good luck sir!
  • ITnewbITnewb Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    jerrduford wrote: »
    Thanks! I have picked up my studying for Net+ again. Any resources you might recommend or general suggestions?

    I would suggest going to Professor Messer, CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, Linux, Microsoft Certification Training and looking at the Free videos he posts on there or go to youtube and look at his playlist for the Net+ exam. This may be a no brainer but download the exam objectives so that you know exactly what you will be tested on.

    Good luck
  • jerrdufordjerrduford Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    IS3 wrote: »
    This is the book i used in class and I am taking my exam in April.
    http://www.homeworkmarket.com/sites/default/files/q1/24/09/cover-chapter_12_1.pdf

    I also watch videos on youtube like Prof Messer Network +, Mike Meyers, CBT micro nuggets.

    I am hoping to pass the exam but so far these are the resources i am using. Hope it helps!

    Thanks, those are great resources and I have watched some of those videos as well. Thanks for passing it on.
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