Future path: CCNP or CCNA + MCSA?

Cat5Cat5 Member Posts: 297 ■■■□□□□□□□
I need a higher income for my family and I currently have a CCNA (and a B.A.) I'm also working in the networking field with about five years of experience. I'm trying to decide whether to pursue a CCNP level Cisco cert or widen my knowledge and get, say, an MCSA 2012. A wider knowledge base would make me attractive to more employers, and these two certs would tend to complement each other, but a deeper knowledge in one area may make me more of a "expert" in a particular field. I just don't know if the kind of job a CCNA + MCSA (like a network administrator) would get me more than what I'm making now (~ $50k/yr. here in Florida). If yes, I'd prefer that route; if not, I'd need to go after the CCNP path. And is there really a demand out there for a CCNA/MCSA combo?

I'd like to know if anyone else has had to make this kind of decision in the past, too, and what became of it?


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    wallpaper_01wallpaper_01 Member Posts: 226 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I passed CCNA then started on MCSA. Honestly, I would stick with the Cisco route and specialise rather than generalise. There is money to be made for people who a great at Networking. Personally I would do that, I am doing that! I'm starting CCNA:Voice next then going for CCNP.

    I passed the first MCSA exam but decided I didnt want to waste anymore time on it and it wasnt for me.

    Go all out networking I'd say.
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    networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Neither of these paths will prevent you from making more than $50k. I do agree with wallpaper_01 that specializing will raise you earning ceiling higher in the long run though.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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    ChitownjediChitownjedi Member Posts: 578 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I did the CCNA MCSA MCITP route

    Knowing what I know now... would do CCNP 100x out of 100x.

    Working in Microsoft environments and having the experience almost always enough to get those Microsoft Positions. The kind of bump I recieved from having Microsoft certs were almost negligible, it was moving into Team Lead and Management roles that bumped my salary up on Desktop Side, but no matter what certs I had microsoft side, I never once thought it mattered to any hiring manager or recruiter.. they only knew what the CCNA was. Your experience may vary.. but I believe CCNP has a larger ROI.. Doing MCSA allows you to have a fall back though... (fall forward ;)

    You will be looked at as a jack of all trades by widening out and they don't pay jack of all trades the way they pay specialist "experts". I would suggest CCNP, if you want to get an MCSA after that feel free. But I would put all my time into CCNP now.
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    BGravesBGraves Member Posts: 339
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    DeathmageDeathmage Banned Posts: 2,496
    I agree with the above. MCSA/MCSE is nice but it's really not a eye opener. my boss knows CCNA/CCNP more than MCSE.

    Me personally I'm more than likely going to pursue Networking with a specialization in Security/Visualization. I wanted to do system administration but I like networking so much more. 3 years ago getting into the Industry I wanted to be a sys adm but that has changed. However on the flip side, having a MCSA with a focus on networking does make you look well-rounded in technology. I guess it's really in the eyes of the beholder really.

    Honestly my motto is this, if you like something and you want a certain monetary value out of it, be the best you can be at that particular job and then some.
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    jthunderbirdjthunderbird Banned Posts: 95 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I agree with everyone else... Cant tell you how many people I have come across to get a lower level cert in numerous technologies (CCNA, MCSA, Linux+, Juniper, VCA, etc) and because they are good at those things... they get paid "good"

    I have a CCNP and little else outside of standard certs like Sec+ and smoke them all in pay because I am great at one thing... so get paid great.

    Whether it is Microsoft, Cisco, Linux or any other area... just find what you like best at get really good at that one thing... thats where the money is.
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    Jamm1nJamm1n Member Posts: 106 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I am in the same situation. I earned my CCNA R/S in Feb but was looking to go after MCSA just to prove/show my knowledge in other areas. This makes more sense to specialize but doesn't it also depend on your job?
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    networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Yes it depends on the job you have and the job you want in the future. If you work with servers and plan to work with servers in the future the CCNP doesn't make much sense.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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