Certifications Study and Testing

md_cflmd_cfl Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
I work as an office manager for a small professional firm. We run a Windows environment. I handle some of the light-duty IT stuff. I have also done some development in PHP & MySQL, HTML, Access, report writing in Crystal and have a little exposure to Windows Server, Security, Linux, VPNs, etc. At home I'm "supporting" five users on our network also running Win Svr 2008 R2.

I would like to start studying and prepare myself so that in a few years I could transition into the IT world in something other than an entry-level position. I was hoping given my years of management experience, and whatever real-world IT experience I can gain in the interim, that would be realistic.

My thought was to buy the CBT Nuggets subscription and buy books as needed. I was going to start with MTA 98-365 on Server Administration since it has immediate application to what I am doing now at work and home. I'd follow that with the MTA exams on Windows OS, Networking and Security Fundamentals. I also have books for CompTIA books for A+ and Network+.

If I understand what I have read here and on the Prometric site I can do all of this and pay for the exams. I neither have to be a current student at a particular school nor employed by a particular firm. Is that correct? Any particular input given the foregoing?

Comments

  • BlackBeretBlackBeret Member Posts: 684 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Each certification will have different prerequisites. CompTIA's A+, Net+, Sec+ do not require anything, whereas CEH requires either two years of experience in the security field or to take one of their official classes. CISSP you can take the exam without any experience and be certified as an associate, or have 5 years experience and be considered fully certified.

    Basically, research an exam that you want before you take it. Also keep in mind that most of the certifications now days have continuing education or re-certification requirements. What this means is that if you go and get all of these certifications now, and don't need them for the next 3 years, then you'll be paying to take them all over again, or be paying yearly and doing continuing education courses.

    What I did was put all of my time, energy, effort in to learning networking and security from freely available resources until I was actively on the job hunt, then it only took about a week or two of studying for each exam because I already know the subjects, I just need to know how the exam words the questions, the particular vocabulary, etc. It wont hurt to study for them now if you want, but if you're not going to try and transition for a few years you might want to wait on actually taking the exams.
  • md_cflmd_cfl Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks, that is good information to consider. I think that since I don't explicitly work in the IT field each day if I'm not following some kind of a program it will be more difficult to complete.

    However, I guess I could set up my own curriculum. I don't have access to all of the programs though without being part of a program. I had a Dream Spark account for a while but I no longer have an active .edu email address.

    I am working through my list of questions about how to go about this now, so any additional insight, experience, guidance, etc. will be appreciated.
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