So Excited! Seeking Advice!

MarcusStarMarcusStar Member Posts: 11 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hello everyone! :) 

I am in my mid-twenties and am looking to start a career in the IT field. I have very little knowledge of computers outside of the most simple basics that you can imagine. I am starting from scratch and know almost nothing. I have always loved IT and computers and technology, but, I will admit that half of the reason I am going for this career path is an opportunity to have a better living.

My goal is to learn as much as possible and self-study for 12 months so I can land a job that will allow me to support myself while also having room to grow. I want to continue to self-study and also learn on the job. My goal is to be able to have a career within the next three years that would allow me to (modestly) support a family.

I have been doing a lot of research. I came across A+ and Network+ as starting points. I found Professor Messer and Mike Meyers and their free videos. I also went to their websites and saw that they sell courses that include notes and practice exams.

Will obtaining A+ and Network+ be a good starting point that will allow me to land a job with potential to grow? What about getting Network+ as a first certification (skipping A+) then CCNA? I ask about CCNA because the more research I was doing about Network+ the more I saw people discussing going for CCNA right after passing Network+ since the foundation is still fresh.

What does the community think is a realistic goal to set for me?

Please be as honest and blunt with me as possible. I greatly appreciate all feedback and help. I am not scared of hard work and self-study and am fine dedicating anywhere from four to six hours per day to make my goals a reality.

Thank you everyone for your time! :)

Comments

  • MarcusStarMarcusStar Member Posts: 11 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Also!

    I foolishly forgot to mention!

    I do have a four year college degree but it is in the humanities. I made the mistake of studying what I loved rather than understanding how much time and money I would lose.

    Going back to school or college is really not an option. Perhaps obtaining a two year degree in the technical field? Maybe? But from what I am understanding it is significantly cheaper and quicker to get certified through self-study. I don't mind dropping money for preparation, study, and the exams. I have saved money and put a fair bit on the side. 

    Please let me know what everyone thinks. Thanks! :)
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,764 Admin
    I wouldn't worry about having only a humanities degree limiting your job opportunities. Because of the present difficultly of finding IT people--especially in cybersecurity IT--many organizations have dropped mandatory requirements for degrees and certifications. Work experience and a proven ability to do the job are the major factors for acceptance now.

    For those orgs that still require a degree, any degree will typically do. I worked as a software developer for over 20 years with only a BA in Anthropology to adorn the education section of my resume. Maybe I missed out on a few opportunities where a computer science degree was required, but I applied for them anyway just in case the degree requirement could be waived at the hiring manager's discretion. You never really know what the hiring manager is really looking for until you try.
  • MarcusStarMarcusStar Member Posts: 11 ■■■□□□□□□□
    edited June 22
    JDMurray said:
    I wouldn't worry about having only a humanities degree limiting your job opportunities. Because of the present difficultly of finding IT people--especially in cybersecurity IT--many organizations have dropped mandatory requirements for degrees and certifications. Work experience and a proven ability to do the job are the major factors for acceptance now.

    For those orgs that still require a degree, any degree will typically do. I worked as a software developer for over 20 years with only a BA in Anthropology to adorn the education section of my resume. Maybe I missed out on a few opportunities where a computer science degree was required, but I applied for them anyway just in case the degree requirement could be waived at the hiring manager's discretion. You never really know what the hiring manager is really looking for until you try.
    Thank you for your supportive post and feedback!

    What do you suggest I start with though? I want to get my foot through the door where there is demand. Obviously "IT" is a very broad area and field of work. Where should I point myself so that I can gain a skill-set and learn enough to be able to support my family in a few years?

    I see you have a ton of awesome certs under your belt! Do you suggest I start with A+ or N+ or somewhere else?

    Thanks! :)
  • Neil86Neil86 Member Member Posts: 157 ■■■■□□□□□□
    There is a very good chance you will start out in an entry-level help desk support role like most of us did. You'll need to be familiar with computer hardware and software, troubleshooting, network communications, and of course, practicing security at all times. I still say getting the A+, Net+ and Sec+ (in that order IMO) is an excellent way to get introduced to the world of IT, especially if you are brand new to it. Once you get that first role you could then start figuring out a path of specialization.

    Where are you located? If you haven't yet, I would also start looking at job descriptions in your area to get an idea of what places want. It can be tough landing that first gig but we all do it eventually. 

    Good luck and welcome to the forum. Lots of great people and info here.
  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT GICSP, GCIP, GXPN, GPEN, GWAPT, GCFE, GCIH, GSEC, CySA+, Sec+, eJPT Member Posts: 1,295 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Welcome!  Don't sell yourself short with that humanities degree!  At many companies soft skills are just as important as technical skills in entry level IT positions.

    I recommend that you start learning to search for entry level jobs now so that you can understand what your local market is demanding. That way you can work backwards from the market demand on round out your skillset. IT is indeed a lucrative field but typically at the more advanced levels.  Due to that, there is a high degree of competition for entry level positions so consider how you intend to set yourself a part from the dozens of other candidates as you review those jobs postings.

    Cheers and luck to you.
    2019: GPEN | GCFE | GXPN | GICSP | CySA+ 
    2020: GCIP | GCIA | eCPPT | eWPT | eCTHP

    WGU BS IT-NA | SANS Grad Cert: PT&EH | SANS Grad Cert: ICS Security
  • AverageJoeAverageJoe CISM, CDPSE, CISSP, SSCP, CYSA+, SEC+, NET+, A+, LINUX+, PROJECT+ Member Posts: 307 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You've received great responses so far, and I agree that having a degree is a plus and that it's in humanities won't hold you back in a lot of cases.

    I also agree that you should take a gander at the job market and see what IT jobs and certifications are in demand in your area.  

    A+, Network+, and Security+ are sometimes thought of as the trifecta for starting out in IT, but there are a lot of different paths to success.  I'd add that you might want to look at the basic objectives of the certifications you've mentioned and see if those things interest you and what just clicks for you.  I always find it easier to study things that interest me... so if hardware isn't all that appealing to you, maybe you skip A+.  If computer networks are fascinating to you, Net+ and/or CCNA are great places to start.  If cybersecurity is your interest, maybe you want to move straight to Sec+.  Personally, I took Sec+ first and then added Network+ and then A+ later.  For me Sec+ was the easiest (and least technical) and A+ was the hardest of the three because of the different kinds of hardware I had to memorize (all those silly connectors).  And even though you can definitely self-study with a book for these exams (I did), other folks really benefit from taking a course or watching videos.  We all learn differently, so if you know what works for you then you're already positioned better than a lot of folks starting out.

    Hope that helps!  Good luck!

  • MarcusStarMarcusStar Member Posts: 11 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thank you EVERYONE so much for such supportive and informative replies! It really does mean a lot and I greatly appreciate it! :)

    I have read very careful what you all wrote. I have trouble, or perhaps it simply takes me longer, just memorizing information all at once. But I am willing to put the work in.

    Now, for the job listings, I have no idea what I am looking at. I look up different roles (IT Support, Network Engineer, Help Desk, COMPTIA, CCNA, etc) and I see so many listings and the requirements for them make no sense. I learned this morning that Ruby is a programming language and Amazon sells cloud storage. AWS is a big thing and relatively new?

    I am not sure if this is paralysis by analysis. I have been looking at A+, N+, and S+ from YouTube videos (just realized that the new A+ is 1001/1002 and not 901/902 haha) and it seems to be all over the place for me. With that said though, I have the drive to succeed. My only worry and concern is studying for certain certifications and once obtaining them after months of hard work to just be told that they are useless or wont actually help me land the job.

    My zip code is 10704 and I have been searching on Indeed in a 25 mile radius. There are SO MANY job listings for IT but the spread of what is expected is insane. I am fine grabbing something "entry level help desk" because of course that is where I should start but I want to land a job that can support (modestly) a family in three years or so.

    Is taking Security+ first the smarter choice than A+ or N+ first? Will I have major gaps? 

    I think hardware is easier for me to grasp (because I can see it) but I find the idea of computers talking to each other (networking) much more interesting. I think security is extremely fascinating but I feel like I will have to know so much of other material that I will struggle to keep up. Also, there seems to be more jobs for cyber security in DC than Yonkers.

    I am sorry for such a long post. I am just trying to make sure I know where to begin so I can get started as soon as possible.
  • itdeptitdept Registered Users Posts: 175 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I might recommend reading the book on A+ and if you can build your own PC just bypass the A+ cert and go to N+ and from there to CCNA
    Many skills and certifications require that you have the basics in place. A good example is ports. You will get questions on ports in A+, N+, S+ and CCNA so making it a foundation helps for fixing problems and passing tests.
    I managed to complete the S+ exam in about a month of full time study and only got two questions wrong. While the CCNA took me a year and lots of study and just squeaked it. It can all depend on what is going on in your life, commitment, etc.
    Others can smash out a CCNA in 2 weeks and S+ in a week so ones mileage can vary. Plus I cannot afford to fail for metal and financial reasons.
    Once from there look to find something you find interesting and will give you a decent wage.

    I think some of the most important skills you will need is troubleshoot / problem solve and people skills. You are probably going into the trenches on the support desk. It can be stressing...
    Just my 2 cents



  • Neil86Neil86 Member Member Posts: 157 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited June 24
    For job listings, search for help desk, tech support, tech specialist, things like that. Don't let the job descriptions discourage you either. They are listing the "ideal" or "perfect" candidate, which often times we are not. You will learn a ton in your first role, so don't feel pressured that you have to know everything. Be willing to learn and be a sponge.

    Programming languages are another world to explore. As is cloud technologies (AWS, Azure, Google, etc). Baby steps.

    People take those 3 exams in different orders. I only suggested that because that is my own opinion. I would search the forum on other peoples experiences while taking those exams and their study materials used.

    The field is constantly changing, so do the certifications, its just something you have to realize. Just because a cert expires does not mean the knowledge is no longer valuable. Lots of folks here have expired certs, but they still have the knowledge and skills.

    As far as your concern about being able to support a family, there is a thread on here about peoples progression in the IT field. If you get a chance to read it, you'll see some folks that made great strides in 3-5 years with a lot of hard work. You can do the same as well.
  • RickyJoRickyJo Member Posts: 12 ■■■□□□□□□□
    edited June 24
    Hi @Marcusstar: I'd like to share a mistake I made in my twenties. I focused on passing the test, got hired quite above my skill level and had a really rough year trying to learn the basics. I did it all backwards and treated it like high school, and it took getting hired to realize I didn't hardly know the right end of a screwdriver even if I could rattle off test answers.

    Get your certs, but spend just as much time on learning in the real world. If you haven't already, build a computer. It doesn't have to be a shiny new system if you can't afford it (although you can build a serviceable machine on the cheap). Go buy a throw-away computer on Craigslist, take it apart, and put it back together. One way to get free computers is to post on craigslist that you will pick up and recycle old computer systems. Another way to get some real world experience without getting hired or any experience is to pick up dead computers, wipe them (full wipe, not quick wipe, and don't use an XP disk or XP itself to do the wipe because the "full" wipe doesn't destroy data) and re-sell them. Often "dead" computers just need a new OS. You can take your time and learn along the way. If a computer takes three days to fix and reload, no problem, you don't have a boss looking over your shoulder, you can just learn. This won't make you piles of money, but it'll make you some money right away and get you experience loading, configuring, troubleshooting and updating operating systems and replacing hardware. You can recycle the real trash at Best Buy for free (check your local locations).

    Do that for a month or two, get your A+ and you're ready for a basic help desk. N+ is gravy, but you won't be networking much at entry-level Help Desk so get your A+ first and start applying for jobs right away if you like. Make sure to put those soft skills from humanities to good use! Despite popular depiction of IT people, being great on the phone and in conversation is massively important and hiring managers know it. Some managers have the attitude that "we can teach you anything technical, but you have to already be excellent with the interpersonal stuff".

    Oh, and another resounding agreement that your four year degree is great and the discipline barely matters. I don't know that I've seen much Help Desk that requires S+, get that A+ and N+ first--at least, that's what I did and it worked for me. I got my S+ over five years later with my employer paying for it.


    Get that basic Help Desk job and then do everything you can to get PC Techs and Systems Administrators to offload some of their work on you. It'll take a boss that is willing to let you branch out and not be chained to a phone, but if you can manage it your life will get interesting quickly.

    One other thing: if your computer can handle it, build a virtual lab so you can practice setting up domain controllers, DHCP servers, DNS servers, powershell administration, NTFS permissions, Group Policy, Active Directory administration, etc. My budget lab runs on a solid state with 8gb of ram and a six year old CPU. It's a little slow sometimes, but I can emulate anything I want including a four or five-endpoint domain, it doesn't take as much power as you would think. For test environments I **** and use XP for some of my endpoints to reduce RAM usage. It's also fun to have old devices for vulnerability scans and remediation--just don't let those old machines online. :)

    Anyway, that worked for me! Hope this helps.

  • MarcusStarMarcusStar Member Posts: 11 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I am literally taking notes! :) 

    Thank you everyone SO much! This advice is worth a million dollars! :) 

    Due to COVID19 I must admit I am very worried with picking up random computers from strangers to fix and build. Also, for health reasons, I want to limit how often I leave my home just to be on the safe side. I do live with older people. With that said though I do have an old ASUS computer from I think 2016 that doesn't turn on so I can work on that. I have no tools though so that will be interesting.

    I have just a few quick questions and statements. I understand the importance of having a path chosen and also understanding what is valuable. I also am fine doing "help desk" but am curious how and what I will be learning since the work will vary so much.

    1 - Do I have to learn and keep up to date with all of the hardware that I seem to need to learn in A+ in order to be successful in my career? In general, I understand IT is always changing and evolving and expanding. Why question is how often do people have to go back to take their certs again or train again? My greatest fear is being left behind and caught with my pants down.

    2 - I don't want to "specialize" but I do want to perhaps focus on a specific area of study that is in demand and is flexible in multiple locations. I am excited to be in "help desk" even though I do have roughly one year of experience from many years ago doing basic IT Support. I also have years of experiencing working in retail and high end car sales. Customer service and personality is not an issue for me. I also have a very strong undergraduate degree that makes me feel more "rounded" as a whole. I've also taken graduate school courses but that's aside the point.

    3 - If I obtain A+ and N+ before the end of 2020 is that good enough to jump into something other than help desk where I can have room to grow? I am not trying to skip any necessary steps BUT if we're being honest I am worried with how much time I will have to study working full time plus commuting while also maintaining a relationship and helping family. I'm not saying I won't make the time but would it be better to possibly pick up something remote and part time just to build some more "experience" both on the resume and also the real world?

    4 - I came across an article explaining cyber security and what a SOC analyst is. Unfortunately, there is only one job posting for such a role and it is not entry level at all. A lot of the job postings for what people want in IT seem to be all over the place. I'm just trying to find my niche. I find networking interesting and I find security very cool. But it seems that taking S+ after I obtain A+ and N+ wont actually help me in getting a job. Is there a different cert path that is suggested for a broader and wider net? I am absolutely going to try to get A+ and N+ before the end of this current year. But I want to know what to focus on afterwards. Those two certs alone are so difficult for a total noob but I am motivated! :)

    5 - Is the goal of getting A+ and N+ before the end of this year realistic with three to six hours of study per day? Any specific resources we suggest? I found UDEMY and Professor Messer courses online for sale along with their free videos.
  • AverageJoeAverageJoe CISM, CDPSE, CISSP, SSCP, CYSA+, SEC+, NET+, A+, LINUX+, PROJECT+ Member Posts: 307 ■■■■□□□□□□
    My advice is to worry a little less about the long-term path right now... I think at this point you probably have enough of an idea to pick a cert and get through that first. 

    As you're studying you can (and should) continue to research the industry, jobs, and career options, but you don't have to nail that all down before you start.  Loving IT as much as I do, I know it sounds crazy, but some folks find out as they're working on A+ or Net+ that they really don't want to do this for a living at all.  Others can't imagine doing anything else.  But the first step is starting.  

    Good luck!

  • AverageJoeAverageJoe CISM, CDPSE, CISSP, SSCP, CYSA+, SEC+, NET+, A+, LINUX+, PROJECT+ Member Posts: 307 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited June 25
    Oh, and the CompTIA certs are usually good for 3 years, and then higher certs often renew lower certs.  So A+ is good for 3 years from the date you pass the exam.  And then if you pass Net+, that renews A+ also, so then both Net+ and A+ expire 3 years from when you passed Net+.  Sec+ does the same, 3 years and renews both Net+ and A+ so they'll all expire 3 years from when you passed the Sec+ exam. 

    That's one of the reasons people often take the exams in order.  It does NOT work out the same if you take them in a different order.  That is, if you take Net+ it's good for 3 years, and then you take A+, that's good for 3 years too, but A+ does not renew Net+ so your Net+ still expires 3 years from the Net+ exam pass.  Hope that makes sense.

    That's not the only way to renew those certs, but it's one of the easiest ways.
  • MarcusStarMarcusStar Member Posts: 11 ■■■□□□□□□□
    AverageJoe thank you! :) 

    Like... thank you so much! :) 

    Yeah I completely understand what you're saying. I agree with the steps and finding what you want to do in life. I guess I will go for A+ then N+ and then see from there. That should be a strong foundation for me to start with. Hopefully it can lead to something a tad above just regular $15 to $25 an hour help desk.

    My question is what will I be missing from a career stand point if I just get A+ though? What about A+ and N+ then? I'm also curious if it's realistic to give myself six months to get both of those certs? Assuming I spend three to six hours per day of productive self study?
  • AverageJoeAverageJoe CISM, CDPSE, CISSP, SSCP, CYSA+, SEC+, NET+, A+, LINUX+, PROJECT+ Member Posts: 307 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited June 26
    Sure, I'd say 6 months can be realistic for both A+ and Net+, but it really varies depending on how well your studying/preparing goes.

    A+ is two exams.  Net+ is a single exam.  So to shoot for being done in 6 months, that's basically one exam every 2 months.  I'd recommend scheduling that first exam now so you have a deadline you have to meet.  You can reschedule if you really need to (if I remember right you can reschedule until you're within 2 days or something like that).  So this week if you set a goal of, say,  August 31 for the first exam (just over 2 months) and then consider that a hard deadline unless something big comes up to throw it off.  

    I would set some decision points along the way, though.  Like, as you're prepping, by the 1-month mark you may well be so confident in the material that you decide to move up the test 2 weeks!  Or you may have had so much trouble getting into a study routine that you decide to add 2 weeks to take the exam.  That's okay, learn from it and go on.  But try not to fall into the trap of stressing about rescheduling at the last minute.  So many people wait until the last couple of days to try to reschedule, and then the Internet goes down, power goes out, they lose their phone, etc., and they can't reschedule so they wind up forfeiting their exam cost!  Ooof!  Don't do that.  

    A lot of people take both A+ exams on the same day or very close together.  Other folks treat them completely separate or need a longer break after getting through an exam.  I took my A+ exams 2 weeks apart, and that worked for me, but I didn't schedule the second exam until I passed the first one because I really wanted to focus on one exam at a time.  But when I walked out of the exam center with the score sheet saying I passed I immediately went home and scheduled the second exam for two weeks later.  Again, no wrong way, and a lot has to do with how you prep and how well you grasp the info, and you probably won't know until you've been prepping for a while.  So set that 1-month mark as a time to reevaluate how it's going.  

    Oh, and one of the things that sometimes holds people up isn't the prepping itself, it's the cost.  I just looked at CompTIA's web site and the A+ exams cost  $226 each and the Net+ exam costs $329.  So depending on your financial situation, that may or may not be a lot to spend in 6 months, but remember you still have to factor in the cost of study materials.  

    You can find discounted exams, but probably the biggest discount is the student pricing that's about half off.  That may well make it worth it to sign up for a local community college class in itself, but only you can decide if that's worth it.  


  • MarcusStarMarcusStar Member Posts: 11 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thank you! This is amazing information!

    To everyone on the forums I really am so grateful and appreciative of the information you are all providing me! It really means a lot and I am diving so deep and fast into this path. Please keep the feedback and advice coming. I am even considering making a LinkedIn at some point even though I avoid social media.

    My goal is to be both A+ and Network+ certified before 2021 and I will make sure to do everything in my power to make that happen. I am getting ready to purchase study guides from Meyers and Messer very soon. 

    I do have two quick questions though since I am perhaps running into some analysis by paralysis mixed in with anxiety.

    1 - If I get A+ and Network+ within the next six months should I also make it a realistic goal to get Security+ perhaps a few months after finishing both previous certifications?

    2 - I have been searching for different "Network Engineer" or "System Administrator" or "Cloud Architect" jobs within a 15 mile radius of 10704 and I seem to be running into many positions that want very specific certs that do not overlap. Even the entry level positions such as help desk and tech support want Microsoft certifications or the higher level ones are looking at Cisco requirements. I have been reading about doing A+ then Network+ then Security+ then CCNA since a lot of information on YouTube/Reddit says that CCNA is always in demand and can get you into a higher paid position. The jobs I search for under "CCNA" seem to want a lot more than just these four certifications. I guess what I am asking is what should I be learning to overlap or add to A+ and Network+ that can land me a job? I am very scared that I will not have what it takes to land something $70k+ salary in the next two years near where I live even if I follow the right path.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,764 Admin
    Based on your current level of inexperience that you described in the first paragraph of your original post, I'll guess that you will have a difficult time getting the A+ and Network+ in six months. Adding the Security+ will make you goal much more difficult. These certs contain very different subject matter and will require most people a good deal of time to study well in addition to the time demands you may have for work and family too.

    Having these certifications on your resume will only help you get a first-round job interview. Nobody gets a job only because they have passed a few certification exams. Cramming for and passing a certification exam just to get a piece of paper and then forgetting most of what you crammed is not a formula for success. If you don't know the cert material well enough to talk to it and use it then you won't get a job regardless if you have the paper or not. Landing that $70K+ job you are aiming for will depend more on "what you can do" rather than "what you already know."
  • itdeptitdept Registered Users Posts: 175 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You are probably going to have to do the hard yards and get the entry level certs and start at the bottom. Use these as career building blocks towards an area you want to go. Don't expect that $70K job to come in two years time unless you are really good at some in demand tech. Don't forget everyone is clamoring to get those jobs and they may have years of experience and knowledge under their belt. Get that terrible help desk job and get out of it asap. Treat study as a full time job to help accelerate that.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, CSM, MS Access 2016, 2019 Member Posts: 2,566 ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited July 2
    Way to much overthinking......    The truth is you don't have as much control over your career as you think.  

    With that said what do you like about IT?  Any part interest you?  If so that's what you should focus on and begin to build up your knowledge.  This is a slow burn and trying to microwave it doesn't work usually.  
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,764 Admin
    MarcusStarAchieved A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications in 42 days!

    The person who achieved this feat of certification had much more IT experience to start, but it's a workable blueprint for achieving the same results in six months.
  • MarcusStarMarcusStar Member Posts: 11 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Sorry for not writing here for a while. A very close family friend (like a parent to me) passed away recently. Thank you again everyone for your posts and support to guiding me in the right direction.

    I have been studying on and off both A+ (220-1001 & 220-1002) and Network+ (N10-007) through Professor Messer for free via YouTube. I have also stumbled across some information about Security+ (SYO-501) on his channel as well as reading material through Reddit. I have also learned recently that the new version of Security+ (SYO-601) is coming out in a few months and will have a lot more information to learn than the current version.

    There is good news though! I have found out what is of interest to me in the IT field and not just me drifting around. I know this is a marathon; a slow and steady race. I have to be constantly learning and training myself to be up to date. I think I would be very interested in learning about "The Cloud" and specifically focusing on AWS learning.

    Why AWS?
    1 - I think the concept of the cloud is cool and interesting plus I think it's really amazing how AWS is growing so rapidly and is a "hot" thing right now.
    2 - I began studying A+ (220-1001 & 220-1002), Network+ (N10-007), and Security+ (SYO-501) while also looking at some information about both Python and Linux but felt it to be too much information at once and too overwhelming. I feel better and more secure "focusing" on very specific information that I can master and master well.
    3 - I was on Indeed, Dice, Monster, and Glassdoor and saw many job listings that allowed for remote location and flexible job hours which is as huge plus since I live with older family that are very susceptible to COVID19.

    AWS Strategy:
    1 - Obtain three certifications (AWS Solutions Architect Associate & AWS SysOps Administrator Associate & AWS Certified Developer Associate) by February 2021.
    2 - Build a portfolio showing my own projects and what I can do and apply in my own labs and virtual boxes/machines so that future employers can understand my skill set.
    3 - Get any remote help desk job, even a part time one, to build some current experience and have a recent reference.

    What does everyone think? Should I maybe obtain just Network+ (N10-007) first before the three AWS certs? Maybe also get Security+ (SYO-501) before it expires? Does anyone suggest I go for Cloud+ or Server+ or Linux+ through COMPTIA as well?

    Thank you everyone so much! :blush:
  • AverageJoeAverageJoe CISM, CDPSE, CISSP, SSCP, CYSA+, SEC+, NET+, A+, LINUX+, PROJECT+ Member Posts: 307 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Getting the AWS certs sounds great.  But you've already been studying A+ and Net+ so unless there's some reason not to make one of them your first stop, I'd stick with knocking out one of them first.  Then re-evaluate.  
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