Student Spending the Summer Getting Certified: Which certs?

JaneDoeJaneDoe Posts: 171Member
I'm spending the summer between my junior and senior year in school working on IT certifications, so next year when I'm putting in job applications I'll already be certified.

Here is my plan at the moment, please tell me if I'm missing anything, or reaching too far:
A+ (Scheduled Tuesday), Security+, CCNA, RHCSA (Red Hat Certified System Administrator, a step below the RCSE), and MTA in Microsoft Server.

My professional experience is mostly in Linux administration, and I'm hoping to start a career in VoIP networking (which I already have professional experience with), or working in a data center somewhere. Please tell me if I'm on the right track with these certifications.

The part of this I'm least sure about is the MTA in Windows Server, but I've been thinking that's the right choice for me. My experience with Windows Server is academic, so an MTA accurately reflects my knowledge of the technology. Certifications exist for people to prove to employers that they know the things they know, and the MTA is close to what I know about MS server. I am not interested in spending lots of time studying Windows because I'd much rather do Linux administration and I have experience with Linux I don't have with Windows. I would like to show potential employers that I can work with MS server technology if I need to, and I'm hoping an MTA will help me do that more than saying I took a class in it. At some point I might look into getting a VMware cert, and I'll need to be able to help set up Windows server VMs. While the details of administrating Windows wouldn't be important, the basics will be and an MTA will hopefully show I can do that.

Comments

  • Sounds GoodSounds Good Posts: 403Member
    I'd eliminate A+ and MTA.

    If you're going VoIP, why not go for CCNA:Voice and CCNP:Voice?
    On the plate: AWS Solutions Architect - Professional
    Scheduled for: Unscheduled
    Studying with: Linux Academy, aws docs
  • JaneDoeJaneDoe Posts: 171Member
    The simple answer to why not CCNA:Voice or CCNP:Voice is that I'm not ready for that yet. My experience in VoIP is with Asterisk on CentOS, I've never seen or configured a Cisco Unified Communications Server.

    At the moment I'm looking to get a range of certs, at the highest level I'm ready for in each area I'm qualified in. I'm trying to open doors for myself in different places, and I'll see where my career takes me after I graduate. I know what technologies I'd like to work with, but I have no idea which technologies I'll be working with when I graduate, that depends where I get hired. If I get hired to do Linux administration at a data center the CCNA:Voice would make no sense. I don't know enough about my future career path to really specialize yet. If I get hired doing VoIP administration I probably will get a CCNP:Voice in the next few years.

    If I end up doing Windows stuff I know I'll be making a lot less than if I'm doing VoIP or Linux administration, but I'm a little worried about my level of experience in those areas, and I'd like to be able to get an entry level job in desktop support if I don't find what I'm looking for right away.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Normally I'd say just get rid of the MTA. But summer is only so long... even tho college summers are long, they don't last forever. Plus, I'm sure you'd feel tempted to go outside at least ONCE in a while and enjoy your last college summer.

    Get rid of A+. The 2 tests take too much time. Also get rid of the MTA. Focus on Linux for now. Besides, the MTA should be easy enough that you could passively study for it during the fall semester or winter holidays.

    Focus on CCNA and RHCSA. Then do Sec+ last if time permits. If you have even more time at the end of the summer, celebrate by going to the beach w/ friends.

    Edit: I missed the part where your A+ is scheduled for Tuesday. In that case, I don't think your plan is too bad actually. Just do Sec+ towards the end and MTA only if you feel like it after completing everything else.
    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
  • JaneDoeJaneDoe Posts: 171Member
    I've had an interest in Computer security for a while and I've taken I a few looks at the Security+ material. I have no doubt I can knock out the Security+ exam after spending a few days memorizing acronyms. I'm planning to go to a CCNA boot camp to help me prepare for the CCNA in June. The RHCSA will take the longest to prepare for, I plan to combine my preparation for that with a work goal I've been putting off for while that involves some complex Linux work.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Well, it seems like you've got everything figured out then. I think for now you should just focus on passing your A+ on Tuesday. Then after you have that, start your plan.

    If you think it's something you can handle, then go for it. You know your limits, your experiences, and your knowledge base far better than any of us could ever. Instead of asking whether your can do it or not, ask us for help if you start to stumble along your way.

    You've got a hell of a summer ahead of you. Enjoy it. Good luck.. hope to see you successful on the other side of the season.
    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
  • ChooseLifeChooseLife Posts: 941Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    +1 on dropping A+ and MTA.

    Sec+/CCNA/RHCSA sounds like a killer combination.

    Sec+: If you can knock it out easily, go for it

    RHCSA and CCNA: If you have enough experience to knock one them out within a couple of weeks and then focus on the other for at least two and a half months, do it. Otherwise, I would suggest focusing on only one of them this summer, and doing the other after the school starts (or next summer). Also, unless you will be having hands-on with both Linux and Cisco throughout the school year, plan to refresh your knowledge next summer before looking for a job - without experience those RHCSA/CCNA skills fade away very quickly....
    “You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.” (c) xkcd #896

    GetCertified4Less
    - discounted vouchers for certs
  • JaneDoeJaneDoe Posts: 171Member
    I admin a small network where I use Cisco and Linux skills, and if the project I was talking about goes well, I'll be doing even more Linux stuff and less desktop work (I'm planning to set up a Linux directory server with Samba4). I also run Linux on my personal computers and that helps a lot in staying current with my Linux skills. I'm also taking advanced networking classes next year, which I should Ace in my sleep after I pass my CCNA over the summer. I figure I'll be applying for jobs next spring, and hopefully have something lined up when I graduate.
  • ChooseLifeChooseLife Posts: 941Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Looks like you've got things aligned pretty well, all I can say is good luck! :)
    “You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.” (c) xkcd #896

    GetCertified4Less
    - discounted vouchers for certs
  • JaneDoeJaneDoe Posts: 171Member
    I just passed my A+ exam. One down, 4 to go.
  • YFZbluYFZblu Posts: 1,462Member ■■■■■■■■□□
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAPosts: 4,008Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Great plan good luck with everything!! :)
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
    *Bachelor's of Science: Information Technology - Security, Master's of Science: Information Technology - Management
    Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."

    Certs/Business Licenses In Progress: AWS Solutions Architect, Series 6, Series 63, GCP Architect
  • hoktaurihoktauri Posts: 148Member
    I have the Server MTA and yeah it's pretty much worthless. Installing any Server OS on a VM will give you a better appreciation for what is involved. The Windows OS MTA deals more with server based programs like APP-V and remote deployments.
Sign In or Register to comment.