Passed A+ awhile ago, got a job but where should I look too now?

jam3s121jam3s121 Member Posts: 26 ■□□□□□□□□□
I've been working as a entry level tech / remote desktop support tech @ a managed service provider for about 7 months since I passed my A+, they don't particularly pay well but I don't particular have much certifications (only A+) and this is my only IT job experience. The job gives me a GREAT amount of exposure to a lot of topics that I typically wouldn't see as a level 1 job, for instance I have completely configured brand new $15k servers, re wired server rooms, granted a lot of this is also with a systems engineer because technically I am a "intern" at my job although I work at client sites alone typically for 4-5 hours before going to the office.

I want to put myself in a position to get a better paying job though, I have no clue what I should be doing.. I do enjoy dealing with desktop and server stuff as compared to networking, but I feel like my networking skills and knowledge are quite limited.. the A+ teaches you a lot, but I felt like I learned very little from it in terms how switches, routers, and firewalls work.

I have a pretty good job that gives me access to a lot of tools, I have been studying MTA server fundamentals and I was able to create my own virtual server on our monitoring server and got the guys to join the domain I created to mess with it.. and they have told me I can mess around with the spare cisco firewalls whenever I want.. plus they are very experienced and always willing to answer my questions. I want to make the most of my time with them by beginning to study something else and if I need clarification knowing they are there is really nice.

What do you guys suggest?


  • nachodbanachodba USMember Posts: 201 ■■■□□□□□□□
    If you are interested in learning how switches, routers and firewalls work, you could go one of two ways, either the Network + or the CCENT 100-101. The Network + will give you the basics of networking, and the CCENT 100-101 will get you down and dirty with networks. The CCENT is actually cheaper so that might be the better route, especially since you have hardware you can mess around with.
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  • jam3s121jam3s121 Member Posts: 26 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Right, I do have a good deal of hardware lying around, cisco asa 5510s, 5520s, and some older switches. My question is how applicable is CCENT/ccna in regards to all things networking?
  • WizardoWizardo Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Out of curiosity, how long did it take you to find a job after you got your certification? I'm asking because I'm about to take the exams and then start looking for jobs.
  • jam3s121jam3s121 Member Posts: 26 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I studied and passed both tests in about 5 weeks. I had a lot of free time from not working my deli job. I went back to that for about 2 months and found this job about 2 weeks into looking. It was the only interview or call back I received and got hired on the spot.

    I intitntally didn't apply for jobs immediately because I was trying to work at a public school system over the summer ( a lot of public schools hire temp IT workers on the summer vacations..) when it didn't work out I applied for a "intern" position at a MSP that pays me 12/hr (until end of my contract then more).

    My MSP outsources a lot of stuff, all of our bigger clients are set up on a 24/7 call center based in the USA, they only call us if there is a problem the helpdesk cannot fix or they do not support (pbx phones for example) or something that we do not document. A lot of the smaller clients aren't set up on this and will call in for random level 1 problems that I typically handle.
  • WizardoWizardo Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Wow... 2 weeks, ha? That's impressive. Did you have any prior experience before your current job or is the A+ the only true "experience"?
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