1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Career path help, Server vs Desktop vs Network

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Looney Toon, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Looney Toon

    Looney Toon New Member

    5
    0
    1
    Hello forums,

    I've been struggling with myself for over a month now. I'm trying to determine my career path but I don't know where to start. My goal one day is to work as a Network Engineer or System Administrator, but I need to start somewhere and I don't know what's the best path to take.

    I have a year and a half worth of work experience, an Associate's in IT and A+ cert. I have been working as a on-site (or in-house) IT technician for two different companies, both times I was responsible for setting up a small company network for 3-5 people and doing system administration, user support and PC troubleshooting. Basically I was doing everything but neither of the companies were IT companies and I wasn't doing any difficult system administration. My technical job responsibility included connecting 3-5 Windows 7 computers to a router and setting up Wi-Fi, installing OSs and sharing a printer. After that I would be in charge for making sure everything worked okay and if there were errors I would have to fix them and I was also educating employees.

    Now I'm moving to UK later this year to pursue my career as an IT Engineer, dreaming of working as a System Administrator one day but I don't know where to start because my jobs so far weren't exactly "engineering" jobs but rather simple PC works. I'm going to do N+ as well as MCSA cert but I don't know which one, Windows 7 (desktop) or Windows Server 2012 (server)?

    I know I won't be able to land a sys admin or net admin job right away and that I will need to work as helpdesk/desktop support for couple of years first but I don't know which certs would help me get a desktop support job quicker, MCSA:Server 2012 or MCSA:Windows 7? Looking from a desktop support technician perspective the choice is obvious but if I acquire a desktop cert, wouldn't I be overlooked if I apply for sys admin jobs and if I get a server cert wouldn't I be undesirable as a desktop support guy? Sort of a double-edged sword.

    I also like networks and since I haven't done neither seriously I can't decide which one is better for me or which one pay more but I would like to start somewhere and then change careers if necessary. My telephone manners are great, I can handle all sorts of clients but I don't know how effective would I be as a support guy, I never handled technical problems over the phone before so I'm in doubt if I'm proper for a job like that.

    My ultimate goal one day is to work as a system administrator or as a network administrator. I'm an entry-level guy, please advise me because I'm clueless. What would you recommend? What certifications should I acquire and what kind of jobs should I be looking for? What is the path to a system administrator, any advice from people who walked the path before me?

    I know this is a long post, I tend to over complicate things when trying to explain myself in writing. Thank you all for reading my post.
     
  2. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

    566
    12
    52
    Well, seems you have done your research.

    I would probably say go down the desktop route, as you need to support desktops before anyone in their right minds will allow you to support server OS. That's your progression there. The Windows 7 desktop training will show you how Group Policy etc will affect your client desktops, and then the Server exams would be how you actually implement it. (There is a bit of implementation on the client exams)

    It's a similar thing for a network administrator - you will want to work in a corporate environment before anyone would allow you touch their network.
     
    Looney Toon likes this.
  3. Looney Toon

    Looney Toon New Member

    5
    0
    1
    Just as I suspected, I should pursue Windows 7 certificates first. So for a desktop job would you say A+, N+ and MCSA:Windows 7 are enough to start with? Do you know where could I learn more about helpdesk/desktop support work responsibilities as in job description and most common problems&solutions (if there is any such place online)?

    What about a networking route? For software-path there's tech support job, what's the equivalent for an entry-level networking associate? How would one pursue a career in that? I know everything is revolved around CISCO but you would first need to work with CISCO hardware for some time before going for certificates and nobody is hiring noobs.
     
  4. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

    566
    12
    52
    the MCSA for Windows 7 is aimed at medium/large scale deployments, so would not be much use until you are in that setting. You should get first line work with the A+ and N+. MS certs are very much chicken and egg situations, as they are there to prove competency rather than get you in the door.

    Basically you are in a situation where you are supporting a network of computers which isn't large enough to say you are competent to take the exams, and the techniques you use to deploy or manage rarely scale on Microsoft products.

    I don't know the path for networking associates, but there is the CCENT (https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/community/certifications/ccent), which is the entry level Cisco cert.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
    Looney Toon likes this.
  5. reverb

    reverb Byte Poster

    153
    2
    10
    The desktop Microsoft certifications and A+ do go through some common issues and solutions. Learning Office and Windows XP/7 inside out will help. I wouldn't worry too much as you will learn these on the job and you will be able to recognise these common issues as they crop up that are not necessarily covered in a text book.
     
    Looney Toon likes this.

Share This Page

Loading...