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

CCNA useless for a Helpdesk Job, right then....

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Lefty, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Lefty

    Lefty Bit Poster

    25
    0
    12
    ...what is it useful for?

    I am currently in non IT employment and I am finishing off my Foundation Degree in I.T which has a CCNA included in it.

    Where do I go from here? Do I go back to University for the last year to 'top up' to a full degree? I really love the Cisco/CCNA part of my course and that is where I think my future lies. I can't think of anything worse than working on a helpdesk anyway. I like the look of the CCSP I may start that.

    So where do I start with identifying the correct job description that I am 'allowed' to apply for with the qualifications I have?

    The job I have now is good in the way that I finish at about 1ish everyday. Shall I get some volunteer work experience in?

    Help!
     
    WIP: CCNA (Foundation Degree I.T)
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    14,283
    254
    329
    There are certs for people who already work in IT and certs for people who want to get into IT. THe CCNA is for people who already manage, maintain and work on CISCO kit. So yes it is useless for a helpdesk job. Definetly stay away from CCSP.

    YOu should be looking at A+,N+ and MCDST for entry level certs and no further until you have experience.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    For certifying network administrators who administer Cisco gear. And network administration isn't an entry-level job.

    Entry-level certifications are useful for getting an entry-level job. These certifications include the A+, Network+, and MCDST.

    Your school won't tell you this... but neither a degree nor certifications are going to automagically qualify you to be a network administrator. Employers don't typically hire people with degrees and/or certifications but no experience to administer networks - they've done that in the past and gotten burned by doing so. Without experience, you'll be qualified to do entry-level IT work.

    Don't get me wrong - the knowledge you gained while pursuing your degree will certainly help you to advance faster, and your degree will open up jobs later in your career that would have been otherwise unavailable to you. But a degree isn't required for entry-level jobs, and experience is required for anything beyond entry-level. Had I been your college career counselor, I'd have advised that you get a part-time IT job while in school to help you build some real-world IT experience.

    Everyone starts at the bottom... but nobody says you have to stay there forever. ;)

    Entry-level jobs typically include, but are not limited to, help desk techs, call center techs, field service techs, level 1/tier 1 techs, PC repair techs, and desktop support techs.

    Volunteer work is certainly worthwhile if you can't find a paying IT job.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2010
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  4. Lefty

    Lefty Bit Poster

    25
    0
    12
    Cheers,

    What is wrong with the CCSP? I'm going to get the CCNA as part of my degree course. It wasn't something I originally had an interest in. The degree was my main aim. Since doing the CCNA modules though I have really got into it.

    So CCNP is better?

    I will do a bit of work experience then. if I do afternoons a few days a week for 12 months or so that would help. Any ideas of the best places to get in touch regarding work experience or is it a case of phoning a few places up?
     
    WIP: CCNA (Foundation Degree I.T)
  5. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    14,283
    254
    329
    any of the CISCO certifications wont come in handy until you have the experience. No network manager in their right mind will give someone just out uni their first job as a network bod working on cisco kit,

    You need yo build up to that. Getting the work experience will be very beneficial but unless you are getting major experience on the CISCO kit no CISCO cert will help you get a job.

    We have had people on here before who have gotten their MCSA,MCSE's and CCNA without experience and no one would give them a job. THis is because having certs like that makes people hiring for entry level jobs hesitant to hire because the employer thinks they will do a runner once they get some experience for better money.

    And it goes the other way too, no one will hire someone certified with high level certs for a high level position who has no experience. Passing an exam is one thing doing the job is another.

    Experience beats qualifications.certifications hands down

    The people I mentioned above had to hide their certifications on their CVs to be able to get entry level positions.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  6. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    3,463
    397
    199
    No No NO.

    None of the Cisco certifications are entry level certifications, they are (strangly enough) aimed at the experienced networking administrator\professional. Any of the CC*P exams are aimed at people with more experience than the CCNA, you simply won't have the experience that any of the CC*P exams require and if you try going for these exams now you will not only hurt your career path but also cheapen the certification.

    As far as work experience goes, speaking to your local charities\churches etc are a good idea.

    Just a word of advice, just because you have an IT based degree please don't think that entitles you to walk into a highly placed position because it won't, you still need to start at the bottom, what the degree may help you do however is progress through your career quicker.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  7. Lefty

    Lefty Bit Poster

    25
    0
    12

    I don't think it entitles me to do anything. I do not however believe that it counts for nothing otherwise what is the point? If what you are saying is true and real world experience counts for more than a degree or any qualifications then why on earth does anybody bother running them let alone study towards them.

    In respects to the CCNP. I think I could do it. Providing I studied hard enough. I had never even heard of Cisco before I started the CCNA. To say it would cheapen it is just silly. Even if I went and did it and then omitted it from my CV it would give me more knowledge to draw from in any interview that I would have. Knowledge is power ;)

    One thing is for sure I am not going to sit behind a desk on a phone like a battery hen listening to people who cannot set up there emails. I have done that before and hated it. I am in no rush to get into the industry.

    So I guess I am saying is, other than helpdesk. What is there?
     
    WIP: CCNA (Foundation Degree I.T)
  8. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    14,283
    254
    329
    IT technicans, field service technicians, trainee network admins (usually requires 6 months experience) etc etc.

    I don't think your actually getting what we are trying to say. Having the CCNP would be like saying that you have a pilots license. Doesn't mean the RAF are gonna give you a job flying harriers does it.

    If you went for a network admin job with the CCNA or CCNP your CV would end up in the bin because you do not have the experience that those certs are supposed to back up.

    I will repeat what I said in my first post. There are certs for people wanting to get into IT and certs for people who already work in IT. Any CISCO cert is the latter.

    Whilst you may be able to get a graduate job still don't think your going to be adminstering servers and networks in your first role. Any IT manager who let you do this wouldn't be worth working for.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  9. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    3,748
    330
    187
    Then you will fail. No-one will hire you for a job other than first-line straight out of university. Stop thinking that this will happen - because it won't. For every job you go for that is server admin/network admin level there will be 2000 other people out there going for the same job. 200 of those will have firsts. 500 will have the necessary real-world experience for that type of role (three years or so in first line, or already be working in server/network admin and just looking to move on. 1300 will be braindumping idiots who don't know a PCI slot from a SATA slot, but are willing to work for a box of wet hair a day)

    You are falling into the trap that all students, of all subjects do when they are in the middle of their degree - believing that the fact they are at university makes them somehow 'special', and automatically qualifies them to start in an industry somewhere other than at the bottom. It doesn't happen. IT is one of the worst industries for you to have a degree related to as well, since there are literally hundreds of thousands of people out there doing what 'should' be a specialised role - but isn't considered as one because of the number of clueless, skillless retards in the industry. If you wanted to start in any industry 'in the middle' somewhere, you should have taken a Maths degree.

    If you take anything above the CCNA, you will be overqualified for any job at entry level, and underexperienced for any job above that level. But hey - if you don't believe me - try trawling through the forum for similar posts - there have been literally hundreds just like yours in the past couple of years - you won't find a single person on here who actually works in the industry who will tell you anything different.

    PS: I've got a little bit of news for you: 95% of what you study on an ICT degree at university will not be even remotely relevant to what you'll be doing in the workplace. Once you realise that, you'll understand that the best thing you can do with your time at Uni when not studying for the course is not to take extra classes, or certifications, but get yourself as much real-world IT experience as you can - even if this is voluntary. THAT is what will mark you out as a 'special' candidate to prospective employers once you enter the job market. Not a worthless piece of paper that tells them you know how to knock up an OSPF lab in packet tracer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2010
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  10. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    Because, like I said in my post, the knowledge you gained while pursuing your degree will certainly help you to advance faster, and your degree will open up jobs later in your career that would have been otherwise unavailable to you. Your degree alone won't enable you to start in the middle of the IT career ladder.

    Sure, you probably could pass the exams. But what would be the point? What do you expect that certification to DO for you? Getting the CCNP isn't going to magically cause employers to hire you to administer Cisco gear on their networks... because you lack real-world experience.

    Degrees and certifications alone won't cause employers to hire you for positions that require experience, such as network administrator jobs. If you doubt that, check out some other threads on this forum of people who get overcertified without the appropriate amount of real-world experience who had trouble getting their first IT job.

    Except in the case of an entry-level job. Tell an entry-level employer that you want to be working on Cisco gear, and you'll likely scare them off from hiring you... because at the first sign of a better job, they'll know that you'll take it, leaving them to find, hire, and train someone all over again. Remember, all they need is a plain-old entry-level tech... they don't need someone to administer servers or Cisco gear.

    Nothing's wrong with being ambitious and wanting to eventually be a network admin. But you don't have to let your first IT employer know that.

    Then you're likely in for a rough search for your first IT job. Competition is tremendous, particularly with unemployment as it is. Start getting picky about what roles you will and won't do, and you're likely in for a long search.

    You have? Then that's experience... how long did you do that? And have you considered getting a desktop support role where you can start picking up some real-world server admin experience from the server admins?

    After you've built up some experience, you can then get a proper server admin job, where you can start picking up some real-world network admin experience from the network admins. See, you use each role as a stepping stone to get to the next, picking up experience along the way.

    I listed a bunch of them in my previous post... PC repair tech, field service tech, tier 1 tech, desktop support tech, etc...
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  11. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    3,463
    397
    199
    You could perhaps do it, but why? Why spend the money now when it really won't benefit you, you are likely to forget the concepts before you can actually use them and as it stands you would need to recertify every three years anyway.

    Actually, anyone who takes a certification and doesn't have the experience and tries to get work based just on that certification cheapens the cert (I am not saying you would be doing that but there are people who do try and get work based purely on having a cert). As far as Cisco goes, they are pretty much the largest Network device provider out there, the fact that you hadn't heard of them prior to your CCNA high lights the fact that networking wasn't something you were particularly going to go into, my wife even knows who Cisco are and she isn't in IT, let alone networking.

    I honestly think that going for the CCNP is a waste of your time and effort, never mind money. At most I would suggest the N+ and the A+, if you went for a CCNP you run the risk of causing more harm than help because unless you're doing it day in day out you are not going to remember everything, you're more likely to forget something important. It's better to grow into that kind of work and experience.

    If you want to get into Networking then unfortunately you are going to have to go back and suck eggs, you're going to have to go through service desk and grow from there, why? because there are more people better certified and with more experience than you who would be going for the Network Admin roles, you need to have the experience on the CV to move into that kind of role, you need to have proved experience, something that only time will give you.

    I know you probably don't like hearing this but considering we all had to do that kind of thing before getting to where we are you will also have to do it. There is no short cutting to getting into Network \ Server administration. Any Network manager who gives a noob unrestricted access to his core network is just asking for his p45.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  12. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    This. Repped.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  13. Lefty

    Lefty Bit Poster

    25
    0
    12
    This just doesn't make any real sense to me. Why teach it at universities and colleges then to people who haven't got any experience? It happens all over the country.

    Anyway.

    I do of course believe you as most of you on here have a lot of experience with this. Like it or lump it however I will have a CCNA and a foundation degree in I.T and will be looking for jobs.

    I'll have to keep plumping for network admin and hope to get lucky.
     
    WIP: CCNA (Foundation Degree I.T)
  14. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    They teach it at universities and colleges because those universities and colleges don't know any better. They don't work in the industry. They simply want something to beef up their curriculum.

    You've got to get out of this "educational mindset" that whatever your instructors told/taught you is the gospel truth. I was told all through school that I should expect to start at $35,000 as a degreed chemist and that I'd have companies banging on my door offering me lab/research positions immediately upon completion of my degree. Nothing could have been further from the truth... the only job I could find was a job washing out test tubes for $25,000 a year. So I got a job 12 years ago making $22,000 a year as a Field Service Tech, knowing that I would be able to advance quickly. And I did.

    So... you can believe your instructors, or you can believe those of us who actually work in the IT field, many of us on the hiring side of the table (you know, the guys who will be interviewing you for your position).
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  15. Lefty

    Lefty Bit Poster

    25
    0
    12
    To everyone.

    Please don't think I am being arrogant either. I am loving all this advice and I am thankful for it. I know my place and that I will have to start at the bottom.

    All I am gettting at is that I do not want to start in a job that I will not enjoy. The technician role/roles sound a little more me. The helpdesk role is not something I am willing to do. Sorry.

    The N+ is a possibility if it would actually help!
     
    WIP: CCNA (Foundation Degree I.T)
  16. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    14,283
    254
    329
    That's upto you what you do but trust me. No one starts their IT career as a Network admin unless they are ****** the boss.

    As for learning the CCNA stuff there's no issue with learning any of it but getting the actual certification and using it to apply for jobs that you have no business applying for that is the problem. Like I said no IT manager in their right mind will hire you as a network admin without any previous experience.

    This is why most people do the A+ and Network + and progress to a networked role from a basic IT helpdesk or technician role. Degree or no degree.

    Do not fall into the same trap I did, I went to uni applied and applied and applied for jobs it turns out I Was applying for jobs that I wasn't experienced enough to do. Took me 5 years to figure that out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2010
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  17. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    3,463
    397
    199
    Come back in 12 months and tell us how that worked for you because I can tell you now, you will be **** outta luck, no one in their right mind hires someone fresh out of uni as a network admin, in this one piece of advise you can trust me.

    If all of the forum are advising you the same thing, then perhaps take on board what people are saying because maybe, just maybe they know what they are talking about.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  18. Lefty

    Lefty Bit Poster

    25
    0
    12
    Stay calm read my last post.
     
    WIP: CCNA (Foundation Degree I.T)
  19. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    3,748
    330
    187
    It doesn't, does it? I've said that ever since universities started using the CCNA as part of thie official curriculum that it was a mistake. They'd be better off offering the A+, Network+ and MCDST - at least entry level jobs are available with those certs without that much 'real-world' experience. No idiot in his right mind would let you NEAR live Cisco kit if you've just pissed about with packet tracer and done a few labs at uni.

    I'll give you an example - my brother lives in Australia. He's an AV tech by trade, and moved into videoconferencing and voice about five years ago (while he still lived here). He got boatloads of experience, and now heads up the AV department for one of the largest global investment banks' operations in Australia. He figured he'd better formalise his experience, so went back to university specifically to do the CCNA curriculum. He said he couldn't believe it when he started - the blokes he was doing the course with were all second year university students who didn't know ANYTHING about networking - having sat through a year of utterly, utterly useless theory. They don't have a hope of getting a job working with Cisco gear - even just backing up configs and ios upgrades - because their lack of 'real-world' knowledge would be hopelessly exposed by even the least competent interviewer. So they're basically wasting their time (though I guess you could argue that at least doing the CCNA at Uni does actually give you experience of real-world networking technologies).

    It's a harsh world - but asking for advice here you're already well ahead of the curve, because there are twenty-odd people here who frequent these forums who do the job you want to do already, so can guide you along the correct path to pursue.
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  20. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    3,463
    397
    199
    I did but it happened to be that we posted at the same time.

    Service Desk, Field Service Engineer, call them what you will but they are all first line positions and they will all have their fair share of idiots that you will be dealing with.

    Unfortunately if you want to get involved with Networking then the Service desk type roles are the ones that are going to get you more involved with 2nd\3rd line engineers.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).

Share This Page

Loading...