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Certification required for network administration

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Ash63, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. Ash63

    Ash63 New Member

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    Hi All!

    I need some advice on what certifications I need for a change of career to a network administrator. I have worked for 12 years as a analyst programmer on mainframes developing software using a 4GL which has now been phased out. Currently been out of the IT market for 4 years (running a retail business).

    What I want to know is what is the best route for me to get into Network Administration, the MCSA route or CCNA and what other qualifications will I need to obtain. i.e if I take the MCSA route is N+ a requirement since I have no experience in the field.

    Any advice given will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    You stated you want to go into Networking, but also mention MCSA. I can’t talk to the Microsoft certifications much. From what I understand, MCSA is more of sys admin of Windows OS not so much networking.

    If you’re interested in networking but have little to no experience, you should start with the N+ and move from there. The CCENT is Cisco’s version of an entry level cert; but you should have some networking experience before heading in that path.
     
  3. westernkings

    westernkings Gigabyte Poster

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    MCSA is relevant to a Network Admin and Manager as in a lot of cases a network administrator does just that, administers the entire NETWORK. He never said he wanted to do networking, the titles are pretty cross compatible in terms of definition. Network Analyst would usually be someone specific to actual networking I think. But as a Network Administrator and Manager, MCSA/MCSE and then good sound experience of networks in general is a must. Either way, he is going to have to start from the bottom and stop expecting to be able to just go into a network administrator role. Depends on what he can salvage from his previous experience though in terms of relevant experiences.
     
    Certifications: MCITP:VA, MCITP:EA, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP:EST7, MCITP:SA, PRINCE2, ITILv3
  4. ion_adrian

    ion_adrian New Member

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    Try to spend some time learning Linux or BSD(I mean here : shell, perl, firewalls, DNS, openssl, etc.), you have at your disposal a lot of documentation. This will be easy for you considering your previous experience.
    If you want to learn basics of networking , my suggestion is CCNA Exploring path. CCNA is easy and has all the basics you need at entry level.
     
  5. Ash63

    Ash63 New Member

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    Thanks for your advice, everybody. I have been looking at the CCNA path for a while. So I may consider taking the N+ and follow that by studying the CCNA certification.

    I am totally free to study at the moment, could somebody give me an idea of approximately how long it would take to get clued up on the N+ material before taking the certification exam. I am looking to spend about 5 hours a day studying. Once again thanks to all in advance
     
  6. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    It really depends on how easily you pick things up. What might only take you 5 days could take someone else 10 or even 15, for instance it would probably take me an evening of sitting reading an N+ book for me to pass the N+ exam (basically see what's in scope for the exam). As an example when I sat my Security+ exam I studied over 2 weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and then sat the exam the following week. I was in and out of the exam in about 18 minutes (and that's from walking into the test center and registering to walking out with my test score). I found it very VERY easy, that's not to say you could do the same thing.

    Each and every one of us has a different level of ability to understand things before us, we can't say how long it would take you or even should take YOU to pass it, only what it would\should take us.
     
    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. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Say what :blink

    Do you have a CCNA?

    Firstly, from what i have seen on here, i would hardly describe it as easy and secondly.. it aint entry level :dry
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  8. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    I Understand the CCNA is not that straightforward but i have been informed by our network manager that nobody with a CCNA and no experience would never be let near our live production kit, and that the CCNA tests in areas that are not completely relevant to real world skills required! Assuming he aint talking trash (he is very experienced) then CCNA WOULD be an entry level cert!
     
  9. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    After 12 years in IT running my own company and employing tech staff I can tell you m8 it def ain't entry level !
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  10. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    No. If you were allowed near the kit with only a CCNA and no experience then it could be regarded as entry-level. The fact that you would need experience shows that there is no entry-level cert at this level, because it isn't an entry-level job.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  11. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    You are going off at a tangent and not understanding what your network manager is saying.

    People should not have a CCNA and no experience. it isnt an entry level cert, it is a cert that shows you have experience and knowledge of Cisco kit, and believe me, no entry level person will get to touch that stuff.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  12. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    I 100% agree, this is what i was trying to communicate (i shouldnt post when im half asleep) :blink
     
  13. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Well, I will ask you this: How would I jump into your position as an analyst programmer? I wouldn't be able to do that from ground zero just by getting a bunch of certifications, would I? Same with being a network administrator... certifications alone won't get you there. It takes time and experience, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Can't be a sales director without first being a salesman... can't be a chief surgeon without first being a resident doctor... can't be a partner in a law firm without first being an associate. Most network admins started out in desktop support or help desk, moved up to server administration, then became network admins.

    Certainly your experience as a programmer will help you with IT administration... but they're different enough fields that you're still probably going to have to work your way up into network administration.

    I don't mean to say all this to shatter your goals... I mean only to inform you as to what certification can and cannot offer you. Certification is designed to show employers not what you WANT to be doing, but what you ALREADY have experience doing.
     
    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!

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