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Doing what it takes...

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by mattwest, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. mattwest

    mattwest Megabyte Poster

    Hi everyone.

    With the IT job market being tough these days. New people trying to get in, Pro's out of work after the dot.com bust and the tightening of the HR purse stings, i've been wondering what any of you are trying to do to set yourselves apart, or progress in your careers...?

    For example i'm doing all that i can to get an "edge" over competition.

    2 years ago i completed beginners Spanish, i'm just completing GCSE Spanish now and will be doing A Level Spanish next year. I feel having a reasonable understanding of a language spoken in Spain and large amount of south america might do me some good.

    I have a second job as a bar manager, so i can improve and show my management skills. I'm also looking into project+ certification during the summer and a diploma in management as well.

    I want to do an Open University degree in business studies to enhance my business skills. I started that this year but couldnt carry on as i had too much to do.

    All of this with the usual 9 to 5 IT job, and keeping on top of all the new technologies etc.

    I'm also a qualified first aider fo my company and i have my own domain name (as mail@matthewwest.net looks more professional than mcw4@hotmail.com) and i've put my cv online....

    (Note: website and CV quite out of date, revamp needed!)

    I've also thought about volunteering my services to a charity to gain even more experiences....

    Any thoughts or examples?

    Certifications: See my signature...
    WIP: Maybe re-certify my CCNA
  2. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

    to be honest mate I'm just going to do as many certifications as possible and learn as much as possible about IT. With hardwork and backed up with qualifications I think this is the way to go. Mix in business skills as well (I have a foundation degree in e-business) and your onto a winner... :D
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  3. mattwest

    mattwest Megabyte Poster

    Definately agree with you....

    Experience, Certs and Business Skills are what will get you a great job.

    But i also think its not the number of certs, but the appropriate ones to the business.

    I dont think having all of your eggs in one basket such MS or Cisco is right. I'd rather have 20 wide ranging certs than 20 MS certs (tho that would look good)....
    Certifications: See my signature...
    WIP: Maybe re-certify my CCNA
  4. Sandy

    Sandy Ex-Member


    Have you considered the B13 (BSc (Hons) in IT & Computing) with the OU :?: I am in my first year of it and enjoying it greatly :D

    Another avenue that you could look at is the http://www1.bcs.org.uk/ they do some interesting stuff that might help and are the professional body in the UK :P
  5. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Experience is king in IT. The 1990 taught industry about the concept of a "paper MCSE" (or whatever other certification you want to insert). It's not that certifications aren't useful but you have to back them up with activity. Being able to say "I have an A+ certification and have participated in 15 Ethernet rollout projects in the past six months" is better than saying "I have an A+ certification but haven't touched the inside of a computer".

    My own road to experience has been rocky but like you, I've been willing to do what it takes to "earn my stripes". I still consider myself a newbie in the IT field but my experience base is growing and with it (hopefully) my appeal to employers.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  6. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

    matt, i understand your point about multiple certs, but i you must establish a balance that provides premium level certs with variety, spreading yourself too thin makes you come accross as a card collector, and you will never have the experiance to justify them all 'yeah i have 60 certs with just over a year experiance in each field' as opposed to 'im a CCIE with 6 years experiance in networking and a project manegement cert'

    chose things that complement each other, and MCSE and a MCSD are pretty pointless together for instance
    but an MCSE and a CCNA are useful, throw in a project management course and a foreign language and your looking good

    remember a job will rarly touch on all your certs, and as such having them means bugger all, if you cant do the job, having the cert and bragging about it will only serve to piss off an employer who gives you a shot at a job you cant too, I am a certified PIX Firewall engineer, which helped me get my last job, but once the pix'es were rolled out and configered. they didnt need to be touched/rebooted for over a year, apart from adding the occasional VPN peer
    by the time i left the place i really could comfortably say 'yeah im great with pix' because i had hardly touched one for 18 months, so i left it as a footnote at the bottom of my CV, not on the front page

    having 30 certs will only highlight that set of problems more so

    varied is good, to a point, if one has no impact on the others i see it as rather pointless in career progression
    say you were a CCIE, MCSE:Security, Master CNE etc, with a CIW web developer cert, whilst you probably have well over 5 years exp with NOSs and networks, you will only pull a junior web developer position based on that portfolio, becuse your network skills and exp have no bearing on your web design skills, and although it may 'help you secure A job' it will not help you progress your career as a whole, because it will be like taking 10 steps down the ladder

    hope that makes some sort of sense lol

    eggs in one basket isnt worth much
    but spreading yourself too thin is often even more damaging to a career
    pick a career path and aim towards it, thats what i did, and so far so good
    pick what certs work well for that path, and then get the experiance thats required for that goal, a Network Manager will likely need Team Leader Experiance, Project Management, Budget Management, Network/System Admin in a variety of platforms etc
    thats just an example really
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  7. mattwest

    mattwest Megabyte Poster

    Thanks for the detailed responses guys, and all of the advice...

    What i'm really trying to do here is start a discussion and find out what some of you lot are doing to progress your careers...

    Anything that hasnt been metioned so far??

    Have a great weekend guys and girls!! I'm off home, might not be online until i'm back at work on tues, but i might get the chance...

    :D :D
    Certifications: See my signature...
    WIP: Maybe re-certify my CCNA
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Ex-Member

    HAve a good one
    I am off on an ITIL course next week on how to run a Help Desk (sorry theya re now called Service Disk) What have I been doing for the last 15 years :?: :?: :?: :?: (amonst all sorts of stuff)

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