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

Protecting my future

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by chrome, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. chrome

    chrome Bit Poster

    12
    1
    8
    * Couldn't find a "general certifications" forum so I posted it here.

    Hello all!

    A bit of a random one...

    I co-own a business which has been running for over 3 years now. Before then I studied one year at Uni and dropped out, leaving with a Certificate of Higher Education in computing, which in the UK is level 4 and the equivalent to a HNC. Not great I know, but on the other hand I've got a business and I've gained loads of experience. Before this I did some IT hardware course at college and I had jobs as an IT technician.

    Moving on to my thoughts..

    Business is good, but like any business, the future can't be predicted, and if for whatever reason the business was to close I would have experience but no real qualifications.

    My job title is IT manager because I do all of the IT stuff for the business. The issue is, as the business is ran by just the 2 of us, I've never been able/had to set up a network, servers etc and that's where I'm really lacking.

    To be honest this is a snapshot of my IT job roles over the last 3 years, excluding all of the non-IT stuff:
    • Creating and maintaining websites including webstores, forums.
    • Lots of designing labels on Photoshop & the odd photoshoot
    • FTP/SSH and playing with the VPS for backups etc
    • Lots of SEO
    • The odd bit of PC maintenance like Windows reinstalls
    • IT & data protection policy.
    So as you can see. I am the IT manager, but I'm not an IT manger compared to real job specs. I have lots of web skills but that isn't something I want to pursue. I have learnt how to create and run a successful business though, so please don't look down on my poor IT skills as I have learnt others!

    When I uses to be an IT technician I used to do the basic active directory stuff on Windows server which was good, but I never learnt much more than adding users etc. I think this is the area I really want to improve on.
    In regards to personal life...
    • I am excellent at building PC's, maintaining them and fixing them and love doing it.
    • I've used linux quite a few times, ubuntu installs on laptops and playing with a Raspberry Pi, but only know a few terminal commands.
    • I'm extremely confident in Windows 7 but I've never bothered with the bitlocker and some of that "extra" stuff.
    • I've used a virtual machine a handful of times, but not confident at all. Never used hyper-V?!
    So where do I go from here? I am very comfortable on a desktop, but I feel I need to learn about the cloud and server technologies and how to implement them.

    As a "real" IT manager I think I need a lot more networking skills. I know about routers and different CAT and stuff but no real knowledge if I was thrown into a company and told to manage their network.

    Therefore I've been looking at the CCNA and things like that, but from what I've read, it's too hard if you don't have the experience. Then I started looking as MSCA/E in the Windows Server 2012, again same kind of problem. The big issue is I don't want to go on a course, I want to learn this all at home/work with books and I can use hardware to practise. I'd rather learn one massive book instead of 3 smaller ones, are there books out there that will teach everything, or at least 80% of what you need to know/pass the exam?

    So what do you think the best route for me to take is?

    Sorry for the long post, just not sure what to do and this looked like the best forum! Feels like I have more to say than this actual post, but for now it will do.

    chrome.
     
  2. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

    Top Poster
    of the Month

    1,178
    186
    176
    Why not look at some lower level certs like MTA such as server fundamentals.Even if you dont sit the exam the content of exam resources such as the official course book is pretty good and aimed at beginners, the official books also contain practical tasks and offer step by step guides. I will send you a link through PM that maybe quite useful to you.
     
    Certifications: MTA Windows Fundamentals, ITIL Foundation, Apple Mac Integration 10.12
    WIP: MTA Networking Fundamentals
  3. chrome

    chrome Bit Poster

    12
    1
    8
    Thanks Juelz. My only issue with the MTA is it will be useless if it came to a job IMO and also there's no upgrade path. The learning materials are a good shout though (please send the PM) but it feels good to learn towards a better goal and the MTA isn't that good.
     
  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    3,782
    302
    184
    I wouldn't say that learning the MTA content is a bad goal.

    Paying MS for the exam is somewhat debatable investment, depending on how you want to market yourself to employers, if it helps you get job it could be worth it.

    Why does a cert need an 'upgrade path', what on earth does that really mean anyway ? Is it really valuable to 'upgrade certs' or is this a marketing ploy to make money ?

    If you don't know networking or servers then you aren't really in a good position to say whats good or bad to learn.

    There is no way I could do the job of a hands on IT Manager, I don't really think you fully comprehend whats involved. If I was an IT Manager I'd find your post mildly insulting.

    If you get the CCNA or MCSA Server 2012, then while good goals and nice CV fodder, it won't mean very much without 1-2 years experience in the right environment to back it up. Its better than nothing for sure, but it wont really hold water, you will be 'over-certified', granted this could change if you get a job and experience subsequently.

    CCNA and MCSA can be done part time at college, also online with distance learning. That way you can build confidence rather than struggling on your own.

    Personally I'd look into Network+ or MTA as suggested first.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  5. chrome

    chrome Bit Poster

    12
    1
    8
    Thanks dmarsh. OK I don't mean the MTA is bad, I just mean, I would rather invest my effort into something a little harder.

    Would going for the CCENT be a good choice? Then I would do the other test once my skills are up to scratch to get a CCNA.
     
  6. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

    Top Poster
    of the Month

    1,178
    186
    176
    I see what you're getting at BUT you will need to know the MTA content to understand the harder content.
     
    Certifications: MTA Windows Fundamentals, ITIL Foundation, Apple Mac Integration 10.12
    WIP: MTA Networking Fundamentals
  7. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    3,782
    302
    184
    I've not taken the CCNA, but from what I gather you are required to know subnetting inside out and also many IOS CLI commands.
    This sort of stuff is useful if you are fiddling with hardware load balancers, firewalls, routers and switches all day long, if you're not it might be a total waste of your time.

    These aren't just cub scout badges, they require lot time and investment and only really mean something if they directly map to your current or immediate future job role.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  8. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

    590
    43
    67
    What access do you have in terms of building real hardware to use? You say you run/co own a business, what type of business is it? B&M? Have a site you run from or is it a back bedroom job?

    If you have a site, then why not make a Cisco network to use within that business? It may be a little simplistic and basic but it will be real hardware and you can at least get a feel for hands on which will also look much better on the CV if accompanied by a CCENT and/or CCNA. They are not easy exams though by any means, so will require some solid work.

    Again same server side, Can you incorporate this into your business so that you are managing and looking after some live servers within a real business network?

    In terms of resources then you can Google and find loads and loads of resources. I use Udemy quite a lot as they always have flash sales and you can pick up a lot of decent video courses for £10-15 in a variety of IT areas, so then you can see things live and how they work and so on and so forth.
     
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!
    dmarsh likes this.
  9. chrome

    chrome Bit Poster

    12
    1
    8
    That's a good point, but I do want to work hard to get there. I want to spend an hour or 2 a day learning and hopefully in many months I can get a cert. Thanks for your replies they are appreciated.
    Great reply! So our business is soley an online store that we run from an office. It would be great to implement some kind of server, even if all we use it for is logging in and backups. It would be great to play around with some real hardware instead of just doing online bits. I agree, having the experience combined with a cert is the key. In terms of online servers, that's not possible as our internet connection isn't great, but a local server is certainly doable.
    I'll keep an eye out on Udemy. I did look at the CCNA stuff but I thought I'd come here first and see what's best suited for me.
    BTW I don't want to necessarily be an IT manager, but I'm doing a mini version of it now and I was just wondering the best steps for me to take to get a half decent job if the business was ever to fail.
    I also had a look at the BCS CISMP as I thought it would be useful for my current business and I liked the idea I could progress onto the CESG. Any thoughts on that?
     
  10. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    3,463
    397
    199
    So just to re-iterate something here....Certification is all about proving your abilities, so let me ask you something, what does having the CCENT or CCNA prove if all you did was study the material and pass the exam? Where is your commercial \ enterprise grade experience that the certification is supposed to prove?
    My advice is understand what the different exams are supposed to prove, the MTA is aimed at entry level engineers to prove that they know entry level material, the CCENT whilst the first part in the CCNA is still expecting you to have somewhat of an enterprise level of experience, going beyond that to the CCNA and MCSE type level certifications it's now expecting that you're an experienced engineer with 12+ months experience working with that technology.
    Listen I am all for people getting certified but it's getting certified for the right reason.
    Now moving on to your job title and experience I am sorry to say that you're not an IT Manager, you're not managing a budget, managing team members etc, you're still an IT support engineer doing the work that all of us had to do, it's great that two of you run a business but it's not an enterprise level company offering you the experience of supporting 100's of users\servers that the certifications would up the experience for.
    I think you need to decide what it is you want from your career, do you want to be a businessman or do you want to work as an IT engineer, as the owner of a business you can still do IT and still get IT certifications but without 'enterprise' level experience all you're really doing is getting IT Certs for yourself (my best friend who doesn't work in IT but has a big interest in it used to have his MCSE and CCNA as something to fall back on if his very profitable multinational company ever got bought out (it didn't and is still going very strong). He decided after doing his 2003 MCSE exams not to bother doing more because he wasn't using the technology on a daily basis and was wasting his time and effort to maintain certs over time).
    It's great that you want to improve your capabilities but until you have a better understanding of where your business is going I don't think you're at the stage to decide on these kinds of certifications just yet.
     
    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).
    dmarsh likes this.
  11. chrome

    chrome Bit Poster

    12
    1
    8
    OK that's fine, I'm not an IT manager. And you're right, I don't have the experience. What your friend did is exactly what I want to replicate. I don't have large enterprise experience, nor do I ever want to. Thanks for making me feel really unwelcome here. There was me stupidly looking at the premium membership (i use adblocker) because I'm serious about myself and wanted to be on here a lot.
     
  12. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

    Top Poster
    of the Month

    1,178
    186
    176
    Ahh mate dont take what Simon said to heart, believe me I myself have wanted to throttle him lol! But I agree with what hes saying you are trying to obtain high level certs when you lack basic fundamentals. Your job doesnt really qualify you as an IT manager and the job title isnt correct in regards to your role. What hes saying is actually spot on but I do in someways disagree with "certifications prove experience", this is correct though it can also be the difference of whether an employer calls you for an interview or not. We have a member here who got his first break by taking certs and he said if he hadnt taken the certs he wouldnt have been able to answer the questions the interviewer asked. Go for the MTAs mate learn the fundamentals first, theres no point passing the exam, getting a job and still not know what youre talking about. I dont really chase certs anymore I just enjoy the learning and testing things out.. you really have to crawl before you walk.
     
    Certifications: MTA Windows Fundamentals, ITIL Foundation, Apple Mac Integration 10.12
    WIP: MTA Networking Fundamentals
    dmarsh likes this.
  13. SimonV

    SimonV Petabyte Poster Administrator

    6,616
    151
    228
    I dont see how anyone is being unwelcoming, they are providing some valid points (maybe without the sugar coating) from experience and an inside view of certifications. At the end of the day you will do what feels best for you based on the information you find relevant, if you feel its not relevant just ignore it.
     
    Certifications: MOS Master 2003, CompTIA A+, MCSA:M, MCSE
    WIP: Keeping CF Alive...
  14. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    3,463
    397
    199
    Anyone who offers an interview based just on certifications will no doubt work in HR and not be IT facing, when I hire someone I don't look at their certifications as the first thing, I look at their current role and then the previous two more after that, I look to see if they have the skillset I need from them and the experience to back it up, as far as certifications go these days the only one I really care about is the VCAP (VMware Advanced Professional) or someone working towards it (that at least they have attended the right training etc).
    The key thing here is experience, backed up by certifications because how can I trust someone who just got certified but has no commercial \ enterprise experience with that technology?
    As I have posted before, there are certifications that are great for entry level positions, these don't include the CCNA or MCSA\MCSE, they never will and never should.

    Perhaps looking at this post - http://www.certforums.com/threads/entry-level-it-certifications-and-beyond.49085/ to refresh peoples minds may be a good thing, it's not as current as it perhaps should be (newer VMware exams etc) but if gives the basics.
     
    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).
  15. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

    Top Poster
    of the Month

    1,178
    186
    176
    I get what you're saying and you're right. Tbh its possible to pickup a book and pass MCSA and CCNA as I know of people with no experience who have done just that, but after questioning them they clearly know little about the subject area.. which is absolutely pointless and a waste of time, as they wont get past the interview stage.
     
    Certifications: MTA Windows Fundamentals, ITIL Foundation, Apple Mac Integration 10.12
    WIP: MTA Networking Fundamentals

Share This Page

Loading...