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Recommendations, Degree, MCSE and Computrain

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by the80sroklej, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. the80sroklej

    the80sroklej New Member

    Hi all,

    Been looking on the forums for the last few days and thought I would signup and talk to the pro's!

    Ok I have just finished my Computing Degree (BSc) and have also obtained CCNA 1 - 4 along side it (My certification is in the next few months I belive).

    Now, I have been searching for jobs and not finding much really, I have asked a few organisations and then computrain-uk gave me a ring. Sounded promising (as all calls do when they want your money) and stated they had 2 placements left etc etc and wanted someone with good skills onboard etc. They explained it would cost me 3k for the course and would give me ECDL, CompTIA A+ and N+ and the beloved MCSE, all in which is possible to complete in 6-8 months with only 10-12 hours a week learning (somehow!)

    After searching on here, It seems Self study is the best method for obtaining qualifications and that theres alot of risk envolved with companies like computrain.

    However being in my position with no real experience, I was wondering what the best methods are for "getting a foot in the door" of I.T companies? Also why does it seem most job applicants are required to have CompTIA and why do I get the impression my degree isn't good enough :(.

    (Degree included mainly networking but also included stuff like: extensive use of VMware, Simple server load balancing, bit of SQL, Secure systems, SNMP monitoring using a bit of MRTG and Perl and so on)

    Any help appreciated :)
  2. hugorilho

    hugorilho Byte Poster

    Do not even think of signing up with those devil worshipers. Use the search feature and you'll see what I'm talking about.
    Certifications: MCDST
  3. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    As you have been to uni you should be able to teach yourself by now. :biggrin

    Why not get a couple of books and aim for the A+ and Network+ to get some entry level certs?

    Keep applying for any entry level job just now, your time will come!
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  4. Markyboyt

    Markyboyt Kilobyte Poster

    I'm not an expert on this but i'd say that your degree isn't wasted.
    For instance, Say me and you apply for the same entry level job, i'm studying towards A+, great, whereas you have a computing degree (BSc), some CCNA and exposure to the things you list were featured in your degree.

    From reading ad's, a lot claim to be entry level and ask for experience of SQL etc (not entry level i dont think) but whatever puts you ahead of the competition is going to help.
    WIP: A+
  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Let me assure you: it's NOT by getting the CCNA and the "beloved MCSE". Although those two certifications are good certifications, they're designed for people who have experience administering servers and routers... not someone trying to get an entry-level job (which doesn't typically involve working with servers or routers). In fact, those certifications will make you look terribly overcertified compared to your experience level - so much so that you'll make yourself LESS attractive to most entry-level employers, not MORE attractive.

    What you need are some good entry-level certifications, such as the A+, Network+, and MCDST.

    Because the A+ and Network+ (both solid, entry-level CompTIA certifications) cover the things you are expected to know as a tech who is new to the field. Your degree simply indicates that you are able to complete an extended program of study that may or may not be relevant to the position.

    ...none of which you'll be asked to do as an entry-level tech. And without first getting experience, an employer isn't going to entrust those tasks to you. Sure, you've got the theoretical knowledge, and that knowledge will certainly help you to advance faster... but at the moment, you lack the practical knowledge that you will need to be able to be an effective administrator. And the only way to gain that is by working in the IT field. You might not understand now, but I guarantee you'll understand what I mean in the next couple of years. :)

    Don't misunderstand me - a degree is a great thing to have - I've got one myself. The knowledge will help you to advance faster, and the degree will open doors later in your career that will be closed to non-degreed techs. But a degree is no substitute for real-world experience. A person with four years of IT experience is MUCH more valuable than a person with a four-year degree and no real-world business IT experience.

    Hope this helps. :)
    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!
  6. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    If you automatically assume that the entry-level employer would choose the degreed CCNA, you'd be mistaken. An entry-level job doesn't typically require a degree or a CCNA. All the entry-level employer needs is an entry-level tech. In truth, an entry-level employer is likely to think that the degreed CCNA will probably be more expensive or is more likely to leave that entry-level job as soon as something better comes along, leaving the employer to find, hire, and train someone all over again.

    Consider: would you hire someone with a Masters degree as a McDonalds fry cook? That's the same thing, to an extreme degree. Entry-level jobs aren't usually rocket science.
    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!
  7. the80sroklej

    the80sroklej New Member

    Thanks for the help guys!

    I understand what you are all getting at, and I agree. The CCNA was offered on the degree so I snapped it up like any person would do.

    I understand the MCSE idealy requires a minimum of a years experience administering servers and 250ish hosts so I fully understand the concept of being overqualified without any real experience.

    So in affect, the best method to gain experience is to simply apply for junior / entry level I.T. jobs allowing me to gain experience then to self study persuing the qualifications I desire.

    Given my circumstances, it seems a good decision to self study for the CompTIA A+ and N+ but I realise this isn't going to be an over night thing. What do you guys think?

    Again thanks for the all the help!

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