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Want to specialize in networking what do I start with?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Azim, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. Azim

    Azim Bit Poster

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    Hello everyone, I am 21 and currently on my placement year for a course called ITMB and after this have 1 more year before I graduate. In my degree we are thought various aspects and areas of IT and Business respectively so it is not specialized into a particular field.

    For my placement I am working as an Application Support HelpDesk Analyst.

    Now, I have thought of a few ways into achieving my ultimate goal which is CCNP. I want to specialize in amanaging networks and also get involved with servers. I hope someone can help me identifying which would be the best option for me out of the ones i have listed below as I my be taking certificates which I don't really need!

    1. ITMB (BSc) > CCENT > CCNA > CCNP
    2. ITMB (BSc) > A+ > N+ > S+ > CCENT > CCNA > CCNP
    3. ITMB (BSc) > MTA Server > MCTS Windows Server > CCENT > CCNA > CCNP
    4. ITMB (BSc) > MTA all 3 > MCTS Win Server 2008 > CCENT > CCNA > CCNP
    5. ITMB (BSc) > A+ > N+ > S+ > MTA Server > MCTS Win Server 2008 > CCENT > CCNA > CCNP
    6. ITMB (BSc) > Advance Networking Diploma > MSc (course provided by Open Unversity) (will qualify me to take CCNP)

    Money isnt an issue, but I want to make sure that the decision I make will not include certs that I should have never needed to take because they are basic, I want to have balanced knoweledge of servers and networks (and maybe security?).

    Thanks in advance guys
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  2. Apexes

    Apexes Gigabyte Poster

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    Tough one, as you're going to want experience to back you up with the CCNA.

    Personally, if i were in your shoes...

    I'd do the A+, then the N+ - and find a job as soon as you can in that related area, and build your knowledge/experience up, then think about moving onto the cisco certs.

    They are aimed at professionals who have a few years hands on experience working with cisco kit - and you may find you'll struggle, and won't walk straight into a job with a CCNP and no experience.

    unfortunately it's a fine balance between the two that'll sort you out a job in that field. Like so many others on here you'll probably want to find an entry level position and work up to the higher cisco postitions
     
    Certifications: 70-243 MCTS: ConfigMgr 2012 | MCSE: Private Cloud
  3. Azim

    Azim Bit Poster

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    Thanks for the advice. I didnt know that the experience would matter so much specially if you have a degree and certificated?
     
  4. Apexes

    Apexes Gigabyte Poster

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    Unfortunately yes,

    It's a bit of a nightmare for grads coming out of uni and going for a job.

    We recently interviewed 3 candidates at work about 3 weeks back, only for a basic 1st line role, but this includes building / dabbling with server systems, AD, exchange etc

    #1 had 5 months experience on a 2nd line role, with an A+ cert
    #2 had 1.5 years experience on a 1st line role, with A+, N+ and an MCTS in windows 7
    #3 had a degree and a CCNA cert, and left uni earlier this year, looking for his first role.

    We took on #2 purely for the experience he had, and the certs to back that experience.

    It is unfortunately the same in alot of places and different fields of IT.

    Putting it another way, if you had a network with many switches, operating the business, enabling users to work efficiently that are bringing in thousands of pounds worth of revenue every hour. What happens if they go down, or need maintenance within a certain window? You'll want someone who's got the experience of doing this and getting it fixed in quickest time possible. Probably not someone who's got just the knowledge of how a cisco enviornment works, they need to have used it in a commercial Domain based enviornment, with multiple sites / WAN knowledge etc.

    Please don't think i'm trying to put you down :) it's unfortunately the way the industry is at the moment.

    Experience backed by certs is the way in, unfortunately not just certs.

    You'll find you will still probably need to start near the bottom and work your way up. Saying that some people from here (very few) have gone into a job with just a CCNA and not alot of exp, but they're few and far between
     
    Certifications: 70-243 MCTS: ConfigMgr 2012 | MCSE: Private Cloud
  5. Azim

    Azim Bit Poster

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    Hi, thanks thats some really good advice...With my placement i will have 1st/2nd line helpdesk experience but nothing to dow ith networking i guess after this i will look for an assistant job roles what do you think i should be looking for as a starters? helpdesk, network assistant? I am clueless when it comes to role titles:eek:
     
  6. Apexes

    Apexes Gigabyte Poster

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    There are many job titles/roles you'll see

    Helpdesk Analyst
    1st line support
    desktop support
    junior ict support

    hard to list them all, they'll vary depending on the company.
     
    Certifications: 70-243 MCTS: ConfigMgr 2012 | MCSE: Private Cloud
  7. Azim

    Azim Bit Poster

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    thanks that gives me some guidance...now which of the above 6 options you think its the best I am thinking option 5
     
  8. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    A+ followed by N+ then depending on your current career, head towards networking. As you gain networking experience, add the security aspects.

    Saying that, by the time you have done the N+, and you're in the 1st line role, you might decide you want to change your path towards something else like server admin. Until you start experiencing IT you never really know.

    Perhaps this could help you, its a link to the Microsoft Learning Path - While it doesn't include any Cisco routes, it might give you a path to follow.

    http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9758249

    8)
     
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  9. Apexes

    Apexes Gigabyte Poster

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    What Boffy said ^^^
     
    Certifications: 70-243 MCTS: ConfigMgr 2012 | MCSE: Private Cloud
  10. Azim

    Azim Bit Poster

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    thanks guys do you guys think the A+ will be suitable for me? I am heavely involved with computers since college and I think the A+ covers only basics which most of it I may already know
     
  11. Wireless_Snake

    Wireless_Snake Nibble Poster

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    At least with doing the A+ you will have some proof that you are capable of proving your knownledge. There is always basic stuff which you may have missed which can help.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons) Computer Network Tech, CCNA, CCAI
    WIP: CCNP, VCP 5, SCP
  12. Azim

    Azim Bit Poster

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    THATS TRUE, I did the A+ sample test and failed lol!!!
     
  13. Wireless_Snake

    Wireless_Snake Nibble Poster

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    We all have to start somewhere. :)
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons) Computer Network Tech, CCNA, CCAI
    WIP: CCNP, VCP 5, SCP
  14. Azim

    Azim Bit Poster

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    lol it just shows that no matter how much you know you can always learn some more ;)
     
  15. Apexes

    Apexes Gigabyte Poster

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    So if you already know it you should blitz the exam :)

    I've been heavily involved with computers since the age of 12, but you still need foundation certs to land that first role
     
    Certifications: 70-243 MCTS: ConfigMgr 2012 | MCSE: Private Cloud
  16. danielno8

    danielno8 Gigabyte Poster

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    My advice would be to try and fit in an MS desktop cert while studying, and also do the CCENT. When you finish your placement start looking for any sort of part-time role that will give you some more IT experience.

    Hopefully with this by the time you graduate you have a healthy level of experience (placements can be up to a year, how long is yours?), and can then try to get a full-time job in IT.

    I also wouldn't look to do the A+ or N+. Getting an MS cert and the CCENT will be more valuable in the UK IMO. I don't see the request for A+ or N+ much, if at all on UK jobsites.

    Good Luck
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
    Certifications: CCENT, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP
  17. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    I've been an Techie for 3 years and have only just started the certification route - even I failed at the A+ practice tests as there are some bits I've never had to experience.

    I think it is worth doing, while it isn't always advertised, it definitely shows a good foundation of knowledge and if it is 'so basic' then it shouldn't take long to pass :p

    I got my current job in IT because of studying towards my A+, my employer appreciates my willingness and ability to start from the bottom rather try and jump the queue.
     
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  18. Azim

    Azim Bit Poster

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    my placement is for 1 year and will probably extend in summer i already have a part time job as a customer service advisor in a call centre! so in your opinion the MTA courses are betetr than COmptia?
     
  19. Azim

    Azim Bit Poster

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    damn! and i thought i know it all lol!
     

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