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What Certification to go after next?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by CombatRock, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. CombatRock

    CombatRock Bit Poster

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    Hi guys,

    I haven't posted on here for some time. I have earned my MCP cert (271) and have also earned my CCNA. I run my own IT business, so my certifications are not aimed at employability, more at building ym skills as an individual and having a good bit of qualifications behind me. I am studying a BEng in networking at university, and i guess if my business was to fail i would like to be qualified enough to get a job!

    I have years of experience in technical support, hardware repairs, PCB work, etc.

    I have considered going after CCNP, however the certifications is quite hard and very time consuming- not that i am not committed, i just want to know its worth while.

    Is CCNA enough for a network technician or should i go further?

    I am really looking for suggestions on which certs i should go after next to further qualify me as an IT professional? Perhaps i should go further with Microsoft certs, further with cisco, or try something different?

    I appreciate any suggestions.

    CR
     
    Certifications: CCNA, CCNA SEC, INFOSEC (4011), MCP
    WIP: CCNP (R/S)
  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I guess it depends on you...

    As you run your own business, you may want to certify it, by gaining the Microsoft Small Business Specialist credential, the Comptia Authorised Service Centre and/or the Apple Consultant Network.

    You may want to show that you have best practice methodology by gaining the ITIL, FITS and/or the MOF certifications.

    Depending on the level of work that you do, you could go for the Chartered IT Professional status offered by the BCS or the ICTTech professional registration offered by the ECUK (via the IET).

    I'm in two minds about the CCNA/CCNP, as they need renewing every 3 years, how much work do you actually do with Cisco kit? I'm thinking of the ROI of these certificates. IMO, it would be better to do these if you already work with that technology.
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  3. CombatRock

    CombatRock Bit Poster

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    I think you may be right regarding the Cisco stuff. I am studying the engineering degree in networking and i also have the CCNA, so that is probably enough to qualify me for most networking jobs. It might be better to do the CCNA Security to provide me with some security qualifications?

    As for the certs you mentioned, i know very little about any of them. could you give me a bit more info on them and which are the most sought after in the industry.

    I would rather not do certifications i have to resit ever 3 years, as i dont have much spare time and it could all become too much to keep up with.

    I considered going for MCITP or MCTS- as i mainly work with Windows OS.

    Let me know your thoughts

    Thanks
     
    Certifications: CCNA, CCNA SEC, INFOSEC (4011), MCP
    WIP: CCNP (R/S)
  4. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    If you're certifications aren't aimed at employability then what are they aimed at? Certifications 'should' only really be aimed at proving your abilities whether that's to clients or employers, they should never be used as a way of qualifying you for a role. It's more about experience than certifications and you would be wise to remember that.

    If I were in your shoes (and I have been having spent 12+ years as an IT contractor) I would look at what's beneficial to your line of work and leave it at that, there's no point in getting the CCNP if you never actually get hands on with Cisco hardware because two things will happen :-

    1. You will lose all the knowledge gained to pass the exams.
    2. Without commercial experience no sane employer will let you go hands on with their hardware without practical experience, an engineering degree wouldn't give you that experience either.

    Look at the kind of work you're doing, is it more Microsoft based? Cisco based? then decide what kind of work you want to get into.

    As was previously mentioned going for a vendor neutral exam like the ITIL Foundation would definitely be a good starting point, that gives you more of an idea of why companies run their IT services as they do (assuming of course that they have adopted the ITIL framework). Perhaps also look at some project management training, again to give you an idea on why things are done like they are when talking about projects.
     
    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).
  5. CombatRock

    CombatRock Bit Poster

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    When i say they aren't aimed at employability, i mean, i work for myself so i am aiming at what is best to demonstrate my skills to clients. I know it is more about experience and i have a fair bit. But as you say, i probably won't be working with Cisco gear enough to merit doing the CCNP. I mainly work with windows software, both in domestic support and business (where i will be working with server editions as well). I would like to gain more knowledge about security so i might do the CCNA security cert, which would allow me to better assist clients with network security(as i am bound to learn something i dont already know).

    Based on your advice. i think a better Microsoft cert might be worth perusing- perhaps the MCITP in windows 7 support?

    I dont quite understand this ITIL thing, i hadn't heard of it ntil reading these posts today. I assume it is a set of standards companies should work by? how do i go about studying the foundation one? also how much is it?

    Thanks for the help guys, its very much appreciated.
     
    Certifications: CCNA, CCNA SEC, INFOSEC (4011), MCP
    WIP: CCNP (R/S)
  6. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Have a look at the ITIL site to get a better understanding of what it's about. It's a framework that companies use to ensure smooth running of their IT business process, from the service desk, to SLA's with internal customers and underpinning contracts with your external service providers, it ensures that you have a defined set of processes and functions within your IT environment.
     
    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. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    As members have already discussed alot of the other certifications, I'll talk about the professional association ones.

    The ICTTech and the CITP are credentials issued by the ECUK and the BCS and reflect the work level that you do, ICTTech at least working at level 3 of the SFIA and the CITP at least level 5. In order to gain them you have to be a "professional" member of a professional association (BCS/IET), eg not associate level, etc...

    SFIA stands for the Skills Framework for the Information Age, it's the world's most popular definition of IT skills that is not technology specific or dependent.

    CITP

    ICTTech

    Then you're going to be out of luck, most certs now a days have to be renewed every 3 years or there about, these include Comptia (A+, Network+, Security+), Cisco (CCNA, CCNP, etc), the new MS tracks (MCSA, MCSE).

    The current version of the Microsoft certifications, the MCTS/MCITP are "live" or "active" for the life of the product, however the replacements - the new Microsoft certification tracks; the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) and the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) will require recertification every 3 years...
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  8. CombatRock

    CombatRock Bit Poster

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    Thanks guys. so what exactly is involved in the |CITP? i had a look on the website and it seems a bit vague. How many exams are involved in gaining the cert? how much will it cost in total?
     
    Certifications: CCNA, CCNA SEC, INFOSEC (4011), MCP
    WIP: CCNP (R/S)

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