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What should I do? Cert/career wize

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Jiser, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

    Dear all I am currently nearing the end of a BSc in Network Systems Managament. I hope to get a 2:1 maybe 1 st if I work hard!!

    I completed a placement year last year as an I.T. Assistant working for a well known heating manufcaturer. There I learnt all the basics about server 2003/citrix/telephone support etc etc. During this time I also studied towards the MCDST but never did the exam.

    This year Iam the sole I.T. Technician (16 hours a week) responsible for the networks at a Junior and Infant school. I support roughly 100 or so laptops/pc's/servers/printers including websites and one I am making at the moment as part of my dissertation. Also I am responsible for coordinating the design of new networks, as well as buying, meetings.

    My plan if all goes well is to stay at the school part time till May 2009. I want to do this so I can go travelling this summer school holidays as well as spending the other time working on certs or maybe getting another part time job. In may 09 i plan to do futher travelling including a month or so teaching I.T. in sri lanka.

    So summarising I will have (3) years of I.T. experiance and a degree including travelling experiance and teaching I.T. in another country. Plus I want to have a few certs under my belt such as MCSE etc before I start searching for my first proper I.T. job. Would this stand me in good stead?

    Do you think this is a good idea? Also what certifcates do you recommend I try to get by 09 baring in mind the following? I intially want to go into support/network / network engineer. Maybe project managament may be something in quite a few years time. I want to be in a position in 09/10 that I don't have to nessarily go in right at the bottom of a company and start from scratch + maybe employers will think this guy looks pretty well rounded lets get him in for an Interview. I am prepared to move locations as well.
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), PGc, MCTS:Win 7, MCSA W7/MCITP EDST, ITIL Foundation, Prince 2 Foundation, C&G: Web Design, MOS 07: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook.
  2. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader


    Welcome to CF!

    Many folks on this forum including me believe that before pursuing a certification like MCSE you have to have experience in managing networks. MCSE is not for beginners and is intended for Network Administrators with experience. With that said what I would recommend is start at the bottom and working your way up. For example start with A+ then Network+ then MCP, MCDST. These are more entry level certs compared to MCSE. Also you say that you will have some experience which is great, it's going to help you a lot, but you have to understand the basics before going into advanced stuff.

    In terms of employment and where you start whether it's at the very bottom or a little higher shouldn't be your primary concern. Reason being is because even if you start out at the bottom which is usually help desk you will learn new stuff that you didn't know before and at the same time gain experience. I find that help desk helps a lot with social skills, meaning you'll learn how to interact with other customers/co-workers which in the IT field is a big +.

    I know that you were inquiring about starting a position that is a little higher then the basic entry level position. Thats very possible but what I would like for you to know is that even if you don't it's ok because if you love what you do you will progress and be promoted. Just work hard and don't get discouraged.

    If you do obtain certain certs plus gain experience you will have a good chance in finding a job in IT. Of course we can't always be picky especially if we don't have a lot of experience to back that up so again don't worry about what position you are going to start at, no matter where you are you will gain experience and with time be promoted.

    Good luck.:biggrin
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Prof is right - you don't want to get certifications that don't match your experience level... and the MCSE is for network admins who have a year of real-world experience managing 250+ users in a multi-site, multi-server environment... not a year in IT, but a year doing that job. The MCSA is similar, but only recommends 6-12 months of experience doing that type of job.

    You won't likely start out at the VERY bottom, considering you're getting some part-time experience right now. However, you can't expect to jump right into a high-paying job role... you *still* have to work up to that level. Going into support is quite realistic. Going after a network engineer job is quite the leap... companies typically hire VERY experienced people to do network admin work. Most people go from help desk/call center/field service tech/PC repair tech to desktop support tech, then to systems admin, THEN to network admin. Crawl before you walk, walk before you run.

    Get your A+, Network+, and MCDST initially. After you've built some solid experience, you can start working on mid-level certifications that correspond to your experience level. Overcertifying is NOT a good thing. :)

    Best of luck to you, and welcome to the forums!
    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!
  4. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

    I currently only run two networks with roughly 50-60 users per site. Since starting my current job I have changed the whole of our networks around, rewriting login scripts, redoing group policy on server 2003 + 2000 etc etc. Also redoing a network soon for one of the sites so I am very much in the deep end, have to learn it myself being the only one. So its good experiance. I hope to do this for at least a year-2 years. So far I have been doing this for 6 months.

    The year before I was I.T. support full time for a company of 100 users and 20 remote users.

    Totally agree about the not over certying :) Once my bachelors is done I will work at A+ N+ MCDST after my bachelors is done. I think then it may be worthwhile doing the MCSA exams next year.
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), PGc, MCTS:Win 7, MCSA W7/MCITP EDST, ITIL Foundation, Prince 2 Foundation, C&G: Web Design, MOS 07: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook.

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