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Which Cert to get First? HELP please

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by ftaran, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. ftaran

    ftaran Bit Poster

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    hello everyone,

    i have just graduated with a 2.1 in Computer Networks, and i was wondering which cert would suit my situation best, should i go for the CCNA since its related to my degree or microsoft certifications?

    and if microsoft which MCP should i do first?
     
  2. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    The CCNA is a cert designed for people who already work with CISCO kit in their jobs it's not a cert for someone looking for a job as no IT network manager would let you loose on their network without prior experience.

    A+,N+ and MCDST plus the upgrades are general starting certs the other certs require experience.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Personally I think a good computing graduate should already know the content of the A+ and the N+ these days and they aren't much known in the UK, so I would not reccomend them to people who already know their stuff.

    The MCDST may have some value as its likely to cover software rollout and support aspects you won't have covered.

    The forum is heavilly biased towards people who do not take formal education and work their way up, I totally agree someone should earn their spurs, and its unlikely you will become a network admin straight off, your degree should not be worthless however.

    I'd pursue the CCENT in your position and build a home lab while actively looking for any IT job you can muster.

    Goodluck ! :D
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  4. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I would recommend avoiding the Cisco certifications this early in your career, because no company is going to allow a degreed tech with no real-world IT experience to administer Cisco routers, and the CCENT/CCNA doesn't have anything to do with entry-level tech work.

    I'd recommend the A+, Network+, and MCDST, which do relate to entry-level tech work. You would think that an employer could safely assume that a degreed tech would know the stuff covered on those exams, but unfortunately, that doesn't often turn out to be the case - most degreed techs feel that such work is "beneath them". Plus, some employers desire candidates with certifications (just as some employers desire candidates with degrees), so it is to your advantage to have them.
     
    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!
  5. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    No I do not think any employer can safely assume anything about any potential candidate, degree qualified, certified or experienced, thats what an interview is for. Someone with A+/N+ knowledge would pass the interview fine without the cert.

    You cannot assume anything, even if the person has an A+ or an N+, to me the degree carries more weight as its been formally assessed by real people with less possibility of fraud.

    You cannot please all of the people all of the time, look for what the type of employers you want to work for ask for, make a plan that you are happy with for yourself.

    Comptia certs have very low recognition in the UK. If you feel you do not know the A+/N+ sylabus then by all means study it, frankly I'd be amazed if you could get a 2:1 in networking without covering the N+ sylabus and more. Someone thats built, upgraded and fixed a few PC's and studied computer architecture should also have a good grasp of most of the A+ material.

    Ultimately you need a job not a certification so looking into ways to improve your job search is probably more productive in general.

    If you have time left over to study then study whatever interests you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  6. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Thing is, most computing degrees don't cover anything A+ related.

    Yep. But you can maximize your chances by aiming to please most of the people most of the time... an entirely achievable goal! ;)

    Yes, yes, I've heard it all before - that argument has been done to death on this forum. And I've also heard how it's helped people in the UK - and on this very forum - to get employed. So if someone believes it's worth the cost, they should pursue it. If they don't, they shouldn't. Simple as that.

    Should, yes. All the more reason to knock out the CompTIA certs. Certifications aren't about learning new stuff... certification is about showing an employer what you can do. So if you can do it, certify in it!
     
    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. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Most Computing degrees will cover computer architecture in detail, all way through from the basic von neumann arch to novel parallel architectures. They will cover the anatomy of a basic PC, they will cover the architecture of the 80x86 processor and its instruction set.

    A dilligent student that reads around the subject and uses computers at home, ie a computer hobbyist, absolutely will probably end up having covered a large amount of the A+ at the end of a 4 year college term. The fact that some bad students may not is irrelevant, some bad people braindump the A+ also.

    Yes but I'd argue he has already done that by obtaining a degree.

    I would argue the contrary about learning, the certification tracks, like the belts in a martial art, act as a incentivising tool to encourage a student to learn more and progress. A person that just constantly takes exams on stuff they already know is static, they are stagnating. Sure they should have some prerequisite knowledge and experience, but they absolutely should also learn during the process.

    Do certifications really show an employer what you can do, or are they really just another HR filtering criteria ? Which in most cases a degree trumps.

    The Comptia certs are not cheap, especially to an out of work student. You yourself pretty much told me I was stupid to get Comptia certs a short while ago as there was no value in it, so which is it ? Certify everything or not ?

    With the proliferation of certs certifying everything is simply not feasible, I myself already have more certs than I could possibly hope to maintain, if I wanted to maintain all the latest versions, let alone certifying on new stuff I might learn. Why don't you upgrade you Oracle or MCDBA certs? Is it because you couldn't do it, or because you couldn't justify the outlay in time, money and effort.

    Is it really necessary to have a paper, belt, badge, medal, gold star, for everything ? Whats so wrong with just being good at something and having people respect you for it ?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  8. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    ...which doesn't necessarily cover what's on the A+. Other than "the anatomy of a basic PC", none of that is on the A+.

    Thanks for that, but it's irrelevant to the discussion.

    Then we disagree. If I were hiring for an entry-level job, I probably wouldn't require a degree, but I'd be much more likely to require the A+.

    I don't say this to imply that certifications are superior to degrees. I simply illustrate that just because YOU prefer degrees doesn't mean that the rest of the world does... no more than if someone else were to prefer certifications would mean that the rest of the world does. Therefore, unless degrees or entry-level certifications are viewed negatively by employers, getting both increases your chances of being hired.

    You are correct. They are not cheap. Are they worth it? Hard to say. That's up to each individual.

    You are a programmer, not a tech. I don't see value in a programmer getting the A+ or Network+.

    Because 1) I don't work with the technologies on a daily basis and 2) I'm not writing or editing a practice exam that covers those technologies. If either of those were true, I'd certify on them.

    Considering HR is the first step in showing an employer what you can do, both are true. And again, you can say all day long that "a degree trumps", and that may well be true for those who YOU hire, but not all employers think that way. Some do. Some do not.

    No, it's not. But some employers like to hire people with certs... just like some employers like to hire people with degrees. And some employers don't care whether you have either. For the latter group of employers, I don't guess you need anything.

    Hm. I don't approach my martial art training in that way. For me, the learning is incentive enough.

    A person who takes exams on stuff they already know is certifying their current knowledge, not stagnating. And on this, we will also disagree. But then again, none of this is surprising: you're a programmer, not a tech. Programmers often poo-pooh certifications in favor of degrees.

    At this point, the OP has both of our opinions, so there's no need to continue to pepper me with questions in this thread. However, if you still want to ask me more questions, my PM box is open.
     
    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!
  9. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    Hi ftaran,
    I was in the same boat as you 2 years ago when i graduated! I got my first tech job on a helpdesk nearly 2 years ago now and started studying for my A+, I have worked on several helpdesks, a desktop team and now just got a job building and configuring severs (+ infrastructure) within a data centre. please see my Sig for a breakdown of the certs i have done and be prepared to spend at least 1-2 hours a night! Your degree is not worthless, It gives you a great grounding and once you have a couple of years experience you will be applying for jobs that require/prefer a degree and you will be glad of it then!

    Regards,
     
  10. ftaran

    ftaran Bit Poster

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    thanks guys, apreciate the replys:biggrin
     
  11. Lanks

    Lanks New Member

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    Thanks for the advice!

    I did my CCNA about 2 years back, but have never actually got round to/been allowed onto the routers/switches etc, which now means i have pretty much forgotten what i learnt!

    I've just ordered the two MSPRESS MCDST books and will start studying for that, since i have experience now on a lot of what the MCDST covers! :)
     
    Certifications: I.C.T A Level, CCNA and A+
    WIP: MCDST

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