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Which Certification Pays The Most?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by munky, May 11, 2007.

  1. munky

    munky New Member

    Afternoon all,

    This is my 1st post on CF, can I just say this is a great site, and i've gotten lots of useful info off here. Keep up the good work!

    I am looking to do some further study, and was just wondering which certification currently pays the most. A little bit about myself first...

    2 years work expirience in 1st/2line IT support.
    BSc (Hons) Computer Networking
    CompTIA Network+
    MCP Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
    MCP Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional

    So i've got a small bit of expirience, and some basic useful qualifications, i'm just unsure where to go next. I am interested in networking & security. I think wireless may become a desired skill soon as well.
    In all honesty, as I'm interested in all 3 of the above subjects, I want to pursue a career in the one that will pay the most over the long run.

    From doing a bit of research, my options are:

    Securing Wireless Networks: Wireless# > CWSP

    Network Security: CCNA > CCSP > CCIE

    Hacking / Penetration Testing: Security+ > CEH > ESCA > LPT

    At the moment, I'm leaning towards the Network Security CCNA > CCSP > CCIE route, but then again Wireless Security/Ethical Hacking seems to be quite specialist fields, which may mean the salaries are higher.

    As I said, i'm not too fussed about which way I go, I know that there no definite way of knowing which will be a desired a skill in 10 years time and beyond. So can any helpful people answer these 2 questions:

    1. Purely from a monetary point of view, out of the 3, which do you think would be the most valuable skill to pick up/route to go down?

    2. What salaries can be expected from working in these fields. (Most people probably wont be able to answer this one)

    Many thanks!
  2. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was "never take a job just for the money". That adapts to "never earn a certification just for the money". It doesn't matter if you have the qualifications to earn a hundred grand a year if you hate going to work each day or worse, if you suk at your job because you're not skilled in it and have no interest in it.

    Take a look at your professional education from a completely different standpoint. What do you like to so? What technology really lights your fire? Given any of the options you've listed, which one could you spend hours and hours working on and never get tired of it?

    When you've answered those questions, you'll know what to do.

    BTW, welcome to CertForums, Munky. :)
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  3. munky

    munky New Member

    thanks for the quick response tripwire.
    Well, I have degree in Networking, as well as the the Network+, which I really enjoyed.
    I have looked through the course syllabus for the security+ and wireless#, and they both look really interesting.
    So in all honesty, I really do enjoy all 3 subjects, and am interested in studying them further, just unsure which way to go, & obviously want to make as much money from my working hours as possible.
  4. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Are these subjects mutually exclusive. I would think specializing in wired and wireless network security would be a good way to go if you are inclined that way.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  5. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    There's usually a reason that a job commands a high salary and it is usually bad news...
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
    Honorary Member

    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

    I concur with Trip and Jonny, you should not be looking at which job pays the most, but which offers the best Job Satisfaction.

    Do you really think you can survive in a Cr@p working environment just because it pays good money. I have been there and seen others suffer a nervous breakdown or have a heart attack (and at the age of 39 - that's quite young to have a heart attack).

    People who do IT for the money and not because they like it or are interested in it are usually the ones who live in a pipe dream:rolleyes:
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  7. Tartanbill

    Tartanbill Bit Poster

    I dunno, certifications don't "pay" in that sense, nor are they a golden ticket to megabucks.

    I'm pursueing my CCNA and a couple of Linux certifications because they are subjects I have a true passion for and since I already know a fair amount, I might as well get the certifications to prove it as ultimately, they will help further my career - I'm not getting them as a shortcut to a large salery tho :)

    As other people have said, if there is something you really enjoy or find you have a knack for then go for a cert as getting a certificate on something you are skilled with will serve you far better than braindumping and then finding yourself like a deer in headlights when you get a job, as happens to so many people who get the wrong idea.
  8. Headache

    Headache Gigabyte Poster

    I think you're on the right track there, matey.

    I've got a mate who's a CCNP and works as a contractor in a British-based American Telco. He currently grosses between eighty and ninety K. I know this for a fact because he showed me his payslips when he was convincing me to chuck in my deadend job and pursue a career in IT. Needless to say this tactic worked !
    Certifications: CCNA
  9. Sandy

    Sandy Ex-Member

    You pose an interesting quesion!

    Do what you are good at not what gives you the highest amount of cash - you are the one who needs to get up in the morning and go to work. Money will not spark that fire if you hate what you do.
  10. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

    i fully concurr with the other guys here. Whilst money is a factor when going for a job, it is never the only factor, and shouldnt be the highest factor.

    If you are in the industry because you think it pays a shedload, and want a job getting the most money, then in my opinion you are in the wrong industry. And to be perfectly honest, I would tend to resent that you are occupying a perfectly good position that someone keen could be taking.

    I've seen a few people in my time in this industry for the money only, and to be perfectly honest, they were kinda useless. If you want to get far in IT, you need to be keen and enthusiastic and, in my opinion, "live and breathe" computers. The really good people in my work at the moment almost all go home and do personal work on computers (with the exception of one who just seems to be really good - the exception not the rule).

    You might also want to remember that you are unlikely to get a 60K a year job just because you have a piece of paper. You have to work hard to get into the well paying positions, and to stay there.

    Finally, I would bear in mind that, as the guys said, if you are doing it for the money only, you wont last. you wont have any drive to get out of bed in the morning and drag yourself to work. High level, well paid jobs also tend to require that you are almost permanently on call incase your area goes belly up. So if its just the money, you are unlikely to want to drag your carcass out of bed at 2am.
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  11. shaggy

    shaggy Byte Poster

    I think what the original poster was saying is "which one of these certs, that i equally enjoy as much, will pay the most?"

    so whichever one we advise him to take he will enjoy, he just wants to capitalise on what he likes

    im not the most knowledgable person on here by far, but from what ive heard the CCIE is one of the best things to have, so im assuming the pay is pretty good
    Certifications: BND ICT Systems Support and Networking
    WIP: A+

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