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Certification Help

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by daveenigma, Mar 28, 2009.

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  1. daveenigma

    daveenigma New Member

    Hi all, I joined a few months ago not long after landing my first contract as an Oracle / SQL sys admin. In my current role I provide Oracle application support and administration which includes a lot of PL/SQL script writing. This includes some AD / Citrix user administration and some client / server configuration and administration on a Windows 2003 Server platform.

    I have a BSc in Information Technology and 7 years experience.

    The first 2 years of that experience were spent working on 1/2nd line helpdesk and desktop support, AD and Exchange administration.

    3 years were spent working for the company whose software I now administrate for one of their clients. I had a number of duties there ranging from ITIL service delivery, ISO9001 Quality Management, Oracle PL/SQL support amongst other duties with some Server 2003 admin.

    I also have 6 months IBM ISeries application support.

    Much of my experience has been with a software vendor supplying the public sector and NHS plus local government working.

    I have quite a varied background and specialise in PL/SQL support, however now I'm contracting I want to broaden my skill set and gain formal qualifications. I'm most interested in following the Microsoft route however not sure where to start. I would say that my current role is very niche but pays very well and I guess my concern is once this contract ends I may not have a broad enough range of skills to move into a similarly paid sys admin role.

    The only professional qualifications I have are the ITIL Foundation certificate and an ISO9001 Quality Management certificate.

    So my questions..

    Should I do the Comptia certs to start with or should I go for straight for something like exchange/2003 study?

    I've got reasonable but not dedicated Microsoft support experience, would that be enough to get me into a microsoft administration role coupled with study/certification?

    Or would I have to take a step back into a help desk / desktop support role in order to go down this path?

    Confused and about which way to turn..
  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    I think it all depends on where you see yourself going.

    If you weren't contracting I'd suggest asking the company what their policy is on assisting with certs. But it still might be worth asking about what they want to see. My bet is that 'experience' will trump 'certs' every time!

    You might want to look into some Oracle certs as well as Microsoft ones. Oracle experience is a valuable commodity and one that isn't going to go away any time soon.

    With enough experience you should be able to land your next contract on Windows servers without having to go through the helpdesk route.

    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  3. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Why not look into OCA/OCP or even becomming an Oracle ACE ?
  4. daveenigma

    daveenigma New Member

    Hi thanks for the replies, as I want to stay in contracting and feel comfortable with self study I wanted use certs to reinforce my experience. Though I've managed to gain most of my experience in PL/SQL, script writing isn't my strongest asset or where my interests lie. I did the OCA training with my previous employer but not the exam. Server / network admin is where I would like to move into but the question then is do I go down the 2008 or 2003 study route? I've looked at the MCTS and considered starting with something along the lines of this:

  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    The OCA and OCP would be worth doing.

    If you plan on going down the Microsoft route, I'd highly encourage you to pursue the MCSE on 2003 track. First, most companies still use Server 2003 (and many still use 2000 Server!)... few have implemented 2008 to any great degree. Second, the MCSE name is much, much, MUCH more well known than the MCITP. Third, having an "older" certification like the MCSE 2003 will make it look like you've "been around longer" than if you just had the MCITP on 2008.

    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!

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