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Help further career - MCSE/MCSA/MCITP ..?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Naj, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. Naj

    Naj Bit Poster

    Hi All

    Looking for some advice to further my career. I started on this forum 4 years ago with no prior IT experience or qualifications. I was advised to get A+ and N+ certified, which I did and it helped get a foot in the industry. I've been working for the same company for the past 3.5 years and have progressed well. I work in 2nd line desktop support and have had some exposure to 3rd line work such as infrastructure projects and SCCM. Other than having some training with Microsoft, the only other cert I have obtained is ITIL v3 Foundation.

    I feel like the work in Desktop is now getting stale but can't make my mind up in what area I want to pursue. I definatley want to stay within infrastructure (server, networks, AD, SCCM, application packaging). The 3rd line jobs I'm looking at, most require a degree (which I don't have) or MCP. I think for the level of experience I have on Desktop, I really need to back it up with an MCP. I have to be honest in that I really get consfused with the various MCP certs. Which MCP cert would be most beneficial in consildating my current experience but lead in to other areas of infrastructure systems?
    Certifications: NA
  2. demarrer

    demarrer Byte Poster


    To give you some more ideas, I started off as a desktop support techy + some server experience. Now for the past few years I've been working with networks and have made the cut from systems for example (windows server/windows 7 etc).

    Where I work there are the following teams:

    Support - they help clients with all sorts of problems at level 3 + working with the manufacturer of equipment like checkpoint/forinet/juniper firewalls, F5 loadbalancers, cisco firewalls, bluecoat proxy, switches/routers, appliances for dns/dhcp and ipplan management etc. When the local client doesnt know how to resolve a problem, the support team takes over.

    Integration - these guys work on an IT project level and build test environments for solutions proposed by network architects. Once approved the test environment is put in to production. They work with everything you could put in a data centre :)

    Production Network and Security - this is where I work at the moment. I have to manage supervision of equipment, manage changes and deal with incidents. I get lots of hands on experiences with LOTS of different technology, - firewalls, proxies, dns, PKI, URL filtering, Antispam, VPN, VPN SSL you name it. At first it's overwhelming as there is SOOO much to learn, but after a while things are getting easier.

    Network - there are some guys that work at the service provider level - they are pure routing/switching team that look after a clients LAN and WAN.

    Then there are the systems guys - they run all the servers that we work from and with as well as desktop and VOIP- VMWARE is a good skill set to get and I know that people with this knowledge are sort after. CentOS and windows administrators are highly regarded too. They are mainly concerned with systems and don't really care about the ins and outs of the network.

    On top of all this where I work there is a focus on security, this covers everything from ISO27001/2 and guys who have CISSP/GIAC qualifications. You also have guys that do pentest and security audit.

    So my advice is look around some more and look further than just microsoft. If microsoft is what you like however, then go for it. No matter what you see in the press about apple and google, microsoft are major players and companies need people with microsoft skills.

    Next is IT management, i.e managing the IT team, ITIL and the like. You could also look at SAP too.

    Any how, here is a list of technology vendors to have a look at.

    Fortinet, Checkpoint, bluecoat, F5, Cisco, Efficient IP, Juniper, Opentrust PKI.

    One last thing to say is that my CCNA has given me, in my opinion, a great foundation to go on and work in the network and security areas.

    Good luck.
    Certifications: A+, Security +, CCNA, CCSA
    WIP: music, (dreaming of) CCIE Security :D
    Naj likes this.
  3. Naj

    Naj Bit Poster

    Thanks for all the info. Your setup looks like it supports a large user base, similiar to my company's, who support 25k+. The sad thing is I've not had the opportunity to work or even shadow on areas like servers and networks. This is why I feel I need to make my own personal moves outside of the business and study towards a cert.

    Networks interest me the most purely on the varying roles and earning potential. I have to admint, I've had little exposure to networks, other then what I learnt on N+ and supporting some Cisco products like IP Communicator and CTIOS. Did not having any MCP certs hinder you in networks? I'll look in to CCNA thanks.
    Certifications: NA
  4. SimonD
    Honorary Member

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    You mention that you want to stay within the infrastructure environment and also mention SCCM, what kind of exposure do you have with it? As far as MCP (MCTS's) are concerned I would probably look at a desktop OS and perhaps even the SCCM exam, working with SCCM is actually a pretty much full time role if you're using it in anger (patch management, OSD, app deployment etc) and is definitely a great toolset to have a handle on.
    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. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

    Yup as said it may be a bit more niche than general MS server stuff but if you like SCCM/packaging then it's not a bad way to go :)

    I used to 'do' it as my main job and do miss it.
  6. Naj

    Naj Bit Poster

    In my current role, my access on ConfigMgr is limited to things like adding machines to existing collections for deployment of software and OS and reporting. I did attend a 3 day MS course last year on deploying Win 7 via SCCM and MDT. Earlier this year, we trialled a migration to Win 7 on a few hundred machines. I wasn't given the opportunity to build the OSD packages which is bizzare considering my company sent me on the training!

    I'm well aware of the capabilities of SCCM and get on well with our packaging guys who seem to enjoy working with it and other packaging toolsets.

    Which Win 7 cert would be a solid foundation to start off with?

    Oh, I'm really impressed with all your certs!
    Certifications: NA

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