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Is this the right route to take?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by noob, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. noob

    noob New Member

    This is my first post and I would like to ask your advice.

    I've been using computers (windows based) for a good ten years and I've picked up a fair bit of knowledge from trial and error and just poking around in general.

    I purchased the two MS books and I'm studying from home for the MCDST certificate and I'll just sit the exams when I'm good and ready.

    My main question is: I want to head towards networking, but I don't have a great deal of knowledge there, so is this a good way to go...

    compTIA Network+ -> CCNA -> CCNP

    Or would I be better off studying for an MCSE?

    I'm also wanting to learn about the security side of things (seeing as it's quite a sought after thing these days)

    Any help and advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
  2. mondos

    mondos Kilobyte Poster

    A+ would be the starting point and would give you the foundation to build the cert path you have chosen.
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+, MCDST and finding a job!
  3. webslinger2k

    webslinger2k Byte Poster


    Welcome to CF!

    My opinion of your post, is that the MCDST is a good place to start in the Cert world I think - it gets you used to the principals of self study and cert, and it also gets you familiar with the test environment with pretty mild exams.

    As from where you progress after you complete your MCDST, I think that depends completely on what direction you want to head in, and specialise in.

    You mention the Network +, which is always the best place to start for those new to Networking - so thats a definite no brainer as far as I am concerned - however...from here you show preference to then progressing into Cisco, which is fantastic....you then raise the question of whether heading towards the MCSE would be more beneficial? I always think people should aim for the MCSA first before talking of MCSE, of course we would all like to get their eventually - but run before you can walk would be my advice there.

    As for whether you should continue onto Cisco or MS stuff afterwars, I would have to say MS stuff, purely because it will be easier for you to get "physical" and hands on with MS stuff from an entry level position once you have got your MCDST. It may well prove very difficult to move onto Cisco and get hands on experience, if you are not already in a 2/3rd line position.

    Thats just my two pence, as in an ideal world, as soon as I am done with my MS exams, I would love to move onto do my CCNA.

    Good luck with whatever you decide mate!

    (A+ is worth considering like Mondos said - not sure if I like it personally though :) )
    Certifications: 270, 271, 272
    WIP: 70-290
  4. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

    I think if you going to go down that networking side of things i.e. Cisco then you should consider doing the A+ and then Network+ as it will help you prepare for the CCNA. Studying from books is all well but you need to be getting hands on experience as well even if its in the form of a lab at home or work.
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  5. noob

    noob New Member

    Thanks for your replies guys.

    I think I'll take my time with this, the last thing I want is to be overwhelmed with courses right at the start.

    I'll finish the MCDST and more than likely study (more hands on than book form) for my A and N+ and see how I feel when I've finished that.
  6. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Your destination should be the main determiner of your route, however as you probably know from packet switching, there's more than one route to a destination.

    Networking is a pretty broad field. What is it exactly that you want to specialize in? Also, it's not the certifications per se that are the goal but the acquistion of the appropriate skill sets. If various certification programs map to those skill sets, so be it. Just be careful that you don't create a gap in the skills you'll need by blindly following a certification path.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  7. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    Hi and welcome to the forum.

    Good advice already given. I would add the fact that whether you want to study for MCSE or CCNA (or both) you will need to set up labs to gain the most.

    The MS side could be physical machines, or VMware. Cisco could be labs, or, if you can afford the routers and switches you will be working with.

    Good luck
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Excellent advice already given in this thread. Welcome!
    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. noob

    noob New Member

    Thanks for the welcome everyone.

    The reason I decided to follow networking/network security is because there's a fair demand in that field (or so I'm lead to believe).

    This is why I think it's best I only go as far as doing the N+ just to see if working with networks is what I'd be happy doing.
  10. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Just a word of caution. Don't decide on a career path just because it is currently popular or promises to pay a big salary. First off, by the time you are qualified by education and experience to take on that role, it might not be the "popular" thing anymore. Also, you might find out you really hate working with network security and you really love managing databases (or something like that). It would be a shame to hate going to work everyday. Learn something that you really like.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+

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