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What are best entry-level certs for initial internship/employment?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by sendalot, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. sendalot

    sendalot Nibble Poster

    What are the best entry-level certs for initial internship/employment? (I'm a fresh college grad with 0 IT experience).

    I so far have CCENT and Network+ and they don't seem to get me much interviews yet.

    Is it A+ and/or MCTS 70-680 (Win 7)?

    Help me and thanks ya'll.

    Oh and if you ask what I want to do, I want just enter into anything. Whether it'd be tech support OR network associate, etc
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
    WIP: A+
  2. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster

    A+ is probably the best one to get. If you are not getting interviews, one might consider looking again at your CV, possibly?
  3. Lugosi

    Lugosi Bit Poster

    I dont necessarily know what the best ones are, but when I wanted to get into IT I struggled to get any interviews or call backs. At the time I had A+ and was studying Network+, and had some Java and C++ OU development modules under my belt too.
    So I phoned all the job agencies that seemed to deal with IT stuff in Cardiff(where I live) and surrounding cities and asked them all the same question.
    With limited or no experience what qualification on my CV would give me the best chance of any work. On the basis even if I started on a helpdesk reading scripts out, its a foot in the door.
    After all the normal disclaimers, we cant guarantee this, and we cant guarantee that.. The consensus at the time was MCSE or MCSA(obviously this was server 2003 and XP time so now you could replace that with MCITP server or enterprise) would bring your cv up on most searches.
    They also said that if I had just a couple of MCPs and stated I was studying towards MCSE or MCSA that would also bring me up on searches, so it wasnt necessary that I had the whole lot.
    The final suggestion they had was to heavily target contract work, because that widens both your experience on your CV and your actual skill set, and is frankly easier to get than full time.

    Hope this helps.

    As an addendum, I went the whole hog and did a residential course, which cost loads but got me the MCSE and a few others. Whilst doing the course, met lots of people who were both self funded and company funded and gained what turned out to be a priceless wealth of contacts and real job finding knowledge. Also got a copy of all their cvs. Large parts of which, frankly, I plagiarised. Cant stress enough the importance of a good looking CV that is targeted to every different job you apply for.
    And then put it on every site anyone had heard of, and spent every evening for the last couple of weeks of the course applying for every role that said Microsoft in it.
    Driving home after my last exam an agent called me up to offer me a job in desktop support for the NHS, which I was due to begin the following tuesday, had another agent not offered me a job in Orange for £4/hour more!

    Im not saying this is necessarily the route for everyone to take, but I really wanted to get into IT so took a big gamble and worked and studied ridiculous hours to make it work. It did take a couple of years to pay off the loan for the course, but its probably the best investment I ever made. I did about 5 contract jobs and all but one offered full time work. Which I accepted on the last one.
    Certifications: MCSE,MCSA messaging, MCITP Enterprise Admin, Security+, Net+, A+ etc
    WIP: Loads of stuff!
  4. SimonD
    Honorary Member

    SimonD Terabyte Poster

    Sorry to disagree with this but here goes.

    Certification is meant to be used to prove your ability with the technology in question, getting an MCSE or MCITP or MCSA with no real world commercial experience not only does you harm but also de-values the certification as a whole. Remember that Microsoft recommend between 12 - 18 months experience with those technologies and it's the commercial experience that helps you understand what it is that you're studying.

    The worse thing you can do is be over qualified with simply no experience, not only can't you do the work but you don't understand why you can't do the work.

    As a base for getting a job I would probably look at the A+ as about it, gain some commercial experience working on the service desk and work up from there.

    As a side note, the guys who work in EUC \ Service Desk that I work with here have a range of either a couple of MCTS's or no certifications at all, too many certs with no experience will do you more harm than good and I have in the past suggested to people to perhaps drop off certifications from their CV's if they have too many and no experience.

    The reason I suggest the A+ over something like the 70-680 is that the A+ gives you a broarder and non-vendor based certification, it doesn't just cover one OS but all sorts of other subject matter and as far as the OP's current certification list goes I would say that you're getting to the point where your lack of experience is starting to show in the questions you've asked here over the last couple of weeks.

    Take a step back, stop studying the CCNA because quite simply any networks manager worth their salt will not hire you with your CCNA and no real world experience and anyone that does hire you deserves shooting.

    Stop studying any network related certification for the moment, get some real world experience on the service desk and start getting an understanding of other technologies before trying to get into networking (natural career progression is usually service desk\ 1st\ 2nd line support and then moving towards something like Networking or Server based work.
    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. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

    ITIL foundation is a good cert to self study and will help with an entry level job on a help desk.
    Certifications: A few.
  6. Lugosi

    Lugosi Bit Poster

    I dont necessarily disagree with anything you've said and take no offence with you disagreeing with my thoughts; however when I was asking similar questions in forums when I was desperately trying to find a way of starting somewhere, anywhere(!) people took time to answer my questions with different opinions, different options and differing experiences.
    And it helped me, sometimes in a positive way, sometimes in negative way, but when all put together it gave me the guidance I was hoping for.
    So was merely trying to offer something similar :)

    I wasnt trying to suggest the route I eventually chose, after a lot of thought and consideration(and questions) is the right one for anyone else, its just the one that worked for me. It gave me a foot in the door and allowed me to build a career from there.
    Certifications: MCSE,MCSA messaging, MCITP Enterprise Admin, Security+, Net+, A+ etc
    WIP: Loads of stuff!
  7. Timostag

    Timostag Bit Poster

    I have to agree when ever I have been looking at entry level IT jobs this is the most asked for thing I have seen.

    I did the A+ after receiving advise on here that it would help with getting interviews for entry level stuff (along with my background in customer service) but although I did get a couple more interviews with the A+ on my CV I didn't feel like it had opened doors for me like some had suggested it would. The best thing I did was dumbing down my CV a little. I was previously a night club manager I changed this to a supervisor position on my CV aswell as shortening some of the non IT related items on my CV so the IT experience would stand out more and suddenly got a lot more interviews so I'm guessing that employers thought that I wasn't going to stay with them for long in an entry level position.
    Certifications: A+,MTA:Networking, MTA: Server Fundamentals MTA:Operating Systems MTA:Security Fundamentals ITIL Foundation

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