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Where to start..

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Dibbs, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Dibbs

    Dibbs New Member

    Hi all,

    I hope this is the right place to post this since my question is not really about a specific certification. I guess you probably see this question all the time but I am currently looking for a little advice on which certs would be a good starting point for me at my current level of experience.

    Since completing a Bsc (Hons) in Comp Science I have been in the IT industry (more specifically support roles) for about 5 years. I am currently in a second level support role where my primary focus is product support in a small team (< 5) mainly dealing with the product, Windows 2k/2k3, IIS, MS SQL 2000/2005 and to a lesser extent Linux and Oracle. That said, being the company I work for is small (< 30), I am also responsible for all internal desktop/server support and network/systems admin etc so I am also comfortable with workstation/server hardware, Windows XP, networked environments, AD, Exchange, ISA 2k4, virtualisation and a raft of other bits and pieces. I also look after our cisco gear. In previous roles I have been primarily supporting Linux environments too so I am comfortable there also. Basically I feel like a jack of all trades (do I hear master of none? :biggrin) and at this point, I think may need to specialise a little more in order to get myself to where I want to be career wise however that is slightly off the point right now.

    My main question is I am looking to do some certs to go along with my experience to make me a better prospect for future job changes and given the above, I was wondering where would be a good place for me to start cert wise? I see the A+ gets a lot of recommendations however would I see any benefit with it? I am certainly not saying I know everything but still from reading around these forums it seems to be suggested as an entry level cert to assist with the first step which is not really where I feel I am at this point (I could of course be wrong in this though). I am interested in both the Microsoft and Cisco paths however I am a little uncertain where I should be aiming to start along these paths with my current experience. Any pointers would be very much appreciated.


    PS I hope I have not posted this twice. The first time I tried to post it there was some problem where I got logged out during posting and it did not appear in the listing.
  2. Obinna Osobalu

    Obinna Osobalu Banned

    (do I hear master of none? :biggrin), yes you did:D. Anyway i must say you have got some experience there but then as it goes dont rest on the oars yet...

    The A+ as you said will always be recomende for starters seeking IT certs but then my own opinion on that is like taking an exam on how to insert a a car key on the ignition, this is what one can naturally pick everynow and then, studied the A+ but dont have plans taking the exam never will.

    On the path to start off based on what you listed above, you still have to make a personal decision which path to follow thats where your interest lies. Having said that if you plan move with MS certs i suggest you start off with the MCDST then you may want to move to MCSA and of course MCSE depending the fields you might end up in or will end up in. For Cisco certs you can definitely start with the CCNA then proceed from there

    NOTE: N+ woulldnt(your call still) be a bad entry point though for both the MS and Cisco certs..cheers
    Certifications: MCITP:SA,MCTS(x5),MCSE2K3;MCSA2K3:M;MCP
    WIP: EDA7,70-652,Project+,MSP(70-632)
  3. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

    Here's a summary of the certs which I think would best suit you in your current environment:-

    CompTia's - A+, N+ - you can probably breeze through them, but they're proof that you're capable and are a good base as they're vendor neutral (A+ info - http://certification.comptia.org/a/default.aspx, N+ info -http://certification.comptia.org/network/)


    Microsoft's 70-271 and 70-272 - Will gain you Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certification as well as netting you the Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician certification (MCDST).

    If you want to push up further toward a more specialised Microsoft cert, for instance the MCSA or MCSE then you'll need to pass the requisite exams (more info can be found here - http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcsa/default.mspx)

    ...with regards to Cisco...

    Cisco's 640-822 ICND1 and 640-816 ICND2 - Will gain you the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) cert as well as the Cisco Certified Network Associate cert (CCNA) - info on both can be found using these links -

    Wiki for CCENT - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CCENT

    Wiki for CCNA - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CCNA

    640-822 ICND1 - http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/current_exams/640-822.html

    640-816 ICND2 - http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/current_exams/640-816.html

    From there you can progress to CCNP and onward and upward if you wish to specialise in Cisco kit.

    I suppose it all depends on what you want to do in the future, but that's a good base. If you have any questions then feel free to ask!

    Hope this helps :)

    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  4. skuzzy

    skuzzy Bit Poster

    Which certificate is for Microsoft entry?
    WIP: A+
  5. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    The 70-271 & the 70-272 is what would be considered as Microsoft entry level certs, take one of them and pass, you get the MCP cred, take both of them and pass and you get the MCDST cred :)

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: MSc in Tech Management
  6. skuzzy

    skuzzy Bit Poster

    The MCP and MCDST, thank you Ken!
    WIP: A+

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