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Which path is the better to take?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by BraderzTheDog, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. BraderzTheDog

    BraderzTheDog Kilobyte Poster

    Hello again guys,

    I have stuck a problem that I am hoping the wonderful people of CF can help me un ravel :) Soo, shortly I am about to commence my CCNA training with FireBrand. However after speaking with Simon, It would appear that job prospects are not going to be immediate with this certification as me being me (and a teenager) will find it hard to gain any experience with Cisco equipment after certifying.

    So the idea came along to switch my programme to the MCITP Server administrator programme. The would give me (640 - 642 - 646) and since I already work 2nd line, I would be hoping to maybe get into either a better paid 2nd line job or potentially 3rd line. Is this a more realistic approach rather than getting my CCNA / CCSA and stuggling to gain experience in networking?

    Your thoughts and feelings are much appreciated

    Kind Regards, Brad.
  2. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    Well, ideally your certification route should compliment your experience, which is really what the driving force in deciding the right track for you should be.

    So many people make the mistake of trying to choose a certification because they think it will make them more employable or rich. Then they fall into the trap of paying through the nose for a cert which actually holds them back because it is way above their experience curve.

    Of course, for people not already working in IT, it's a real show stopper and there is no real easy answer.

    However, as you already work in IT, you should probably look at certifying in a technology that you have already have exposure to. If as you say, you work in second line support, then you must have something that you are pretty clued up on.

    It's been said before, but it needs saying again. Certification is about what you do now, not what you want to do in the future.
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  3. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

    If you have server experiance go on the server course. You said you work in an ISP though configuring routers? Which is not the same thing. If your using AD / Exchange etc on a daily basis then server admin is something you could look at doing.
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), PGc, MCTS:Win 7, MCSA W7/MCITP EDST, ITIL Foundation, Prince 2 Foundation, C&G: Web Design, MOS 07: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook.
  4. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

    Depends what you want to do careerwise really, if it's networking you want to be doing then a CCNA makes more sense really.

    Both will look good on a cv when going for that next role though.
  5. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

    Well said JonnyMX, spot on right there.
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  6. SimonD
    Honorary Member

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator


    The MCITP SA exam is aimed at someone with 12 - 18 months experience using the product, not someone looking to get into supporting the product.

    Ideally the next certification to probably go for is the N+ and 'maybe' the Server+, I wouldn't even consider a server based MCITP at this stage of your career because the same stands for this as the CCNA.

    We have recently interviewed a couple of our desktop guys to move over to the server team as associates, unfortunately they didn't manage to get past the interview stage because they simply lacked the required trouble shooting experience we want for our server engineers, having a server certification doesn't make you a server engineer, it's the working in a service desk environment liaising with the server and network teams that this experience comes from.

    Working for an ISP isn't going to give you the required server experience in my honest opinion, you need to start working for someone else that has dedicated desktop\server\network teams and work up from there.

    I strongly disagree with this, if you don't have the experience to back up the certification then you're doing your career more harm than good by having the certification, sure if you have to take the course and try and pass the exam but for the moment I would leave it off your CV until you do have the experience to back it up, the last thing you want to do is go for an interview based on your certifications and fail miserably because you either don't know how to do something or worse still only give the Microsoft exam answer rather than the real world answer (there are two ways to do things in the world of certification, the Exam way and the Real way, you will learn that as you move along your career).
    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).
  7. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

    It can be risky in some situations, but looking at the context here I wouldn't see it a problem personally.

    If the chap is wanting to break into an entry level networking role a CCNA would look good on the CV imho.

    Coupled with his current 2nd line experience at an ISP I'd say it'd compliment quite well in moving into starting off a networking career path.

    I agree that you wouldn't go for an experienced level position just having gained these certs, and that's not what I'm saying.

    If he'd said "I want to be a pen tester, shall I do my CeH then start applying for jobs", well no that's not a good route as there's more to it than that :p

    As well as obtaining a cert people have to be realistic about going for jobs that are within their means/at their level. Most job ads as well as noting down certs will also tell you things you should have experience in, be able to do, likely responsibilities etc.

    You're a fool if you apply for a job where you have a cert but nothing else mentioned in the ad.

    For instance I get a lot of calls due to a cert I have, yet whilst it's helpful for me in roles I do the roles I get calls about are totally different to what I can do. So guess what, I say no thanks that's not the sort of thing I can or will do.

    How many jobs have people here seen for trainee/entry level type roles that then go on to list "must have xyz"?

    The cruel fact is in todays marketplace you need every advantage you can get, and for that entry level networking role when faced with 2 candidates, one with a CCNA and one without (assuming they are equal elsewhere in job exeperience etc) I know who I'd likely be hiring.

    Just my 2p from pesonal experience as someone going for roles and also partaking in the hiring process.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  8. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

    I'm normally with Simon, Boffy and Jonny but I've seen a couple of times just recently in my company where 2 groups of people (1 person and 2 person group) were going through the CCNA course through work. The single person wanted to go from telephone support to get into our networking team and the team wouldn't allow him through the door unless he had it. The 2-person group didn't really want to go into networking, but as their current project (sys admin) was closing they were ideal to be moved elsewhere, just down the road in London (most of our staff aren't in London), and again the end client said, you want them on site, they get their CCNA.

    Makes a joke of the purpose of get certified!
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  9. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

    Exactly, I never said it was right ;)

    But it's something nowadays that imho will help you rather than hinder you.

    Again only my 2p worth, other opinions are available :)
  10. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

    Personally I did the CCENT and not the CCNA because I wanted to signal my desire and intention to go into networking without making any real promises on my knowledge or ability. I think the CCNA would promise more than I can deliver since I have no commercial experience.
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  11. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

    Just playing Devil's Advocate, but surely any job you went for would be at a level that you can work at and not expect more of you as long as you met the experience criteria they ask for?

    If they said must have CCNA and commercial experience then that's not a job you'd be going for in the first place right?

    If it said entry level networking role, no experience required but any networking cert/experience is desirable, an optional extra if you will, don't you think having the cert will help your cause?

    Going for a relatively entry level role already armed with the CCNA might show that whilst you don't have the real world experience you have the aptitude and know how to gain that without too much troubles.

    That said I'd agree that CCENT is find for starters, it's on the road to CCNA anyway and will look good :)

    As said just playing devil's advocate :p
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012

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