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Old 04-18-2011, 10:34 PM   #1
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Default Anyone with CCNA, MCSA etc?

Also asking on other forums but any input would be great! Anyone have their CCENT,CCNA, MCSA or any other microsoft or cisco certification? I'm thinking about changing careers and working into my CCNA or MCSA and was wondering how you like your careers. I have been working on and around computers my entire life and probably should of just went into this from the beginning.

Any input on other certs I should look at would be awesome. I am not decided if I want to be a company tech guy or a network guy.
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:26 AM   #2
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I've worked in tech for 14 years.

Certifications alone will not get you most jobs. Experience will. Hustle up and get yourself an entry level job. If you really do know computers, develop a sales pitch for your computer skills and then deliver that pitch at interviews. Talk about how you have done work for various people and the type of work.

If you want to stretch it a bit, just say you have been self employed part-time doing that type of work, and are looking for a stable consistent income because you just gave birth to a car that needs a constant stream of modifications.

While you work the entry level job, get your cert. Oh and do your studying yourself and don't spend thousands on courses.
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:49 AM   #3
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Enterprise level CCIE and JNCIE are worth getting, but only if you are very interested in this...in an extremely geeky way. A large ROI is likely. This is assuming you've already got the prerequisites to these. No idea about the MS stuff.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:09 AM   #4
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Got my MCSA recently. I work for a software company that makes windows management products amongst other things. I do demos and such. Not the job I pictured myself doing when I got into this field, but the money is good. Experience + Certifications > Degrees in this field. Don't waste your time spending thousands on college courses just to get a bachelors or masters degree. You need hands-on experience.

Get an entry level job, even if it's just a helpdesk position and work your way up.

Also, you have to actually like working with computers/networks to make it in this career path. If not you'll burn out really quick.

If you have any questions on getting your MCSA let me know.

Edit: On a personal note, I went through the CCNA stuff in HS and hated it. From what I learned, it was just a bunch of terminal sessions programming routers. I can't stand programming. So I decided to go the MS route.
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Old 04-24-2011, 02:26 PM   #5
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If you have any questions on getting your MCSA let me know.Got

Edit: On a personal note, I went through the CCNA stuff in HS and hated it. From what I learned, it was just a bunch of terminal sessions programming routers. I can't stand programming. So I decided to go the MS route.

This is what has me leaing towards Microsoft Certs over Cisco, but there seems to be more money in network management.
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:56 PM   #6
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I don't have a CCNA yet but I've been doing cisco network support since 2003. Best part of the job is proving your infrastructure when there is an application problem, and then watching the server guys squirm until they figure it out... OTOH I work some crazy hours and am on call 24x7 because well, I'm one of the last network guys left in the shop.

there is a big difference between being a server/application guy and a network guy. You can get an MCSE and play with windows boxes all day, or you can get a CCNA and work with various diverse networks, worldwide. Go with what you feel most comfortable with, and of course both could not hurt.
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:59 PM   #7
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Edit: On a personal note, I went through the CCNA stuff in HS and hated it. From what I learned, it was just a bunch of terminal sessions programming routers. I can't stand programming. So I decided to go the MS route.
Theres a bit more to it than that... but I've got to admit I get all giddy when I make a complex routing situaton work and I love the command line.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:04 PM   #8
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Being a systems engineer is a crappy job but to quote a stripper I once knew, "It's better than sucking dick on The Block".

"The Block" is the Baltimore red light district.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:55 PM   #9
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Taking the 70-640 exam on the mcitp track tomorrow.

If you are green in the field, some entry level certs aren't a bad idea to help differentiate yourself from the sea of unskilled applicants trying to break into IT. Depends on the job market. Six years ago, I was brought on with this company and asked to get the CompTiA certs as quickly as I could. A pay raise was involved once I did. I took the A+, Network+, and Security+ exams as soon as I could to get that raise. Now, we really like to see one or more certs when making a hiring decision. Ymmv.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:30 PM   #10
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Bumping because its my "its been longer than 6months and I don't like what I'm doing again".

Can anyone recommend some good books or websites for studying for my certifications?
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:52 PM   #11
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I'm doing CCNA right now, I really enjoy all the CLI setup stuff.

Can't help with anything else though as I'm only 1/4 through it.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tekel View Post
Bumping because its my "its been longer than 6months and I don't like what I'm doing again".

Can anyone recommend some good books or websites for studying for my certifications?
Just buy (or pirate) the books for the certs you want to get. For me, when studying a larger amount of material like that I prefer to have the book in hand.

Are you looking specifically into doing networking? I did the CCNA stuff in high school and it was quite a bit to memorize. And I ended up doing more Windows server admin and eventually mostly .NET programming because it seemed more interesting. I was lucky enough to start doing help desk for my school district when I was a sophomore which eventually lead to me trying out all sorts of projects and troubleshooting, everything from web dev to running cat5 to exchange admin.

I'm not sure what your experience is with different stuff, but being a cisco guy is going to be very different than being a windows admin. The cisco guys were the ones we'd call in every time we ordered $30K of networking equipment and I know those guys got paid quite a bit. And then they would sit in the noisy *** server room typing away at a CLI for a few days. If you can find an entry level admin/IT help desk position I think it'd be a good start and hopefully you could use to to feel out which direction you really want to go in. FWIW, I ended up kinda burning myself out on it all after about 6 years of living, breathing, and eating all things IT and it made it less enjoyable for me. I used to just write code for fun in my free time but when I no longer did that I knew it was time to switch it up.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:01 PM   #13
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This is what has me leaing towards Microsoft Certs over Cisco, but there seems to be more money in network management.
At the senior level, the money is the same.

I'll repeat myself.

I would hire someone with experience over someone with certs any day.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by messiahx View Post
Just buy (or pirate) the books for the certs you want to get. For me, when studying a larger amount of material like that I prefer to have the book in hand.

Are you looking specifically into doing networking? I did the CCNA stuff in high school and it was quite a bit to memorize. And I ended up doing more Windows server admin and eventually mostly .NET programming because it seemed more interesting. I was lucky enough to start doing help desk for my school district when I was a sophomore which eventually lead to me trying out all sorts of projects and troubleshooting, everything from web dev to running cat5 to exchange admin.

I'm not sure what your experience is with different stuff, but being a cisco guy is going to be very different than being a windows admin. The cisco guys were the ones we'd call in every time we ordered $30K of networking equipment and I know those guys got paid quite a bit. And then they would sit in the noisy *** server room typing away at a CLI for a few days. If you can find an entry level admin/IT help desk position I think it'd be a good start and hopefully you could use to to feel out which direction you really want to go in. FWIW, I ended up kinda burning myself out on it all after about 6 years of living, breathing, and eating all things IT and it made it less enjoyable for me. I used to just write code for fun in my free time but when I no longer did that I knew it was time to switch it up.
What kind of work do you do now?
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tekel View Post
Bumping because its my "its been longer than 6months and I don't like what I'm doing again".

Can anyone recommend some good books or websites for studying for my certifications?
CBT Nuggets has a pretty good video series. Not sure if they do cisco stuff, but the MS Certification stuff was very helpful.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:42 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Faeflora View Post
What kind of work do you do now?
I am now a metrologist in the USAF and mostly work linear-dimensional calibrations and some optical tooling (transits, theodolites, collimators). USAF metrology is basically calibration/servicing of anything that takes a measurement and then some; from torque wrenches to spectrum analyzers to aircraft test sets to jet engine test cells. You'll find that all aviation maintenance operations, machines shops, and manufacturers require some sort of calibration for their equipment.

Everyone in the USAF gets a moderate level of training on all of the different types of equipment; I've just been lucky enough (IMO) to specialize in physical-dimensional type measurements. In theory, this equipment, if I were so inclined, could be used to...calibrate my own torque wrenches and mics/bore gages/etc, check flatness, roundness, and length of engine parts accurate to single digit millionths of an inch, weight match rods and pistons to .00001g (if I could remove that little metal at a time!), check the accuracy of boost gauges, etc.

I enjoy the work enough to keep entertained, but it's not my passion. I do plan on pursuing other options in the AF at some point in the future because I really enjoy being in the military. I am however pissed off on a daily basis by the substandard performance of our IT infrastructure (I hate waiting).
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:58 PM   #17
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Really still exploring what is out there. The only definite thing for me is I am not a programmer.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:12 AM   #18
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You should talk with robert half, they have a lot of free online training, and see if there is a local usergroup for what you want to do.


I love the ms dba track but you'd have to have some understanding of coding to be any good.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:07 AM   #19
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Another option is to become an application specialist. Siebel specialists have good hourly rates.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:05 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Faeflora View Post

I would hire someone with experience over someone with certs any day.
But, with no experience, you need the certs to get a foot in the door....

Chicken/egg
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