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  1. Junior Member Registered Member
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    Apr 2015
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    #1

    Default "If you like [blank], then get Certification [X]"

    This site is a wealth of knowledge about how to get certified, but I'm not really sure how to determine if certification is for me. Here's where I'm coming from. Where I am: Nearing 40, working Tier 2 help desk, making an acceptable amount, have a lot of company-specific knowledge, but not a lot of general-but-formalized knowledge. In other words, I am capable but need a better resume. I also don't want to make a move like this twice, so I want to make sure that the time investment in getting certified helps me get where I want to go. I'd hate to spend two years studying and end up with a job I hate. Why I want to move: Don't want to work this job until retirement. Not interested in moving into management. Need a skill that will transfer to other companies, putting me in charge of my career. While my salary pays the bills, it's nowhere near the rule of thumb of age*$2000. Why I'm considering CCNA/CCENT: I'd like to stay in the tech side. I'm comfortable working with Windows and with hardware, and in Linux to a lesser degree. I've built probably 50 computers, which I bring up to indicate my comfort level, as I realize very little of that experience transfers to these certs. The few attempts I've made at learning coding/development have made my eyes glaze over; I don't think that's for me. Same with DBA. I'd greatly appreciate anyone's time spent bringing up things they like and don't like about the job they got based on their certification. If you got the Security, or VOIP, or Video, or what have you, let me know: what's great about it? What sucks about it? Thanks.
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  3. Senior Member
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    May 2006
    Posts
    1,863

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    CISSP, CCSP, eJPT, ITIL,PA ACE,Qualys Certified Specialist, A+
    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by TomBrokaw View Post
    This site is a wealth of knowledge about how to get certified, but I'm not really sure how to determine if certification is for me. Here's where I'm coming from. Where I am: Nearing 40, working Tier 2 help desk, making an acceptable amount, have a lot of company-specific knowledge, but not a lot of general-but-formalized knowledge. In other words, I am capable but need a better resume. I also don't want to make a move like this twice, so I want to make sure that the time investment in getting certified helps me get where I want to go. I'd hate to spend two years studying and end up with a job I hate. Why I want to move: Don't want to work this job until retirement. Not interested in moving into management. Need a skill that will transfer to other companies, putting me in charge of my career. While my salary pays the bills, it's nowhere near the rule of thumb of age*$2000. Why I'm considering CCNA/CCENT: I'd like to stay in the tech side. I'm comfortable working with Windows and with hardware, and in Linux to a lesser degree. I've built probably 50 computers, which I bring up to indicate my comfort level, as I realize very little of that experience transfers to these certs. The few attempts I've made at learning coding/development have made my eyes glaze over; I don't think that's for me. Same with DBA. I'd greatly appreciate anyone's time spent bringing up things they like and don't like about the job they got based on their certification. If you got the Security, or VOIP, or Video, or what have you, let me know: what's great about it? What sucks about it? Thanks.
    In order to maintain your edge, you need to always evolve and accumulate knowledge. It can be from certs or it can be by doing different jobs and moving around to get experience. From what you say is that you are capable but afraid to take any risks. You feel comfortable with where you are. You say you are 40 now, how long have you been in IT, how long have you worked in your current company? There are good and bad days in every job, it's how you handle it and how you feel about the job in general that will make you feel good about it.
    If you dont move around to do different jobs you will not find what you like the most and such you will not know which cert to get. Start with the basics, read some books and see if you like it.
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  4. Senior Member ssnyderu2's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
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    Certifications
    A+, Network+, Security+, CIW Foundations and MTA OS Fundamentals
    #3
    I turned 40 not long ago and have been in the call center/help desk for years. I got tired of it and moved over to desktop support. I no longer take inbound phone calls, get to do a little light networking and lots of hands on. From there I am working on my CCNA so that I can move on to a NOC or a Jr. network admin position. But i dont plan on stopping there.

    Its hard to study for certs and get hands on experience when you have a wife, kids and bills. But if I want a better life for them, I cant stop progressing. If you are not sure what you want to do, take the Microsoft MTA exams for Networking Foundations and Server Foundations. I dont usually recommend those as they wont do much for your career, but they are far cheaper than CompTIA, not as hard as a CCNA or MCSA, but will let you have a taste and help you see what direction to go in. Now if you are sure networking is your direction, skip all those entry level certs and start working on your CCENT.
    2017 Goals: CCNA R&S
    Certifications:
    A+, Network+, Security+, CIW Foundations and MTA OS Fundamentals
    Lab: 3x Cisco 2811 Routers, 3x Cisco 3750 Switches and Cisco 2620Router with NM-32A module
    CANCER SURVIVOR! In Remission Since September 2016!
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  5. Junior Member Registered Member
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    Apr 2015
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    2
    #4
    Thanks very much for your input. (Also, sorry for the wall o' text, my paragraph breaks do not seem to be remembered when previewing/submitting.) I guess the recommendation regarding "Microsoft MTA exams for Networking Foundations and Server Foundations" is more along the lines of what I want, but it might also boil down to: what might a person with a CCNA cert do?
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  6. Senior Member
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    Mar 2014
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    112

    Certifications
    RHCSA, CompTIA (Linux+, Security+), Cisco (CCNA:R&S, Security, Wireless)
    #5
    I turn 38 this year. For IT careers, I've worked for two call centers. Then I got a job as a defense contractor working for a help desk. Since then I've been promoted twice. To system administrator, and then site lead for my company.

    I had to get the CompTIA Security+ within six months of my hire date. Since then, I finished my bachelor's degree in IT. Now, I'm working to get my CCENT/CCNA by the end of this year.

    In my humble opinion, I think Cisco certifications are more valuable than most. Cisco isn't an easy certification to get because you have to know the material and score high. While I would love to get into a network administrator/engineer position, if it doesn't happen, no big deal.

    I am going to leverage my Cisco certifications by saying to current and future employers, "this wasn't an easy path. I'm ready for more opportunities."

    In my opinion, the only way to move up is to get both experience and certifications. The certifications open the door. Best of luck.
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