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  1. Junior Member Registered Member
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    Apr 2017
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    #1

    Default Can someone help me decide what certificate would be best to do next?

    Hi,

    My name is Tim and I am from the UK. Just stumbled across this very useful forum!

    I am currently an engineer (completely non IT related) looking to change my career. The career path chosen is IT as I have a strong passion for the subject.

    As I have no real IT experience in a work environment I decided my best chance would be to study and take some IT exams. This is exactly what I have been doing whilst also working full time.

    I passed the Microsoft MTA Security Fundamentals 98-367 exam last year and recently passed the Microsoft MTA Networking Fundamentals 98-366 exam.

    I realise those exams are very entry level but I have never done anything like this before. I enjoyed studying for both of them!

    So my question is, what certificate would you recommend I go for next?

    My goals are to get my foot in the door! The jobs I am applying for are IT support etc.

    Thank you for your time.


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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    Hey Tim,

    First off, welcome to TE! I would suggest doing the A+, Network+ & Security+ triad from CompTIA as the material you'll learn in these are the basics of what you need to know to pursue a career in IT. I'm not sure how it is in the UK though, they might not be as popular as it is in North America.

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  4. Senior Member
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    #3
    Network+, or the CCNA IMO. The CCNA is big compared to the N+, it might bee too daunting..may not be. but either way you go, understanding networking will be needed.
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    Hello Tim,

    Welcome to TE. Also from the UK here. I can confirm that Certifications such as CompTIA, Cisco and Microsoft are highly desired here. Just do any search on indeed.co.uk for CompTIA jobs or MCSA/MCSE jobs and see for yourself.

    I have no idea how much is covered in the microsoft MTA's or the depth of the material, but from what I recall I've never seen them asked for in job reqs. CompTIA is usually what is asked for for the entry level, so I recommend getting your A+ and N+, maybe even S+ just to complete the triad. After that you can just study whatever interests you most. Though I will mention microsoft certs are what most mid/upper level jobs will want.
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  6. Woohoo! It's over 1000!
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    #5
    Yeah, there's lots of potential paths to choose from. A lot of people will start in IT support, and the A+ is directed right at Computer Technicians, so is a good base for IT support people. The Network+ covers the basics of networking (in a bit more depth than the MTA), and the Security+ covers the basics (and breadth) of Information Security. Security+ is good for anyone in IT, since it is broad and covers things not really covered within other specialties (but essential to doing them well).

    But there's a lot more. There's developers, databases, networking (in multiple specialities), server infrastructure (Linux and Windows being the major flavours), more security (in many specialties), virtualisation, cloud (on multiple platforms), devops, hardware techs, sales engineers, support...

    Generally, most people start with a broad base, and then specialise. Some people become jacks-of-all-trades. If you have a clear idea of what you want to do, then you can speed up the process. For example if you wanted to be a Network Engineer, then you might skip Network+ and go straight for CCENT/CCNA. If you want to be a developer, then you might skip most of these and focus on coding or databases.

    Do you have an idea what you might be interested in?
    2017 Goals - MCSA 2008, CISSP, CCNP:R+S, Agile PM
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  7. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by OctalDump View Post
    Yeah, there's lots of potential paths to choose from. A lot of people will start in IT support, and the A+ is directed right at Computer Technicians, so is a good base for IT support people. The Network+ covers the basics of networking (in a bit more depth than the MTA), and the Security+ covers the basics (and breadth) of Information Security. Security+ is good for anyone in IT, since it is broad and covers things not really covered within other specialties (but essential to doing them well).

    But there's a lot more. There's developers, databases, networking (in multiple specialities), server infrastructure (Linux and Windows being the major flavours), more security (in many specialties), virtualisation, cloud (on multiple platforms), devops, hardware techs, sales engineers, support...

    Generally, most people start with a broad base, and then specialise. Some people become jacks-of-all-trades. If you have a clear idea of what you want to do, then you can speed up the process. For example if you wanted to be a Network Engineer, then you might skip Network+ and go straight for CCENT/CCNA. If you want to be a developer, then you might skip most of these and focus on coding or databases.

    Do you have an idea what you might be interested in?
    Thank you everyone for the very helpful replies. I have decided to go for the CompTIA A+ certificate. With it being hardware based and software based I think it would be a good next step.

    As response to your question OctalDump: I do not have an idea as of yet what I would like to specialise in, as this is all new to me. I would like to first get my foot in the door and start in IT Support. After that I think what ever I enjoy the most/find interesting, I will pursue further. So far I have enjoyed all of it!

    Again thank you for your efforts. I am glad I found this forum!
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  8. Woohoo! It's over 1000!
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by timbo_ View Post
    I do not have an idea as of yet what I would like to specialise in, as this is all new to me. I would like to first get my foot in the door and start in IT Support. After that I think what ever I enjoy the most/find interesting, I will pursue further.
    Well, A+/Net+/Sec+ is a good starting point. It will cover some good ground to give a sense of the fundamentals, so will serve you for many different paths. I wish you luck!
    2017 Goals - MCSA 2008, CISSP, CCNP:R+S, Agile PM
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