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Thread: MCSA vs CCNA

  1. Senior Member hustlin_moe20's Avatar
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    #1

    Default MCSA vs CCNA

    I'm currently enrolled in the MCSA program at a school. I passed A+ and now I'm taking Network+. Should I finish out the MCSA program or just switch to CCNA? Which gets paid more? What's better to chase, Cisco or Microsoft?
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  3. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #2
    Its all about what you want to do with your career. If you want to be a Microsoft admin then go on with the MCSA and you can do the CCNA later. The CCNA is always a great certification to have regardless of your specialization in IT, but if you plan on getting a help desk job (if you are not already employed) and working up to a system admin role I would drive on with the Microsoft certifications.
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  4. Senior Member hustlin_moe20's Avatar
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    #3
    well what kind of job does the ccna certified person do? im new to IT and dont have a job yet.
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  5. Questionably Benevolent Moderator Slowhand's Avatar
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    #4
    As a CCNA, you'll be working with routing and switching equipment. As an MCSA, you'll be working with Windows servers and desktops. Depending on which end of the spectrum you want to work on - networking or systems administration - that's the path you choose. A good idea is to get some experience with both. After you're done with MCSA/MCSE, go for CCNA, or vice-versa.

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  6. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #5
    Well, look at the certification....

    Cisco Certified Network Associate

    Microsoft Certified System Administrator

    CCNA is geared towards Cisco gear and the MCSA is geared towards Microsoft gear. I'm guessing you know the difference? If not, Cisco = networks and Microsoft = systems. That is a broad discription, but you get the jist right?

    Like I said the CCNA is great for anyone in IT as it covers fundamental concepts of networking. Also Cisco gear is found in almost every enterprise enviroment.
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  7. Senior Member Kasor's Avatar
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    #6
    Remember, certification will not get you a job. It will help you to do a job. The time of certification have changed, it is time for experience and real skill.

    Certification definitely help, but do not think you get a MCSA or CCNA will get you something.
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  8. Drops by now and again astorrs's Avatar
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    #7
    hustlin_moe20, your avatar is going to keep me up at night.

    You would benefit an employer by holding both certifications as it would provide you with foundation level knowledge in both server infrastructure and networking. As for which pays more, since they are both essential junior level I would have to say the pay would be pretty close - it all depends on what the employer is looking for.

    But as others have said neither (or both) is guaranteed to land you a job.
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  9. Self-Described Huguenot blargoe's Avatar
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    #8
    If you like your MCSA classes, stick it out. If not, don't.

    Do yourself the biggest favor you can at this point - try to find some kind of IT related job/internship NOW. You'll get a feel of some of the real world aspects of working in an IT department (albeit at the bottom of the totem pole and on a part time basis probably), and you'll have verifiable experience, which will make you look better than the 10000000's of other folks fresh out of school with a pile or certs.
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    #9
    While the CCNA or MCSA is great to have, experience will get you the bigger bucks. From what I find, networking is a higher paying are in IT. I have seen network engineering jobs pay in the six figure range and the highest I have seen for Windows Admins is around 80K or 90K. While I am sure some pays more, this is what I see in the Wash. DC/Baltimore area. Of course most of these all comes with around 10 to 15 yrs experience.
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  11. Certification Invigilator Forum Admin JDMurray's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by blargoe
    If you like your MCSA classes, stick it out. If not, don't.
    This is good advice. I've taken both Cisco Networking and Microsoft Official Curriculum classes at a community college, and I definitely enjoyed the Cisco classes more.
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    #11
    I would agree with everyone here, its a case of what interests you.

    I have completed both MCSA/E and CCNA and enjoyed learning both, I have leaned more towards MS but that is mainly because of how my career has progressed but I would definitely say that my CCNA knowledge has definitely helped during my time as an MS Engineer.

    Alot of the roles I have seen lately ask for both as I guess they would rather pay 1 person to look after the entire infrastructure rather than 1 for systems and 1 for networks
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by IT Man
    While the CCNA or MCSA is great to have, experience will get you the bigger bucks. From what I find, networking is a higher paying are in IT. I have seen network engineering jobs pay in the six figure range and the highest I have seen for Windows Admins is around 80K or 90K. While I am sure some pays more, this is what I see in the Wash. DC/Baltimore area. Of course most of these all comes with around 10 to 15 yrs experience.
    That is because there are less folks working in Networking than Desktop administration.

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