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  1. .38
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    #1

    Default A+, N+, S+ and ...?

    Hello everybody,

    I know you are all sick of this question but what's next?
    I've no experience in IT field neither any college degree which sucks. (Been working with PC for the last 5 years, repairing, installing and stuff like that but that doesn't count) So this year I've discovered that there are 100s of certs available and did A+, N+ and S+ and I believe that even these certs won't help me getting any IT job but still I want to keep going. I'm thinking of CCNA and CCNP or some MS - MCSA/MCSE, not even sure what it's going to be like. I'm interested in networking and SQL DBA which I believe is in MCSA/MCSE Server 2012? I'm also confused about all these changes every 3 years. For example I'll spend 1 year to do the MCSE or more not sure how long it should take. So you have 2 years left. Looking for a job might take a wile, lets say 1 more year the most. And we are left with 1 more year till some other Server 2015 will come out is it really how it works? You have to trash your Server 2012 and start from scratch with possibly future 2015? What about CCNP, do I need to resit an exam or it's like CompTia CE? And is it possible to pass it without any hands on hardware?

    You might also recommend some programming/scripting languages like SQL, PHP to learn that are useful for network administrator or MCSE related. When it is a good time to learn'em?

    Thank you!
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  3. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #2
    It depends what you like. If you know you enjoy networking, you can just skip the MCSE/MCSA and go for Cisco and Juniper certs. You may start the Microsoft certifications and find that you have no interest in it or the same with the Cisco certs. MCSE/MCSA and CCNA/CCENT are good places to start. Most of us get those while we still are trying to figure out what we want to do. You'll usually notice that certain things will jump out at you that you find you enjoy more. For the Microsoft exams, you'll need to build a test lab (Use virtual machines) and for the CCNA, you can easily use a simulator but if you plan on going for the CCNP, you should get some hardware for practice if you don't have any practical experience working with the equipment
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
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  4. um yea i know some stuffs demonfurbie's Avatar
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    #3
    at this point for you its all open

    do you like servers? if so you can do the ms/linux route

    do you like networking? if so you can do the cisco/juniper route

    do you like project management? then ya can do the pmp/itil

    you basically open to anything at this point you really have to think about what you like and not always about what pays the most, but what you personally like.

    one suggestion would be to take a windows 7 cert (70-680 most likely) and a cisco one (ccent/ccna) then you could add in linux+/project+ if nither of those suited ya. either way having windows 7 and a ccna would really help you no matter what path ya ended up picking in the end
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    #4
    The beautiful yet discouraging thing about IT is there are so many paths. You could be a jack of all trades and know a lot about many different aspects of IT but yet not be a true master of any of it. Or you can pick a path and go with it. As far as a scripting language if you want to do a MCSA or MCSE path would be powershell. The entire windows world is going powershell. SQL is good to know if you want to be a programmer or DB admin but you don't need to know much sql programming to be a Windows admin.
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  6. .38
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    #5
    Thank you all for quick responses!
    The funny thing is that I was always more into sound engineering, DJing, music production and now it’s more of a hobby. I’ve done all 3 CompTia certs this year and it’s still hard to figure out which path should I choose but your recommendations makes it easier!
    Irishtheangel: any ideas what kind of hardware should I consider for CCNP?

    demonfurbie: how about Windows 8 instead of 7? I think Linux+ would be a great option but I’ve never used it in my life.

    netsysllc: totally forgot about powershell! I also heard that Python is #1 for network administrator what do you think?
    Now I’m thinking to start from CCNA then MCSA by then I’ll know which is best for me…
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  7. Member Complete_IT_Professional's Avatar
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    #6
    I'm interested in networking and SQL DBA which I believe is in MCSA/MCSE Server 2012?
    I think this is the main part of your post. It's true, there are so many IT certifications out there, it's hard to keep up. The first step is to work out what you want to get in to - and I think you have done so here.

    The role of a SQL DBA involves knowledge of SQL as well as serves. If I assume you're referring to SQL Server DBA, then you can try get some of the MCTS certifications for SQL Server, as well as the new ones you mentioned - the MCSA/MCSA (I don't know a lot about those yet, though).

    For networking, you have a good start in Network+ and I would recommend the next step for that path as the Cisco CCNA, or perhaps the Server+.

    Hope this helps!
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  8. um yea i know some stuffs demonfurbie's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by .38 View Post

    demonfurbie: how about Windows 8 instead of 7? I think Linux+ would be a great option but I’ve never used it in my life.
    the option of most it pros is that windows 7 will be the new xp
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    #8
    Find what u passionate by actually working in different environment.
    What i mean is that u try every type of jobs for 6 months or 1 year

    let's say u got 1 more certificate ccna & start working as network support and got exp for like 6 months/12months or so,
    1) and, u found that u're more interested in managing clients or server or messaging or virtualization side >> go talk to manager and u want to move over that team or find another job.
    2) or, u found out that u're more interested in touching cisco & juniper devices like crazy .. then move ur way up to ccnp and ask for a promotion.

    And, about the future proof thing u talked about,
    -Cisco is the big guy in NETWORKING world
    -For SERVERS, Linux is also a trend(linux admins are in need. high demand).
    Microsoft is already saturated.(but, a de facto standard, u can easily get a job without leaving ur hometown. microsoft is everywhere)
    [just that they are releasing versions so damn fast, but u'll jus hav to choose MCSA 2008, MCSA 2012 study guides/trainings are not out yet]

    -or u can also go for security paths Network Security, Penetration Testing & Forensics Investigators etc.
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  10. Senior Member
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    #9
    go find a job or get an unpaid On-the-job training. That work experience is more valuable than "so many certificates with zero experience"
    (u jus need to keep getting certs while working)

    i don't know much. i'm on an OJT. cheers!
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  11. Member DEC901's Avatar
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    #10
    For myself, also a padawan (new to IT) I'm following the Microsoft path and then the CCNA. Having recently been hired for a position where the Microsoft will be paid for by the employer tends to be the incentive. All in all though ya gotta follow your own nose. You aren't just gonna stop after ya take whatever path ya choose, right?
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  12. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #11
    Could go with Server+, it's still vendor nuetral and basic knowledge about hardware.

    Or

    Desktop Support - Microsoft Certs, which can lead to MS Server support on.
    Server Support - Microsoft/Linux
    DBA - SQL/Oracl
    Networking - Cisco/Juniper
    Wireless - Aruba, Aerohive, Cisco/etc
    Voice - Avaya, Cisco, etc
    Security

    It's all ripe for the picking all depends where your interest lie.

    I'd tackle CCNA before CCNP, If you never touch linux then I'd maybe right it off or install it on a spare desktop and mess around with it. Compaines don't usually adopt the newest OS too quickly so I wouldn't worry about Win8 for around another 2 years. just my thoughts
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by JayTheCracker View Post
    go find a job or get an unpaid On-the-job training. That work experience is more valuable than "so many certificates with zero experience"
    (u jus need to keep getting certs while working)
    I second this, its the best way to get your foot in the door.
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  14. .38
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    #13
    Cannot agree with you more, you’ve all been very helpful and I’m definitely going to consider everything mentioned above! Got a lot of thinking and decision making to do!

    JayTheCracker: sure having some experience is way better and personally I wouldn’t want to pay someone who doesn’t know how to do the job but have a cert. But it was much easier like 10 years ago, I know a guy who got a help desk job at Apple knowing nothing about Apple products and 0 IT experience, but now you’ll have to go through 4 or 5 interviews or at least to be called for the 1st one.

    demonfurbie: I see what you mean! I think it also can be risky to rely on Win 8 as it is a new step same as Vista was when it came out it became a history pretty quick because it was a mess as far as I know...
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  15. Senior Member amcnow's Avatar
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    #14
    .38,

    Do you plan to earn a college degree at any point? You may find some IT fields more difficult to enter without one. In particular, some (if not most) employers won't consider you for a DBA position unless you have a bachelor's degree (usually in computer science or a related field).
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  16. .38
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    #15
    I would like to but my problem is that I live in US only 2 years and do not know much about colleges, don't know if it is even possible to work 40hrs/week and attend some college.

    Quote Originally Posted by amcnow View Post
    .38,

    Do you plan to earn a college degree at any point? You may find some IT fields more difficult to enter without one. In particular, some (if not most) employers won't consider you for a DBA position unless you have a bachelor's degree (usually in computer science or a related field).
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  17. Senior Member
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by .38 View Post
    I would like to but my problem is that I live in US only 2 years and do not know much about colleges, don't know if it is even possible to work 40hrs/week and attend some college.
    Look up los angeles community college district on google. You can attend part time while working 40 hours a week.
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  18. Senior Member bub9001's Avatar
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    #17

    Default My 2 cents

    I don't know if this was already posted? But here is a link to the CompTIA's career paths, I have already seen two things I am going to pursue when I graduate in 2013 from WGU.

    CompTIA Career Pathways

    I also agree that without a IT degree, even an Associates degree will help open doors in many ways. I know that my current gig would have passed me over if I didn't have my associates degree.

    I do hear you on the keep up on certs, I just don't see the point in keeping up A+ or Network+ in the next 10 years. If you get your CCNA, network+ is not needed. Keep in mind that there are Server admins walking around with Server 2003 certs as their newest cert. I have worked with people that have A+ and that's it. They do their job, they take it one day at a time. You might want to look at Help Desk jobs, or even a part time gig that would expose you to a Domain of some sort. Lots of things change when you start putting a bunch of PC's on a network and then have users, yes users access things on servers. That's when the learning really begins. Certs are nice, don't get me wrong they have their place. But I work with guys and gals that have more experience then most IT people have in their pinky finger. They have certs some of us have never heard of. But one thing all of them have in common, it's IT skills. Blood, sweat, and tears type of skills. No book can prepare you for a department head that wants to eat you for lunch because they have a 100 page report that should be printing, 2 minutes before their meeting. But the printer says offline, now that's what I call fun.

    That's my 2 cents worth, let us know what you decided to take on next.
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  19. Senior Member
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    #18
    do CCENT, then MCTS in Windows Server 2008:Network Infrastructure and Active Directory plus do some reading ons Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint. Make your resume better then boom apply for jobs. I believe resume is a big factor when we apply for jobs.
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  20. .38
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    #19
    Thanks, will consider, not giving up no matter what!
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  21. Junior Member KMYost's Avatar
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    #20
    Here is something else that you could consider: Health IT Technician from Comptia, which I have heard is a good addition for future options and is very similar to Network+ and Security+ with just some additional HIPPA guidelines and basic medical terminology. I took a shot at the CCNA and was blown away how difficult it was, I fell about 100 points short after studying my ass off for a month. Keep in mind that Cisco tests require total immersion studying. I mean TOTAL immersion. I had a broken jaw when I took it or I might have passed, but the LAB questions will be the ones that get you, not the multiple choice. So you will need a virtual program to practice with, I used Labsim, I'm not familiar with any other ones.
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  22. Senior Member
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by KMYost View Post
    Here is something else that you could consider: Health IT Technician from Comptia, which I have heard is a good addition for future options and is very similar to Network+ and Security+ with just some additional HIPPA guidelines and basic medical terminology. I took a shot at the CCNA and was blown away how difficult it was, I fell about 100 points short after studying my ass off for a month. Keep in mind that Cisco tests require total immersion studying. I mean TOTAL immersion. I had a broken jaw when I took it or I might have passed, but the LAB questions will be the ones that get you, not the multiple choice. So you will need a virtual program to practice with, I used Labsim, I'm not familiar with any other ones.

    Cisco Packet Tracer is great for learning cisco and preparing to take the CCNA exam.
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  23. .38
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    #22
    Before I started doing these tests, my question was, "how far can I go?" and KMYost I think you have answered it, will see but I'm scared already.
    Thanks for sharing this by the way: Cisco Packet Tracer, Labsim!
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  24. Senior Member bub9001's Avatar
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by .38 View Post
    Before I started doing these tests, my question was, "how far can I go?" and KMYost I think you have answered it, will see but I'm scared already.
    Thanks for sharing this by the way: Cisco Packet Tracer, Labsim!
    I have a question, why so long to find a job? I mean don't they have Help Desk positions in your area? What about doing your own job, starting up a IT consulting company. Have you tried to network were you live, like going to some IT events in your area? I don't understand how it will take you a year to find a IT job. I could go out tomorrow and find a IT job with just my A+ and 2 years of computer repair. It wouldn't pay well, but it would help with the experience part of your issue.

    I was blessed enough to find someone that took a chance on me and hired me part time. Then he gave me the keys to the network. I had zero Certs and little to no experience, but he saw I had the drive to learn. And that sometimes is all the employer needs to see. "Hungry" is what we call it, hungry to learn and to work.
    Last edited by bub9001; 09-07-2012 at 04:41 AM.
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  25. .38
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    #24
    Well it is just a guess, maybe less but the main problem is - no experience! Every employer wants you to have at least 2 years of experience even to get an intern job you need to be a college grad or have some degree in IT, that's what I see on craigslist and I'm not even gonna compare to what's on Dice. In addition to this I'm from overseas, that might also be a big deal when they browse through a tons of resumes, why would they consider a person who lives in US only 2 years which makes you - not local and who's English is a second language etc. And to run a business is not my thing, I know couple persons and they are pulling their hairs off. What about these IT events don't you think that nobody over there will be interested in IT newbies.

    Quote Originally Posted by bub9001 View Post
    I have a question, why so long to find a job? I mean don't they have Help Desk positions in your area? What about doing your own job, starting up a IT consulting company. Have you tried to network were you live, like going to some IT events in your area? I don't understand how it will take you a year to find a IT job. I could go out tomorrow and find a IT job with just my A+ and 2 years of computer repair. It wouldn't pay well, but it would help with the experience part of your issue.

    I was blessed enough to find someone that took a chance on me and hired me part time. Then he gave me the keys to the network. I had zero Certs and little to no experience, but he saw I had the drive to learn. And that sometimes is all the employer needs to see. "Hungry" is what we call it, hungry to learn and to work.
    Last edited by .38; 09-07-2012 at 05:28 AM.
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  26. Rookie InfoSec KickBoxer al3kt.R***'s Avatar
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    #25
    Dear friend,

    like many of the forum's members pointed out, try to do your best (budget, time, age) in order to get:
    1. some formal education besides certifications (seminars, e-learning, community college) to build upon,
    2. entry-level work experience even abroad to really start playing in the game ASAP,
    3. hands-on experience/experimentation with whatever field you 'd like to follow next (just as you did with PC H/W).
    It may seem a long road ahead, but since you 've already got the nerve to earn skills and certs, I am sure you 'll find the way.

    As for suggestions, if you're into n/w and stuff, a CCNA cert never hurt anyone, is a feasible cornerstone goal for your current profile, but requires solid understanding of several networking concepts and hands-on background on computer networks & networked devices not to mention Cisco-proprietary S/W and H/W technology. In other words and more for quite a while and also try to experiment on real or virtual equipment to gain experience.

    Cheers and best of luck to you


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