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  1. Senior Member -hype's Avatar
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    #1

    Exclamation Certification Career Path. Please Help!

    I'm trying to get certifications that are going to help me land a job in IT as soon as I'm finished doing my Associates, which should be in May. My main goal for my career is to have a job ASAP after I graduate, which is May 2013.

    A little background about me. I graduated high school @ 16 years old. Got accepted to a Pharmacy College. Spent about 2 years there, needed 6 to graduate. While at the same time I had a very successful online business, which was making me really good money. I learned a lot of website building skills on my own. So after my 3rd semester at college I decided to drop out mainly because the cost of the college was a lot and I had lost my passion for learning about Pharmaceuticals. Soon afterwards my online business became very stressful; lots and lots of competition and I was physically and mentally exhausted from keeping up with the inventory and delivering the goods. I had always been fascinated with computers and decided to pursue a career in Network Engineering. So I enrolled at a Community College only such option around here for such a degree. So right now I am 20. I recently started getting certifications in December 2012. And so far here is what I've been able to tackle so far:

    A+ - Took me about 2 weeks to study for and pass both exams.
    S+ - New topic for me, so I wanted to learn a lot of the foundations, took me 3 weeks.
    70-680 - About a month to get, at first some of the practice questions scared me. But I found it to be relatively easy after lots of CBT videos and labs.
    70-686- Just started studying. Hoping to get in about 3-4 weeks.

    So here's where I need your help. After the 70-686 should I pursue the CCNA or continue down the MS path and go for the Server 08 exams : 70-640, 70-642, 70-646. My main goal is to get a decent paying job ASAP after graduation, paying at least $40k which will give me a foundation and let me test the skills I have and acquire new ones. I am hesitant to touch a Cisco cert because I believe no one will hire me if I don't have any experience with them. On the other hand, I've been looking into some help desk jobs in my area where If i get the first 4 certs I listed, I should be able to get a job. But I wanted to expand my skills and am aiming to go after the CCNA or the server 08 certs before this my graduation. But I'm afraid some employers might list me as being Over-Qualified thinking I might leave them for a job with more money. At the same time I need some of these skills to acquire some jobs. Quite the conundrum. :/

    So please help me out guys. I'm very motivated and love learning new things. Sorry about the excessive rant / wall of text.
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    I think a good starting point would be to see if you are strongly slanted towards wanting to get into system administration or networking.

    I think the MCSA Server 2008 as you outlines is a strong starting point for you seeing how quickly you are able to prep for exams. You could then get the 70-417 to upgrade to 2012 and then peruse some of the new MCSE's.

    If networking is your thing CCNA is a great start as your other recent certs show that you have foundation and aren't a guy cramming for CCNA but with huge gaps in your knowledge.

    You could probably already make 40k from what I am hearing so far. You have enough certs to get into helpdesk and seem to have the attitude to not have to be there very long either.
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  4. Senior Member -hype's Avatar
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    #3
    Thanks for the response. Microsoft lets you upgrade to MCSA server 2012 if you did 70-680 and 70-686. I was initially thinking of going for the 417, since it will get me server 2012 MCSA. And then continue for 413 and 414 and get the MCSE, which would be a lot better to put on my resume than just a MCSA in 2008. But I was wondering which one would be more lucrative to have for my employer. Idk if anyone is going to move to server 2012 in the next 2-3 years, especially the way it looks. Windows 8 looks like catastrophic failure and server 2012 is very identical. Hopefully some big updates are in the future. A start menu would be nice.

    Do you think server 2012 certs are better to get now instead of server 2008 certs? Or should I pursue both, server 2008 now and next yr possibly the server 2012 certs.

    I'd like to have master all systems, im def. doing CCNA and CCNP. Also some Linux and REd Hat certs. Vmware certs and CiSSP down the lane. It's fun learning all this stuff.
    Last edited by -hype; 02-05-2013 at 09:07 PM.
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    Server 2012 from a technical standpoint is awesome.

    The biggest thing people will see is the MCSE. They almost don't even care what it's on. I also started my cert path recently and decided to do MCSA/MCITP:SA Server 2008 and upgraded it to MCSA Server 2012. I am also going to finish the 2008 Enterprise Administrator as I am on a roll and want to get it before you cant anymore.

    I would suggest starting on MCSA 2008, upgrading to 2012 and perusing an MCSE depending on what peaks your interest or demand by then.

    Of course going back to if networking is your thing you might want to look there sooner than going through all those certs.

    On another note. Server 2012 is an awful experience over RDP. Those damn corners dont activate properly and by default keyboard shortcuts are only forwarded in full screen.
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  6. Senior Member -hype's Avatar
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    A+, Sec+, Project+, 70-680, 70-686, 70-640, 70-642, 70-646, MCSA: Win 7, MCSA: Win 2K8, MCITP:ED, MCITP:EA, CCNA R&S, Useless CIW x2
    #5
    Yeah so I think I'm gonna go for server 08 certs, because I need them for WGU anyways and then on to CCNA and then server 2012

    Hopefully by then M$ adds a god damn start menu!
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