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Thread: MCSA or CCNA?

  1. Senior Member Moon Child's Avatar
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    #1

    Default MCSA or CCNA?

    Originally I was thinking of trying to get one of the Cisco certs either CCENT or CCNA, but I notice on so many job postings even for help desk positions they are posting they want MCSA. The CCENT isn't that hard from what I hear, but the CCNA is. The MCSA is hard too, but don't need as high of a score to pass the exams. I was just thinking of a supply and demand curve. I see so many job postings -> MCSA preffered, it makes me think having that cert would help a lot. Currently work as a computer tech as a laptop tech and probably stay at this job for 2 years. A lot departments besides laptops and a lot to learn on the job. I just passed the Mac Integration Basics cert and might consider the ACSP, but to really add marketability to my resume I want the MCSA or CCNA on there eventually.

    Would MCSA be a smarter option? Or should I maybe try to pursue CCENT first?
    Last edited by Moon Child; 02-28-2017 at 09:46 AM.
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  3. Senior Member UncleB's Avatar
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    #2
    If you are looking to get ahead of the supply/demand curve with certs then look at MCSA 2016 - and spend as much time as you can on hands-on work plus following forums and technet articles so you make yourself as close to a subject matter expert as possible.

    I'm seeing a lot of contracts around Azure and Office 365 at the moment so there is scope to get certified on these (I'm currently on the Azure MCSE track) to take advantage of the current high point in the curve while you keep an eye on what is the next hot thing.

    Why do you need to stay where you are for 2 years? If you get a good contract with your MCSA that you are offered a lot more cash for and great experience, why stay working with laptops that are already a commodity item - there is no future in this (basing this on your aspirations).
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  4. Senior Member AndersonSmith's Avatar
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    #3
    Personally, I've always felt when it comes to certifications that you should go for what interests you the most. I looked into CCNA and MCSA both before settling on the MCSA because I've always been more into SysAdmin work than networking and it was what was going to help me out in my current job the most and I don't plan on looking for a new job any time soon.

    That being said, there does tend to be more jobs in my area at least that are looking for candidates with Cisco certs such as the CCNA so I guess it depends on the area you live in and what is most in demand there. I don't see a lot of employers looking for candidates with MCSA as much as CCNA around here.

    If you're planning on staying with your current job role as a laptop tech it probably wouldn't be beneficial to get a CCNA certification at this time because it's going to expire after 3 years and you'll have to renew it. The MCSA however doesn't expire, so that's a plus at least.

    Really though, it's up to you and what YOU think is best for your life at this time. I've always been of the mind that it never hurts to have another certification to add to your resume so go for whatever makes you happiest. Good luck with whatever you choose!
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  5. What The?! Fulcrum45's Avatar
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    Between the two I found the CCNA to be wayyyyy easier than the MCSA (still working on the 70-410) but then again networking has always been more interesting to me so perhaps that's why. I'm only getting my MCSA because I want to be more well rounded- and not physically either. I've already achieved that. At the moment I think there's more marketability towards the MCSA but that's just in my area.
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  6. Senior Member Moon Child's Avatar
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Fulcrum45 View Post
    Between the two I found the CCNA to be wayyyyy easier than the MCSA (still working on the 70-410) but then again networking has always been more interesting to me so perhaps that's why. I'm only getting my MCSA because I want to be more well rounded- and not physically either. I've already achieved that. At the moment I think there's more marketability towards the MCSA but that's just in my area.
    Well I was under the impression that the MCSA was easier than the CCNA just from what I have read on forums. It is like 70% pass rate for the Microsoft exams I think vs the CISCO is like 85%? I read on a lot forums people who say they can pass the Microsoft certs but not the CISCO certs. If I could get the CCNA in about a year while I get some more computer experience under belt I would do that simply because the CISCO certs get the most job postings ratio on monster.com out of any certification. I heard it is like 4+ hours of study every night very tough. I have skimmed through material on both exams, personally I find the Microsoft material easier to read and understand but maybe that is because I have no experience with networking CISCO routers.
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  7. Burn Baby Burn! Cisco Inferno's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Fulcrum45 View Post
    Between the two I found the CCNA to be wayyyyy easier than the MCSA (still working on the 70-410) but then again networking has always been more interesting to me so perhaps that's why. I'm only getting my MCSA because I want to be more well rounded- and not physically either. I've already achieved that. At the moment I think there's more marketability towards the MCSA but that's just in my area.
    This is word for word how i fee except for my belly being well rounded lol
    2017 Goals
    [x] MCSA: Server 2012 [X]70-410 [X]70-411 [x]74-409

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  8. What The?! Fulcrum45's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Moon Child View Post
    Well I was under the impression that the MCSA was easier than the CCNA just from what I have read on forums. It is like 70% pass rate for the Microsoft exams I think vs the CISCO is like 85%? I read on a lot forums people who say they can pass the Microsoft certs but not the CISCO certs. If I could get the CCNA in about a year while I get some more computer experience under belt I would do that simply because the CISCO certs get the most job postings ratio on monster.com out of any certification. I heard it is like 4+ hours of study every night very tough. I have skimmed through material on both exams, personally I find the Microsoft material easier to read and understand but maybe that is because I have no experience with networking CISCO routers.
    Yeah, the Cisco passing score seems high but it also encompasses way less than the MCSA. After all, the CCNA can be knocked out in one exam whereas the MCSA requires 3 (for 2012R2 anyway). The problem I'm having with the 70-410 right now (aside from the fact that I find servers a bit boring) is that it covers so much that even if I know how the technology works, I'll be darned if I can remember the name of it. And as far as job postings go, I sometimes wonder if "CCNA" isn't just a cert that everyone's heard of and it makes it's way into job postings for this alone. I've got nothing to prove that other than a sneaking suspicion. In your case though I would dip my feet into both. If you have material for both certs, cover a few chapters each and see what "grabs you". Being interested in what you're covering is going to help immensely.
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  9. What The?! Fulcrum45's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Cisco Inferno View Post
    This is word for word how i fee except for my belly being well rounded lol
    Haha, me getting rid of this gut is one of my primary goals for 2017- at least that's what my wife is telling me
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  10. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #9
    I think both of this certificates are mandatory for your IT career. GOOD LUCK
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    #10
    My vote is that CCNA is miles more important (when looking at ALL the jobs out there).

    Every IT discipline respects and appreciates skill in networking and security. Way things are going, a third common ground is becoming virtualization. I believe strongly that all IT jobs would respect that you have a CCNP, which is why I'm making that my personal priority. After CCNP I will give the MCSA track a spin. MCSA is definitely on my list but nowhere near as important as CCNP.

    Through backward logic, a CCNA is also universally respected as applicable. All systems run on physical networks, virtual or not. The only concern would be if you've gone far enough in networking. The same cannot be said for MCSA. I dare say that the major of IT jobs would think that the MCSA is not relevant, whether that's ultimately true or not. But an MCSA is still a statement of your maturity in the field and shows that you have an appreciation for the bigger picture in the data center.
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