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Old 12-20-2007, 11:41 AM   #1
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Default IT Certification and skillsets

Hi, Quick questions for you guys.

If you were hiring an IT guy for general help desk, junior sys admin etc. what certification would you consider the most helpful. Second question..what is the easiest certification to get and how do you get it? third question..what is the single most helpful skill, knowledge or experience that you could have. example would it be microsoft office knowledge, tcpip and networking knowledge, hardware upgrading, sql, html, perl, command line knowledge etc.

Thanks

OP
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: IT Certification and skillsets

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Originally Posted by Optimus Ping View Post
Hi, Quick questions for you guys.

If you were hiring an IT guy for general help desk, junior sys admin etc. what certification would you consider the most helpful. Second question..what is the easiest certification to get and how do you get it? third question..what is the single most helpful skill, knowledge or experience that you could have. example would it be microsoft office knowledge, tcpip and networking knowledge, hardware upgrading, sql, html, perl, command line knowledge etc.

Thanks

OP


You should first spring for the basic certs, such as A+ and Network +.. They are a standard in the IT world. Thats were i would start.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: IT Certification and skillsets

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You should first spring for the basic certs, such as A+ and Network +.. They are a standard in the IT world. Thats were i would start.

Well if he's seriously becoming a Junior System adminastrator, (and likely with desires to move up), I would say skip the basics. I'm sorry to knock the A+, but it's extremely entry level. When are you ever going to actually need to know how much data a 2hd floppy holds? It's kind of useless. If you consider yourself to be computer savy, and have a good amount of computer knowledge. If youi can easily name all parts in a computer, and functions and such and can diagnose a hardware problem, and what not, then you don't need it as a starting point. Really its your call though in the end. An employer will not choose someone over you because they have an A+ and you don't, (assuming you have other certifications).

I would recommend 4 certifications for someone desiring to be a systems administrator.

1. MCDST - Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician
Covers structure of Windows class structure. Goes into depth about privleges, rights, access and permissions to files. Goes into connection problems to a network. This will prove to your employer that on top of being a good systems administrator, you can troubleshoot computers too, showing your versatile and overall very knowledgeable. This gives you good advantage over other applicants. This is a good start in my opinion.
2. MCSA - Microsoft Certified Systems Adminastrator
Covers Microsoft Certified Systems Administrators (MCSAs) administer network and systems environments based on the Windows operating systems. You can also specialize in security if you want.
3. CISCO Routing and Switching
This path is for professionals who install and support Cisco technology-based networks in which LAN and WAN routers and switches reside. I would recommend pursuing the CCNP level.
4. CISCO Network Security
This path is directed toward network professionals who design and implement Cisco Secure networks. I would recommend pursuing the CCSP level.

Start with the A+ if you want. But you could easily skip it if your going to pursue all of those certifications listed above. It would not be held against you as these are all higher level certs.

Networking certifications are vital for a systems administrator. As you would be supervising, or working with someone who is supervising the network of a business. You have to understand how it works, where problems can occur, and be able to diagnose a problem quickly and effectively if one arises. Hence why I recommended two certs that kind of overlap, the MCSA and the Cisco Routing and Switching.

The CISCO Network security certification is important if you one day want to move up in the company. Network security is important for a business, as it likely has important and sensitive information. And they want to know you can keep that information safe.

The MCDST is not vital for a systems administrator, as it is primarily for someone who is going to troubleshoot computer software and hardware problems. However it shows that your well rounded. And if an employer is choosing between 4 other applicants, and he sees you can also troubleshoot computers when something goes wrong, if gives you a big leg up on the competition.

You dont really need to know programming languages to be a systems administrator. You could easily learn HTML in a day, and would be a nice addition to your resume. PHP would also stand out on your resume and give you a leg up. Because you can create PHP applications, and I'm sure your boss would love that.

Systems administrators deal mainly with networking, but the more versatile you are the more likely you are to get the job. So i would say versatility is the most important skill. These days everyone specializes so much, that you might need to hire three guys to do the job one guy should really be able to do.
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: IT Certification and skillsets

Thanks both of you. and Thanks mayorredbeard that was in depth and just the answer I was looking for.

I have both and A+ and Net + book as well as some other things. I am in the IT field but don't do a lot of system administration or desk top help so I don't use alot of this info on a daily basis. Do you feel like it's enough to study these books and then take the test or is there an affordable online class that you could take?

What are your thougts or experiences on this?

OP
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: IT Certification and skillsets

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Originally Posted by Optimus Ping View Post
Thanks both of you. and Thanks mayorredbeard that was in depth and just the answer I was looking for.

I have both and A+ and Net + book as well as some other things. I am in the IT field but don't do a lot of system administration or desk top help so I don't use alot of this info on a daily basis. Do you feel like it's enough to study these books and then take the test or is there an affordable online class that you could take?

What are your thougts or experiences on this?

OP
Yes, in my opinion the classes are a scam. The classes cost so much money, and all they really do in the vast majority of them, (I have taken them, so i'm speaking from experience), is pretty much just go over a book with you. If you have good study skills, it should not be a problem.

Get a different book for each different test. Most tests have multiple books on them. Get them off amazon so you can read reviews of all the books. People will usually post things like, 'This book covered all the material on the test, and I passed with flying colors by just reading this book'. Or they will say 'This book misses somethings that are on the test, but if you study it hard you can pass the test by just reading this book.' So make sure you pick the right one. The right book makes all the difference.

I'm going through what your going through right now. I got my MCDST over the summer, and did get my A+, (which is why I feel it really is not that important after getting it). I'm currently going for my MCSA, and next I will be getting the two CISCO certifications I listed above. I have the luxury of having my boss be a family friend, and he said these four certifications make for an impressive resume. And that after I graduate college, they will hire me full time.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: IT Certification and skillsets

Very nice. Well then I think I'll start working on my net + as that actaully seems a little bit easier than the A+? and I use more of that on a daily basis then work on MCDST and then take it from there.

I've got a networking for dummies, a net+ passport by mike meyers and some nt networking books and an A+ for dummies..I think I have enough!
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: IT Certification and skillsets

I've noticed that most employers look for the basic certifications AS WELL AS some type of degree (be it Associates or Bachelors). I'm currently achieving my Associates in Computer Maintenance and Service Technology. I'm taking my A+ exams the first week of January. I plan on taking the NET+ in the spring and Security+ in the summer. Security+ is not required by most employers but, I believe having a network security cert. will make me more marketable when searching for a job.

It's my belief that the CompTIA certs are better then say, a Microsoft of Cisco cert. because they are not "brand" specific. In other words, the info that CompTIA covers is much broader. You'll never learn how to manage a Linux server through Microsoft. Anyway, if you want to check out what CompTIA offers, here's their official site...

http://www.comptia.org/

When you check out the page for A+, you'll notice that theres 3 options for testing; each geared towards what you want to do with the certification. That should help you decide what you'll need.
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Old 12-21-2007, 09:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: IT Certification and skillsets

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Originally Posted by Optimus Ping View Post
Very nice. Well then I think I'll start working on my net + as that actaully seems a little bit easier than the A+? and I use more of that on a daily basis then work on MCDST and then take it from there.

I've got a networking for dummies, a net+ passport by mike meyers and some nt networking books and an A+ for dummies..I think I have enough!

Net+ is a bit tougher, but both A+ and Net + are easy if you study.

They are not expensive to take, and will show you if you can take the tougher Certs as mentioned above.

the A+ has a believe about an 80% failure rate though.
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Old 12-21-2007, 12:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: IT Certification and skillsets

Wow! Are you saying that 80% of those who take the test fail it? I suppose that pass or fail you still have to pay! Wow. Ok then I'll get to studying! lol
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Old 12-29-2007, 03:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: IT Certification and skillsets

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Wow! Are you saying that 80% of those who take the test fail it? I suppose that pass or fail you still have to pay! Wow. Ok then I'll get to studying! lol
I would probably agree with that. I think its mainly because there are alot of companies out there who pray on people to make money, by trying to get them into IT by saying how easy it is and how good the prospects are. Most of these people have never turned a PC on, never mind built one etc.
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