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Old 09-25-2006, 12:22 PM   #1
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Question Computer Certification Hierarchy???

Hi,
I'm interested in getting certified so as to become an IT guy. I'm trying to get an idea of what order and what certifications I should take. I figure that I should start with A+ and end with CCIE, but what should come in the middle. Please help a career changing IT guy!!!
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Old 09-25-2006, 04:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Computer Certification Hierarchy???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennys73
Hi,
I'm interested in getting certified so as to become an IT guy. I'm trying to get an idea of what order and what certifications I should take. I figure that I should start with A+ and end with CCIE, but what should come in the middle. Please help a career changing IT guy!!!
CCIE is the most challenging certification ever.

A+ is the most basic computer certification ever, it means you know how to turn a computer on basicly.

Net+ is a very basic network certification, means you know a tiny bit about what you're doing. Handles routing, switching, etc.

CCNA is a basic cisco certification. Gives you the ability to configure standard routers and switches in a standard enviroment.

CCNP is the middle line cisco certification, I dont know much about this corse really, except it's hard but unlike CCIE it's not nearly impossible.

MCSE is also a nice corse that deals with server maintinence.



These are brief outlines only.
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Old 09-26-2006, 11:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Computer Certification Hierarchy???

I got my A+ when I changed careers 7 years ago. It was bundled with my MCSE (NT4) classes. This was back before there were bootcamps and cheating courses that train you to MEMORIZE the questions and answers to the tests you will be taking, so the courses I took actually TAUGHT me how to do the work involved with each respective course.

If you don't know a thing about computers, A+ is a definite must. Or else you will be lost in any other courses you take. If you have EXPERIENCE(not building a few computers and selliing them) fixing computers, whether in a call center for a "reputable" multibillion dollar computer company or by doing the work for them onsite, you should not need the A+. If you are gonna be an IT guy, you need to decide which part of IT you will be covering.

If it is Windows network related, MCSE is a must. It will get you in the door and help you work your way up whatever career path is set for your position and department. Again, if you have the certs but no experience, expect to start at the bottom, possibly doing grunt work in a callcenter.

Going for security, then the Cisco certs are a must. Again, start with the basic cert if you have no experience with Cisco products. Get the most difficult certs once you know what you are doing.

As for me, working at Dell with an MCSE, MCP+I and A+ only got me so far. That is why I left after working there for 5 yrs. Now I'm THE network admin at a school, which is definitely a great job with great pay, however i never thought it would take working at Dell and Chevron before getting to a job like this. BTW, with my experience (which matters so much more than any certs you have), has landed me a second job as a consultant which has pretty much doubled my salary while only working 60 hr weeks between both jobs. My next step? independence as an IT consultant on my own.

oh yeh, last bit of advice i can give you, dont learn everything there is to learn on FIXING the problem. Unless you love computers more than people, that is work that will never pay as much as an admin, supervisor or project manager that can get the right people together in a project thatinvolves all types of IT disciplines to complete. THAT IT person gets the best pay
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Old 09-26-2006, 03:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Computer Certification Hierarchy???

Do you work for a public school or a priviate school?

Public schools wont give you great pay :P We don't even have our own dedicated IT, we have like 1/10th of an IT person for 300 computers or so.
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Old 09-26-2006, 11:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Computer Certification Hierarchy???

A+ is basic .. but there is a lot to it.

its basic troubleshooting hardware and software.

MCSE is both server administration/planing/troubleshooting. It also deals with networking concepts
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Old 09-27-2006, 03:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Computer Certification Hierarchy???

How much are these courses? Im 15 and really wanna learn this stuff now as im educated in computers.. Would you know anything for someone like me wanting to learn and get ahead early?
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Old 09-27-2006, 12:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Computer Certification Hierarchy???

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Originally Posted by DJ-CHRIS
Do you work for a public school or a priviate school?

Public schools wont give you great pay :P We don't even have our own dedicated IT, we have like 1/10th of an IT person for 300 computers or so.
I work for a charter school so funds are limited. however the focus at this school is technology so they have invested alot of money, including pay for me While i dont get as much as i would like, i did get almost $5K pay raise after working here for 3 months. (testament to my abilities IT and procurement related).

btw, my sig shows what i support at this school. what it doesnt show is that i also freelance after hours, however, that will stop since another school has picked me up to do work for them when i get off work here. pay for both jobs, not including freelance work(which i charge between $75-$125/hr), is about $70k/yr
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Old 09-27-2006, 12:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Computer Certification Hierarchy???

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Originally Posted by bilbus
A+ is basic .. but there is a lot to it.

its basic troubleshooting hardware and software.

MCSE is both server administration/planing/troubleshooting. It also deals with networking concepts
wrong!

MCSE=Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer=planning your windows environment, from network topology to server/client deployement and administration after it is all said and done.

Here's an excerpt from MS's site:

"The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) credential is the premier certification for professionals who analyze the business requirements and design and implement the infrastructure for business solutions based on the Microsoft Windows 2000 platform and Microsoft Windows Server System. Implementation responsibilities include installing, configuring, and troubleshooting network systems. Learn more about MCSE job functions by reading the MCSE Job Task Analysis (Microsoft Word 925 KB). "

read more here: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcse/mcse.asp
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Old 09-27-2006, 12:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Computer Certification Hierarchy???

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Originally Posted by Unf4mili4r
How much are these courses? Im 15 and really wanna learn this stuff now as im educated in computers.. Would you know anything for someone like me wanting to learn and get ahead early?
depending on what is offered in your school district, you may have FREE access to CompTIA A+ training as a class course. My youngest brother attending Stoney Point in Round Rock, TX and they offered a two year class for high schoolers that included a free voucher to take the two exams required to get your A+ cert after finishing the classes.

since you are soooooo young, get into beta testing for windows latest products and make sure to leave feedback, instead of just downloading and using the software. once you get comfortable doing this, beta test for other software vendors and keep learning.

a friend of my other brother started doing this when he was 14 or so and he got a job at Dell doing software testing as a contractor, making $16/hr right out of high school. from what i understand, he only works 6-9 months out of the year and bought a house and infinity I30 a few years ago...just to let ya know what is possible...
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Dell Precision WS470 Xenon 3.0GB 1GB PC3200 80GB SATA HDD

but...control 5 servers, one switch rack with 300 ports protected by cisco router, 300 PC's, 75 notebooks over a wLAN ;)
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Computer Certification Hierarchy???

Haha, I was just about to start a thread on this topic!! Reason I came speificially to a computer only forum!

Anyhow, I read up the posts here. I am in a similiar situation. I recently graduated with a Bachelors in IT and recently a position as opened where I work. Unfortuantly, I do not meet ther requirements of "7-10 yrs experience, MCSE, Novell, and Cisco CNA certifications, ect.".

My main focus is becoming a Network Administrator, so aside from A+ as the starting cert to get, which is the next you guys would recommend? The company I work for currently has Windows 2000 Prof in all machines (Win 2000 Svr for the servers), running with Novell Netware 5.1, and we recently replaced these old Motorola routers/bridges/ISDN with new Cisco 2800's. In the near future we plan to replace 2000 with XP Prof and 2003 Server and get rid of Netware and use Active Directory instead.

Also, I live in NY, is there any "Cisco Store" or testing center I can visit or call to get more information about these tests? Thanks in advance!
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