Computer Certifications


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I hate thinking this again, but with my work downsizing so much, I am concerned that I will not be here in the next 2 to 5 years. So, with that thought in mind, I am trying to think of job alternatives. One of those thoughts are to get back into the computer field again. That would mean getting back on the certification treadmill. What certifications would you all suggest? Here are the ones that I was looking at getting in the next 2 to 3 years.

A+, Network+, CCNA, MCSE (maybe), and CCNP.

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

Hey Sharoth, sorry to hear about your possible job woes.

I don't have any of these certifications, but my wife got A+, which opened a few doors for her to get tech support jobs (not awesome-paying jobs, but still work). She wants to work on the Network+ certification so she can build up to more of a sys admin role.

Good luck, dragon! :)


~smiles and shrugs~ Well, my guess is that I have at least six months. Probably a few years, but... No sense in taking chances, especially since I am employed still ONLY because two people decided to retire to save mine and a co-worker's job. (There is more to the story than that.)

OTOH, I used to repair computers for a living and I had my A+ then. Granted, that was 13 years ago, but at least it is mostly relearning. In my case, I just have to get off my ass and (re)learn the stuff I have forgotten and learn the stuff that I never knew. I am not going into this totally cold. Just 11 years out of date.

Dark Archive

Well - as someone practicing in the industry for the last 15+ years, my recommendations:

If you can get a network cert under your belt, you'll always be one step above the pack. Cisco is king still so you can't really go wrong there, so things like CCNA, or the more recent CCENT to start.

You've probably heard of virtualization, and that's really where it's at now - generally in 2 forms, 1) hypervisor style server virtualization and for this you might as well go for the king of the pack, the VMware VCP certification, or 2) desktop virtualization, also comes in a few varieties like server hosted desktops up to the more recent exploration of Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI). In both of the number 2 cases the leader is Citrix, and they offer a similar certificate process to most vendors.

A networking cert (most or all of the ones you listed) will have major benefits even from just a troubleshooting point of view, in both cases.

This brings us to the next generation; what we're calling convergence. In modern datacenters we're starting to see the proliferation of technologies like Fibre Channel over Ethernet, iSCSI, etc., over the same 10Gbps link. Cisco UCS, some HP platforms, etc., are all doing this.

Where this is going is ...
Networks + Virtualization + Convergence = Private/Public/Metro/Personal Cloud ... aka broadly "The Cloud"
Not a bad skillset to develop towards.

I've seen less of a demand for Microsoft certificates, and more demand for skillsets with broader application; Active Directory, DNS, Backups, etc.

Storage administrators are the last link in The Cloud infrastructure, and there's always a demand for a high end storage administrator. Look towards NetApp and EMC for a couple of the bigger players in the Storage space.

All of this assumes you don't want to be an "App" guy ... then you'll have to look at certs like Microsoft SQL, Exchange, etc.

Tons of options, exciting times to get back into the whole Tech space.


VagrantWhisper wrote:
Lots of good stuff

~grins~ Thanks for the info. I KNOW that the A+, Network+, and CCNA / CCNP are on the will do list. I am still in the tech field, sort of. I work for AT & T as an Electronics Technician in the Central Office, so I deal with some pretty high end stuff. Unfortunately, most of that stuff would be useless in any other field. ~grins~ Since I used to be in the computer field, I figure that I can relearn what I need without as much hassle as I would have going into a totally new field. ~shrugs~ Besides, who knows. I might just be worrying over nothing.

Dark Archive

Sharoth wrote:
Besides, who knows. I might just be worrying over nothing.

Nice!

I find technicians from any vocation have a valuable skillset in them that few others do - troubleshooting.

If you don't mind the travel, a lot of companies look for Implementation Specialists which I've seen a few technicians get into successfully.

I'm not sure how much exposure you got to the more IP based telephony stuff being at AT&T, but Cisco has a fairly significant infrastructure path in Telephony VoIP, video teleconferencing, etc etc. based on their UCM platform, all of which a CCNA is the prerequisite for. Might be up your alley.

Really though, as long as you can remember that there's only ever really 2 problems in IT: Something is touching that shouldn't be, or something isn't touching that should be, you're golden :)


VagrantWhisper wrote:


Really though, as long as you can remember that there's only ever really 2 problems in IT: Something is touching that shouldn't be, or something isn't touching that should be, you're golden :)

~LAUGHTER~


VagrantWhisper wrote:
Sharoth wrote:
Besides, who knows. I might just be worrying over nothing.

Nice!

I find technicians from any vocation have a valuable skillset in them that few others do - troubleshooting.

If you don't mind the travel, a lot of companies look for Implementation Specialists which I've seen a few technicians get into successfully.

I'm not sure how much exposure you got to the more IP based telephony stuff being at AT&T, but Cisco has a fairly significant infrastructure path in Telephony VoIP, video teleconferencing, etc etc. based on their UCM platform, all of which a CCNA is the prerequisite for. Might be up your alley.

Really though, as long as you can remember that there's only ever really 2 problems in IT: Something is touching that shouldn't be, or something isn't touching that should be, you're golden :)

Thanks again for the info. I will definately look into all this. ~grins~ The only issue is the time to get all the certifications that I want / need. After all, I will be learning this on my own. Add the standard RL stuff like a job, OT at said job, the wife, the pets, family, friends, ect., that means I will have to plan my time wisely, especially since I really do not want to take any chances and I would really like the A+, Network+, and CCNA within the next year or two.


Not sure if you'd be interested, but a Project Management Certification (PMP) from the Project Management Institute could be useful as well. Since I didn't want to keep up with the continual tech re-certs, I jumped ship from the tech side after getting my MCSE+I (on Windows NT, to give you a timeframe). I did PM work for about a decade before moving up into federal program manager/director stuff. I've always found that PMs with a solid technical base added to a good grounding in project management skills make excellent choices. They serve well as team leads, can take on whole projects themselves, or can be a "heavy hitter" when a technical problem has additional complexity from budget, HR, politics, etc.

Anyway, just a thought if you might be inclined to a little management/leadership stuff in your tech skill. Oh, and with a background in telecom, don't overlook government jobs (www.usajobs.gov). We have a massive infrastructure in place that ranges from severely aging to cutting edge. While much of the work is contracted out, we still needs government employees in high-risk/security areas, as leads for contract actions, etc.

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