I have a bud at work that was telling me that I should take my MCSA/MCSE before I take my CCNA because it will help me on my CCNA and other exams. I am pondering on what exam I should study for and put all my energy in. Anybody got any suggestions of the exams I should take. I plan on taking as many exams to better qualify me for jobs.
It really depends on what direction you are going.
Remember to get your MCSE, it takes about 7 exams. This will take a bit of time (and money). If you go after your CCNA it will take 2 (or 1 if you want). Then you have the certification to display.
The MCSE, is really not going to help you much on your CCNA ( a little if you do one of the network tests - but even then it covers different stuff, leaning towards connecting MS machines together). The CCNA is geared to networking in general - specifically Ciscos routers and switches.
If you are looking towards networking, then I would suggest CCNA first. Which by the way also helps you on your MCSE networking tests (more than the MCSEs networking tests will help you on the CCNA - IMHO).
Funny enough, Zippy, I'm two exams away from my MCSA.
There is a neat path you can choose to take if you want to do the MCSA, and this is allow you to have 4 certifications, rather than 2, once you complete it.
I've choosen to take the longest one, so I end up with 4 certifications, and that is:
3 Microsoft core exams + (Network+ and A+)
3 Microsoft core exams + 1 Microsoft elective.
By completing one core exam, you will receive the MCP certification and then the MCSA once you complete all 4 exams.
If you choose, you can substitute the elective with two CompTIA certifications.
I've completed the 2 MS core exams, the Network+ and now I'm getting ready (this week) to finish off the A+, leaving me with 1 more MS exam to get the MCSA.
You should know that the A+ certification requires 2 exams, one covering PC hardware and one covering PC Operating systems (which is what I'm doing now). They are easy exams and you wont have any trouble killing them.
I'd also advise you to start on the MCSA. Reason is not to give you more experience and knowledge, as the certification's material will only cover around 15% of the CCNA material, but most importantly, it will teach you how to study and arm you with the experience you need in these exams to pass the CCNA first go.
The CCNA requires not only a higher level of knowledge and understanding, but a good methodology in troubleshooting and quick thinking, especially now that they have Lab simulations in the exam.
The good part for you is that the CCNA is now also offered as a two step exam, so you don';t need to remember everything, but don't be fooled, it dosen't mean the certification is much easier to pass!!!!!
Now that I look at it, Chris has some good points.
The problem with the CCNA is, as Chris says, is that the certification is quite a bit more extensive.
I was looking at the fact of getting the total MCSE verses getting the CCNA, but as Chris mentions, if you haven't taken any of these exams, it might be better to start with one of the easier exams to get one under your belt and to get you into the right frame of mind on how to study and take these exams.