Hi guys i was hoping the more advanced members of this site might be able to help me with some career advice...
heres my situation, i decided in october 2006 that i was serious about a career in IT and chose 2 quals that i thought would be good starting points, ECDL and MCDST. i came across CISCO's CCNA course which is also offered at my college and started on that too in september.
i recently passed my MCDST and am continuing down the CISCO road having just started on CCNA 2 this week. But as far as the Microsoft certs go i am unsure as to what options are available.
Firstly id like to ask what MCSE and MSCA focus on career wise and what certs make up these credentials? ive searched all over the web and cant find anything that is clear on this.
secondly, having got the MCDST under my belt, where do you recommend i go from here? The advice from highly respectable professionals such as yourselves would be very much appreciated and would help me a great deal towards deciding my career path.
Thirdly and on a side note are there any jobs out there that would give me relevant industry experience that im likely to be able to take on with what i have? I will be looking for employment in the field within the next couple of months to see myself through college, so all advice here would also be very much appreciated.
CompTIA A+ is another cert i am looking to get in the future as most of my personal experience pre college was with building systems, though i have never been employed in the IT field.
I am loving every second of being involved with IT, its such an enjoyable challenge, but i need to start gaining some focused direction as to which aspect of IT i would like to work with.
Kind Regards to all, and thanks in advance to those that reply...
Re: MCDST... now what?
10 years 11 months ago #25069
Have you decided what branch of IT you want to get into ? There are loads of different fields to specialise in and depending on which way you want to go would depend on certs for you.
The MCSA is more for Administration. This would be if you are managing a Windows environment that had already been setup. It will give the skills on that aspect. (this also can count towards the MCSE so if you did this, you would be on your way to completing the MCSE)
The MCSE is for designing, implementing the systems. This is more of an Engineer role which you would also need experience in.
The CCNA is good for a starting point for the Network Infrastructure side of things, i.e. routing/switching and concepts around that.
Each of the above have further certs that you can go further. The MCSE has specilisations within them for MCSE:Security, MCSE:Messaging, etc...
The CCNA is a starting point to do the more advanced Cisco courses such as CCNP (more advanced networking), CCSP (security, i.e. firewalls, vpns, IDS, etc..), and then you get things like VoIP.
It would probably be a good idea to try and get in a company that works in all area's to either give you chance to have a go in all and then decide what you want to focus on or to give you chance to progress into other areas if you feel the need to move.
It is very hard to move into a different area without taking paycuts, etc.. because the key these days is to have experience. I know from experience and had to take a considerable pay cut to move into the security field, although i havn't looked back (so far).
Based on what ive read it sounds like the MCSA would be a good next step once the CCNA and CompTIA A+ are out of the way. As you said if it counts towards the MCSE then i would always have that option in the future too.
I now have MCDST in windows XP and will add a Vista Desktop support qualification to my CV somewhere along the way. With the CompTIA A+ qual this should atleast enable me to find a job somewhere as a Junior Technician and hopefully that will be with a company that has a few directions i can branch into along the way. If only life was that simple though, hehe.
Based on what experience i have had, i enjoy building and administrating systems, Networking is great too and i could see myself enjoying end user support provided i wasnt stuck on the phones all day. i hear many people start out this way but it doesnt sound very appealing atall. I think im going to need some more experience though before i could say for sure exactly where i want to shoot for.
If anyone else has something theyd like to add please do, i enjoy discussing and thinking about my future and nothing could be more valuable to me than the wisdom of good people that have travelled the path ive started on.
Re: MCDST... now what?
10 years 11 months ago #25083
Sounds like a plan. The only thing i would say is not to get too caught up in certs, this was the mistake i did and unless you are utilising the experience drawn from the exams, you will loose the knowledge really really quick.
Yea, i think thats great advice, ill remember that. If im not using it practically i'll make sure i go over the material once in a while to keep it fresh in my mind.
I think i can relax a bit now having got CCNA 1 over with and starting on CCNA 2. I have decided to have a shot at the CompTIA A+ too, so i will be enquiring about that shortly. and looking for a job in the mean time.
Thanks for all the advice! See you around the boards!
Re: MCDST... now what?
10 years 11 months ago #25087