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Thread: Am I worth?

  1. #1
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    Am I worth?

    Hello all, new member here!

    Iíve been reading the board for a long time, but finally I have a couple of question to ask. Sorry about the length of the post. Thanks for taking the time and helping me on this one.

    Iíve been working in IT (Small Business Network Management) for around 18 months. I took a couple of computer classes, mainly programming and web design, but didnít get them finished because I had to move. So I have no certs or diplomas on any field of computing.

    I have work experience in network management (18 months), single domain controler, 5 to 30 computers, for different companies because I currently work for a contractor that does network managing. Iíve seen a lot of different problems managing and deploying networks, so the book scenario vs the real world scenario is real clear to me. Iíve done network deployments without any supervision of about 5-10 users (Resource sharing, and applications like ACT and QuickBooks plus small custom apps, for multiple users, as well as printing + all the basics of a server enviromet). I know about setting up routers, sonicwall, linksys, cisco pix501 (the basics). I know cabling cat5e, cat6, etc. Also hardware of course.

    My first question is: If I were to leave my job could I get another one in the central Florida market? With no certs, but a bit of experience. Having worked for different companies Iíve seen a lot happen in little time and can do a number of junior admin tasks. My job is been good for getting experience in the work field and all, but Iím moving to Florida because I have other business opportunities there as a part time real state agent, my RE license will expire this year and I want to give it a try before I let it go just like that. Plus, I don't make much at my current job.

    Iím also preparing for the 70-290 test, but I would like to know what would happen to me in the worse case scenario of being without any certs and trying to find a job with my limited experience.

    My second question is: Iím planning to keep working into the Microsoft track of certifications and hopefully get my MCSA some time this year, but it looks like A+ and Net+ are really important certs in the industry and Iím wondering if I should do those first after taking my 70-290 which was my main priority?

    I know hardware enough, and my work experience should be sufficient to prove that I know it. A+ covers so much material that you never really use in the field and I wonder if in my case would be better to go for the Microsoft certs and skip the comptia certs. I would like to get my MCSA in messaging; Iíve already been exposed to MS Exchange and would like to learn more about that messaging system.

    Thanks Again!

  2. #2
    Super F@D Folder
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    mcsa is much bigger than A+....not sure about network+. Don't have an answer for the rest (sorry)

  3. #3
    Member CowboyHacker's Avatar
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    I'm also interested in the importance of various Certs...

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  4. #4
    Rock of Ages jokostel's Avatar
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    get your a+ and MCP certs for XP pro...

    then worry about an MCSE for Server 2003

    then worry about network+,linux+,ect

    but a+ is paramount.
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    Thanks to all for the replies. Keep them comming!

    I want to get the Server 2003 70-290 cert first because that's what I work with in a day to day basis. I still do a lot of desktop support, but I really haven't found anything that would stop me from solving a problem in a windows operating system for the time that I have been in the business. If I can't solve it then rebuild the machine and done; thats only in really extreme cases though.

    I can't say the same about Windows servers, you really need to know your stuff there, by reading about 70-290 I've learned a lot of things that I can put into practice in the field. But then again, it seems like you won't be taken seriously unless you have your A+, even if you have experience. Is that really the case?
    Last edited by Metaxlog; July 13th, 2006 at 10:16 PM.

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member famosbrown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaxlog
    Thanks to all for the replies. Keep them comming!

    I want to get the Server 2003 70-290 cert first because that's what I work with in a day to day basis. I still do a lot of desktop support, but I really haven't found anything that would stop me from solving a problem in a windows operating system for the time that I have been in the business. If I can't solve it then rebuild the machine and done; thats only in really extreme cases though.

    I can't say the same about Windows servers, you really need to know your stuff there, by reading about 70-290 I've learned a lot of things that I can put into practice in the field. But then again, it seems like you won't be taken seriously unless you have your A+, even if you have experience. Is that really the case?
    The A+ certification is usually the baiss for entry-level I.T. (netowrking/hardware/opertating systems). If you've been around hardware and Windows, DOS, etc. then the A+ will be a breeze for you. Also, since you've been in networking for a while, you should be able to knowck out the Network+ as well. The CompTIA certs are not proprietary and test a lot of basic aspects of everything. For the Network+ you will need to know the basics/basis for all of the different Server O.S.'s, protocols, etc. There is a lot of hardware ont he test as well like cable lengths, types, etc. Actually, The A+ and Network+ are recommended certifications and courses before starting the Microsoft MCSA/MCSE certification track...only recommended. My cousin got his MCSE first, then went back and got his A+ later just BECAUSE. He got his 90,000 per year job without the A+. So yeah, it all depends on what you want to do. If you fell real comfortable, look at the requirements for the A+ and Network+ certifications (test outlines), study a little and knock them out real fast. Another good thing about the two...they won't expire. YOu can retest when they release new versions, but it isn't required. Microsoft will have to about every few years or so. Good luck.

    Famos

  7. #7
    Member CowboyHacker's Avatar
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    OK. Good. I am studying for A+ Certification, and I hope to be able to take the tests soon.

    The local computer repair shop will hire high school students for a special program, and do not require any certs, but their real technician position (mm, a rhyme) requires a minimum of A+ Certification.
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    Senior Member TheBigCarp321's Avatar
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    Pretty sure that the A+ is a prerequisite for Net+. MCSA is a nice cert to have. Dont stop there though. Go all out for your MCSE. I'm going the way of CCNA (which hopefully I will have by April). I know that work experience is important but where I am at, companies out here need to see the paper crap as well. At my company you cant touch a computer without A+. Its a requirement to be an engineer. Hope that helps.

    As for your second question...I think since the A+ wont take as long to get as the 70-290, go for the A+ just to get a start. The MCSA is also 3 tests (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mc.../windows2003/), but then again I'm not going M$ route.
    Last edited by TheBigCarp321; July 13th, 2006 at 11:28 PM.
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  9. #9
    Member CowboyHacker's Avatar
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    Yeah, its the little peices of paper that get you the jobs and money.

    Thats why I am hoping to go to college and get a nice big fancy one with a gold embossed thing that looks impressive to future bosses....
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  10. #10
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    What does the job market look like in Flordia? Its hard to tell for those who live in other parts. IT jobs range differently depending on the develpoment of the area and what is surrounding it.

    Certs are good to get you into the interview process. Some HR personal still have no idea what to really look for. Some see the paperwork and go oooooooh he has a certificate. A+ and N+ are just the basics. Just study up a bit and knock those out.

    Then work towards the MS stuff

  11. #11
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    Ok, seems like most people agree that A+ is a must have. What books have you guys used to get yours? Every book I've seen is like a thousand pages and that's why I always thought it wasn't really worth the hassle. The books for the microsoft certs are a lot shorter in most cases.

    CowboyHacker what are you using?


    Thanks!
    Last edited by Metaxlog; July 14th, 2006 at 09:25 AM.

  12. #12
    Mobile Member ShuckyD's Avatar
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    Where would someone go to take the A+ certification. I to am new to certifications, right now im studying for the first of many Microsoft test 2.70 is what im reading up on now. i want to have my MCP by the time im 22.. And i guess it wouldnt be bad to find out how/where to get my A+ from either
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  13. #13
    Member CowboyHacker's Avatar
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    I'm reading A+ Certification Exam Guide, Fifth Edition Michael Meyers.
    Last edited by CowboyHacker; July 14th, 2006 at 01:46 PM.
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    Senior Member project vegas's Avatar
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    i just passed my a+ about 3-4 months ago if you guys want i have some pdf's with test questions
    pm me or catch me on aim

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    Anime Otaku RobRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GZ3
    What does the job market look like in Flordia?
    Rather pathetic IMO. There was a brief period a few years back when I was not writing or consulting that I had an opportunity to check out the IT market in central FL. There were a few IT jobs available, but the pay rates were typically abysmal and far below my salary expectations. I nearly laughed at one local company needing a general networking tech, as I might as well found an entry-level, non-IT office job - roughly the same pay, nowhere near the responsibility or workload.

    ------------------------------------------

    Metaxlog, get your A+ as soon as possible. With your level of experience, you should have no problem with the exam. I also suspect you could attain Network+ certification easily as well since you already have good knowledge of networks. After those certs, think about the MCSE or MCSA programs if you intend to specialize in Windows networks.

  16. #16
    Goverment property now GroundZero3's Avatar
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    I guess that was a stupid question ask since Martoch has a hard time finding something near him.

  17. #17
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    This is exactly why i'm confused as to what to go for. The jobs just aren't what they should be here in the ol sunshine state, and IT seems to be the only thing I have experience in.
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    Ultimate Member famosbrown's Avatar
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    A+ and Network+ also acts as electives when trying to attain your MCSA/MCSE. My Microsoft books are much thicker than my A+ and Network + books I used from New Horizons. The 2273B Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment is is thicker than my A+ book and that is just one course and one test towards the MCSA.

    You can take the test at many locations. Google PearsonVUE and they should be able to find locations for you to take it. I can't remember the other testing vendor.

    Famos

  19. #19
    Senior Member TheBigCarp321's Avatar
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    I use transcender and that really really big red and blue 1000 page book hehe...
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  20. #20
    Senior Member TheBigCarp321's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoloCamo
    This is exactly why i'm confused as to what to go for. The jobs just aren't what they should be here in the ol sunshine state, and IT seems to be the only thing I have experience in.
    Really all depends on what you wanna do solo...If you wanna work with systems and stuff, go the M$ path. Networks, go the Cisco way
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