July 19th, 2006 07:13 PM
Certifications : Yes / no / how / where?
It's my understanding that a job above help-desk pretty much requires certifications.
I'm holed up in a great entry-level job where my title is Systems Administrator, though I'm better off calling myself the IT bitch (not on the resume though). It's got a decent/good salary for my age but there's no chance of advancement and I'm getting tired of the place.
I've been approached by New Horizons; they want to make me pay some high four-digit value to train me for certifications, and they don't even offer the price of the test (but books are free, there's web training, and so on).
I can pay a much lesser four-digit value to buy all the best books and training available online, I've been told, and just do it on my own. Here's my question:
Where do I go to get the stuff?
I have the knowledge, I think, for A+ / Net+, though I don't really have all that I need for TCP/IP (easy enough to find that info online though). I'm looking at the MCSE 2000 (maybe /2003) and CCNA certs.
Thanks in advance!
July 19th, 2006 08:04 PM
If your job will pay for the training and certs, I would suggest boot camps. If your work won't pay for it I would check out:
My work will pay for the classes, but because I am currently working through my BS I donot have time for both classes and boot camps. So I am doing it the old fashioned way, reading ALOT, and creating VM machines to practice.
These are the books I am using. Compaired to the ones from Microsoft Press, these do a better job preping you for the exames, in my opinion.
Incase you dont know the address:
Also, they are about to drastically revamp the MCSE exams and I hear that they may not allow the MCSE 2000 as an upgrade path, but I can not confirm that.
hope that helps.
July 19th, 2006 08:43 PM
A gerneral rule of thumb I have always found is that:
If they dont include the exam at the end of the course.........the course is probably not that good.
Most companies that offer training without the exam will usually include in the samll print something along the lines of "and with further self paced study you will be able to take the exam within four weeks!"
If they were confident about the course they offer they would bump the price up £100 or so and include the exam.
There are a few that will offer the exam and a voucher for a re-sit if you fail......obviously these are the ones that are confident in their material!
Boot camp as suggested above are by far the best way to get a certification IMHO..you live and breathe the coursework for the duration, have access to any labs and instructors as and when needed, usually get to keep the course material and have a way better chance of passing the exam. The down side is they are more expensive especially if they include food and accomadation!
I used to teach at a few boot camp type places on and off and can probably remember around 5 people who did not eventually get the certification they are after.
If you go with a reputable company and pay the extra, as you are at the entry level stage and probably dont have a lot of job experiance, being trained by a well known company will look good on your CV and may be the factor that says the company in your favour!!
Good luck either way buddy!
July 20th, 2006 01:45 PM
My current job is highly unlikely to pay for anything, I'm looking for something more anyway.
Thank you for all the links!
July 20th, 2006 04:37 PM
We use new horizons for all of our technical training. The classes are your standard MS ATEC courses. If you don't know the product very well I would say most of the 4-5 day courses are pretty good values. If you know the product, it will be a review at best. The books included with the courses are written exactly to the test by MS.
I would also go back to New Horizons and make sure you talked about all of their programs. I know someone who went through their MCSE program and his cost covered all tests, a certain number of retests, books, and he could resit the class if he failed the test. He got, A+, Net+, Security+, MCSA, MCSE+Security in about 8 months.
The standard MS ATEC course fee does not include the test at the end of the course. That is always extra, or included in a special bundle by the training center.
If you know server technology pretty well getting those certs in 8 months would be rather easy, but this particular person was more of a desktop person that didn't know servers very well at all, and had a few retests.
July 20th, 2006 04:44 PM
I too am in the same boat so to speak. Right now I'm working with http://www.oncourselearning.com/ --IMHO, courses are pretty good, and you can haggle on the price...They offer money back guarentee if you don't pass the certification, the books are free (E-Books) and it's done entirely online (You have reading work, practice exams, objective simulators, and you watch a video on each section of the test.... I dunno if it's the best out there, but I really like it! I got my A+, now I'm working on my CCNA.... (They're only costing me about $300)
Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes"; They will say, "Women don't have what it takes".
Clare Boothe Luce
July 20th, 2006 05:22 PM
Obtaining the right certifications
Just one note on certifications. Be sure to spend your time on the right certifications. In the security industry, you should stick with the industry vendor independent certifications such as CISSP, its specialty certs, CISA or CISM by ISACA.
Spending time on vendor certifications is not a good use of time or money since it tends to leave the impression of bias when making recommendations. If is important for your company that you have tthose certifications, then they should pay for them since they will be receiving a benefit such as greater discounts from the vendor.
Just my $.02
--Old School is New School--
July 20th, 2006 09:00 PM
ISC2 certs are all pretty much good for resume and they are hard to get and require experience. I have my CISSP, GIAC, and a few cisco certs, although I do not recommend someone just getting into the field to try them. You really need some good experience before attempting a high level certification. I would recommend from my own experience start with MCP then CCNA then start working on more high level certs.
July 20th, 2006 09:02 PM
Best thing to do is get a bachelors or masters with the certs it will take you much further.
July 20th, 2006 11:04 PM
Yeah certs are second to a bachelors degree, that and job experience.