IT Certifications

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7/16/2017 4:05 PM

Any of you nerds on here take any of the various IT Certifications? I've graduated with my BBA-CIS degree. I'm having a hard time feeling confident about going into IT just due to a lack of experience. Just curious if the Certifications are worth it and what all is involved. My goal is networking and eventually Security if I decide to continue to live the office lifestyle.

So far, I see the CompTia Network + exam is probably a starting point and followed by the Comp TIA Security exam.

https://certification.comptia.org/certifications/network

Is the actual exam online or is it a proctored exam? Any other advice you'd offer up?

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7/16/2017 4:50 PM

I work in the PM field and have thought about changing to that area on a daily basis. Certs are well worth it. I want to get my certification in SQL and Database.

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7/16/2017 4:58 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/16/2017 4:58 PM

My son is a cyber security engineer and currently holds these:

CCNP
CCDP
CISSP
CNDA
CEHv8
WCNA
Comp TIA / Sec+

Currently wrapping up: CCIE

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"We don't rent pigs."

7/16/2017 6:04 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/16/2017 6:10 PM

In the short amount of time I posted this, I continued to look up information.

I signed up for a Network+ online tutorial course through udemy.com that is supposed to prepare you for the CompTIA Network certification. They had a deal I found that gave the $200 tutorial/ course on sale for $10. I figured what can $10 hurt.

So far, the information is a really good refresher course from my network course. I've been watching the series for the last hour and the dude actually does a pretty good job of breaking down the complex activities of a computer into manageable pieces. The jury is still out but so far it's comparable to what I learned in my Networking course which is supposed to prepare you for the Network+ exam.

JAFO, that's a good list of certifications to have. My end goal is a security position. The CISSP I believe is the Cisco certification for Security. And the CompTIA/Sec+ is a security generic course meaning it's a security foundation course whereas the CISSP is foundation as well as Cisco's application. My current company doesn't utilize Cisco that I'm aware of and the security engineer I spoke with said that the Network+ is essentially a pre-requisite for the security cert.

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7/16/2017 6:09 PM

JRT812 wrote:

I work in the PM field and have thought about changing to that area on a daily basis. Certs are well worth it. I want to get my certification in SQL and Database.

We use SQL for all of our database functions. Most companies probably do so if you're going to get a certification in a certain application geared for DB functions, it's not a bad idea to specialize in SQL. From my experience, a good database admin is hard to find. We have had one good SQL database admin for as long as I've been there. If he were to leave, we would have a really difficult time. 2 years ago, we expanded and found another guy that is a top notch guy but I think we've been through about 7 or 8 admins over the last two years outside of those two guys. I've watched our database guy work, and he knows the SQL environment in and out. I'd love to get into that kind of work, but it's intimidating to say the least.

When you say PM, do you mean Private Mortgage? I can think of a few different PM acronyms Lol.

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7/16/2017 6:26 PM

Way back at Uni i did an extra course to get an Cisco CCNA certificate. It was rather easy and somewhat interesting, really usefull if you wanna go into Networking or work for an ISP firm.

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7/16/2017 7:18 PM

JRT812 wrote:

I work in the PM field and have thought about changing to that area on a daily basis. Certs are well worth it. I want to get my certification in SQL and Database.

IWreckALot wrote:

We use SQL for all of our database functions. Most companies probably do so if you're going to get a certification in a certain application geared for DB functions, it's not a bad idea to specialize in SQL. From my experience, a good database admin is hard to find. We have had one good SQL database admin for as long as I've been there. If he were to leave, we would have a really difficult time. 2 years ago, we expanded and found another guy that is a top notch guy but I think we've been through about 7 or 8 admins over the last two years outside of those two guys. I've watched our database guy work, and he knows the SQL environment in and out. I'd love to get into that kind of work, but it's intimidating to say the least.

When you say PM, do you mean Private Mortgage? I can think of a few different PM acronyms Lol.

Project management. Thanks for the insight!

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7/17/2017 6:16 AM

Security is a good field to get into. I would also look at getting certified in a few cloud disciplines. Cloud computing is only going to grow. It's not just servers and virtual machines moving to the cloud. Infrastructure (IaaS) is moving to the cloud. Switches, Access Points, etc. All moving to the cloud. Security is also moving to the cloud. Zscaler, FireEye, etc all have cloud based security solutions and for a lot of the newish security companies they are built and operate solely in the cloud.

https://aws.amazon.com/certification/

https://www.zscaler.com/resources/training-certification-overview

We are just starting to roll our Zscaler where I work and it's an awesome security product that is pretty complex to roll out in a multi office environment. But it is a great service.

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7/17/2017 6:25 AM

TXDirt wrote:

Security is a good field to get into. I would also look at getting certified in a few cloud disciplines. Cloud computing is only going to grow. It's not just servers and virtual machines moving to the cloud. Infrastructure (IaaS) is moving to the cloud. Switches, Access Points, etc. All moving to the cloud. Security is also moving to the cloud. Zscaler, FireEye, etc all have cloud based security solutions and for a lot of the newish security companies they are built and operate solely in the cloud.

https://aws.amazon.com/certification/

https://www.zscaler.com/resources/training-certification-overview

We are just starting to roll our Zscaler where I work and it's an awesome security product that is pretty complex to roll out in a multi office environment. But it is a great service.

What size is your company and what industry?

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7/17/2017 6:38 AM

TXDirt wrote:

Security is a good field to get into. I would also look at getting certified in a few cloud disciplines. Cloud computing is only going to grow. It's not just servers and virtual machines moving to the cloud. Infrastructure (IaaS) is moving to the cloud. Switches, Access Points, etc. All moving to the cloud. Security is also moving to the cloud. Zscaler, FireEye, etc all have cloud based security solutions and for a lot of the newish security companies they are built and operate solely in the cloud.

https://aws.amazon.com/certification/

https://www.zscaler.com/resources/training-certification-overview

We are just starting to roll our Zscaler where I work and it's an awesome security product that is pretty complex to roll out in a multi office environment. But it is a great service.

IWreckALot wrote:

What size is your company and what industry?

Around 250 people. Exploration and Production (oil and gas).

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7/17/2017 7:00 AM

TXDirt wrote:

Around 250 people. Exploration and Production (oil and gas).

Gotcha. I'm going to get my feet wet with the Network+ Cert and then go from there.

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7/17/2017 8:11 AM

The certs are indeed important..years ago I got my MCSE and others as well and it opened the door for an opportunity to work in an enterprise environment supporting 1200+ individuals.

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"A rule is a rule and without rules, there is Chaos"....Cosmo Kramer

7/17/2017 11:55 AM

Whoa, I don't understand ANY of that. I'm going to start watching Silicon Valley though, so maybe I'll get more as time goes on. laughing laughing laughing

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Braaapin' aint easy.

7/17/2017 12:44 PM

There is something about it being outside of your immediate control that isn't all that comforting. Cloud based security is even more of a question mark.

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7/17/2017 2:52 PM

I do get the concept of cloud-based retrieval, and it scares me too. I'm not quite so worried about my personal storage stuff being stolen, but that's because I don't save passwords as files or really keep anything on my computer that I'd be embarrassed about. (Well maybe my search history! blush :whistlesmile I definitely won't rely on someone else to backup my stuff in the cloud.

As technology progresses I've noticed a worrisome trend: ISPs, software companies and even manufacturers of physical goods are leaning more and more toward a subscription-based ownership. I don't want to rent my own product from you forever. I don't want you to continually send me updates that may or may not be what I want. I don't want to be sold new products on a regular basis. I don't want your product to require a broadband internet connection to simply operate.

XBox One requires a Microsoft account, as well as a password just to operate the console. It took me all day to set up ours last winter and download one game. There is also a separate password to operate the wireless remote (which has its own identity, in fact!) It's ridiculous. I don't really care to save all my gaming activity to the cloud or have a gamer ID. If you simply save my game progress to the machine, I'll be cool with that. It would be nice to have that option.

Sometimes, I just want to buy a product and take it home, where I own it forever.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

7/17/2017 2:56 PM

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.

To the OP, please use your certifications to work within your field and be a force for good! Reject socialism and let us owners own our own products! cool laughing

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Braaapin' aint easy.

7/19/2017 12:03 PM

SQL/DBA, Security, Network are great choices.

I would recommend virtualization (VMWare) classes if you’re not familiar with it already. Most companies are working to reduce their footprint so this could be extremely beneficial as you move forward. You could also benefit by learning Wireshark if you follow the Networking path.

Also, most larger companies will fund your continued training in IT so let them help with those certs if they are willing. smile

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7/19/2017 12:15 PM

I'm a voice geek(phone system PBX, Call Centers, Voicemail etc). Currently hold Avaya ACIS, and ACSS certs, and several outdated Nortel certs. My team and I support large Pharma/Finance/Enterprise Business accounts. I'm working on my Cisco voice stuff now. Taken one course on the CUCW1 from Global Knowledge.

The certificate courses seem to be the way to go in our field.

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United States of America

7/20/2017 8:20 PM

Ever consider the analytics world? Some IT knowledge mixed with business acumen and curiosity can take you far.

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7/21/2017 5:16 AM

In Aus, a lot of I.T. within larger organisations is being outsourced to offshore.

A+, Network +, Security +, MCSE, CCNA, VCP 3, 4 & 5 here.

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7/21/2017 12:43 PM

DPR250R wrote:

Ever consider the analytics world? Some IT knowledge mixed with business acumen and curiosity can take you far.

What kind of analytics are we talking about and what industries use them?

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7/21/2017 6:39 PM

Analytics is a broad term, like IT. I can't think of an industry that doesn't use analytics.

In my world, Business Intelligence, our goal is to give business leaders the ability to make decisions based on insights derived from data interpretation. The data extraction part of it can be very tough this is where SQL and scripting knowledge comes in handy. The ability to get relevant information out of the data warehouse and keep it flowing can set you apart from other analysts. That is where a little IT knowledge can help. In short, you are providing easy to understand answers to questions based on your research of data.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_intelligence

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7/23/2017 9:25 AM

Right up my alley.
I've been in the IT arena for 20+ years and this question comes up repeatedly.
In my opinion, certifications aren't work crap. I'll take experience over certifications. Here is why I have this thought process:
I started out of college on a Help Desk, then moved into an Oracle DBA position in the Twin Cities area. This was pre-certifications. I changed jobs to the La Crosse, WI area as a DBA again. This is about when certifications started up, so I dove in and quickly was certified in all 4 areas of Oracle 7. While working there, I supported our HR database and one of the consultants that supported the software side just decided one day he wanted to be a DBA. Well, he got a book, started reading it and passed all 4 certification exams with absolutely NO experience. He couldn't install Oracle, let alone do a backup/restore, resize a tablespace, nothing! After that, I asked my boss if they were going to increase my salary since I was certified. The answer was a flat out no. That HR guy left to be an Oracle DBA consultant and I never saw him again, but I'd love to know what happened.
Since then, I've also been a SQL Server DBA and a Unix Administrator. I've also done TONS of software installation and support.
So now, I'm an IT manager and in the last year, I hired a Security Admin, Network Engineer, and a System Admin. I got a bunch of certified people that applied with good experience, but their salary requirements were absolutely ridiculous. I didn't hire one certified person, heck, I only interviewed one for the Security position. He was WAY over qualified for what I was looking for and I did him the favor of not hiring him. He would have been way too bored. I'd love to go over that interview because I learned some things about our government that is disturbing.
Sorry this got so long, but in my opinion, certifications vary depending on where you live and what the position is. If you are in a metropolitan area, I'd say go for certifications, but you also need experience to back it up. If you live in a more rural area, like me, it's not worth it. Get a job and some good experience. If the company will pay for the certification, then do it, but I haven't seen anywhere near me where a certification will get you anything.
Again, my opinion based on where I am

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7/26/2017 2:13 PM

I've heard the Network+ Cert is a difficult one, but if you've had some decent experience in the field already and are serious about throwing quite a bit of time to get studied up it shouldn't be too bad. Having that cert would be a great bonus to any resume.
I'm pretty fresh to the IT field myself, so I can't speak in terms of its effectiveness for salary increases/etc. but I would say a cloud related cert would also be an ideal addition.

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Might order a pizza, take a nap, doesn't really matter.

7/26/2017 3:58 PM

SKlein wrote:

I've heard the Network+ Cert is a difficult one, but if you've had some decent experience in the field already and are serious about throwing quite a bit of time to get studied up it shouldn't be too bad. Having that cert would be a great bonus to any resume.
I'm pretty fresh to the IT field myself, so I can't speak in terms of its effectiveness for salary increases/etc. but I would say a cloud related cert would also be an ideal addition.

I've heard the same thing about the Network+ cert. I purchased the udemy.com video tutorial series and so far the guy REALLY does a good job of explaining everything in a way at least I can understand it.

I don't have an IT job currently, but I work with IT guys all day. Just ready to cross the bridge. Not sure if my company will value the cert or not, but I know it can't hurt.

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7/27/2017 12:49 AM

danman wrote:

Right up my alley.
I've been in the IT arena for 20+ years and this question comes up repeatedly.
In my opinion, certifications aren't work crap. I'll take experience over certifications. Here is why I have this thought process:
I started out of college on a Help Desk, then moved into an Oracle DBA position in the Twin Cities area. This was pre-certifications. I changed jobs to the La Crosse, WI area as a DBA again. This is about when certifications started up, so I dove in and quickly was certified in all 4 areas of Oracle 7. While working there, I supported our HR database and one of the consultants that supported the software side just decided one day he wanted to be a DBA. Well, he got a book, started reading it and passed all 4 certification exams with absolutely NO experience. He couldn't install Oracle, let alone do a backup/restore, resize a tablespace, nothing! After that, I asked my boss if they were going to increase my salary since I was certified. The answer was a flat out no. That HR guy left to be an Oracle DBA consultant and I never saw him again, but I'd love to know what happened.
Since then, I've also been a SQL Server DBA and a Unix Administrator. I've also done TONS of software installation and support.
So now, I'm an IT manager and in the last year, I hired a Security Admin, Network Engineer, and a System Admin. I got a bunch of certified people that applied with good experience, but their salary requirements were absolutely ridiculous. I didn't hire one certified person, heck, I only interviewed one for the Security position. He was WAY over qualified for what I was looking for and I did him the favor of not hiring him. He would have been way too bored. I'd love to go over that interview because I learned some things about our government that is disturbing.
Sorry this got so long, but in my opinion, certifications vary depending on where you live and what the position is. If you are in a metropolitan area, I'd say go for certifications, but you also need experience to back it up. If you live in a more rural area, like me, it's not worth it. Get a job and some good experience. If the company will pay for the certification, then do it, but I haven't seen anywhere near me where a certification will get you anything.
Again, my opinion based on where I am

Ha! You'll probably get ignored but you're 100% right. Experience is king and people trading on qualifications tend not to have it. IT is a small world and word gets around about good people and they will NEVER be out of work (or poor).
I spent 30+ years in IT and worked around the world before I decided it was no longer for me and became a plumber! The wife however is still with it and is now senior executive level. Not a formal IT qualification between us. ( I do enjoy being a kept man these days!).

My advice to IWreck , pick an area you enjoy, and get really good at it. Then the world will be your oyster.

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To be born an Englishman is to win first prize in the lottery of life.

To be born Swiss is to take the cash alternative.
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7/27/2017 5:57 AM

I can promise that Danman didn't go ignored.

My goal with a certification isn't to try to command more salary as much as it was to ensure that I am ready to contribute in a networking role. If I'm going to go into an IT role, I'd rather go over and be closer to a contributing team member than being a team member that requires that much more training. I took a Network course in college but unfortunately didn't retain much if any of the knowledge and glossed over the opportunity to take the Network certification then.

I could go over and talk to my Network VP and ask about availability, but as of right now, I think it might show a little more ambition/initiative to get certified so that I at least have a good starting point for a Network analyst. I also really wanted to LEARN and RETAIN the information whereas in my college course, I was only worried with doing what it took to pass the class.

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7/27/2017 7:17 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/27/2017 7:19 AM

IWreckALot wrote:

I can promise that Danman didn't go ignored.

My goal with a certification isn't to try to command more salary as much as it was to ensure that I am ready to contribute in a networking role. If I'm going to go into an IT role, I'd rather go over and be closer to a contributing team member than being a team member that requires that much more training. I took a Network course in college but unfortunately didn't retain much if any of the knowledge and glossed over the opportunity to take the Network certification then.

I could go over and talk to my Network VP and ask about availability, but as of right now, I think it might show a little more ambition/initiative to get certified so that I at least have a good starting point for a Network analyst. I also really wanted to LEARN and RETAIN the information whereas in my college course, I was only worried with doing what it took to pass the class.

If you can go over to your V.P, and talk to him, then do. Tell him what your ambition is and ask him whether he recommends you getting the qualification first. it'll be a win-win for you. If he does, then do it, if not you'll have saved time (most companies place more value on the training they supply themselves as it's to a known standard). Either way you'll have drawn positive attention to yourself and shown your desire to advance yourself.

Good luck to you. IT can be a fun way to earn a decent living.

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To be born an Englishman is to win first prize in the lottery of life.

To be born Swiss is to take the cash alternative.
.

7/27/2017 1:41 PM

IWreckALot wrote:

I can promise that Danman didn't go ignored.

My goal with a certification isn't to try to command more salary as much as it was to ensure that I am ready to contribute in a networking role. If I'm going to go into an IT role, I'd rather go over and be closer to a contributing team member than being a team member that requires that much more training. I took a Network course in college but unfortunately didn't retain much if any of the knowledge and glossed over the opportunity to take the Network certification then.

I could go over and talk to my Network VP and ask about availability, but as of right now, I think it might show a little more ambition/initiative to get certified so that I at least have a good starting point for a Network analyst. I also really wanted to LEARN and RETAIN the information whereas in my college course, I was only worried with doing what it took to pass the class.

PalerBlue wrote:

If you can go over to your V.P, and talk to him, then do. Tell him what your ambition is and ask him whether he recommends you getting the qualification first. it'll be a win-win for you. If he does, then do it, if not you'll have saved time (most companies place more value on the training they supply themselves as it's to a known standard). Either way you'll have drawn positive attention to yourself and shown your desire to advance yourself.

Good luck to you. IT can be a fun way to earn a decent living.

I wholeheartedly agree. Go sit down with your VP and let them know you'd love to seek a position on the team and you want to know what the best path is to do that so you have an upper hand at getting one of the positions.
Quite a few companies will send you to the training you need AND pay for your certifications.

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8/2/2017 8:12 AM

IWreckALot wrote:

I can promise that Danman didn't go ignored.

My goal with a certification isn't to try to command more salary as much as it was to ensure that I am ready to contribute in a networking role. If I'm going to go into an IT role, I'd rather go over and be closer to a contributing team member than being a team member that requires that much more training. I took a Network course in college but unfortunately didn't retain much if any of the knowledge and glossed over the opportunity to take the Network certification then.

I could go over and talk to my Network VP and ask about availability, but as of right now, I think it might show a little more ambition/initiative to get certified so that I at least have a good starting point for a Network analyst. I also really wanted to LEARN and RETAIN the information whereas in my college course, I was only worried with doing what it took to pass the class.

PalerBlue wrote:

If you can go over to your V.P, and talk to him, then do. Tell him what your ambition is and ask him whether he recommends you getting the qualification first. it'll be a win-win for you. If he does, then do it, if not you'll have saved time (most companies place more value on the training they supply themselves as it's to a known standard). Either way you'll have drawn positive attention to yourself and shown your desire to advance yourself.

Good luck to you. IT can be a fun way to earn a decent living.

danman wrote:

I wholeheartedly agree. Go sit down with your VP and let them know you'd love to seek a position on the team and you want to know what the best path is to do that so you have an upper hand at getting one of the positions.
Quite a few companies will send you to the training you need AND pay for your certifications.

This. Do this.
I am working on Salesforce1 Adm201 Certification and I was apprehensive about doing the same thing, but I sent an email asking to meet with our Operations VP, she was super amazing and immediately put time on her calendar to meet with me and point in the right direction. She even gave me some projects to work on that will help me get a more practical learning experience.

What do you think about the Udemy courses though are they legit? I was sketched out because the one I wanted to buy was $350 but there was a flash-sale for $25 and I thought it may be a scam.

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