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Author Topic: A +, Network +, Non IT engr degree. Advice about additional Cert.?  (Read 1912 times)
adil
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« on: April 06, 2001, 11:48:11 AM »

I would very much appreciate any ones thoughts on which certification should I go next. I value your time and advise.  Here is my background:

I have non-IT degree (M.S in Petroleum Engineering) with 10 years of non-IT experience in my discipline. But it also gives me leadership skills, project management skills, interpersonal skills, etc. My current field is very cylical with few jobs that are available only in few cities of US.

One year ago, I set my goal to diversify my skills and to be able to have an IT related job (entry level, since I do not have IT experience) with starting salary of atleast $35-40$.

Instead of shooting directly for a big cert like MCSE or an equivalent I decided to take baby steps first. So far, I have completed A+ and yesterday I passed my Network+ exam. Because of my engineering background, I enjoy the field of networking relatively more. Although, I also have interest in the database administration.

What would be any one's advice to as what should be my next step. Which additional certification would enable me to achieve my goals?

Would any part of my non IT engineering career be of ANY VALUE to me in the IT field?
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Adil

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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2001, 04:12:17 PM »

You need to decide which direction that you want to go and then pursue your certification in that area.
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darthw
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2001, 11:18:30 PM »

If your interest is more in the networking side you may find the CCNA and CCDA certs to be a good next step.  The studies would definitely build on what you've learned for Network+.  I thought the CCDA was a bit more on the "general" networking knowlege side, whereas CCNA focuses a little bit more on the Cisco OS.

Of course, in the long run you may find more opportunity on the database side.  In this area there seem to be a multitude of higher paying database admin. positions available than networking.

You say "But it also gives me leadership skills, project management skills, interpersonal skills, etc", and I fully agree with you.  IT is a lot more communicating with a client to determine their needs and problems than many potential techs may realize, so interpersonal skills are a plus.  IT workers also have to manage a multitude of projects at once and work well in teams, so the other skills apply well also.  

In my case, I'm not the best tech on our team, but I can write great emails to the "movers and shakers" in the company because I have a B.A. in English.  I've got a great tech on my team who is very proficient, but he can't write a multisyllable word to save his life, so he'd rather I handle the emails.  So, we have different talents that work well in our team for the different goals we need to attain.  I think you'll find that a lot of the experience you have will roll over into the IT world.  Specifically, if you could get into IT in a petroleum company, you'd be in a great position, having been "on the other side of the fence.
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Kasor
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2001, 11:03:21 AM »

Engineer shall be better than working on the IT field as a beginner.

Grea leadership and management skill are great, but because of your lack of IT experiences and background. YOu will have to start everything again.

Pick the area you want to work in the IT field. Software, hardware, communication(business), design, ...

You shall work with the new technology that help engineer or design a better tool on the system..
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adil
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2001, 12:09:25 PM »

Quote
Originally posted by Kasor
Engineer shall be better than working on the IT field as a beginner.

Pick the area you want to work in the IT field. Software, hardware, communication(business), design, ...

You shall work with the new technology that help engineer or design a better tool on the system..


Kasor, Thanks for advise.  Yes, I fully realize that I will have to start at the entry level. The field that I am in has very limited jobs and in very few cities around the country.  Yes, there will be a pay cut. I am willing to sacrifice that for many other reasons.

I will have to make a transition from my current career someday, why not start now while I can financially and emotionally afford to do so.

I am therefore being very carefull in selecting an area to diversify my own skills.  My interest is in Networking and / or database administration or both. But these two areas are very vast and I need research and advise on where to start. I mean, what certifications will add the most value in seeking an entry level position.

I can benefit from all the advise (whethere positive or negative) I can get from many experienced people on these discussion boards.

Adil
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Adil

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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2001, 08:29:52 PM »

Adil,
I would suggest that you do a search on monster.com for MCSE & CCNA, & see if there are any employers who would take a A+, N+, MCSE & CCNA without any experience.

I have all these certifications, & have not been able to find a job. Perhaps, others may have had better luck then I have so far.

Nisar Mian
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adil
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2001, 10:29:15 AM »

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Originally posted by nismian
Adil,
I would suggest that you do a search on monster.com for MCSE & CCNA, & see if there are any employers who would take a A+, N+, MCSE & CCNA without any experience.

I have all these certifications, & have not been able to find a job. Perhaps, others may have had better luck then I have so far.

Nisar Mian
nisarmian@msn.com


Nisar, Thanks for your feedback. For a person like me who is trying to transition into the IT profession, it is really discouraging to know that you have so many skills (although no experience) and yet have not found a job.

If no employer is willing to accept these certs, even for an entry level position, then what does it tell you about their value in the real world.

I am curious to as how long you have been looking for the job with nice credentials like MCSE and CCNA?.  Have you had any interviews yet? Are you willing to take $25-$35k of entry level help desk job?

If there are other people facing a situation like you, then it makes me re-evaluate my goals.

I sincerely wish you good luck in your job hunt.

Adil
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2001, 01:45:12 PM »

Adil,
  In my experience, you may be asking too much in salary for no field experience.  I have a few employee's at my company, and none make more than low 40's without major certs. and serious field work.  My firm just hired a person who was actually a student of mine through a+ and mcse.  She was an excellent student and earned both certs and is basically starting in the mid 20's.  This is typical for our area of the country.  Don't believe all the salary surveys and tech myths.  Most of the high salarys are going to guys that have truly "engineer" level skill sets.  This takes in my opinion at least 5 years of integration or serious administrative experience.  Not all experience is equal as you will see some "admins" that don't really have anything more than a basic idea of system administration to some that are almost computers themselves.  Bottom line is get certified with at least one major cert, and as many minor ones as possible ie a+ etc.  Try to get any hands on experience that you can and stick with it.  I have found that it takes about 3 to 5 years to really see a pay off in this field.  Once you have 3 to 5 years of experience and a few certs, you will be able to get a job very easily.  Good luck!
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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2001, 03:01:15 PM »

Hi adil,

We are in a similar position.  My degree is in engineering but I want to move into IT (database or networking).  I plan on getting the CCNA & CCDA first then MCSE W2K/MCDBA (using the same exams for a total of 6).  I have not made up my mind yet so I decided to at least do the MCSE/MCDBA before looking at Oracle.

I wish you GOOD luck in your career goals, I know I need it.
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