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  1. #1
    Melanin85's Avatar
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    Smile HELP!!! CISCO VS MICROSOFT Certification bootcamps

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    I just graduation college with a BS in Computer Science and I have NO work experience, an I can't find a job. What Certification boot camp would be the best route?
    3 Certification Cisco CCENT/CCNA/CCDA

    or


    3 Certification MCSA Windows 2003 -MCP, MCSA, and Comptia Security +.


    Please help me decide? I love both sides of the field but I want to be prepared for the future also, the more I read, it seem that CISCO cert is the way to go. I have no experience. I don't know if it's the economy or no cert's or no experience but I can't find a job ANYWHERE!

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    riffman's Avatar
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    I am an MCSE with Networking and server MCP's, and I have always been selected above others when it comes to networking/migration jobs. I know the Cisco certs are the latest great thing, so I can't comment on that, but I know that being an MCSE is a good thing. I also have 15 years experience, but there is know substitute for that.- chris
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    Melanin85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riffman View Post
    I am an MCSE with Networking and server MCP's, and I have always been selected above others when it comes to networking/migration jobs. I know the Cisco certs are the latest great thing, so I can't comment on that, but I know that being an MCSE is a good thing. I also have 15 years experience, but there is know substitute for that.- chris
    Thanks for the advice
    Do you think that I should go for my MCSA before MCSE?

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    I am a Sysadmin and we are required to have sec+ here. MCSE and MCSA are just a plus at my job. But I am software.
    ~via smartphone mobile.pinstack.com~

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    MCSA is pre-req for MCSE.

    I would take the MS certs as they will open more doors than Cisco; unless you know for a fact that want to concentrate in Networking, but that is kinda of a niche; the broader your base, the easier is to get a job at the beggining.
    you can always go back and knock down the specialties.

    3 Certification MCSA Windows 2003 -MCP, MCSA, and Comptia Security +.
    Last edited by Wolfsatz; 04-28-2009 at 04:33 PM.

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    If you go the MCSE route, seriously consider also going through the upgrade path for th MCITP while you're at it.

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mc...n/default.mspx

    It's only a handful of extra exams and it's importance is going to grow over the next few years in the MS world as 2003 is superseded. Plus, relatively few people have it yet so it makes your resume stand out a bit.

    The Cisco certs are a good ticket, as mentioned above, if you aren't sure you want to specialize on Cisco networking, you are likely to do better out of the gate with MS certs. The Windows skillset is seen as somewhat more general.

    Also, here's my general advice...feel free to not read it or chuck it out the window

    If you're looking to gain experience very quickly, it can really pay off to work at a smaller shop. Ideally, a place that's big enough to have 1) a fair breadth of technology and complex environment to learn and 2) has a team big enough and experienced enough that you can learn from them and 3) enough procedure and structure in place that it's not like the Wild Wild West. This way, you learn a lot fairly quickly and hopefully build some good professional skills if you want to make the jump to a bigger environment.

    Large shops may sound great but sometimes you get to "touch" more stuff in a smaller shop with fewer staff. I know folks in shops so large that, while they are "responsible" for several thousand devices, they realistically spend almost all their time reading the same logs, watching the same dashboards, and running the same 10 commands and scripts every day. A big complex environment with tons of devices can also mean that any one person has a fairly narrow range of activity and responsibility.

    On the flip-side, you probably don't want to be a 24-7-365 go-to-guy which can happen if it's just 1 or 2 or 3 people in a very small shop.

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    yes...start with the MS certs...as stated they will open more doors....and yes get your MCITP cert after you get your MCSE.....

    but if you want my honest opinion....get your MCSE and get a job to get some experience and start working towards your Cisco CISSP.....security is where everything is headed.

    I have been in IT as a Admin for over 10 years...I just got my CISSP and my CEH certs and it opened a ton of doors for me....thats just my 2 cents.
    The young man knows the rules, and the old man will enforce them!
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    Ive been having the same debate myself.

    When I first left school, I was leaning heavily towards the Cisco route, but about 3 years later now im leaning more Microsoft. The heavy networking is not really my niche, although I do know most of the advanced concepts. I got my A+ and Net+ in 2005 and MCP and MCDST last year. I plan on going MCSA/MSCE and eventually MCITP as was said before, it's brand spankin new and will most likely make you stand out.

    Ice44, ive actually never talked to anyone that has the CEH cert, which has interested me alot considering I want to eventually be a security consultant once my experience catches up to my ambitions lol. Ive watched CBT videos and understand most of the concepts. How difficult was the test and how much experience would you guesstimate would be needed to pass it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanin85 View Post
    I just graduation college with a BS in Computer Science and I have NO work experience, an I can't find a job. What Certification boot camp would be the best route?
    3 Certification Cisco CCENT/CCNA/CCDA

    or

    3 Certification MCSA Windows 2003 -MCP, MCSA, and Comptia Security +.


    Please help me decide? I love both sides of the field but I want to be prepared for the future also, the more I read, it seem that CISCO cert is the way to go. I have no experience. I don't know if it's the economy or no cert's or no experience but I can't find a job ANYWHERE!
    The BEST route would be to get the experience first. (But, yeah, I know, these DUMB Human Resources (HR) filters will filter people out, based on whether or not they have the XYZ certification, which is ridiculous!!!)

    In this case, I would advise getting MCP. (To get this, you only need to pass ONE Microsoft certification test, no matter which one.) This is an HR filter, I assure you.

    In the meantime, try to get any job you can, even if it is in a computer repair shop.


    If you're serious about this, you can go around to all of the computer repair places, and tell them your situation, and ask if they need help. (You probably don't want to do this long term (unless you plan on owning your own shop) as you have a Computer Science degree, but it gets your foot in the door as far as IT.)


    Heck, I'm not kidding, I need a few extra bucks to pay my taxes from last year (long story) so I did some side work this past weekend to work on that. Since I did a successful job (it was cake for me), the task was "connect a computer to the networkk" in reality, I did this:
    (1) plug in a network cable
    (2) make sure computer had same workgroup name as others
    (3) install printer driver
    (4) connect to network shared printer
    (5) set printer as default

    Easiest $100 I ever made. It was so easy, I ALMOST felt guilty about it. I also helped the guy who hired me on by trying to give him more efficient ways of clearing out temp files via environment variable, and running defrag via command line, just as tips to speed up his job in general. I also tried to give him tips on how if he ever had other work, that he needed to advice his customers to get actual switches, instead of the hubs that I saw in this place, and explaining the difference, etc. Also told him to use shorter network cables, whenever possible, etc.

    The only thing is that after seeing how this works (and later networking with other computer repair people, as the way to get into these jobs is via referrals), I'm thinking that it'd be a good idea to look into working as a subcontractor on the weekends for the computer repair shops. They tend to have good skills with the hardware side, which I have actually lost a lot of touch with, I mean, I can swap hardware to troubleshoot, but I'm not "in the zone" on it like they are.

    Anyway, I've supported networked Windows PCs since 2000 in the Army, so I know this stuff in my sleep, and you would not believe it, but the computer repair shop guys say that they turn away TONS of work where people want help with their home network, or businesses need help with networking their equipment. So, if you get hired on, and I'd actually advise you get something like network + prior to CCENT, you can look to do as many networking jobs as you can. You can charge more for this, as the common computer repair guys don't even fool with this stuff.

  10. #10
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    Hi all,

    I'm currently in the same boat as Melanin85, in a way. I don't have a CS degree, but an IS degree from GIS. Melanin85, I wanted to get your input as to how things are going for you now. I just made a career change into IT (long story: Architecture does not prosper in this Economy)
    I just completed my CompTIA A+ and Network+ certificates and am stuck wondering where to go. CCENT looks pretty similar to Network+ and seems easy enough, but reading what everybody replied with in regards to this situation, MCSA is the way to go. But the entire MCSA => MCSE route is going to take 15~18 months... ouch. and MCITP on top of that? I need a job now folks. Any advice?

    Now I'm considering getting an MCP, then take the CCENT, and then continue the MCSA process. Any thoughts?

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