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Hello. I have been researching this on the web but wanted to see if anyone ... IT & Business Pros forum

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    gritsinct's Avatar
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    Question Microsoft or Cisco cert?

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    Hello. I have been researching this on the web but wanted to see if anyone had first-hand knowledge to give me. Since I come to Pinstack often, this was my first thought.

    To give a quick background, I work in IT for an audio/visual company that is branching out to digital signage and video on demand. I have been installing these systems for almost a year now and have only ever run across Microsoft networks at customer sites. My boss just came back from InfoComm conference with the idea that I get certified in Cisco. (He's not knowledgeable in IT so he obviously got this from something he heard at InfoComm but can't give me any specific reasons )

    I love the idea that he's going to pay for my cert, but to me it would make more sense to get the MCSE or something from Microsoft since that is so dominant in our market! I'm perfectly happy to get the Cisco cert but want to go with what would be most useful.

    When installing these systems I set up a server running Microsoft server software, but I do need to learn a lot more about switches and routers - perhaps that is where Cisco comes in?

    Can anyone give me any thoughts or experiences? Thanks!

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    I was in the same spot a year ago, MCSC or CCNA. I'm in the Dallas TX market and as far as which one I choose, CISCO!!!!

    The truth is MSCS's and Cisco professionals bag on each other and if you ask one the answer will most likely be that the other is the wrong way to go. I choose Cisco because CCNA is the jumping off point into so many different fields. I can go into VOIP, CCNP, ect.... There are many of options out there and really you need to choose what will benefit you; not just in the next couple of months but years from now.

    P.S. If you have the ability to attain your CCNA with your work picking up the tab, GO FOR IT!!

    Good Luck.

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    Cisco is definetly the way to go. However realize that a cert isn't going to help you without practical experience. Most of the time employers will choose experience over cert when considering you for a position. I have been working with Cisco VoIP for 6+ years and don't have any certs and never had a problem finding a job when I am ready for a change.

    Also you say you only run across Microsoft networks at your customer sites. Microsoft doesn't do networking. They might have Microsoft servers, but if they are a large organization more then likely Cisco or maybe Juiper handling their network.

    But it really comes down to what you want to do. If you want to desktops and servers then MSCE is what you want to do. If you want to get into networking, routing, switching or VoIP then Cisco is what you need.

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    I think the best bet is where you are or where you want to go. If you are planning on transitioning into the networking world, cisco would be your best bet. Sure even if you're a System Administrator you could benefit from cisco certs but you'd probably be better of with MCSE if you are not planning on moving.

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    I am planning on staying where I am work wise so I'm not looking for the cert to get me into a new job - just to give me a good foundation for what I need to know for this new aspect of my job. I have a lot to learn on the network setup end of things (ie I am able to manage and maintain a network and handle all the server and desktop issues, but I don't know much about actually setting up a new network and how to integrate with switches, routers, etc.).

    gdbjr, I am confused about your comment about no Microsoft networks? I deal primarily with school districts so they aren't running huge networks - usually it's individual networks within each school and they have microsoft servers running the show. I have seen no evidence of cisco or anything else - unless that is the router/switcher end of things that I usually don't have to touch?? And after reading more about the Cisco cert - that is apparently the case...

    What I've been reading on the net points me in the same direction so I think I will definitely go for the Cisco cert....

    Thanks so much to you all for the input! I love PinStack
    Last edited by gritsinct; 07-05-2008 at 01:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gritsinct View Post
    gdbjr, I am confused about your comment about no Microsoft networks? I deal primarily with school districts so they aren't running huge networks - usually it's individual networks within each school and they have microsoft servers running the show. I have seen no evidence of cisco or anything else - unless that is the router/switcher end of things that I usually don't have to touch?
    Well if you talk to a cisco person they will disagree with you about who is running the show . The microsoft servers would be useless if they couldn't communicate with each other or anything else without the network (cisco routers and switches) doing all the heavy lifting. Most places the server group and networking group are sepaerate so you pro bably never dealt with them as long as the servers were working.

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    gritsinct's Avatar
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    Yep, I'm usually dealing with the Microsoft end of things Routers and switches are definitely what I need to learn as I'm having to figure out how to integrate these video/signage systems into existing networks most of the time...
    Last edited by gritsinct; 07-05-2008 at 01:24 AM. Reason: spelling!

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    Why limit yourself to one specific kind of knowledge?
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one."
    Jesus, Luke 22:36

    "The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle."
    Gen. John Pershing, U.S. Army

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmerck View Post
    Why limit yourself to one specific kind of knowledge?
    I think it has more to do with what you can get your company to pay for. I know some people whose companies will pay from them to get any training they want. And other who won't give you a dime. So a lot of time you either have to pay out of your own pocket and study on your own time or pick and choose what you want to learn on the company dime. But your are correct the more you know... well the more you know

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rmerck
    Why limit yourself to one specific kind of knowledge?


    Money and time

    I have to pick what will serve me best right now, while my boss is willing to let me go for a week to a bootcamp and pay for it! That doesn't mean I don't want to know other things (I have the study books for the MCSE already) but with the amount of overtime I work and trying to make time for family too, I'm just trying to decide the most important area to concentrate on right now...
    Last edited by gritsinct; 07-05-2008 at 01:44 AM.

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    Fair enough.

    If you are going to be having more oversight of a software perspective, go the MCSE route, if you will be dealing with more hardware, go with the Cisco, you've never heard of a Microsoft Hardware Switch have you?

    Aside from that, go to your library and check out A+, Cisco and MCSE books, study at your own pace, and pay for the exams that will be of use to you (the ones that your company won't pay for) if they will be helping you within the scope of your job.

    If you take several exams on your own dime, at an average $150 per exam, you will have a sizeable work related deduction come tax season, the only cost to you being the exam fee and late fees you may incur to the library.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one."
    Jesus, Luke 22:36

    "The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle."
    Gen. John Pershing, U.S. Army

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    I never thought about the library for study books - great idea!

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    Quick Background on myself.
    MCSA , A+/NET+ , MCDST, Suites Certified, CCDA, Assos. In Networking and im working on my Unix Admin , CEH ,and my RIM cert.
    Cisco is the way to go with routers and communication deployment.
    However Microsoft is the way to go with Connectivity and operation costs.
    To each his own. But Be forwarned.
    700+ on every Microsoft test
    Cisco tests are weights. Depending on the previous Quarters testing score.
    You Might need a 800 or a 950 to pass a cisco .
    Not to mention you fail a cisco you have to wait 3months for the next one you can take. and if you fail 2 its 90days. and then 3 its a year.
    So if you go cisco .. study hard and study alot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TorturedNacho View Post
    Quick Background on myself.
    MCSA , A+/NET+ , MCDST, Suites Certified, CCDA, Assos. In Networking and im working on my Unix Admin , CEH ,and my RIM cert.
    Cisco is the way to go with routers and communication deployment.
    However Microsoft is the way to go with Connectivity and operation costs.
    To each his own. But Be forwarned.
    700+ on every Microsoft test
    Cisco tests are weights. Depending on the previous Quarters testing score.
    You Might need a 800 or a 950 to pass a cisco .
    Not to mention you fail a cisco you have to wait 3months for the next one you can take. and if you fail 2 its 90days. and then 3 its a year.
    So if you go cisco .. study hard and study alot.
    Are you sure about those retest dates? I knew a "friend" who took the CCNA 3 times in a month last year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdbjr View Post
    Are you sure about those retest dates? I knew a "friend" who took the CCNA 3 times in a month last year.
    Yes im positive. He was lieing to you if he told you that .
    the first fail is 30days wait.
    then 90days then 1 year.
    and to get CCNA is 4 tests. not 1,
    for me to get my CCDA was 7

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