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IT Manager w/o certs want's to move job

By Johnny M ·
Hi all,

I am at a crossroads. Starting seven years ago I worked up from Junior LAN Admin to Sys Admin and then IT Manager. I've been IT Manager for four years now and want to move on (I know it is not the best time but need a new challenge).

However I have no certs. I know and have lots of experience with NT, Windows 2000, XP and am sure I could get the MSCE 2000 if I spent the time and money. I also am very familiar with Cisco so am considering the CCNA also. I thought of CISSP but am not sure I want to dedicate myself to security. Do I need to get these certs in today's market or is my genuine experince sufficient? I have many other real world skills in LAN, WAN, Notes, some SQL and IIS and Linux etc. without certification. Do I need to go back and spend money to take tests to get certs for skills I already have, or have many employers realised that many certs are not all they are cracked up to be. Are there any other certs I should consider if I do go down this road?

Also since I've been managing three staff in three different offices for the last few years and several projects do I need to obtain certs for these skills too?

Sorry for the long message, any advice whatever would be much appreciated.



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If I was you

by LordInfidel In reply to IT Manager w/o certs want ...

While experience carries alot of weight.

Some employers do use the cert as sort of a screening process.

Especially if you were going out for a job that deals mostly with WAN administration. The hirer would probably only accecpt CCNA or higheras a pre-requisite.

The CISSP (which incidently I am just starting on) would be a really good cert to have.

Why?, A) the market is not flooded with them.
B) You have to prove that you have OTJ experience for at least 4 years working with security.
C) it's still pretty prestigious and hard.

So if I was you and I had to make a choice over the ccna vs the cissp, I would choose the latter.

The MCSE at this point of the game for you is more for show then anything else. Personally, i've stopped with MS certs/exams. There is nothing there that I really care to learn about.

But i would also then revisit the ccna so you can take the ccnp. And then the coveted ccie.

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by Jellimonsta In reply to If I was you

LI, I am thinking about going for my CISSP also this year. While I have not been able to dedicate nearly as much time to security as I would like to in my current position, I think security is paramount to any other issue in an organization today. Therefore I am looking to vastly improve my knowledge and skillset in security principles.
I know the CISSP is highly regarded as a 'non vendor specific' security cert and I am always looking to improve my marketability. Do you have any resources yourecommend in preperation for the CISSP?

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The book I am using

by LordInfidel In reply to CISSP

I'm using an initial study called by Ronald L. Krutz published by Wiley.

The CISSP prep guide, Gold Edition. It is 80 retail.

Keep in mind that I have not passed the exam nor am I close to taking it. Nor do I know anyone who has taken it, nor am I in any sort of class or study group.

In fact, I am the only one of my immediate peers who is even trying for it.

What I am getting at is, don't rely on me as an authoratative source on this cert. I'm flying by the seat of my pants on this one.

My plan of attack for this cert is to take what's in the study guides and relate that to what I know. And the parts that I do not already know cold, research it via other means.

By no means do I plan on using this book alone. I've actually been re-reading all of my hacking exposed books and various network policy books.

I also found some additional titles off of the ISC2 site.

harris001 CISSP All-in-One Certification
By Shon Harris, CISSP

Seymour001 Computer Security HandBook
Computer Security HandBook. 4th Edition
By Seymour Bosworth and M.E. Kabay

vinton001 Implementing Secure Intranets and Extranets
by Kaustubh M. Phaltankar, Vinton G. Cerf

tipton005 Information Security Management Handbook 2003 E.
By Harold F Tipton & Micki Krause

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by Jellimonsta In reply to The book I am using

I do not put all of my eggs in one basket, therefore I would hold no mere mortal as the ultimate authority in an given subject (even if they are Lord over the infidels :). One thing I do know though is you have a heck of a lot more experience and knowledge than myself in this subject and I value your opinion.
Thanks for your input.

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To Cert or Not to Cert

by Rabbit_Runner In reply to IT Manager w/o certs want ...

From my perspective, in todays job market, Certs are a must. When a resume comes into HR, they immediately look for any certifications. If they do not find any, it is filed or discarded. Employers mainly want two things from a prospective employee....
1) Knowledge of the environment. This is to be proven by their experience with the technology.
2) Proof that the candidate has the interest in learning and staying up on technologies. This comes through Certs.

So, without certifications,you will have a hard time getting an interview. As soon as I received my certification and placed it on my resume, this one factor got me several interviews. One which led to my current position. From my point-of-view, certifications are essential in the current job market.

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by ghstinshll In reply to To Cert or Not to Cert

In my somewhat recent hunting experience, it's the years of experience AND the certs the got me the good interviews, and essentially a great-paying position.

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I know, I know...

by ghstinshll In reply to Yes

It's so tough going to certify in a subject you're already well versed in... For this I highly recommend just reading the Exam Cram books by Coriolis, then get a couple decent brain-dump pools of questions - or pay for a transcender, and be ready for the exam. This is very possible for someone who works with windows 2000 already. Even if not, the concepts aren't too hard to grasp. Go for the MCSA, knock it out, then the CCNA, and then look. This will make sure your resume doesn't get discarded.Use your company's time and goal-setting process to orient these into your goals, then move on once you're attained them. Set this as a long term goal, and hopefully you'll be able to study at work. If not, some good quiet time in the library each night after work would be another good option. I take my laptop, mp3s, headphones, and books with me wherever I go!

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