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Thinking of going back and getting A+ cert or MCSE, CCNA, or RHSE

By brj1980 ·
I am currently an I.S. tech for a bank and started as an intern making $7.75/phr in the I.T. field in 2001. I've almost tripled my pay currently and I already have the B.S. in CIS. But I have no Certifications. And they tell me if I want to increase my pay more, then I should get certifications. I was wondering how I should taking advantage of my job situation where my employer will pay for up to $2,000 worth of education and training a year. I was thinking of getting the A+ first since many employers want their techs to have it and it's pretty much an entry level certification. I have been building P.C.'s since I was like 14 years old. Now 10 years later and over 1,000 PC's, 50+ servers, and 20+ routers, switches, firewalls, etc. later, would I be taking a step backwards in studying for the A+. Or should I go ahead and skip the A+ and try for the MSCE, CCNA or RHSE? Or should I pursue a Masters in IS?
Suggestions would help from everyone especially from ones in management.

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by antuck In reply to Thinking of going back an ...

The first thing would be to ask your employer what certificates they would like to see or would the masters be the way to go.

As far as the A+ goes it would depend on how your employer views it. Like you said it is an entry level certificate. Since you have worked in the field for a couple of years, I wouldn't think this would be valuable to you.

Also think about where you want to go and base the decision on that. But for right now find out what certificates your employer likes to see and go for those now.

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what is the reward?

by Wally_Z In reply to Thinking of going back an ...

Who is telling you that certifications would increase your pay? Is it your boss or the HR department where you work? I?ve been reading this in magazines since Novell first introduced their training matrix in the 80?s. The only time I required someone get certification is when I worked for a consulting organization and a new customer required ?proof of competency? for everyone who worked on site. If your supervisor told you that this is holding you back from raises, get specific objectives and rewards from him and the HR department. Otherwise he was using this as an excuse for why you are not getting more money.

Make certain any training meets the long term goals of your career and/or the organization where you are working. Do you want to go into management? Then getting a masters degree is a logical path. If you see yourself teaching or training others then a master combined with a PHD is your path.

If your objective is to increase pay at your current job you should talk to your HR department and supervisor to determine what their criteria is and how you fit into the departments long term objectives. Understanding what gaps will exist in the future will guide the training path at your current job. In other words look for the opportunities coming down the road and position yourself with training to be the obvious choice of the organization.

Perhaps you were told that in order to get a higher paying job outside of your organization you will need proof of competency or certifications in order to be attractive to a potential employer. This may be true in some circumstances. My suggestion is to find an organization you would like to work for and talk to a hiring IT manager about what he is looking for in a future employee. Does he give any merit to certifications over experience? What type of people is he interested in finding over the next X years. A little networking and research will go a long way to some answers.

Another approach is to create your own training plan complete with a business case for your current employer. For example if you spend time repairing PC?s the vendor may have some interesting perks for your organization if you are certified to work on their equipment. These perks may include access to online resources or getting access to level 2 support without jumping through level 1 etc? Show how you can save time and money if you are certified. This will help solidify your expertise within your organization as well as introduce you to a whole new network of employment possibilities.

Good luck!

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by jcrobso In reply to Thinking of going back an ...

I have a degree in electronics engeering.
Worked for IBM as a CE for 32 years.
Retired went to work for a different computer service company, laied off in a downsize.
Nobody would even look at my resume since I didn't have any certs.
Now I have A+,Net+,MCSE and a job.
Yes you have experence, but because of the screening process you are discarded without the crets.
A+ should be easy for you, get a study guide.
There are lots of MCSE out there got for the CCNA.

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Yes CCNA it

by Sherry320 In reply to A+

I agree the CCNA wil at least be a little challenging. I struggled when changing jobs without certifications. My advise would be go to a Cisco Training Academy, you might find alot of the CCNA boring but it's a more valued certificate for the level of job you're probably aiming at. Skip the A+ and go directly for server+ and security+ you more than likely have the background to pass.

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If you have test anxiety...

by jtjammer In reply to Thinking of going back an ...

you could take the A+ tests as an intro to the testing room environment at your location.
When I took them, the A+ allowed 90 mins. for each of two tests. It took less than 1 hour for them both in one sitting. Quite easy, thus allowing you to build confidence so that the more challenging tests will be in a more familiar environment and be one less distraction to deal with.

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