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What Certifications are needed? How to get them

By howard_davis ·
You may be of some help, I have an odd situation. I am already the Technology Coordinator at a small charter school. We have approximately 100 desktops/users, a Windows 2008 server, 2 Windows 2003 servers (one is file server, one is SQL), and I am the only guy here. Believe it or not, I installed/set up/run/troubleshoot all of this myself, no official certifications. I also teach web design using MS Expression, and a VB.Net course (very basic). I basically want the paperwork that says, yes this guy can do this. Not sure if I need to actually take courses, or purchase books, or what courses to take. I am taking A+ cert myself with just a book, took practice tests and passed with ease. Any help is much appreciated.

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anything...

by kentontator In reply to What Certifications are n ...

Well A+ is alright to get your feet wet and show you can work with hardware...I would go with MCSE since it appears you have a Microsoft network in place. Maybe security+ to.

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what's the goal?

by david.planchon In reply to What Certifications are n ...

Hi Howard,

What's your intended end result? money? recognition? advancement into a senior technical role? management?

The issue one runs into, after some time in a situation like your, is that you can't develop expertise and perhaps also get stuck in a tactical approach to your work.


If you are interested in IT Infrastructure fields things like: A+, Network+, Security+, even perhaps a couple MCPs, could perhaps be useful. There are many certs out there, and my personal experience is that most are utterly useless, unless you get a job as a technical specialist. In which case, you will be spending your time concentrating on one particular product.

If you want to go into the Trainers path, an Education degree and a cert is likely the way to go. Although, once more there are paths to become a "acme" Trainer, which typically envolves taking every course for "acme".

If you want to the Programmer's route, math skills are a must and possibly a few classes in addition to countless hours spent debugging your own code will do the trick.

If I may offer one last suggestion, as you work for a educational institution: engage some teachers in conversations about your career. If they are any good, they should be able to evaluate your potential far better than any us here.

I'd be glad to exchange more thoughts offline if you wish.

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IT future

by howard_davis In reply to what's the goal?

Working for small charter school means future is always at risk (just like any IT job), and I want more than just "trust me, I have done this before". Looking at MCTS for Server 2008, that is what I work with the most. From what I can tell, you need MCTS before MCITP? Just totally new to me, so trying to get feet wet. As for classes, are community college classes ok? Most major schools you have to be working towards degree, you cannot just take classes. Or do I need a degree (most say that is pointless, because once you finish the degree, those technologies are no longer used). I mean, I have my Masters in Teaching, more school seems kind of pointless (degree wise, not class wise). Seems naive, but what is Network/Security + ?

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Classes..

by kentontator In reply to IT future

Your community college's may offer classes that can steer you in the right direction for certs and some even offer the certification exams and train you for them depending on the class. Research them, as I know my local CC offers training courses for multiple certs and you can even get the certs upon completing the class.

network/security+ are certs offered by CompTIA. If you are getting your A+ you should have some familiarity with them, check em out http://www.comptia.org/home.aspx

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