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  • #2130324

    Which Path – MCSE or RHCE?? Cisco??


    by jackadams ·

    I am looking to get involved in the IT industry. My computer knowledge is limited, relative to professionals. As a basic user of computers in the workplace and home environment, I have an above average grip on computers. I am looking into all the different certifications and have been asking people I know in the industry, but I seem to get conflicting answers to my questions.
    I am trying to figure out which way to go – Linux or Microsoft (RHCE or MCSE).
    Which cert. will provide my with the most options? Problem-solving is an aspect in work that I enjoy and it was recommended that I look into these courses. I don’t want to limit myself and am thinking first get the MCSE then possibly Red Hat? But what about Cisco? Obviously the more certs. the better, but where to start? I need to stay away from the engineering intensive courses as my science background is weak. I am under the impression that with the MCSE and the RHCE, this won’t cause me a problem. I understand that I might have to hustle more than a computer engineering student, but I am looking forward to the challenge. I have read and am told that MS has a massive grip on the marketplace – 90% of client mkt and 40% of server mkt. But, Linux is gaining ground, one reason being Linux’s security features are better than MS. But won’t it take many years for an actual transition from Microsoft to Linux??
    Any IT PROs out there that can offer some assistance, it would be greatly appreciated. Deadlines are approaching and I’m trying not to rush this decision.

    Thanks in advance!!!

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  • Author
    • #3546430

      My advice? Don’t take advice.

      by jimbb ·

      In reply to Which Path – MCSE or RHCE?? Cisco??

      Check this thread:

      (remove any spaces in the URL if they show up)


    • #3546326

      Depends on your current knowledge…

      by lordinfidel ·

      In reply to Which Path – MCSE or RHCE?? Cisco??

      If you can already build a computer from scratch and install a OS on it. And you understand differnt hardware issues and differences, like SCSI vs IDE, sdram vs rdram etc. And you have worked with NT domains and or have participated in NT domains. Then maybe the MCSE.

      If none of the above applies to you, then start of with the basics like the A+.

      The MCSE, RHCE, CCNA and CCIE are what I consider premium certs. They should not be held by entry level people. Nor should they be a starting point. You will lose basic foundation knowledge necessary to computing if you try to go for one of those certs if you have no idea how to network 2 computers together.

      The CCNA and CCIE are big on routing. A good knowledge of routing is needed before even attempting to take these certs. I know craker jack guy’s who are still strucggling and studying for their CCIE.

      The RHCE, while it is a easy cert to pass for someon who understands and uses Linux, alot. Will be near impossible for someone who has not lived inside the command line.

      Don’t look at who has the most market share. Look at what is going to give you the solid foundations so that you can build on it and learn.

      Good admins are jack of all trades when it comes to IT. There are a million areas to look at and you can never focus on just one path.

    • #3546282

      Start with MCSE

      by qomputek ·

      In reply to Which Path – MCSE or RHCE?? Cisco??

      The reason I say that is because its the easiest to start with. The MCSE is the quickest and dirtiest way to get in the business, many people don’t like to hear that but its the truth. Who cares how you get in, but once you’re in, you’re in. Thendecide where to go from there. MCSE is a well rounded educational path. Then while you are studying for your MCSE you can tinker with Red Hat and Cisco on your own, see if its something you would like.

      Please don’t take my advise in the wrong way, don’t just get your MCSE, you better know what you’re doing too. You will have to prove yourself much more in an interview then someone with experience.

    • #3549304

      Start with the Office Unemployment !

      by rzan ·

      In reply to Which Path – MCSE or RHCE?? Cisco??

      If you think having more certs will land you a job, then I have a rude awakening for you my friend. Employers don’t give a crap about how many diplomas or certs you posses if you lack experience. Anyone can pass a test by memorizing a bunch of questions and answers, but I want to see you perform under pressure when the CIO is breathing down your neck and half the network is down because you can’t fix a server because you don’t have experience but have all certs. Certs don’t get the job done,knowledge and experience does. Paper cert techies are nothing more than glorified conmen that are flooding the market and ruining for everyone else. First get an entry level job and then worry about covering your walls with certs and fancy diplomas. Experience is the key to any successfull career.

      • #3569378

        Rzan hit the nail on the head

        by tomsal ·

        In reply to Start with the Office Unemployment !

        Certs shouldn’t be used as a reason for someone to give you a job. Certs are (at least the way they were intended to be used) as tools of VERIFYING pre-existing skills and education.

        The sad fact is, some CIOs/IT managers are morons and will hire for all the wrong reasons.

        Btw, word the wise – if you think you are getting one over on an IT manager that hires you on your cert alone and then you’re bragging that you have no exp but are making say 50-70k a year on just a cert….give it time, but first have a resume ready. Because when the pressure hits and blame needs to be placed you will crack and then you’ll be fired. That’s the difference between experience/hardwork and trying to take the easy way into a high responsibility job like IT.

        I test all potential new hires on the spot, and depending on my mood that day the test can include hands on stuff. I literally set up a router sim on a test server once and had applicants get some information I asked them for from the router (using the CLI).

        Those that stuttered for what I felt was too long, never had a chance of getting hired.

        I think more IT managers should be that way.

        Anyway.. experience is critical. Land a entry help desk job it’ll do wonders for your personal education and confidence you’ll be amazed. Then get the A+ cert, then play around with networking (get two PC’s after you work for a bit and get the money of course, and network them)…don’t expect to be a “PRO” overnight, if it were that easy then our profession would be far less valuable and thus we’d make peanuts and have little prestige.

        • #3568067

          Thanks but….

          by jackadams ·

          In reply to Rzan hit the nail on the head

          I’m pretty realistic and realize experience is still what I’ll be lacking, BUT how do I get an entry level job when nothing on my current resume displays any experience in the IT world???
          Wouldn’t I get that entry level job easier with the MCSE already completed?? Obviously it won’t be a $50-70k to start, but wouldn’t I be able to work my way up (relatively quickly since I will have the necessary skills in theory)? Will I be over-qualified for the entry-level job? Is there such a thing?
          When I say taking the MSCE, I should elaborate a little….. I’m in Toronto, Ontario and Ryerson University has an Advanced Training Designation in Networking Technologies. It starts with A+ then covers the MCSE 2k, along with Systems analysis and Projectmanagement.I get the 7 exam vouchers and curriculum for Windows 2000. It sounds very well rounded especially for a relative novice such as myself.

          If anyone has a minute check out the course curriculum @
          I have a couple weeks b4 I have to decide. I’ve been reading “A+ for Dummies” to give me some basic knowledge.
          Can anyone suggest any good novice books about the basics??

          Again, Thanks for your advice!!!!!!!


        • #3558550

          Just getting started…

          by m.r.wingate ·

          In reply to Thanks but….

          A+/Network+ would be good starts for someone with limited experience.

          After you’ve gained some experience, the MCSE is a kind of “de facto standard.” If your looking for Linux certs, I would suggest SAIR. It isn’t tied to a specific version of Linux, and will eventually have 3 levels (Linux Certified Admin, Engineer, Master Engineer). Plus they have “electives” similar to MCSE that cover Apache, SAMBA, and email.

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