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 Post subject: Certification and Emplyment
PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:46 pm 
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I am fixing to graduate with a BS in MIS. Under the suggestion of previous discussions, I have obtained some certification. I have earned the following certs: A+ 2006(RST, IT Tech), MCP, Network+ 2009. I have taken part of a cisco bootcamp for icnd1 but didn't pass. The only thing that ill say is that I was very very close to passing. What do I need to do to ensure that I wil get a job. Will I need to walk in the door with a CCNA or will my current certs and degree suffice.

If I need to get a CCNA to get a job, what router would ya'll recommend that I work with. I currently have 2 2514 router that I used to learn the basic commands except they don't support all routing protocals, dhcp, nat/pat. I am currently looking at getting an 851. Could someone give me their thoughts on this as well.

Thanks in advance


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:53 am 
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It never hurts to have a CCNA. If you have those two routers I would look at picking up a 2950 switch. They test pretty heavy on that switch. You will need it for the second test anyway.

The 2610, or 2621 routers would also make a good router to learn on. The 1720 are suppose to be good for home labs (low cost), but I've never used one.

Companies also like to see the MCSE cert. The CCNA is a good cert that could help get you above a help desk job. I think it's a better door opener than most certs.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:01 pm 
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You're kind of going about this the wrong way. Think of this like poker.

Royal Flush is Experience + Education + relevant certs*

3 of a kind is Education + relevant certs*

High pair would be Education

Low pair would be just certs

no real hand would be neither

Experience is the best thing you can have for getting an IT job. Education is the next best thing, but there's only so much you can learn by studying classes on something without actually doing it for real. Certifications suffer from the same issues. Only so much you can learn from an ExamCram2 book, ya know?

First of all, what is MIS? Management Information Systems? That's good right there.

Do you have any IT experience? And try not to count installing AVG on Aunt Bertha's laptop unless that's all you have.

Getting a shot-gun worth of certs on your resume isn't the way to got for landing a job. It all depends on where you're working, what they're doing, and what they need. It's a barter system. If you need someone to haul something for you, then someone with a truck suddenly becomes very valuable to you. WHen you don't, they're just another douche on the road.

First, look at what kind of job you want. What do you want to do with your degree. I'll use myself as an example: I want to be a Linux SysAdmin.

In my case, I'll focus on learning something relatively valuable and rolling with that. I plan on working on my RHCE, and a company that needs someone to manage Red Hat powered networks will love me. Someone running Debian or Gentoo won't be as thrilled but my cert will still show that I know Linux to a certain degree.

Just because MCSE is a popular cert doesn't mean you should get it. Same thing with a CCNA. Granted, a CCNA is an exception to the rule because it requires that you know a lot about networking in general, not just Cisco routers. However, if you don't want to be a Geek Squad Agent, don't go for your A+. If you don't want to be a Windows admin, don't get your MCSA/MCSE, etc.

Figure out what you want to do specifically in IT, look at what those positions are calling for, then try to tailor knowledge and talent to fit those needs. Remember though, that every company is different and has different needs.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:31 pm 
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Excellent points, TLG.

Bobb: you could get a job now. Or you could get a better job later with more certs. Or neither.

Your resume, cover letter and interview skills will also count far more than what is actually on them, sadly. You could have a great set of skills and experience but if you can't sell yourself, you've already lost.

If you have a BS and some certs, you have enough education to get a job. What you need to do is figure out what kind of job you want, who is hiring and what kind of person they want to hire.

Until you land a job, your full-time job is 'salesman' and your product is yourself.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:44 am 
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I think the current job market has put more demand on certs. They don't know if your resume is full of bs or not. But certs mean you have a certain level of knowledge. Granted you can be a paper MCSE, but you can't be a paper CCNA (but you better get a job doing it quick or you might forget it too). The short of this is more and more companies are putting weight into certs (certs with some experience and they are starting to look past the education part).
I agree that experience is the best thing, but coming out of college you don't have much real world experience yet (in most cases). The truth is his current certs are all entry level certs. If he can get his CCNA it would give him a cert that carries weight.
I would say get a job to start getting some experience and continue to work on the CCNA (that is if you want to be a network engineer). Jipstyle is right about being a salesman and learning to interview, pick up a book on interview questions and how to answer them.
Remember in this current economy he is going up against a lot of people who have the experience and education, and maybe the certs (but they don’t always have the certs since companies use to not worry about them). So the cert can give him a different angle to work (like he has the cert and education so we can hire him and pay him less since he doesn’t have the experience). Most HR people don’t know anything about tech skills, so they are looking for the certs. If you have xyz cert then you get an interview (probably phone). If that goes well then you meet with the hiring manager (who well then probably tests you more on your technical knowledge). But if you didn’t have that cert they are looking for you won’t get your foot in the door (a lot of companies use a search engine to go through all the resumes so it is doing a keyword search usually looking for a cert). Certs are becoming a very good door opener with in HR departments. Granted I’ve seen HR departments asking for much higher level certs than are needed for a job (like we want you to be MCSE and CCNA, to be an entry level help desk tech, must be the only certs they know about).
Also if you are looking to work for the DoD in some fashion look at the 8570.01-M directive to help focus your certs. You have to do what works best for you. If you can take the time to get the CCNA then that will help with the job hunt. But if the bank account says get a job you don’t have much choice, but to get a job and continue to work on the cert to make a job move (but you will also have some experience on the resume).


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:30 am 
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jlh304 wrote:
I think the current job market has put more demand on certs.


Again, it depends on the type of job that you're trying to land. If you want to be paid a decent salary, certs don't cut it.

Quote:
They don't know if your resume is full of bs or not.


Sure they do. It is called a background check. I've never landed a job that pays more than 75k/year that didn't involve checking my degrees, previous employment, criminal check, etc..

Quote:
Most HR people don’t know anything about tech skills, so they are looking for the certs. If you have xyz cert then you get an interview (probably phone). If that goes well then you meet with the hiring manager (who well then probably tests you more on your technical knowledge).


This is a great point. Landing a job involves several steps:

a) Gatekeeper (usually HR): pass based on resume and cover letter
b) Preliminary interview (usually HR again): usually a phone interview to ensure you're not a raging goblin
c) In-person interview (often technical, usually a panel)
d) Second interviews (more testing, usually one-on-one, often more than one): used to determine whether you'd fit on the team

Each stage requires different skills. Master them all and you'll be able to use competing job offers to increase your earning potential. Fail at one and you'll never move to the next stage.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:07 am 
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Jipstyle wrote:
jlh304 wrote:
I think the current job market has put more demand on certs.


Quote:
Again, it depends on the type of job that you're trying to land. If you want to be paid a decent salary, certs don't cut it.

See I would disagree. Want to get a job with Cisco, need your cert (grant they may give you a couple of months to get it if they like your experience). Want a job doing anything with the DoD (remember the DoD is a lot things)? No cert no job (again may give you a time frame to get it, but if you and another guy have basically the same background but he has the certs…). Now I see this more in my area because everyone around here in some way does business with the DoD. Take Xerox who owns ESI. They are all about the certs, mainly because of doing business with DoD. Around here your high paying tech jobs just about demand the certs, but it comes down to knowing your market. Around here certs carry more weight than experience, and yes they hire the wrong people a lot of the time.

Quote:
Sure they do. It is called a background check. I've never landed a job that pays more than 75k/year that didn't involve checking my degrees, previous employment, criminal check, etc..

I was meaning from looking at the resume from a starting point. But from my experience most just call some references and that’s about it (it costs money to do a real background check). Granted I think it’s smart to do them but I beat a lot of people aren’t check out. Also remember because of the way laws are anymore most companies will just say that a person worked there and what their job title was, but nothing about performance or what they did, etc. Of course in this area you almost need to have a security clearance of some type (in fact if you have the clearance they will get your certified and trained on whatever it is).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:26 am 
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I suspect that our definitions of 'high-paying' are different. A background check costs nothing compared to wasting money hiring the wrong person at 90k/year.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:44 am 
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jlh304 wrote:
I think the current job market has put more demand on certs.


I would not put much weight on certs. That 4 year degree in MIS is far more valuable than those certs.

Cert shops just turn and burn people all the time.

Then the Certs go bad and have to be renewed. The only thing they prove to me is that you have a short term memory and passed the test.

A 4 year degree from a reputable university is worth way more. With that I know you are hard working, can write and communicate effectively, and you have spent some time training in the field.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:17 am 
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EchoFive wrote:
jlh304 wrote:
I think the current job market has put more demand on certs.
A 4 year degree from a reputable university is worth way more. With that I know you are hard working, can write and communicate effectively, and you have spent some time training in the field.


I know a lot of people with 4 year degrees from reputable universities that can't write or communicate effectively. Time spent training in the field didn't do much good and they're not making much money either. Certs, experience, and some references can go a long ways. Especially 4yrs worth. Although I have to agree with Jip "Again, it depends on the type of job that you're trying to land. If you want to be paid a decent salary, certs don't cut it." You need it all!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:33 am 
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Thanks for all of the replies. I actually want to go towards the networking side. I got the A+ and Network+ to demonstrate that I know the basics. I was seeing some job postings that wanted those 2 plus an MCP. Hence the MCP sert that I got just to get me through the weed out material. I have finally shown my family that certs are important so the family helped out and paid for me to go to a cisco camp for ICND1. I plan to take the test in a week.

To answer a previous comment I have seend numerous job postings that require A+,N+,MCP,CCNA just for desktop support. I am actually graduating with my BS in MIS this week from UH. I currently have my resume posted on cb, monster, hotjobs, it headhunter.

Just so everyone knows I am working in another industry to pay the bills. I have also started up a business repairing computer, building, data recovery, etc. to prove that I am maintaining the skills.


Any more advice would be greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:55 pm 
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Gigabyte wrote:
I know a lot of people with 4 year degrees from reputable universities that can't write or communicate effectively.


Thats just pure ashame. I realize that it happens though because anyone who had finished a 4 year program knows that sometimes people that dont contribute their share to group work and barely graduate with a C average.

The only point though is that if your hiring someone and all things equal as far as certs and experience go 90 percent of the time the person with the 4 year degree gets the job.

Quote:
To answer a previous comment I have seend numerous job postings that require A+,N+,MCP,CCNA just for desktop support. I am actually graduating with my BS in MIS this week from UH. I currently have my resume posted on cb, monster, hotjobs, it headhunter.


A word of help for you. If you want to do desktop support more power too ya. But your 4 year degree in MIS is not a good fit for that position. I dont know what UH you are speaking of but at my university MIS came out of the college of business (thus an emphasis on business processes).

I hate to tell you but if you try to get jobs doing desktop support you will find that you are overqualified for those jobs just because you have the degree. The MIS majors I know have a mix of business knowledge and analysis and design of information systems. The types of jobs I would consider a MIS major for are such as systems analyst, database admin and business analyst. It would really help though to know what your program looked like (courses) and which UH you went too.

Last I would leave you with this advice. If you want to quickly find a job dont bother with online job sites. You will get more spam, ads for continuing education, and jackass headhunters looking for a fee to place you than you can handle. To get you feet wet and find that job you want look no further than your professors and other professionals that work in the field you want to go in. You personal network will net you a thousand times the results than something like monster where some HR fool has to sort through thousands of applications. Find people that can put paper resumes on the decision makers desk.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:11 am 
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To answer the question I am getting my degree from University of Houston. I was wanting to go into networking. Here are the tech courses that I had to take:


Programming with C

Appl Programming w/Visual Basic
Intro to Business Databases
Internet Applications in Business
Programming with JAVA
Analysis and Design of Bus Systems
Intro to Network Management


I would really like to be a network admin which is why I am pursuing the CCNA route. I don't want to start off at desktop support but then everyone has to start somewhere.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:52 pm 
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As so many of posted about a CCNA opening up doors for getting into IT, I wil be taking the ICND1 test this thursday. Ill post whether or not I passed.


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 Post subject: Re: Certification and Emplyment
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:57 pm 
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I took the test earlier today and passed with flying colors. I had a total of 3 sims on it. Since I have now earned my CCENT does anyone think that will open up some doors for me or do I need to finish getting the CCNA to get some doors opened.


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 Post subject: Re: Certification and Emplyment
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:06 am 
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Seriously? Are you going to come back here after every little step and keep asking us if we think doors are going to open for you? I mean it's one thing to come and ask if we think certs matter compared to education and experience, vice versa, but how do we know if it's going to open doors for you. You could have all the experience and certs in the world, but if you have a shitty resume you aren't even getting looked at.

Instead of coming here every step, maybe start applying for some of those jobs and find out. I mean you're just wasting your time here because we aren't hiring you.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:34 pm 
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bobb121 wrote:
Thanks for all of the replies. I actually want to go towards the networking side. I got the A+ and Network+ to demonstrate that I know the basics. I was seeing some job postings that wanted those 2 plus an MCP. Hence the MCP sert that I got just to get me through the weed out material. I have finally shown my family that certs are important so the family helped out and paid for me to go to a cisco camp for ICND1. I plan to take the test in a week.

To answer a previous comment I have seend numerous job postings that require A+,N+,MCP,CCNA just for desktop support. I am actually graduating with my BS in MIS this week from UH. I currently have my resume posted on cb, monster, hotjobs, it headhunter.

Just so everyone knows I am working in another industry to pay the bills. I have also started up a business repairing computer, building, data recovery, etc. to prove that I am maintaining the skills.


Any more advice would be greatly appreciated.


That's good. I've heard of a few of those job sites. Also try Dice (it had a lot of IT jobs when I last looked at it, but that was over a year ago), and also keep an eye on Craigslist for the area you're in or areas you'd consider moving/commuting to. I found my current job via Craigslist. It got me out of flipping burgers at Wendy's (literally) and allowed for a total life upgrade with a move from Michigan to Florida.

I'm not sure if I mentioned this in my last longer post, but another thing to remember is to learn to be good at selling what you have. When I went in for my interview, I had general Geek Squad tech experience, A fair amount of Linux exposure, but had no formal education, no certs, and no professional non-retail IT experience. Most of my work experience is in the grocery business. What I sold myself on wasn't that I was some IT guru who could fix any problem in a hot second. I sold the fact that this job wasn't just a job, but the start of a career and that I'm a quick learner, a good team worker, and an efficient thinker. That's the kind of shit schools can't teach. You either got it or you don't. I sold my passion for helping people, whether with technical issues or otherwise. THAT's what got me my new job.

I'm still learning Windows stuff though (Fucking Vista/7 permissions are a joke. You're an administrator but the program isn't running in "Administrator mode". Fucking retarded I say)

/Windows rant

Keep your eyes and ears open, keep honing your skills, and someone will scoop you up and offer you money to do something that you enjoy doing soon I'm sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:37 am 
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that Linux guy wrote:
I'm still learning Windows stuff though (Fucking Vista/7 permissions are a joke. You're an administrator but the program isn't running in "Administrator mode". Fucking retarded I say)


Really?

That means that you can use one account rather than having to log into an Admin account for admin tasks. If you want to run something as Admin, you just have to 'run as admin' .. this ensures that you don't run everything as admin and compromise security.

The 'nix equivalent is 'sudo'.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:49 am 
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Jipstyle wrote:
that Linux guy wrote:
I'm still learning Windows stuff though (Fucking Vista/7 permissions are a joke. You're an administrator but the program isn't running in "Administrator mode". Fucking retarded I say)


Really?

That means that you can use one account rather than having to log into an Admin account for admin tasks. If you want to run something as Admin, you just have to 'run as admin' .. this ensures that you don't run everything as admin and compromise security.

The 'nix equivalent is 'sudo'.


I've seen situations at work where even using the "Run As Admin" option doesn't work, even when they're logged into an Administrator account. Thank you wild UAC settings. Unfortunately my better examples of fucked up permissions schemes escapes this quiet sunday afternoon.

People say that Linux is "too hard" or "too complicated" but I disagree. It all makes sense once you get it. It's Windows that doesn't make any sense half the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Certification and Emplyment
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:53 pm 
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cetificate cannt bring good job for us,but some job require cetificate,so contradictory


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