I'm at a crossroads in certification land. Which way should I go?
I am undecided on which path to head down. I have my A+ Network+, CNA 4.11
and Advanced Administration (4.11). My next step is where I am undecided.
Should I pursue MCP/MCSE or should I try to tackle the Cisco certifications?
It seems to me that the MCP is truly a paper certification.
I really liked Novell, but it is getting harder and harder to find companies
that use it anymore. I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes work that
Network+ gave, even though it was only the tip of the iceberg. The Cisco
certifications would really get down and dirty behind the scenes.
If I do go the Microsoft route, I'm afraid I will be forever updating my certifications
everytime they offer a new OS.
Can you offer your advice?
I realize it may hinge on what
businesses are currently in my area. I do not wish to move at this time. (I live in Reading PA if that helps.)
Given your technical interests and your attitude toward the Microsoft
certifications -- which in light of their "toughening up" for Windows 2000
certification are no longer warranted, IMHO -- I think you'd be best served
by pursuing the CCNA-CCNP sequence, then going on to the CCIE if you can
get sufficient work experience with Cisco, and remain interested in
pursuing their premier certification.
I agree that it's a shame about Novell -- I worked for them from 1988
to 1994, so I still have a soft spot for NetWare, NDS, and so forth -- but
it's true that finding NetWare admin jobs is getting harder all the time.
Given your location, you might want to give MCSE a second look, but
if you really want to work on network infrastructure, Cisco is the way to
go. On the other hand, if you want to be a day-to-day network administrator, MCSE
probably makes more sense.
This was first published in September 2001