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On which networking field should I concentrate to get a job in the U.S.?

As I graduated in Computer Science and Engineering and had a little experience. I've been in the office administration field as a technician for the last eight years. However, I still have that computer knowledge from when I graduated. I completed my MCSE on NT4 in 2000 and did the CCNA instructor-led training in Singapore. I am now preparing for my CCNA certification. Please advise me on which networking field I should concentrate more to get more useful certifications to change my working field as soon as possible and get a high-paying job in the United States in the coming years. Your valued assistance and consultation regarding the above to change my future is much appreciated.

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You might want to consider obtaining an MCSE in Windows 2000 as part of your "gearing up" process. The CCNA is a pretty common entry-level credential that will be worth more with another current credential as well -- which could be a Windows 2000 MCSE or perhaps a CCNP and one or more Cisco Specialist certifications. If your proclivity is toward network infrastructure, as your interest in Cisco certification suggests -- you might want to consider pursuing the Cisco Qualified Specialist credentials for firewalls, IDS or security. See Cisco's Web site for a complete list of these certifications, which you'll find more career-enhancing than the CCNP.

I am reluctant, however, to suggest certification alone is a pathway to "a high-paid job in the USA in the coming years," however. You must understand that meaningful, significant on-the-job experience is every bit as important as certification and you must work to cement and augment your credentials with relevant exposure to and experience with whatever technologies underpin the certifications you decide to pursue for the best possible results.

Good luck with your further certification adventures. I hope they produce the desired results.

--Ed--

This was first published in January 2003

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