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What certs would you recommend for network/systems admin/security?

I am currently an IT professional with a graduate certificate in the field. That said, I do not have any vendor specific certifications. I currently do everything from Web development to network administration. I work in a small technically based company and I see needs in the company, but I can't decide what types of certifications to focus on. What would you recommend as certifications for someone interested in network/systems admin/database administration/security?

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Gee, "network/systems admin/database administration/security" not only covers a lot of territory, it also embraces lots of certifications as well. On the systems admin/network side, pick a cert that matches the platform (Windows, Unix/Linux, Macintosh, etc.) that you work with most day-to-day.

Same for the database stuff as well. As for security, starting with CompTIA Security+, then chasing down a CISSP, CISM, or similar credential should help you decide what vendor-specific infosec certs should be helpful or necessary.

Sorry to be so vague, but I don't have the time or energy to lay out all the choices in each of the three or four major content areas in which you profess interest. My guess is that as you go a bit further down the path, you'll end up focusing your efforts within one or perhaps two of these areas, as the time, work and expense involved in getting certified makes itself clear to you.

This was first published in August 2004

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