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What jobs do A+, N+, I-Net+, Security+, MCP, MCSA, MCSE certs qualify me for?

I have several certifications (A+, N+, I-Net+, Security+, MCP, MCSA, MCSE), but I have no actual experience in the IT field. What kinds of jobs am I qualified for with these certs?

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That depends on how much you really know and what kinds of skills you possess. If you know enough about networking and server operating systems to run or help run a department-level network, you can probably find yourself a position in technical support or help desk for such operations. If you're really, really lucky you might even be able to find a job as an entry-level network administrator or network technician. Some serious effort will be required in two areas, however:

1. to scour your personal network, job postings, classified ads, and other sources of job info to find such a position 2. to make sure you can talk clearly, concisely, and convincingly about what you know, what you can do, what skills you possess, what kinds of problems you can solve, and other things germane to the position(s) for which you apply

Good luck! While you do have an impressive list of "alphabet soup" to share with prospective employers, the lack of on-the-job experience is a tough hurdle to get past. You might consider doing some volunteer work (churches, schools, charities, and other nonprofits are often glad to get unpaid help from people like yourself), looking for temp work, or trying to get involved in IT projects on a part-time basis (many organizations and companies lay on extra help when they're migrating servers or desktops to new operating systems, and working on that kind of project is great experience for the workplace).

This was first published in September 2004

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