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Question on Computer Certs

7 September 2003
Limerick, Pa

Question for all you IT guru's out there. I am interested in getting my CCNA and CCNP. Is there any benefit to having all my other certs in addition to the CCNA and CCNP?

Basically, I have recently started IT certification classes at New Horizons in King of Prussia starting with A+ and eventually ending up with the CCNP. The certs are A+, Net+, MCP, MCSA and finally the CCNA and NP. Are the CompTia certs and Microsoft certs worth getting?

I am asking because I am paying $17K for all the courses (cheaper than the $24K computertraining.com wanted but still steep), and truthfully I am second guessing myself. Two days into this program and I am not sure if it's all worth it.

Any help you can provide would be appreciated.
Certifications are helpful, but you have to have expereince as well to reach your full earing potention. By moving focusing on certifications up front, you probably won't reach your full earing potential by the time the certifications expire. But you would still get better pay and/or oppertunites with them. It's just that the cast you are discussing may no be re-cooped in the time frame you are anticipating. JMO and hope it helps.

I'm a past MCSD, MCSE, MCDBA.
Good question!
Being in the IT business for over 18 years, I would say that certs will get you an interview. But like somebody just mentioned (in more words than one) those with "book knowledge" are not as desireable than those with hard experience. An acquaintence of mine was a Jr. Server Admin who recently quit his job for a much higher paying job, more like a Sr. Architecture position (he's a "smoove talker"). And of course that job required skills beyond his abilities. Well... after 6 months he was let go. So unless you are really talented and can really understand and address highly technical issues, don't risk getting in over your head by BS'ing your way in.

Of course it also depends on what industry you are targeting. In the financial and entertainment industries this has been my experience. Whereas in the manufacturing industry, many employers are looking for less experienced or talented staff because they are usually looking to pay less (this is just my experience, others may disagree).

Finally, to answer your question, first consider that most employers are willing to subsidize all/part of education costs. With that said, my advice would be to get a few years of hard experience under your belt, then with the help os your employer, get your certs to back that experience up. Your worth will be higher in the end.

Joseph P.
I agree with everything joprimo said!

I was trying to get an IT job roughly 2 years ago, and thought getting as many certs as I could would impress perspective employers...boy was I wrong. I had 8+ years doing stuff with computers/networking, it just wasen't work releated. I went out and got A+, Net+ and Server+ , and I dont think anyone I interviewd with even cared. Most of the techie qestions I was asked wouldn't be found on an A+ test, and I doubt anyone who just read a book and took the test would’ve have a clue.

Definatly try to figure out what direction you want to go eventually though and get certs based on that. Anything to do with security seems to be worth it I'm told.