Friday, October 24, 2014

Certifications - For The Network Guy

There are times when I am asked by people the following question:
What certifications should I pursue to get ahead in the IT career? 
Now, there are some variations to that questions, but essentially, that is the gist of it.  I have to go back, somewhat, to a post I wrote on this blog.  Click here to see that post.  It depends on what you like to do.  For me, its the network stuff.  Yes, I do get into other things like VoIP, security, and wireless.  It just seems part of my job.  But, generally speaking, I am a 'network guy' in the career.
So, what certifications are important for the network guy?  Well, I supposed everyone has an opinion about this, but I think that Cisco certifications are the most recognized certs on the market.  Even though, as far as network equipment is concerned, I dont think they are number 1 for performance.  If you do a job search on something like or, what is the most sought after from employers?  CCNA and CCNP.  Sometimes you will see others, but you mostly see Cisco.
If you are looking to start off in networking and want to build your certifications, I would recommend starting with Cisco's CCNA.
With that said, I then think you should focus on what you work on.  If you work on HP equipment regularly, then get good at that.  If its Brocade, then shoot for BCNE.  If you do a lot of security, then go for the Cisco CCNP Security cert.  But try to focus on the things you like to do.  Ultimately, when you get good at the things you like to do, your career will kindof take you in that direction, which is probably what you will want.

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