IT Career JumpStart

Nov 12 2008   4:47PM GMT

TechKnight Does It By the Numbers, Gets a Complete Answer

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

Looks like some people actually do their homework here. I got this comment posted to my “7 Questions” blog, wherein I laid out some queries to enable advice-seekers to get decent answers from me when asking for IT career and/or certification advice. Let’s start with TechKnight’s answers, which I repeat with the questions to put them into context:

1) What is your educational background?
I have a bachelors Degree in Applied Computing.
2) What is your prior work experience?
I am currently working in the automative industry the job profile includes General IT troubleshooting (Installation of software, Email configuration etc)
3) Where do you live? What is the job market like there?…
I live in UAE and there are opportunities here.
4) Are you interested in working in management, or would you prefer to stay on a technical track?
I prefer to stay in the technical track
5)What kinds of certifications interest you?
Relevant Certifications in networking.
6) Do your long-term career goals include staying in your current position (or in the same field as the next position you’re seeking, if applicable)?
I want to change my current job and become a full time IT professional.
7) What kind of job are you doing now? What kind of job would you like to be doing? How important is salary to you? How important is job satisfaction? If you could have any job at all, what would that be?
Currently i am working as an administrator. I am also currently doing a one month course in A+. I would like to be a full time IT professional. Salary as well as Job Satisfaction are important. I want to be in a job that i will enjoy doing. I enjoy working with technology.

Alas, I’d love to know what kind of administrator TK is: but I’m guessing it’s not an IT-related admin position based on his answer to question 6. That said, it sounds to me like TK is an entry-level kind of person who, even though he didn’t say how many years he has in the workforce, appears to have less than three years of post-graduate work experience. Based on those assumptions, I’d recommend the following:

  • The A+ is fine to get started (but not terribly networking related), and should probably be followed in close succession with a Network+ and possibly also a Security+ certification, to create a good foundation for what is to follow.
  • Next, it’s time to make some platform choices or considerations. If TK is interested in systems and network administration at a more or less local or enterprise level, to me that indicates choosing a Microsoft path (MCTS, MCITP, and so forth) or possibly some kind of Linux track (Red Hat or LPIC are probably the best choices). On the other hand, if he’s more interested in network infrastructure, the Cisco track (CCNA, CCNP, and so forth) is an excellent choice.
  • After 3-5 years on the job as a network or systems professional, it’s probably time to think about specializing for those who want to stay technical but keep advancing in job responsibility and pay grades. These days that means information security, various application environments (ERP, especially SAP/R3 a leading choice, quite popular in the Persian Gulf), storage management (SAN, NAS, and so forth, with SNIC and platform specific certifications quite popular), or various kinds of architect positions and related certifications of potential interest.

At least that’s how I see it from my end. Perhaps TK may want to post some follow-up questions after he’s had time to research and digest what I suggest here?

HTH and thanks for posting,
–Ed–

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