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Level 15

Which IT certifications are you interested in/ would you recommend?

What are the trending certifications in the industry right now?

Which certifications would you be excited to potentially win in upcoming giveaways?

Tell us your thoughts below!

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18 Replies
Level 16

Depends on the role you are trying to fill. If its Network Management  then Cisco, all of the '+' courses such as A+ are a good start.

If you want to be really good at  using Solarwinds  I would do some studies in SQL and look into the Wireshark cert as well.

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Yeah, I drank that cool-aid back in 2007-2008, but have not had to use it.  It was good background information though.

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Level 7

My thoughts are how about an ITIL test voucher? The cert seems to be highly regarded by management.

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Is ITIL still "a thing?"  My organization went down that path years ago, but I haven't heard anything recent internally about ITIL in our business.  Nothing in at least the last two years.  I figured it was another passing fad that management would spend money on, people would spend hours learning, and then something new would replace it.  Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

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Level 9

Cisco certs and Citrix. Cisco because they are ubiquitous in networking. I put Citrix on the list because I need to learn it for work.

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The above suggestions are all great ones. 

But let's think out of the box:  would you benefit more from being better able to make friends and influence people and by being more confident in interview and more comfortable speaking in public, than you would be earning another technical certification?

Sure, it's great to know the details and the "how" of our challenges--we're all problem solvers.

But is every one of us as good a communicator as we must be to have our ideas adopted, to successfully lobby for raises, and to get what we want from our jobs and employers and business associates?  '

I suspect not.

Instead of only giving away a technical certification, how about a communications certification?  Maybe from a program like the Dale Carnegie Institute?

Dale Carnegie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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For those Government Folks

CISSP is the end all be all of anything IT ((( raising the B.S. Flag )))

CompTIA Security+


Vendor Cert:

Cisco, VMWare, Juniper, Brocade, Solarwinds

Depends on the job and requirements.

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Definitely security

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I would pick anything network related especially Cisco certifications.

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Level 13

I think that SCP would be the way to go!

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But SCP is free.

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Level 8

I recommend either VMWare if you are server strong or CCNA if you lean toward Networking.  I have studied both for certifications but I haven't taken the time to take the tests.  I learned in this process that I can't know all there is and to hone in on what I am interested in, which is Networking.  So I am now focused on the CCNA to complete before end of Aug 2016 as the certification exam will be changing then.  Both certs are very highly coveted and the skill set is sought after.  They get looks on resumes.  I get asked about both attempts during interviews.  I also recommend Wireshare along with the CCNA just to make you stronger, especially if you like security. 


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Wireshare = Wireshark

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Level 9

Security, Virtulization, Networking.

I would like VMWare or Cisco certs as giveaways.

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Before making recommendations about certifications, can we have some context about the hypothetical person receiving our suggestions?

I'd recommend something different to an experienced IT pro than to a young person still in school.

Lots of things are going to be intuitive:

  • Get the cert(s) that enable you to achieve your goals
    • So first define your goals:
      • Do you want a first job?
      • Are you experienced and simply looking for advancement?
      • Is your goal to improve your pay?
      • Or do you have a driving interest in a specific field/topic?
      • Is there a problem that a certification could help you solve?
    • Second define the area(s) that new certifications will help to achieve those goals, and then start studying.
  • Make sure you can not only talk the talk, but that you can walk the walk
    • Many companies may hire on the basis of recommendations, a C.V. or resume, and one or two interviews
    • More demanding and technical firms will test your hands-on practical knowledge.  This how they weed out paper MSCE's and the equivalent


So let's suppose you wanted to work for my company.  You'd go to Find a Job | Essentia Health  and choose the New Applicants option, fill in the necessary blanks, and then start looking for anything to do with "Network".  You'd find several openings, and you'd learn how to list your certifications as well as what criteria are required to be considered a candidate.

It'll help if you have a CCNA that's current.  It'll help even more if you're a CCNP.  And we'll potentially be impressed if you're a CCIE, or have multiple Cisco certifications in various areas of specialty (Route/Switch, WLAN, Security, Data Center, etc.).

Maybe you want to be involved in Security.  Well, you'll have to enjoy it, and you should have a CISSP, and it wouldn't hurt to have more security credentials.  A government classification wouldn't hurt; we've hired people with various government clearance levels (Top Secret, etc.), and they've been some pretty good people for discovering or solving problems.

But the A Number One Thing we've learned about new employees:  We can train someone to be a better Network Analyst, or System Admin, or Security Analyst, etc., but we can't change their personality.

What does this mean for an incoming person?  An honest, pleasant, hard-working person who gets along well with people, who can take instruction and work without whining or pushback--will be easier to work with than a person with ten CCIE's who is not a people-person.  Guess who gets the job?

The person who has great people skills to augment their technical abilities.

Long story (OK, WAAY too long) short:  Work on your people skills as much as you do your technical certifications, and you'll have a big edge on the competition.  Many people have technical skills and certifications; not all of them are excellent coworkers, people you'd like to spend your lunch break on, maybe even get together for fun on a weekend or after work.  And that's what makes teams.

Something related to security or there are some of us who don't have any networking (Cisco) related certifications.

Maybe related to devops or vmware.

Cloud-based certifications and, as always, security!

   So when you say, "Which certifications would you be excited to potentially win..." you mean training for those certifications, correct?

Security is HUGE right now, anything with SAP, Wordpress, Cisco, and VMware

WIN a certification?   you mean I don't have to study?   I'd be in for anything and all of the above...  HA HA HA

I would say VMware, or Cisco