25 Replies Latest reply on Nov 7, 2014 11:08 AM by bkyle

    What Certifications do you guys have? Which one has been the most valuable?


      Alright, well the most correct answer to both of these is, of course, SCP. But, what other certifications do you guys have/ are you planning to take.


      For those of you that have a few, and have some experience, which certification has been most applicable/useful in your line of work? What is that line of work?


      Which certification has had the best return overall in your opinion? Has XXX Certification really tweaked the ear of a lot of interviewers/hiring managers/managers? '


      What is the craziest certification you have gotten? ...That you've heard of? ...Is there one that you've gotten that no one has ever heard of that has been helpful?


      Were there any certifications that had some really outstanding benefits or perks or packages?



      Just a few things I would ask and maybe get some conversation going


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        • Re: What Certifications do you guys have? Which one has been the most valuable?

          Myself, I am just graduating from my second degree. I have an Associates in Computer Engineering and Networking Technologies. Now I'm starting on certifications. (and working full time!!! )


          I took the SCP because my workplace uses solarwinds products (duh) and my school was given a LOT of vouchers for free Microsoft Office Specialist testing So I've done MOS:Access and MOS:Excel, and Excel Expert 1 (which is basically nothing without expert 2 as well).



          Then working on CompTIA A+ (Just because it’s well recognized, and should be easy)

          Knock out Network+

          Go to take my CCNA

          After that VMWare VCP5-DT

          ISC(2) SSCP

          Probably CCNA Security

          Maybe CCDA


          I like networks and security, not so much server administration :-)  I'm also pretty psyched that my college is a VMWare IT Academy, CompTIA Academy, and Cisco Academy which means I'll get half off the A+, Network+, CCNA,and VCP exams cost wise.

          • Re: What Certifications do you guys have? Which one has been the most valuable?

            At the risk of being cheeky -- the most valuable certification is the one that helps you get/keep a job


            Way back when computers were much larger I took a college course and got my A+ and Certified Novell Administrator.  That was enough for me to get an entry-level job.  While working 12 hour days I went to school again and earned my MCSE.  That allowed me to make a move to a more senior role.  Not content, I continued to go to school, finally earning a 2-year college degree and my CCNA.  That allowed me to move to an MSP and into a senior analyst role.  Circumstances allowed me to earn certifications in ITIL, VMware, Cisco, Solarwinds, etc.  In the end, certifications are great to help you focus and learn a product but they are like any tool in your career, they will only help you build when you have other good material.


            A certification does not make a candidate.


            As for the alphabet soup it include ITIL Foundations, SCP, CCNA R&S, Security and VoIP (although I will disown the latter if asked, it has been so long), VCP5, VCAP-DCD, SCP and a bunch of Microsoft certs that stretch back to the Server 2003 days.  Of them all, the VCP was the most challenging to get as it required definite experience to prep and pass.

            • Re: What Certifications do you guys have? Which one has been the most valuable?

              CCNA has been the most useful to me -- if you want to go security, I'd recommend taking the CCENT and then the CCNA security (bypassing the CCNA Routing and Switching)... unless you want the CCNA R&S as well.


              No one really cares about Network+ or Security+. I've had both and frankly they're not really anything special. CCNA at least lets your employer know that you're skilled in one field.

              • Re: What Certifications do you guys have? Which one has been the most valuable?

                I have Network+ and CCNA. Working on CCNP. I agree with the consensus that Network+ isn't useful in most circumstances. Maybe if you want to work at some PC fix-it shop or something very low/entry level.


                But ultimately, no certs are near as valuable as knowing someone who is in the right place to help you get your foot in the door....especially if they are someone you have impressed with your skill, knowledge, and/or work ethic.

                  • Re: What Certifications do you guys have? Which one has been the most valuable?

                    Yeah, I'm doing it for entry level cert. I've taken CCNA prep classes so N+ is cake next to those. With my schools CompTIA academy it's only $133 so i figured I would go ahead and get it in the short run. I start an entry level tech support job friday and I imagine I'll be there for a year or two (probably moving up the rungs) and in that time I'll be adding lots of letters to my name. Possibly upping my AAS in Net Tech and AAS in Computer Eng adding an AAS in Electronics Engineering (It's two classes away from what I've already got!) and moving up to a bachelors in IT or Information Systems Sec or something.



                    IDK, like I mentioned in another reply I think I would quite enjoy doing security or auditing as my main job and Google Apps deployment and maybe forensics on the side (Forensics and Apps deployment sound fun, but I'm not sure I would be able to make them full time easily. I'm pretty certain that even moving just a few hours from my home Asheville,NC to near the Research triangle over near raleigh-charlotte-durham area I could find a security position)

                  • Re: What Certifications do you guys have? Which one has been the most valuable?

                    Expired certs:

                    CCSP (Cisco Security)


                    CUE (Certified Unicenter Engineer)


                    CA Certified - Storage Specialist (i.e. ArcServe)

                    HP Network Connectivity

                    HP NetServer.


                    Still current:


                    MCP (I think I'm still current...)

                    CCDA, CCNA, CCNA - Security, Cisco IPS, Cisco IOS


                    I think I've gotten the most value out of CISSP, MCP, and CCNA.

                    MCP and CCNA were valuable because it says to the uninformed "Microsoft Certified" and "Cisco Certified" despite these both being relatively lower-ranked certs in their respective certification paths.

                    CISSP has been well received because of its vendor neutrality.

                    I'm not discounting the value of a MCSE in comparison to the other certs, but it really only served me to find a new job 1 time during the few years I kept it current.


                    The WatchGuard cert was a required joke.  It was required that vendors have someone certified on staff if the vendor wished to continue to sell the product.  It was a joke because it only required the candidate to pass a simple online test from their own desk.


                    My career progression started with server support (specifically WinNT), progressed to network monitoring, then to networking, currently specializing in network security.  Current cert path is CCNP-Security and eventually CCIE-Security.  From there, who knows?


                    The funniest cert acronym I've heard is STP.

                    I thought of the fuel-additive when I first read it but the coworker explained that it is IBM Server Technical Professional.  He also explained that he had to explain that one alot.

                    • Re: What Certifications do you guys have? Which one has been the most valuable?

                      I have my CCNA, SCP, and MCSE.  People seem most interested in the CCNA.

                      • Re: What Certifications do you guys have? Which one has been the most valuable?

                        I currently have:

                        CCNA Route&Switch

                        CCNA Security

                        RHCSA (Red Hat Certified System Administrator)


                        I have lots of expired certs. (Security+, Apple ACTC, CCDA, among others) The one that has got me the most interest from recruiters and job offers is the RHCSA, but I got my job with my CCNA's.

                        I got to take my CCNA Voice soon. Then on to CCNA Data Center. Then to CCNP Voice or Route&Switch.

                        Eventually want to get my RHCE.

                        • Re: What Certifications do you guys have? Which one has been the most valuable?

                          The ones that are valid are CCNA, CCNA-Security, and Security+.


                          My old certs are Novell CNE, Master CNE (no joking, please), and my MCSE is for Windows 2000 (I haven't had anything to do with server admin in over 7-8 years now).


                          I am studying right now for CCNA-Wireless; this will bump all of my Cisco certs up 3 years. I'll do CCNA-Voice next, probably in 2017. In the meantime, I'll start working toward the SCP; my drawback is I am not the SW Admin at my current job (I was the admin at the last 2 jobs).

                          • Re: What Certifications do you guys have? Which one has been the most valuable?

                            As someone with a fair amount of experience, and that was in the job market recently, Cisco cert's are of great benefit, but I found many positions wanted both networking certs, and a background in Microsoft (ability to work with AD/Exchange), and linux experience. With the directions Cisco is going, it would probably be good to add at least a basic linux certification to your list of wants. A basic cert in some sort of virtualization like VMWare would be helpful as well.


                            I'm currently a CCNP, R&S, heading towards a CCDA/CCDP in the next 3-4 months. The CCNP is definitely what got me to my current Network Architect position from a basic NOC engineer role when I didn't have it.

                            • Re: What Certifications do you guys have? Which one has been the most valuable?

                              I have had several over the years and retain many more.  The most useful I have found would be the Cisco Certifications due the the market share Cisco has/had?  I would say the CCNP level certifications are the most desired by most.


                              For new folks entering the field, I would suggest Network+ to get a job, if not is not already obtained,then move to Security+ , SCP, and CCNA R&S.  All these certification should only take 60 days from opening the book to passing the exam.  If you go beyond the 60 day mark you risk loosing the knowledge you gained. 


                              So after the first year you should have the three certifications listed above.  The second year gets fun.  I would pick a Cisco Professional Track (Routing and Switching, Security, Data Center, etc) depending on your current job or the next job you would like to have.  Each of these tests within the Cisco Professional level should take 60-90 days from opening the book to passing the exam.  Get GNS3 or Boson Simulator to practice if you do not have access to the resources.  During this year, I would also branch off into another vendor certification like Brocade, Juniper, F5, etc.  Add some depth to your Education. 


                              Now for the formal piece of Education: A Degree.  It is important and also a requirement for some jobs.  See if your employer will reimburse you for classes taken and passed while you are working for them.  I had a employer pay 95% of the Masters Degree.  I was a rough two years but during that time I earned my CCNP, CCSP, and CCDP (2000-2003).  After awhile (few months) the information was so easy to taken and understand because I was working during the day on it and going to school at night.  I was a sponge. 


                              Education and Certifications can be difficult to obtain, especially for those of us with families and external commitments.  I have to give it to those folks that can do both.  My highest regardless to you and your families communication and goals. 


                              Not that your Educational Plan (3-4 year) is accomplished you will notice a sizable difference in your salary (50%-200% increase).  This may not happen if you stay with the same company but you never know.  Those of you that have seen my bio, may notice that I move around a lot.  Well that is the life of a government contractor and military spouse.  


                              Just my thoughts and experience.