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Career Crossroad: LearnSmart Choices

Posted 08-23-2011 at 10:56 AM by pereb

I guess everyone comes to points in their career where they have to choose one of the many paths that they are presented with. I am certainly in that spot currently. A few years ago I got my PMP certification using training from a company called LearnSmart Systems. Their LearnSmart training was excellent and it left me really well prepared to pass my PMP with no problems. For the past two years or so I have been working at a mid-size company in the US as a project manager and have somewhat enjoyed my day-to-day, but lately I've been thinking that there is more out there for me. Things are so stale because of the economy and I am getting restless.

After seeing what having my PMP did for me as far as boosting my marketability, there is no question that I am going to take my time and take the next step from a certification standpoint before I start to market myself as a "game changer," but therein lies my big decision here. In fact, I just had a friend the other day who got turned down for an IT consulting gig because the biz owner said "why are we even talking to this guy if he doesn't have his Network+ and MCITP certs." I guess as I have thought through things, my main desire would be to look to step up to some sort of a network admin job at a company locally where I am. The nice thing is that it's a big company that I would be targeting, so there are a lot of career path choices. From a certification standpoint, I'm looking at either getting my CCNA, MCITP or CISSP. Since I've had good experiences so far with LearnSmart, I'm just gonna stick with them for my exam prep, so that choice is set, but I still need to decide what cert to go after!!? One option that I have is to go with LearnSmart's ultimate access package that would basically give me 2 years (I think it's two years from what I remember before) of video and audio training. That way, I can pick a path and start into it, and then if I decide I want to change my mind, I can do that immediately and go a different direction. If you ask me if I lean toward a certain path, it would probably be networking, so I may start with the CCNA in mind and see how that plays out. Like I said, I can always switch if I do the whole Learnsmart deal.

At the end of the day, like I said, I'm definitely going to take my time and do this in the right order. I feel like going to try and grab that "next step up" job without having my certifications to back it up would be getting the cart before the horse in some ways. I just know that I'll be much more confident if I approach my new job search with certifications in hand. Any help at all would be appreciated if any of you have thoughts on pro's and cons of going with CCNA, MCITP or CISSP. I would be specifically interested to see if any of you guys out there have thoughts on if there are more jobs in any one of those certain arenas due to the current economic conditions?? Appreciate any thoughts!
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  1. Old Comment
    I know on my side that CISSP has gotten really popular recently for some reason. I hear about it all the time now from different people, and read a lot of blog posts about it in my feed reader these days. I'm pretty sure, if I'm not mistaken, that they often make $100K+, but there are definitely pre-requisites that I'm not sure you have. Might want to look into what it takes to be a CISSP before you head that direction. But, it still doesn't stop you from looking into the certification.
    Posted 09-20-2011 at 01:22 PM by lnarea lnarea is offline


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