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Old 01-05-2004, 05:48 PM   #1
scheidel21
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Certifications


I realize this has been asked before but here it is again a little different I think. I have an AS in Computer Systems tech, basically it means I can do just about anything ie hardware/software, database design and implementation, some programming, web design, running and maintaining various services, well all in all it's pretty rounded. But so far it has of course gotten me bumkiss, I work in an entirely unrelated field (EMS Emergency Medical Services), what certifications do you think are the most value added certs to have? I've ruled out RHCE's the price is far too prohibitive. I also have seen that CCNA certs are pretty useless, and honestly who can't figure out how to do something o windows, without a cert. So basically I'm looking at the LPI and CompTIA certs. which of these are most valuable, like net+, A+, net-i+, LPI level I, II? Also has anyone taken the LPI's if so how are they are they difficult? Thanks in advance hope this post isn't too annoying.

--Alex
 
Old 01-05-2004, 06:39 PM   #2
wapcaplet
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As soon as you find out, let me know I have a B.S. in computer science and I'm stuck working for an inventory service at 8 bucks an hour. Seems like most employers want experience, and lots of it. It probably has more to do with being in the right place at the right time. Anyhow, good luck!
 
Old 01-05-2004, 07:32 PM   #3
ezra143
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....experience is a huge factor, I have been interviewing for MIS positions for a while now, based solely on experience . No Certs, unrelated education (b.a. psych, MBA). It is all about who you know and your timing. I would not think that any Cert could hurt you, being that it may be what gets you in the door... once your in the door, the sky is the limit. just my

Last edited by ezra143; 01-05-2004 at 09:10 PM.
 
Old 01-05-2004, 08:26 PM   #4
scheidel21
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I guess there are lots of people in the same boat as me, makes me feel better. But true there is no substitution for experience, unfortunately the hard part is getting in so that you can get the experience. But like you guys said there can be no harm in getting certs, at least it shows your enthusiasm. The funny thing about these exams is that I continually read in prep books that to successfully complete them you should ideally have 3 or more years exp. from what I read in these books though, someone who simply had a hobby with computers could pass them well after a year of tooling around. Good luck to both of you as well.

--Alex
 
Old 01-05-2004, 09:59 PM   #5
Whitehat
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People on this board may not want to hear this but it's the truth:

I make DANG good money. I'm a systems engineer for a large company (60+ server 1200+ workstations). How'd I get there? I have Microsoft Certs and Experience.

I'm an MCSE in NT4 with about 5 years of experience. I'm currently taking my tests for MCDBA and MCSE (for Server2003). I also have my Linux+ Cert.

There is no substitute for experience and knowing what the fsck you're doing. I never finished college. When I had about 1 year left to finish and I realized that it was taking me no-where, I stopped. Personally I think college is a racket. I can do much better being a consultant and doing stuff in the IT field with my knowledge and people skills.

I will never finish my college degree unless I'm required to or I am out of a job for a long time. So far Microsoft Certs have kept me paid very well. The certs get you in the door, then you better know what you're doing. If I couldn't back my certs up with experience I would have been fired a long time ago.

I laugh at the people that say that the MCSE is a joke and it's worth nothing. Most of the people I hear that from are people that are paid less than me and don't have an IT job.

I am one of the few who doesn't hate Microsoft. I like Linux and Microsoft. We need them both. They both work well in certain situations.

IT/CS degrees (from my experience, and friends who have those degrees) don't get you anywhere....and that's a shame. You end up knowing a lot about the history of computing and a decent amount of programming. After you graduate, you end up in the real world going....dang....that's how they do stuff out here. Nothing like the class I took.

So.....take it or leave it That's my

Peace,
Whitehat

Last edited by Whitehat; 01-05-2004 at 10:02 PM.
 
Old 01-05-2004, 11:43 PM   #6
bdp
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this will be an interesting thread to watch. my experience (engineer) is that many of the highly successful CS people that i work with did it by starting in college and realizing they already had job opportunities that were more worth their time than classes. knowing somebody, getting in a company, then putting time in there rather than trying to impress professors seems to put those guys ahead in the long term. perhaps it's that they had the people-skills to succeed already, maybe it's springing for the right opportunity. either way, i totally agree with Whitehat and ezra143 that classes/degrees are of secondary importance to many IT positions.
 
Old 01-06-2004, 01:27 AM   #7
Crito
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Problem is the people who make hiring decisions usually know little to nothing about computers. If you meet the right person, who has the knowledge to evaluate you themselves, real world experience is all that matters. Otherwise they have to rely on certs due to their own ignorance.

From what I've heard CompTIA Linux+ is a joke. LPI tests are tough and distro independent but incomplete (no level 3 tests yet, last time I checked.) RHCE is the most widely recognized but, obviously, RedHat-centric. I'm going for LPIC myself, but will probably get Linux+ in the interim just to impress managers who don't know any better.

Last edited by Crito; 01-06-2004 at 01:30 AM.
 
Old 01-07-2004, 05:16 AM   #8
scheidel21
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So from what I see the question i should ask then is --

Do any of you know a guy that could help a geek out?

Well networking is the best to get you in but its hard to network with people you never meet.
 
Old 01-07-2004, 03:53 PM   #9
darthtux
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Most people who hire, and actually work, in the IT industry know that a college degree just means you can learn something. So, the person with one will get an entry-level job just like someone with no college. College courses don't teach you about how systems work in the real world. I know. I had MIS seniors under me who didn't know squat about the basics of computers.

Go for certs. If your going to work in a shop with Windows (and most are) then get an MCSE. That's what they want. Then go for LPI. I don't know where you heard CCNA was useless. If you want to get into networking you'll need it. The person with one will certainly get an interview if not the job because of it.
 
Old 01-07-2004, 04:04 PM   #10
dubman
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In my experience, the problem is getting through the HR firewall. Without a 4 year degree, the HR people will never forward your resume to a hiring manager (one who would hopefully have some technical ability). You have to remember that HR people have no techie skills what-so-ever. They only know that the hiring manager said "I want someone with a BSCS" or what-have-you. They have no idea as to whether your acronym filled resume could apply or not to the position the are hiring for. If that manager was to look at all the certs and skills you have he would most likely say your hired. But the fact is he will never be able to make the decision because he would never see your resume. I think the degree is important for no other reason than getting through HR.

Even if you did get hired without a degree, you would be compensated much less that if you did have a degree. I work for a major silicon manufacturer, and non-degreed employees are compensated 20%-40% less than that of degreed employees. Even if their skill sets are identical.
 
Old 01-07-2004, 04:13 PM   #11
Whitehat
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Quote:
Originally posted by dubman

Even if you did get hired without a degree, you would be compensated much less that if you did have a degree. I work for a major silicon manufacturer, and non-degreed employees are compensated 20%-40% less than that of degreed employees. Even if their skill sets are identical.
I disagree.

I am compensated more than a few of the folks with degrees.

....and the few that get paid more than me make about $4000 per year more.

That's not much scratch.

Also, Who you know is a big deal. I am finding that the longer I am in this field, that the more people I know the better. We all help each other out.



Peace,
Whitehat
 
Old 01-07-2004, 04:16 PM   #12
Whitehat
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Quote:
Originally posted by scheidel21
from your sig:
Anyone know of a cure for the wife, who thinks your computer means more to you than she does? If so Email me Please!

Yeah. Spend time with her, rub her shoulders, and her feet. Go have a glass of wine with her. Eat shrimp together on the floor. Kiss her like she's the only woman you've ever seen. Hold her.

Got that?..............good......now go do it!

Later,
Whitehat
 
Old 01-07-2004, 04:43 PM   #13
ghight
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Whitehat and I seem to be in the same boat here. I have a 4 year degree in Education of all things, yet I am a Network \ AutoCAD Manager for an engineering firm. I too make good money for what I do.

I think the way I got in was because I had quite a bit of experience in things nobody wanted to do. I'm an old Novell guy (I'm not old, yet, but the server OS was). When I was first teaching, the IT guy left in a storm and nobody was left to manage the network. I volunteered with no Novell experience and within 2 years moved my way into administration full-time. I've always been a "behind the curtain" computer nerd so I had a really good background in all kind of stuff. I learned by testing, testing, and more testing of different configuration for months until I could do it right everytime. I made a TON of mistakes! It comes with the job.

I eventually moved on to be a Technical Director for a public school for all of 6 months before I found out I was going to lose my job. I happened to find an engineering firm that needed a guy with Novell experience and was willing to learn AutoCAD. I got the job and currently make twice what I made as a teacher.

My two sense is that certs won't get you far without experience. You need to be willing to create your own oppurtunities in the desired field and build a resume that shows you have the initiative to get the job done. If you don't think you have what it takes to do that, I think that is the exact thing that keeps business from hiring you. Take the ball and run with it as fast as you possibly can. Eventually you will get in.
 
Old 01-07-2004, 04:44 PM   #14
dubman
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Quote:
Originally posted by Whitehat
I disagree.

I am compensated more than a few of the folks with degrees.

....and the few that get paid more than me make about $4000 per year more.

That's not much scratch.

Also, Who you know is a big deal. I am finding that the longer I am in this field, that the more people I know the better. We all help each other out.



Peace,
Whitehat
Unfortunately, I would have to agree with this. Major Corporations are run by managers, not techs. Major corps are politically driven, not performance driven. This is a sad state of affairs.
 
Old 01-08-2004, 03:15 AM   #15
coolamit78
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Hello Everyone....

I agree with whitehat and believe that more than the degree, is the knowledge and experience that counts...

However, this is a big big world, and there are lots of people equally talented....and there might be some, who are not that talented....so basically, when a HR Manager asks for a degree, he makes sure that the guy he's going to recruit has the minimum skills and exposure to a skill set that they require. That is where a degree is beneficial...one can avoid the large crowds to just be considered ahead of the rest....From then and there, it's one's own responsibility to prove that u've got what it takes to be employed...

Now my story, I have a Masters in Computers degree but I am not good at programming......However, I am better at O/S knowledge as compared to programming.....Thats why I chosen to work on Linux ...At least I know one thing, that my OS is not going to be changed so much in the subsequent versions that my previous knowledge and hardwork on Linux looks like a waste.....I found that Windows takes this pattern...( that every new version of windows increases the h/w and memory requirements, changes the structure and names of files, often dupilcating the same files in more than 3 directories....I found that to be true in Windows XP.....).....Therefore, it becomes tough to remember where files will be in the next windows version!!!!

I am still at home, learning linux.....and I am looking for an opportunity where I can apply my skills and also learn new things....However, the System Admin field requires specialization and precise knowledge..so I guess i will need three-four months more so that I can feel confident about my knowledge....and of course, i know LQ will help me achieve that sooner....

Regards,

amit
 
  


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