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Re: Network+ and Security+
From: "Hylton Conacher (ZR1HPC)" <hylton () conacher co za>
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 07:08:04 +0200

Martin Tran wrote:
Hi everyone,
Hi Martin,

I've been in the IT area for about a year or so.  I came from an
engineering background from University of Maryland and never really
gone into that working field.  So I jumped into working IT b/c I liked
being around computer and learning the ins and outs on certain
processes.  Right now, I'm working in Helpdesk (I'm recently in charge
of Symantec administration side since no one in my company wanted to
claim it...I have also took initiative to make batch files for many of
the applications used on users workstations) and wanted to know how I
can better myself with certifications or if I should get my masters in
information systems?

I definitely do not want to be in the Helpdesk (since the pay isn't
great at all) position for long and wanted to improve and grow into
being a security or network or even a system administrator.   Yeah it
sounds like I want to get up and  start fast making it BIG as an IT
guy, but I know I work hard in what I do since coming from a different
study/background.

So right now I picked up a Network+ book by Sybex written by David
Groth.  That seems pretty good to start I think.  And after I was done
with that book and exams, I wanted to grab myself a Security+ book
too.

If you guys can give me advice on your success and some insight on a
direction on certifications(or go back to school for a masters in
Information Systems)  I would greatly appreciate it!

<snip>

If you want to get up in the ranks, in any job, you need to know how
things under your control work, so that you can make best use of them or
get them to perform at their peak.

In the case of system administration, you are going to need to know how
the network works, how it functions, what breaks it and how to prevent
breaks. In the past, and mostly still today, an MCSE is always a good
starting block as it will give future employers confidence in your
abilities to use their production Exchange servers and domain
controllers whilst supporting users. For almost any networking related
work a CCNA is a basic requirement these days. I have taken both the
courses you speak of(N+,Security+) and both give a more generalist view
on each topic. For instance the N+ did not teach me subnetting. This is
something I have learnt over 5yrs of experience. When I took the
Security+ course it did not teach me how to break or prevent breakages.
They both told me the theory behind the practice. I believe the CEH is
also a similar course ie the theory behind the practice.

With a programming language under your belt and network knowledge. with
a touch of security and hacking, you should be well on your way to
getting the system administrator position you seek. You will still have
to decide where your interests lie in terms of security ie maintaining
it or breaking it and getting better knowledge, I think that is where
courses like the SANS GIAC Certification etc.

All in all it doesn't matter what you want to do, it matters what people
are prepared to pay you for. You can also grow in a job but not educate
yourself in the hope of getting employed.

HIH and good luck. I'd be interested in what you decide.

Regards
Hylton


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