Certifications etc for help desk/tech support jobs

KharnastusKharnastus Registered User regular
edited August 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey guys. So I have recently decided to try and pursue some certifications to allow for the possibility of employment in the tech support field. Those of you that are allready in the field or are in school for it, could you describe or cite any certifications that are needed or recommended as an applicant for any of the wide variety of entry level tech support jobs?

Tube on

Posts

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    Hey, you accidentally posted this in D&D, not H/A. I reported the thread for you. Hopefully a mod will move it.

    My suggestion is to choose a track based on the kind of technology you want to work with, and get some of the basic certifications there. If you want to do Windows Server stuff, start on the MCITP track. For Cisco networking, start on the CCENT track.

    Many organizations want to see experience more than certs. Certs are good, experience is better. Even amateur experience - if you have any kind of school or volunteer experience, that helps.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    iNet+, Security+, Network+, are all fairly easy entry market certs.

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Sheep wrote: »
    iNet+, Security+, Network+, are all fairly easy entry market certs.

    Seconding this. The CompTIA certs that Sheep mentions are pretty easy and are good for getting your foot in the door.

    Also, Microsoft used to give you credit for having a Network+ certification towards their MCSA. I'm not sure if that's still the case.

    I personally feel that a Network+ classroom course with a hands-on component, like you might get from a community college or adult learning program, can be a pretty good introduction to networking.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • KharnastusKharnastus Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Woops! Thanks for the ideas guys. il check back after i finish this A+ cert.
    Oh and i have experience building and maintaining computers with a vareity of operating systems. Whatever thats worth.
    Mmm these pages sure flip themselves.

    Kharnastus on
  • superhappypandasuperhappypanda Zug Island Sport Fishing SeattleRegistered User regular
    If I were you, I'd decide what path you want to take, but A+, CompTIA, and CCENT are all good starters. I'm actually going back to get those myself right now as well as my MCITP Certs. Oddly enough after working for the last decade with Microsoft architecture, I've found myself more interested in Linux and Networking so the Cisco and + Certs are something else that I'll be picking up after getting the MCITP stuff for Servers/Exchange/SharePoint since those are all pretty widely used and make for a good safety net if you're in MSFT Country (aka Seattle).

    I will say that over the last few years, more employers are wanting to see Certs than they did back in 2001. Certs however, do not trump experience. I've been in IT for the last 10 years and have the experience but my resume will get passed over if someone else with similar experience has the Certs.

    P.S. Other things that I tend to get asked a lot in interviews I've been on in the last few years is subnetting, explaining DHCP and DNS, and the TCIP/IP stack in depth - I mean really in depth. Granted those have been for SysAdmin/Engineering positions.

  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    Federal IT jobs require Security+ for employment now. That includes contractors.

    Steam: kaylesolo1
    3DS: 1521-4165-5907
    PS3: KayleSolo
    Live: Kayle Solo
    WiiU: KayleSolo
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    I've been in professional and government IT since 2006 and I can tell you that most contractors won't even pass your resume forward if it doesn't at least have a compTIA or something comparable listed, or at least a couple years of actual IT experience (like working at a geek squad (which requires the same IIRC) or working at a mom and pop computer shop)

    CompTIA and A+ are both relatively easy certifications to get, and cheap as well. That would be your starting point in my opinion. From there, get a low level desktop support job or a gig fixing computers for Moe's Discount Computer Repair (Computer Renaissance is a good place for this if there's one in your area)

    Out of curiosity, how old are you, and where are you located? I ask because a lot of areas have great community colleges with IT programs or specific programs to just get your certifications, and depending on your age/income you might even qualify for financial assistance there.


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Blight on Discourse Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    Pretty sure CompTIA is an organization that does the "Plus" certs and not a cert itself.

    My advice is to say FUCK support, systems administration, etc. and try to find someplace that will take you on in Application Security or some other offensive security discipline.

    Support and infrastructure jobs are oversaturated and fare very poorly in bad economies. Offensive security and Appsec in particular is just starting to take off, there's not nearly enough people in the field to fill all the open positions, it's been rapidly growing without any sign of slowing yet, and it's insular enough not many people seem to know about it. Pay is waaaaay better too.

    The crap part is that most companies in the industry are poaching talent instead of bringing new people on and training them up, and there are almost no degree programs that teach the relevant skills yet. Depending on where you're at or if you're willing to relocate I know of a place off the top of my head hiring entry level. On the bright side they're REALLY entry level, as in if you can self study a little but and possess any tech savvy you could get the job.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Sheep wrote: »
    iNet+, Security+, Network+, are all fairly easy entry market certs.

    Seconding this. The CompTIA certs that Sheep mentions are pretty easy and are good for getting your foot in the door.

    Also, Microsoft used to give you credit for having a Network+ certification towards their MCSA. I'm not sure if that's still the case.

    I personally feel that a Network+ classroom course with a hands-on component, like you might get from a community college or adult learning program, can be a pretty good introduction to networking.

    Thirding this. CompTIA's "something"+ series are good, baseline certs. They'll get you in the door, and if you're knew and not 100% about what you specifically want to be doing, they're a great place to start. They're designed to be entry level, for the most part, as well.

    As far as Cisco certs go, all I know is that you have to completely re-certify every three years when the cert expires. Which means either retaking the test for the same cert, or taking a higher level cert test in the same track (CCNP renews CCNA, for instance).

    CompTIA is definitely the best place to start. I recommend only going for Cisco stuff if that's really what you want to do, and those certs are really what you need to do it.

    Microsoft is probably better than Cisco. I like their system better, at least.

    Wishlists! General | Gaming | Comics | Twitter! | Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • KharnastusKharnastus Registered User regular
    Pretty sure CompTIA is an organization that does the "Plus" certs and not a cert itself.

    My advice is to say FUCK support, systems administration, etc. and try to find someplace that will take you on in Application Security or some other offensive security discipline.

    Support and infrastructure jobs are oversaturated and fare very poorly in bad economies. Offensive security and Appsec in particular is just starting to take off, there's not nearly enough people in the field to fill all the open positions, it's been rapidly growing without any sign of slowing yet, and it's insular enough not many people seem to know about it. Pay is waaaaay better too.

    The crap part is that most companies in the industry are poaching talent instead of bringing new people on and training them up, and there are almost no degree programs that teach the relevant skills yet. Depending on where you're at or if you're willing to relocate I know of a place off the top of my head hiring entry level. On the bright side they're REALLY entry level, as in if you can self study a little but and possess any tech savvy you could get the job.

    So I have a pretty good in at a place to start after i finish this comptia cert. Could you forward me some info about what you are talking about or a good article to describe what offensive security is? I do like the idea of being some offensive counter security guy. Do I get a gun? :)

  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Blight on Discourse Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    Kharnastus wrote: »
    Pretty sure CompTIA is an organization that does the "Plus" certs and not a cert itself.

    My advice is to say FUCK support, systems administration, etc. and try to find someplace that will take you on in Application Security or some other offensive security discipline.

    Support and infrastructure jobs are oversaturated and fare very poorly in bad economies. Offensive security and Appsec in particular is just starting to take off, there's not nearly enough people in the field to fill all the open positions, it's been rapidly growing without any sign of slowing yet, and it's insular enough not many people seem to know about it. Pay is waaaaay better too.

    The crap part is that most companies in the industry are poaching talent instead of bringing new people on and training them up, and there are almost no degree programs that teach the relevant skills yet. Depending on where you're at or if you're willing to relocate I know of a place off the top of my head hiring entry level. On the bright side they're REALLY entry level, as in if you can self study a little but and possess any tech savvy you could get the job.

    So I have a pretty good in at a place to start after i finish this comptia cert. Could you forward me some info about what you are talking about or a good article to describe what offensive security is? I do like the idea of being some offensive counter security guy. Do I get a gun? :)

    Hope you were joking about the gun. Hacking websites. Some info about web application security follows, and a book with everything you need to start.

    https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Main_Page

    http://projects.webappsec.org/w/page/13246978/Threat Classification

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Web-Application-Hackers-Handbook/dp/1118026470/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1346781143&sr=8-2&keywords=Web+Application+Hacker's+Handbook

  • KharnastusKharnastus Registered User regular
    Good news team. I am employed, doing field tech support for a local school district. I get benefits and sick days and a work macbook pro. Life is good. I will start to think about those web security thangs now for further improvement and opportunities etc. Aaaaaand my coworkers are real people who can talk about things and appear to have lives outside of work.

  • TheKoolEagleTheKoolEagle Registered User regular
    congrats kharnastus,

    I really need to get certs, I've been doing networking work for 3 years for an audio over ip company but have nothing to put on my resume except experience. I'm just afraid since right now network admin jobs are becoming the new nurse job for schools that the certs will mean absolutely nothing in the next few years, but maybe that only applies to the microsoft cert.

    Thinking I should probably grab a+ and cisco for sure, especially since I'm pretty sure I know all I need to know for those certs anyways

    uNMAGLm.png Mon-Fri 8:30 PM CST - 11:30 PM CST
  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Blight on Discourse Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    A+ is more or less worthless but like you said you probably wouldn't even have to study.

    CCNA you'd be surprised the amount of things you can actually do but not know enough to pass the test. There is a ton of minutiae there depending on what your day to day job duties are and how in depth you self taught versus just learning enough to get things up and running jack of all trades style.

  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    Yeah, anyone with a modicum of PC support knowledge, the topic study guide, and a couple hours to spend on wikipedia can easily pass the A+ cert.
    It's not an amazing credential but it does establish a baseline, and it'll help you get a foot in the door.
    Anecdotal, I applied for my current job 3 times and didn't get an interview until the third time after I had my A+ cert.

    steam_sig.png
  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    A+ is more or less worthless but like you said you probably wouldn't even have to study.

    CCNA you'd be surprised the amount of things you can actually do but not know enough to pass the test. There is a ton of minutiae there depending on what your day to day job duties are and how in depth you self taught versus just learning enough to get things up and running jack of all trades style.
    This is so true,
    the problem with the CCNA, as with most cisco stuff is the majority of it isn't how to *do* X with cisco equipment, it's knowing Cisco's terminology. Also on a lot of their multiple choice questions they'll have multiple correct solutions, some of which are better than the cisco approved solution, but you need to select the cisco way or else.fuck i hate cisco.

    taliosfalcon on
  • KharnastusKharnastus Registered User regular
    As much as I hate paying the man for his certification its nice to have a job now. But the gatekeeper being a stupid A+ certification is a dumb way to get in. I have no idea what a good alternative would be though.

  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Blight on Discourse Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    Network+ or Security+ are better if you want something CompTIA. I was not knocking the Cisco certs they are all useful for securing employment IMO.

  • DragosaiDragosai Registered User regular
    All great advice above depending on what part of IT you want to go into. One thing I would add is that getting your ITIL cert is a very good idea if you are looking at any medium to big sized company. The corporate world loves them some ITIL so it looks good on a resume. A lot of places are also big into "Agile" so that's another cert that is good to grab. I find the ITIL and Agile certs help because the recruiters for a given position my not be technical, but they will know something about ITIL and/or Agile since it's hardwired into the companies that use it at all levels.

  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Kharnastus wrote: »
    As much as I hate paying the man for his certification its nice to have a job now. But the gatekeeper being a stupid A+ certification is a dumb way to get in. I have no idea what a good alternative would be though.

    First, my quals: I'm IT. I've been doing this 13 years. I've gone from helpdesk, to sysadmin, to information assurance, all the way up to program and project management. Heed my words young padawan.

    The A+ isn't difficult, if you commit to studying for it. That's for any certification - they require sweat equity to pass, and there are no automatic 'Oh, you'll be fine, just take it'. The level of minutiae you're grilled on is unreal. No, you won't have much practical use for any of it. But that's just about any certification, and I've taken 9 tests on them from different vendors. Frankly, the A+ is a solid place to start. It's operating system agnostic, and vendor neutral. If you're starting in this career field, the A+ can carry you a good ways - but I would always keep looking for certs to compliment what I do for a career.

    As for what to take - I'm sure it's overwhelming. There's a lot of certifications. The best entry level ones are still your CompTIA certs - after that, if you're enterprise uses Windows, working on your MCITP certs are a solid choice. You needn't take all seven tests - but getting certified in a vendors product is attractive to IT enterprises that use that vendors stuff - and just about everyone uses Microsoft. If you're feeling saucy, the Linux+ cert is pretty decent as well, and might get you into some entry level sysadmin work. If you find yourself doing infrastructure work (switches, firewalls, routers), then a natural evolution for you is the Cisco certifications.

    tl;dr: As you work on issues in your helpdesk position, you'll find things you're good at and want to pursue as a specialization. Take those certifications. If none of that interests you, attempt to get certifications that might get you hired in a specialization (like IT security). Do not take certification tests in random specializations. Find something you like, pursue it, and use certs to compliment your career in that field.

    3lwap0 on
    I think Pringles original intention was to make tennis balls... but on the day the rubber was supposed to show up a truckload of potatoes came. Pringles is a laid-back company, so they just said, "Fuck it, cut em up!".
  • MugaazMugaaz Registered User regular
    People seriously need to stop recommending Cisco certs to people not actively pursuing a career in Cisco networking. There is no reason at all to learn this stuff unless youre trying to get into that field. You might as well recommend random programming certs. I know people always say "well its good stuff to know". Its as good to know as any other thing youre not going to use 99% of the time, i.e. not at all. Spend your time pursuing a path and get the training and certs to work your way up that path. Whether thats server admin, programming, networking, or security. Then follow that path. Getting a CCNA and never using it day to day does not make you useful to any employer.

    Get a degree
    Get some entry comptia certs to get your foot in the door (aka helpdesk or noc)
    Get some entry certs in whichever specialty youre interested in to get your foot in the door for that field
    Get your advanced certs

  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    Mugaaz wrote: »
    People seriously need to stop recommending Cisco certs to people not actively pursuing a career in Cisco networking. There is no reason at all to learn this stuff unless youre trying to get into that field. You might as well recommend random programming certs. I know people always say "well its good stuff to know". Its as good to know as any other thing youre not going to use 99% of the time, i.e. not at all. Spend your time pursuing a path and get the training and certs to work your way up that path. Whether thats server admin, programming, networking, or security. Then follow that path. Getting a CCNA and never using it day to day does not make you useful to any employer.

    Get a degree
    Get some entry comptia certs to get your foot in the door (aka helpdesk or noc)
    Get some entry certs in whichever specialty youre interested in to get your foot in the door for that field
    Get your advanced certs

    While i somewhat agree with this, even if you're going into non-cisco networking, cisco certs are useful because every other networking cert out there is a complete joke, and most IT employers know this. Comptia and microsofts equivalents are just laughable, sadly despite all the cisco proprietary garbage shoved into it most Cisco certs also mean you know more about general networking than any other cert.

  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Blight on Discourse Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    Mugaaz wrote: »
    People seriously need to stop recommending Cisco certs to people not actively pursuing a career in Cisco networking. There is no reason at all to learn this stuff unless youre trying to get into that field. You might as well recommend random programming certs. I know people always say "well its good stuff to know". Its as good to know as any other thing youre not going to use 99% of the time, i.e. not at all. Spend your time pursuing a path and get the training and certs to work your way up that path. Whether thats server admin, programming, networking, or security. Then follow that path. Getting a CCNA and never using it day to day does not make you useful to any employer.

    Get a degree
    Get some entry comptia certs to get your foot in the door (aka helpdesk or noc)
    Get some entry certs in whichever specialty youre interested in to get your foot in the door for that field
    Get your advanced certs

    While i somewhat agree with this, even if you're going into non-cisco networking, cisco certs are useful because every other networking cert out there is a complete joke, and most IT employers know this. Comptia and microsofts equivalents are just laughable, sadly despite all the cisco proprietary garbage shoved into it most Cisco certs also mean you know more about general networking than any other cert.

    This, what this guy just said. If you are going to be a guy that interacts with lots of network closets they are a good thing to have.

  • MugaazMugaaz Registered User regular
    Yes, if youre going into network period youre going to need Cisco certs. I'm talking about the idea people have that server admins need a ccna, no they dont. They should work on being better server admins instead.

Sign In or Register to comment.