Originally Posted by trueg50
You wouldn't be going to a school for certifications.
Get a Bachlors in IT and that would pretty much cover most certifications. Then you could get the MCSE/MCSA in your free time, or get your employer to pay for it.
Also after college the Cisco courses are great to take. Again these both would require college education.
First off... Degrees are more or less useless for a technician that is just starting out and trying to get their feet wet. As a person who has worked starting out from a residential desktop technician to a full blown Network/Sys Admin I would say that A+, Net+, Sec+ are more or less essential, as those tests are capable of confirming ones ability in the fundamentals of managing computer systems.
I would say go to a school that is geared toward (an accelerated learning college) IT and classes are based on and prepare you for these certifications as well as Microsoft's certifications. These schools will have general eds as well but will not focus on them. In other words, you wont spend two years wasting your time in math and english like you would at a traditional university.
The only thing I would say if you were going to attend an accelerated learning college would be to make sure the college is not only nationally accredited but regionally
accredited. Regional accreditation holds a whole heck of a lot more weight than national accreditation in terms of transferring credits to a traditional university (in your area) if you ever choose to do so.
My current experience has shown that most administrative/support jobs (and by that I mean the guys that actually touch the system) dont even ask for a degree. They ask for certifcations (and, idiotically, mostly an MCSE) and for experience
. Unfortunately for some, experience with advanced skill sets will get you further and more money in this business than any other factor.
Finally, if you ever want to be the guy running the show, you know... the guy that just heads up IT departments and manages IT projects (i.e., IT Directors, Project Managers) and doesnt actually touch the system, THEN you need a 4 year degree with all of your certifications and, from what Ive seen, a good 10 years under your belt as a Network/Sys Admin.
This is the model that I have followed. And in just 2 years into the business as a desktop technician and by my last semester of college I landed a my first job as a Systems Admin at 25/hr. I think for the area I live in that was just way more than I could realistically ask for.
I have moved up slightly since then and am on my second IT firm for which I think I have more room for advancement and the fact that I more or less run the show here (which is nice sometimes).
If you want to succeed in IT you just have to be hungry. There are a surprising number of slacker admins out there just waiting for you to take their jobs. I really was surprised at some of the shoddy work that is done by your average admin.
Anyway, Good Luck!