Originally Posted by losttsol
I'm still going to start out getting A+ Certified, then go from there. I have a geology degree and work in the environmental field, but computers are more interesting to me. A friend of mine went to ITT Tech and works for Infineon making chips. I always thought he had a cool job, but he said working in a clean room can be a pain. I used to ask him for RAM, but they don't make the good stuff apparently. Anyways, I would rather get a job with hardware somehow eventually. Luckily, I make decent money now (although not as much as I should), so I can study in my spare time and not be in a hurry. What other certs would be good for working on PC's, Servers, etc...? I should probably go towards networking type stuff.
Normally you'll see IT broken down into 5 different disciplines.
Technician - not as low level as it sounds. My company has 4 levels of technician, and level 4 tech's make more than admins because they're hands on with $200,000.00 servers. Base level tech tech jobs generally require A+ or 2+ years of experience in IT. The higher levels want you to be a "IT Jack" and have experience with servers, networks, etc etc.
Sys Admin - You run the servers, handle access to system resource, etc. COMPTia Server+ might land you an entry level job here, but most companies will be looking for MCSA (M$ Certified System Associate) or MCSE (M$ Certified Systems Expert). Also getting experience or certifictions in Novell and\\or Sun will look great on your resume as most companies have blended servers (Nix + M$).
Network Admin - Just like it sounds, you administer the network. You configure all routers, switches, vlan, etc for the network, and if you work for a big company you're often involved in building out new centers, upgrading old one. Lots of fun. CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) CCNP (" " " Professional) CCIE (" " Internetwork Expert), Network+, and Security+ are the types of education expected for this job. CCNP and CCIE are several years of study to get, CCNA Net+ and Sec+ are good starting points.
Architect\\Management - A growing field with most modern companies needing to move to virtuilization to save space, power, and heating\\cooling. You plan how the network will grow (or shrink) what equipment to use, how to intergrate the equipment etc. Cisco offers a Network Architect certifiction (HARD) which will help you land this job. IT Management is just like management in any other field, and requires the same type education\\experience, as well as good working IT Knowledge.
Developer\\TQA - This is pretty much self explainatory. You either write software, of you break what others have written (Technical Quality Assurance) and help them fix the code before it's rolled out to the end user. Here you'd just pick the language you'd like to be working with, and get certified in it.
Hope that helps anyone who's interested.Edited by HatesFury - 6/22/08 at 12:36pm