Certifications can Boost Your Hireability
This is a no brainer, but if you’re struggling out there in the job market, try to get some certifications. You may find that your field experience or self-research and training qualify you for a certification already. Or, you may learn something new by studying a “For Dummies” or exam prep guide.
Currently, I hold two Microsoft certifications – Microsoft Certified Professional, and Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician. These are great, but hardly enough on their own to get an awesome job. That’s why one of the things I am for sure doing with some of my inheritance money is getting my Apple Desktop Support certification and a Vista upgrade to my Microsoft certifications. Then I’ll probably get my A+ and start looking into a Cisco cert of some sort.
Cisco certs are neat, because that’s where the REALLY big bucks are at. You can go almost anywhere you want with the right Cisco certification. Why? Because nearly every enterprise-class network has Cisco hardware somewhere – either in their network infrastructure, or their phone systems, or somewhere in their data centers.
Cisco has certifications that can lead into any of these career paths, and even if the company you go to work for doesn’t have Cisco-brand equipment, they look highly on the certification during the hiring process. These certs aren’t cheap, but they’re well worth the investment in your time and equipment.
Getting your Cisco certification is fairly straightforward though, you just start at their website and begin researching the first level, the associate certification (or CCNA).
By itself, the CCNA is plenty to get you a good job. Like you’d expect though, a higher level certification gives you better chances and better money. The next levels are going to be even harder though, and you’ll want to find yourself some access to Cisco equipment so you can practice and train for your exam. Usually if you have a job where you can use your CCNA, you’ll have higher-level staff who can help you with that, though.