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Help deciding which certifications to take.. thoughts?

 
 
zantar@verizon.net
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      02-20-2004
Good morning,

I have been working in this industry for 8 years. I have worked in
various area from a corporate Antivirus software support tech, to a
Pre Sales Systems engineer. I have had my hands dirty on anything from
Win 3.11 , 95, 98, ME (ME!worst OS MS ever released IMHO) 2000, 2000
server, XP.. To various Linux flavors and even HPUX. Worked with lots
of Antivirus Gateway appz scanning SMTP gateways. Also I was a
Gauntlet Firewall tech for 2 years. Now I work with SSH
implementations and some VPN... At 32 years old and looking to stay
in secure employment I see some changes in the industry. With the
death of so many .coms the market is much much more competitive. I
hear and see a lot more job postings and people in interviews where
employers really want to see some certifications. I do interview
really well and hold my own well during those pressure cooker panel
interviews.. I am Secure in my job now yes but I feel like I need to
add further credibility to my experience and expertise.

I am pondering some certifications.

Initially I thought about going with MCSE. But the more I read the
more I see employers almost just looking at it like a minimum
requirement and the cost and time is high. As i dont have any credible
certs as of now I am leaning towards starting with the A+ cert.
Passing that one easily might give me confidence to press on.. Then
perhaps moving to + Network.
I purchased a QUE Exam Cram for A+ and been skimming. I easily wizzed
through the OS practice exam in it but I need to refresh myself on the
hardware. But I think I can pass it maybe even now. Can anyone give me
the best desk reference for passing this test? Is it the Mike Meyers
5th? Honestly I feel my experience is the best asset.

Suggestions of what other certifications would also be helpful. CCNA?
Is that a good one? It would give me some diversity since my
experience on Cisco is small and limited. RHCE? Or should I go back to
working on MCSE after A+ and Network+? CWSP looks good too and I have
had experience setting up Wireless Lans with VPN.

Basically I think with my security software background I should get a
cert related to Security. With my ultimate goal eventually earning a
CISSP. Any thoughts on what certs would help me solidify the skills I
would need to ultimately pass the CISSP would be great.

Thanks.. Sorry so wordy here... my brain is just running 100 mph on
this..
 
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