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Certification question

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Last Modified: 2018-04-10
I've been working in the field of IT now for about 15 years. I spent the first 5 years as a PC and network technician and have been the IT Director/Network administrator  for the last 10 years. When I was first starting out, I had prepared to take the CompTIA A+ and Network + but I put it off and put it off... and now here I am 15 years later with nothing other than a 2 year certificate degree in IT from a college along with my work experience. I love my job now.. but if anything ever happens where I need to find another job, I'd like to have some certs to go along with my experience to help me along in that job hunt. I have a few certs in my radar. I'd like to purse an MCSE and CCNA... but I have contemplated starting out by getting my A+ and Network+ since I don't feel like it would take much to knock those two out at this point.... but my question is, should I even bother with either of those at this point since they are pretty entry level certs? I go back in forth on that point but could use some opinions.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Certs are the pieces of paper that get you past HR.

Do you pay attention to them when hiring?  I've met so many certified people who don't have a clue.... and so many brilliant people without a single cert.  

I don't care what certs a person has, I want to know about their home network... their personal IT projects.  Show me you love IT and I know you can do the job.  Then it just becomes a question of do you have the work ethic not to mess around on my time.

But I digress.  Certs get you in the door.  Look at your resume and ask yourself what you want to do *IF* you have to look for a new job tomorrow.  Based on that, move forward.  You say "director" - if so, do you want to work in management?  If so, certs aren't as important to getting through HR.  Do you want to work for a larger company that has an HR department?  Or a company of 50-100 with an HR Department of 1-3 people who also recognize the value of experience?  It doesn't hurt having certs.  But knowing which to promote and what you want to do will help a great deal in determining your next job.
Robert OrnelasVP Operations at Cook's Computer

Most companies in my area want to see the basic CompTIA certs at a minimum and will usually pay for any Certs they want you to have depending on their environment. But as Lee stated move forward based on what you want to do.
Scott CSenior Engineer

The company I currently work for will give an 8-9% raise for a cert if it's in your related field.  I will get 8% for a CCNA and 9% for MCSE.

Yes they get you in the door, but they also show you can learn and at least have some knowledge of the topic.

That being said...I like CBT Nuggets and Pluralsight for my training material.
Chris SmithIT Director


let me clarify my question. I already plan to pursue certs. specifically MCSE and CCNA - but my question is would it be worth my time/money to get my A+ and N+ as well. I had always thought of those two certs as fairly entry level. Or would it be a good idea to get them anyway just to have them under my belt.
Distinguished Expert 2019
Depends on where you want to end up, and if you plan to change jobs soon. Of the CompTIA certs, I only S+. But security is my interest. N+ would help if you plan to make a move before getting the higher level certs. But in your shoes I would get it anyway just to say I have it.
Senior Engineer
No.  I would not pursue A+/Net+ if you are going for MCSA/CCNA.

I got my A+ then MCSA...getting the A+ was a waste of time and money.

When I got my MCSA I was out of work.  I put my nose to the grindstone and completed all 3 in 2.5 months.
Don JohnstonInstructor
Top Expert 2015

No.  If you're going to go CCNA and MCSE, A+ and Net+ are meaningless.

Think about it like this: If you are looking at a candidate and they had their CCNP, would you care if they had a CCNA?  Or if they had their MCSE, would it matter that they had an MCP?