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Courses and Training Thread, What certifications to get? in Training and Courses; Hi I am about to have my professional development review and want to really try get something out of it ...
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    What certifications to get?

    Hi

    I am about to have my professional development review and want to really try get something out of it this year.

    I have worked at the same school for 5 years now. Started by supporting their feeder primaries with their VLE'e. Then moved onto the senior technician role and now network manager for the last year. I only have a computer science degree, no tech or MS certs.

    I was wondering what would be the best ones to look at going for in two categories. First of all management / project management certs and secondly ones to improve my technical knowledge.

    Are MS certs the best to go for?
    What networking certs are best (e.g. affordable and useful)
    Would it be better from a CV basis to get technical ones before management ones or vice versa?

    Any advice would be great thanks.

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    rad
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    What ever you choose, make sure they are worth it.
    I did an Apple course in which was great, however I didnt do the exam because I am a Kinesthetic learner, i dont retain information unless I have completed the task. So for me certificates are difficult to obtain.

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    Moving to correct forum.

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    if you do do ms ones just be aware that it seems a lot of the newer course books dont seem to cover all the exam material i can confirm this for whichever one it was i failed and lots of amazon reviews say the same thing

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    The books always fall short on the material, I did 8-9 exams before this caught me out. You need to look at the exam requirements as well and do a little further reading around some of these subjects that they gloss over in the course books.

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    I would highly recommend doing the CCNA on the technical front, I completed it last year and have found it more useful than anything else so far.

    I've done numerous MS exams and am currently studying towards the Server 2012 MCSA, it's worth having the knowledge and the name on your CV but as mentioned above, it does appear that they are skimming some details on the modern ones

    In terms of management, I want to do this myself and have heard good things about both the Prince2 and the ITIL certs

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    Quote Originally Posted by tj2419 View Post
    I was wondering what would be the best ones to look at going for in two categories. First of all management / project management certs and secondly ones to improve my technical knowledge.
    When you say management, what do you mean? Do you manage a team? Or the IT equipment (eg networks)? or both?

    With Project Management, you have a variety of different qualifications out there:

    Prince2 (foundation and practitioner)
    Comptia Project+
    PMP range of certs - Project Management Professional Certification (PMP)
    The OU M258 - M258 - IT project and service management - Open University Course

    For IT Management (more on the technical side rather than people side), you got:

    FITS (level 3 and 4 - the previous versions were level 4 and 5) - The FITS Foundation - Professional qualifications and support for ICT staff within education
    ITIL - https://www.exin.com/NL/en/exams/&ex...-v3-foundation
    You could go for a Postgrad Cert in Technology Management - C49 - Postgraduate Certificate in Technology Management - Open University

    For general management, take a look at the:

    NVQ 3 in Management
    NVQ 2 in Team Leading

    Quote Originally Posted by tj2419 View Post
    Are MS certs the best to go for?
    This depends on what you actually do on a day to day basis. What do you do with MS technologies? Do you work with/in a multi-domain/multi-site environment? Do you work more with client OS, Server OS or Server App (eg SCCM, Exchange, etc)? Depending on what you work with, should dictate which route to go down.

    Quote Originally Posted by tj2419 View Post
    What networking certs are best (e.g. affordable and useful)
    The Cisco certs are one of the biggest in the industry, however I would say be careful with them. How much work do you do with Cisco kit? Added to the fact that Cisco certs need to be renewed every 3 years. It may not be worth it at this moment in time.

    If you want more generic networking info/certification, look at the following:
    BTEC Advanced Diploma in Network Design & Admin Level 3 - Home or
    T216 - Cisco networking (CCNA) - Open University Course (if you really want to do a Cisco specific course, you might as well get credit for it)

    If you primarily work with HP switches, look at the HP route of certifications. They do from Associate level (entry level) to Masters level (advanced level): HP Institute for students | HP ExpertOne

    Quote Originally Posted by tj2419 View Post
    Would it be better from a CV basis to get technical ones before management ones or vice versa?
    Not really. Either way is fine. Which route do you want to concentrate on first? Are you planning to leave your current place soon? Which route do you want to concentrate on Management or technical?
    Last edited by wagnerk; 7th July 2014 at 05:30 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. 2 Thanks to wagnerk:

    Griff (9th July 2014), tj2419 (7th July 2014)

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    Wow thanks for the really detailed advice @wagnerk

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    It's only my opinion based on my own CPD over the years. Others may have a different take, some may agree. It all depends on what you (the person) has experienced.

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    great list @wagnerk

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