Street Scene


My certification experience

When I first started in IT I had the same question as others. Should I go for a degree or certifications? I talked to many people and there seems to be a split concerning certifications. Some feel it is a waste of time and others feel that it is a worthwhile endeavor. In my opinion it is not the earning of the certification that is the point. It is the knowledge gained while studying for the cert. So, given the choice between a degree or a certification, I chose both.

The merits of certifications can be argued over and over. Can they create paper tigers? Yes. Can someone who has a certification know absolutely nothing about the technology? Yes. With that said I have worked hard over the past 10 plus years to earn these certifications. Are they all worth renewing and keeping up with? Some are, some are not. I have always thought of them as resume fodder. No one asks me at work what my Cisco certification level is. However, when I hire people I do look for some sort of certification work and I feel more comfortable working with vendors who have certified technicians on staff. I feel that certifications show a commitment to the industry. A commitment to continuing education. And the intelligence and technical knowledge to pass a test. The real art is taking that knowledge and applying it to the job.

Earned Certifications

Sorted by first earned to last

CompTIA A+

CompTIA A+

My first certification ever. I am grandfathered into this cert, but I am still building PCs to this day so I feel that I have continued to expand on my hardware and software knowledge.

Visit A+
CompTIA Net+

CompTIA Network+

This was my first networking cert and I am also grandfathered into this one. It was a good test that covered vendor agnostic networking technologies. Studying for this cert was a great introduction to networking.

Visit Net+

Microsoft Certified Professional

This was the old 70-290 Windows Server cert managing and maintaining a Windows Server 2003 environment. Windows Server 2003 is no longer supported, but I am still an MCP because of the next cert. I am currently working with Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 in my lab. I have Hyper-V and VDI configured and working in Server 2016.

Visit MCP

System Center Configuration Manager 2007

I configured SCCM from scratch and thought it would be a good idea to get certified for the product. We are still using this server for imaging, reporting, patching, software deployment, and remote access. Although, now it is time to upgrade.

Visit MCTS

Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician

My first Cisco certification. This was a tough test for me at the time. I took the cert as part of my Master’s degree program. I am still using what I learned during this course to this day. However, the biggest benefit to taking this course was for my employer. During the course I had the idea to redesign TWB's shop floor network and with management's support this was done to great effect.


Certified Ethical Hacker v7

This was a great learning experience. I enjoyed the labs and I learned a lot and have continued to learn after the course using my own lab. I may try to earn the next level cert from ECCouncil, but I feel I may let this cert drop in favor of other security related certs.

Visit CEH

Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator v8

Interesting subject matter. Data forensics is fascinating, but I do not think I would want it as a career. However, I was introduced to some cool tools and hardware and how to find hidden data among a lot of other techniques and knowledge.

Visit CHFI

GIAC Certified ISO-27000 Specialist

SANS retired this cert almost at the same time I earned it. However, I did learn alot about the ISO-27000 standards and was able to print them all out and put them in a binder. This was an open book test which was surprising to me. I would like to pursue more SANs training in the future.

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CCNA Routing and Switching

I studied hard for this one. It’s a cert that I always wanted and the knowledge gained will help me in my career. I waited until the last minute to take this test. I spent months studying on my own reading Cisco Press books, watching their videos, and doing the network simulations.

Visit Cisco.comCCNA