Good certifications for a sys admin position?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by lugoismad, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    I'm a senior in Gaming and Simulation Design Engineering Major right now.

    I used to be in Computer Engineering until my sophmore year, I just realized I REALLY disliked electronics, so I changed majors. The majors are very similar, except for when the computer eng guys take electronics, I'm taking "Simulation Design" and learning how to program in C++ and use libraries like OpenGL and DirectX. I can basically do anything they can short of design a circuit board, which I didn't want to do in the first place anyways.

    I really want to be a sys admin at a medium sized company. I don't want to work in the game field because I don't want to work 100 hour weeks and sleep under my desk. I want to have a family and have time to enjoy life, and working for a game company just isn't a goal for me like it is for other programmers.

    I've taken a bunch of operating systems and networking courses. I can program really well, and I know my way around a unix box.

    I'd like to get some certs for the real world.

    I a few years ago I studied for my A+, but never took the test. But I know the stuff inside and out, I've been working on computers since I was 12.

    What are other good ones to get? A+, Network+, Security+, MSCE, RHCE, Cisco (I assume I'll have to buy a cisco router to practice on, what is a good cheap one I can find on ebay that will still be new enough to use?)
     
  2. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    Get a simulator instead

    This one is excellent

    http://www.routersim.com/
     
  3. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    works for me, kickass. Thanks man.

    I've already downloaded the study manuals, but about how much does the test cost?

    Same goes for MSCE. I'm pretty sure my college offers a course on it for the business guys (and if they can pass it, I sure as hell can), but how much does the actual test itself run?

    I know A+ and etc are around $100 or so.
     
  4. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    CCNA exam is either $100 or $125 depending.
     
  5. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    Would guys that have taken them mind giving me some hints on what needs to be studied the most? Any hints or tips would be great.
     
  6. 7960

    7960 New Member

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  7. cmsurfer

    cmsurfer ºllllllº

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    The MCSE course is 7 tests. $125/test.
     
  8. 7960

    7960 New Member

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  9. keleko

    keleko yes, he is

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    :) guy i work with has the entire thing on dvd and sending me a copy :)
     
  10. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    Routersim labs and the flashcards are all I used to study for ccna and passed with a 900+ on my first try. It really is good...you will not know you're not working on a real router.

    There are different ways you can go through the labs. You can have it show you step-by-step including instructions and reasoning why you're doing what you're doing (very helpful). Or you can have it give you the stated goal with some hints and required commands but not really step-by-step. Or you can have it give you just the goal and you go to town and it'll tell you if you do it right.

    I printed the labs so I wouldn't have to flip back and forth. If you have two monitors (or one *big* one, I guess) then you may not have to. But I printed them and went through them step-by-step. Then I went back and did them again with the goals and commands. Then I went back and tried to do them again with just the goals.... keep doing that and eventually you'll learn what you need to know.
     
  11. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    How would you get experience while your still in college?

    Theres no internships available around here, and I can't pack up and move for 3 months since I rent the house.
     
  12. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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    What type of sysadmin do you want to be? UNIX, Network, or Windows?

    This if funny because I was almost exactly in your situation when I was in college 7 years ago. I majored in Computer Engineering as well and didn't really like what I was doing towards the end and just finished it as quickly as I could just to get out of it. Got my B.S. and decided I wanted to go down the UNIX Sys Admin route as well. Am still one today and plan to retire as one or whatever is as close to it in 30 years. No management role for me, tried that for a few months and detested dealing with monkeys.

    Anyway, there aren't any useful courses in college for windows/network/unix/sys admins anyway.

    I would not suggest to go jump into getting certs now, if ever. Get experience first and to do that you have to start low.

    I started out as a Computer Operator for command center and worked my ass off to move up the ladder as fast as I could. Worked all shifts, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, worked overtime, scripted and automated many tasks to make the command center operations easier and more streamlined, helped out any sys admin that I could.

    Started as a Computer Operator, Senior Computer Operator, Operations Analyst, Senior Operations Analyst, and then in a little under a year was titled Unix Administrator. Note, this is was all in the same company and grabbed all the opportunities that came up. And of course made some opportunities for myself as well.

    Depending on the level of responsibilities at your college, a computer help desk job (not just some phone operator that forwards tickets), at your college may be a good start, okay experience and looks good for the resume. With this, you should be able to at least jump into a junior admin position at a company. But if a computer operator position arises where you monitor and operate the types of systems you want to admin in the future, take it.

    Don't waste your time and money on certs before you have a job, it is most certainly not worth it. Better to take a low paying job, (my first job was only 27k, doubled that in year, and now I make more than 4x that now, more than most of my college friends that started with the initial high paying entry level dev jobs) with the opportunities to grow that waste time taking certs waiting for that dream job just to pop up. It ain't going to happen.

    When looking for a jsa or co job, be sure to massage your resume for an admin as opposed to the developer and engineering skills that you learned in class.

    I don't know what else to tell you, but it will be a hard ride in the beginning, but it will pay off in a few years. Once I became a UNIX SA, took me about a year to become Senior, then 4 years to become Manager, (again, hated that), moved over to Systems Architect, (all at the same company) and now downgraded myself back to Senior UNIX Admin at a different company and I could not be happier.

    Note, if you want to do well, it will NOT be a 40 hour a week job initially, you probably will have to work long hard hours and weekends/holidays to get things done or to move up the ladder quickly. So don't expect the workload to be less than a game dev initially. This depends on the company you work at obviously.

    Let me know if you have more questions.
     
  13. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    Thank you.

    The problem is, going to school in southern ohio, there is no where to intern or get a job at. I'm serious. No where.

    And I can take a long distance internship because I rent a house, I can't exactly just pack a whole house full of stuff up for 3 months.
     
  14. sonicsuby

    sonicsuby New Member

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    Basically everything that crontab said - I'm a unix sys admin as well.

    Dude, here's the thing - once you get done with school, you'll want to take a job that works for you and will advance your career, regardless of location. Get ready to have a storage unit, or to move your shit.

    Hot spots for tech right now:

    Atlanta GA has a ton of IT
    Alabama does as well
    California (obviously but look at the valley)

    You're probably going to need to leave Ohio - there's not much there ;). Certs, at this point in your career, will be worthless as you have no experience. Get a job, get the experience, get your employer to pay for your certs, then use those certs at review time to negotiate a raise ;).
     
  15. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Wow, excellent link. I've always felt like there was a hole in my skill-set because I don't know IOS. I've had to deploy Linux boxes when emergencies arose that required firewalls/vpns to be setup quickly, when there were perfectly good Ciscos lying in piles in the warehouse.
     
  16. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    I've become quite fond of Solaris 10. I just thought I'd let you know.

    What do you think of ZFS? Probably not suited to your environment?
     
  17. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    I bet there is a help desk job and some unix systems at your school. Explore.
     
  18. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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    Yes, anyone can tell that you love Sun now.

    Dunno yet, I have it on my sunblade 1500 now, but I have yet to really play with it. And by play with it, I mean tuning direct i/o, aio, aggregate io, delay logging, direct logging, unbuffered io, how easy it grows, how gracefully raidz can handle hard interruptions, can it handle and delegate tiered storage, finding the limits of a large pool, and most importantly how does it perform against veritas for Oracle. Essentially, until Oracle tells customer they 100% support zfs, it will no go into production yet. Even then, we will not be the first to deploy, will wait to see what other customers think of it.
     
  19. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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    There is not one open job at your school? If they you have projects on the UNIX platform, there may be some opportunites for an entry level position there. Even if you graduate and there is a low level job at the school dealing with admins, take it. You will have to start low.

    And like sonic said, you have to move if you want to become an SA. You have to find your own balance, if you love Ohio, but can't find a job as an SA, you better do something else. If you have to be an SA, pack up your essentials, sell the rest of your stuff and move. How about Cleveland or Columbus? Are you close to either of those towns? I've been in a few training classes where there were some SA's from there.
     
  20. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    No, there isn't. Its a 4,000 person school. 90% of the school is ran on the windows platform, badly I might add, by two idiot tech guys.

    The engineering building has its own connection, and is admin'd by a professor. There is no helpdesk, no unix systems to work on (there is a few,but like I said, its ran by the one professor).
     
  21. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    I plan on moving to Dayton or Columbus. I have an uncle who works for a robotics factory as a Sys Admin, and I'm kinda hoping to get a good word in there. Who knows. But if I have to move, I'll move.
     
  22. 7960

    7960 New Member

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