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My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Grand Rapids, MI
reply to OHN

Re: What Specialization Would You Choose Now?

I focused on infrastructure in college. Servers and networking was my bread and butter when I graduated, but I also had great customer service skills. Those customer service skills put me in jobs where I could interact with people. So not only was I providing support, but also working on the infrastructure and servers. I guess you could consider me a "Jack of all trades" as well. There really is nothing wrong with that either.

Look at the way IT has progressed in the last 15 years. Specialists can find jobs just as easily as Jack of all Trades can. The difference is where you work. Most specialists are consultants or work for very large firms. Most Jack of all Trades are working for small to medium sized companies where flexibility is king.

Personally, I have always found that people who have a very diverse skill set have better employment prospects. Sure, the guy that knows VMWare inside out and backwards may be a master at what he does, but those jobs not as numerous as the small to medium sized companies looking for someone who has seen and done many things.

I have also found that if you can not only work on technology, but also work with users, then the world is your oyster. Many IT people have issues with training users or working with people for one reason or another. There are jobs for those people, but the IT professionals who have super people skills are not as common and in higher demand.

If I was doing it all over again in your shoes, I would get a college degree and certifications. Those are the two things that are really holding you back in your career. The degree especially since that opens doors for you. The certifications also help because it shows that you know what you know. The certs are not as important as the degree, but still hold value in the job market, especially when you get up to the CISSP.

As for me, if I had to do it all over again, I would stay right where I am. I think specializing in one thing is boring. I have my CCNA, a couple MCP's, A+, Security+, and a few other certs. I love the ability to sit down and work on a Cisco router, but then switch gears and work on VMWare. Am I a master at either one? No. I don't need to be one either. I also like switching it up to help people when the rest of the people on my team need a helping hand.
My domain - Nightfall.net

Texan and Proud
Baytown, TX
if I did it over again I would have focused more on school and less on work.

Gotten my degree and certs
I would go for A+, Net+, iNet+, CCNA, and CCNP plus a Microsoft cert.

As it is I focused on work and am now at a job that they'll reimburse me for going to college if my grades are good enough.

The upside is I have 7 years work experience in the field of IT.
»Death Star Petition


Appleton, WI
reply to Nightfall
Thank you so much. Great feedback.


Appleton, WI
reply to DarkLogix
I agree. I think with my real world experiance AND a degree and certs, I will be a better candidate and also have more doors open to me.

So far Cisco and Security certs appear to be the top. Found some info on Project Management certs as well.

I am very excited. Works does reimbruse me for going to school up to a certain amount.