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Top comments that mention products on r/ITCareerQuestions:

u/VA_Network_Nerd · 2 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

> Could you please go more in-depth on what you mean by seeing how the components work in harmony and understanding the needs of the different ones?

The absurdly short and easy for me response is:

The longer and more useful response would best be shared in a pub, assisted by frothy adult beverages of wisdom.

But, I'll give it a shot using the restrictive written word as a medium.

The CCNA certification will teach you the fundamentals of network design & configuration.
The MTA or MCSA certifications will teach you the fundamentals of Windows client and server design & configuration.

But what they don't tell you is when is a Catalyst 2960-series switch the right tool for a task, and what is something beefier like a Nexus 3K or 5K series device the more appropriate tool.

The driving factors behind appropriateness is in the details of the requirements.

Client devices (if we ignore WiFi) seldom have redundant network connections.
So laptops & desktops do not require redundant Layer-1/2 connectivity.
But all servers have, or should be equipped with redundant NICs, capable of some form of teaming configuration to form an active/active, or active/passive redundant team. The LAN solution must be compatible with this.

Then traffic volume. Client devices do not generally require frequent, sustained high volume network flows. Most client systems burst occasionally while they open a file, then settle back down to idle-chatter as they check e-mail every minute or so.

Some servers, like a DNS server receive never-ending, continuous bursts of small packet exchanges. Ass-loads of them. From thousands of source-addresses. Just a dozen packets in the conversation, which is then broken down and ended - conversation over.

Other servers, like a Hadoop cluster-member will chuck along fairly-quietly for short to medium periods of time, then engage in massive, sustained bursts of replication traffic or query exchanges.

Small, short conversations do not require extensive network buffering capability, and are not generally latency-sensitive. So general-purpose LAN hardware might be an appropriate tool for the job.

But very heavy workloads, or loads that ARE latency-sensitive (High Performance Computing, for example) might demand specialized network hardware designed for such activities.


Beyond the network, one must understand the application workloads.
Some applications or systems might make ass-loads of DNS lookups.
A DNS query is not a complicated, or network-capacity intensive workload.
But if you know the application will be doing it, and will benefit from low-latency access to a DNS server, deploying an additional DNS server very close to the application might make a lot of sense.


> There is one other school I have been considering. <AAS @ Green River>

I roll my eyes at the inclusion of CompTIA A+ material in a college curriculum.
That just strikes me as such a trade-school topic.
It's not bad material, but its like learning to change automotive oil as part of a mechanical engineering curriculum.

I see two Linux classes and two Network classes, so those things make me happy.
But I don't get a sense that this degree will transfer well.
I see things that should make you employable though.

The A+ cert won't get you a guaranteed job.
But the A+ and Sec+, combined with that array of associated educational topics should prepare you to hold your own in a reasonable interview.
Nothing is guaranteed, but that should be adequate.


> How do you feel about a Business Degree with an (M)IS major vs a Bachelors of Science in Information Technology (maybe with a business minor)?

No objection from me on these degrees. Some of them do a better job of making sure you can see & speak-to the bigger picture, or higher altitude view of why these IT systems are important to the business.

IMO: Project Management is NOT an early-career role, but Systems Analysts, as players on a project team is certainly something early-career staff can perform.

> Do you think having a BBA would be detrimental for a career in technology?

Nope. knowledge trumps education.

> I hear some people say that MIS degrees aren't technical enough, or that they have a hard time finding a job after graduation.

Well, an MIS degree probably isn't technical enough for some job roles or position descriptions.
But an MIS degree with a CompSci minor might do the trick, for some roles.

But let's be honest, an MIS degree, all by itself is not the right degree for a position like "Lead Enterprise Architect for Mobile Application Development".

But an MIS degree, plus 9 years of experience developing software might be the right combination of education & experience for that role.

Let's also look at MIS v/s CS and IS/IT objectively, analytically.

Every single student in a college or university damned well knows that a CompSci degree is a fast-path to stable employment.
It's not quite a golden ticket for fame & fortune, but its among the most in-demand and immediately employable degrees available.

Employers & recruiters / placement agencies are actively searching for graduates that can survive a basic interview without drooling on themselves or sexually assaulting the recruiter.

There is a fixed and steady pipeline for CompSci graduates.

But CS includes a lot of big scary math, some of the biggest math requirements for any undergraduate degree track. And this scares away a lot of applicants.

A pecking order of "CompSci-light" degree options forms up, with these students all trying to get a degree that qualifies them to attend the Technology career fair, but protects them from evil math.

InfoTech, with it's focus on the nuts & bolts of operating systems, databases, networks & security proudly in a top-level tier beneath CompSci, and Computer Engineering. We rub elbows with Software Engineering grads who swear SoftEng is better, & more useful than CompSci.

InfoSystems, is watered-down InfoTech with more database and business-focus, and fewer nuts & bolts courses.

Management Info Systems is even more watered down technology material, with even more emphasis on business administration & data.

IS & MIS ARE useful degrees, and those roles ARE truly beneficial to the organization.
But the pipeline is smaller for those degrees within the Technology Career Fair.

But here is the fun fact for IS and MIS degrees:
They can attend the non-technology career fair if they want to.

IS & MIS might not have been highly in-demand at the technology career fair, but you have a whole different recruiting team with a completely different variety of slots to fill at the non-tech fair. IS & MIS starts looking much better & more attractive in this environment where they are actually hiring more project managers & analysts as opposed to developers & engineers.


Some colleges, especially community colleges might only have a single career fair, but the concept still applies. MIS is valid for both technology and non-technical (less-technical) positions.

u/sold_myfortune · 3 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

You are two certifications away from being an excellent SOC analyst candidate. Here's the blueprint:

A SOC analyst position gives you some insight into a whole range of different information security problems and practices. You'll see incoming recon and attacks, your org's defenses and responses, and the attacker's counter responses. You'll get experience using a SIEM. You'll use Wireshark to examine pcaps (huge). You'll become familiar with all of the tools in place and start to figure out what works and what doesn't. You'll learn the workflow of a security team and what the more senior engineers do to protect the enterprise. After a couple of years, you'll probably have a much better idea about your own interests and the path you want to pursue in your career. The SOC is a great jumping off point for advancement as a penetration tester, devsecops developer, DFIR, OSINT guru, threat hunter, etc.

Here's how you get there:

Step 1: Get the Network+ certification (Skip the A+, it's a waste of time for your purposes). You MUST understand IPv4 networking inside and out, I can't stress that enough. A used Net+ study guide on Amazon should be less than $10. Professor Messer videos are great and free:

Mike Meyers has about the best all in one Network + book out right now, you can get that from Amazon. You can also check out Mike Meyers' channel on Youtube, he has a lot of Network+ videos:

Mike Meyers Net+


Step 2: Work on your Linux admin skills. The majority of business computing is done on a unix type platform, this will not change anytime soon. has some great skills building courses and prep for linux certs as well.

For Linux, I'd highly recommend "Unix and Linux System Administration Handbook" by Evi Nemeth, et al. The information is presented in a way that is comprehensible to regular people. You can get a used copy of the fourth edition for about $15.00. The second edition got me through my first three jobs back in the day :)

Linux Admin Handbook


Step 3: Get the Security+ certification. I'd highly recommend Net+ before Sec+ as all of your Net+ work will inform your Sec+ studies.

Step 4: While still in your current job try to do every security related task you can, these are great resume builders.

Step 5: Attend Bsides conferences (very cheap), there is almost certainly one within a couple hours of you. These are great networking events. After the talks, people go out to drink beer in the evenings. This is how most people actually find out about job openings.

Step 6: Join a local hackers group similar to NoVA Hackers or Dallas Hackers.

Step 7: Network with everyone you can at security conferences and in your hackers group.

Step 8: Take the free online Splunk Fundamentals class while you're waiting. If you have a couple thousand dollars burning a hole in your pocket take the Splunk power user class and get certified. This alone could get you hired at a lot of organizations.

Step 9: Keep going until you get that SOC analyst job. SOCs can be tough to get hired into because it's the tip of the spear and management can't afford to hire noobs and gooberish mouthbreathers. On the other hand nearly everyone in the SOC is looking to build skills and their resume so they can get out of the SOC and move up. That means SOC analyst is a high turnover position and SOCs are constantly looking for good people with experience.

That SOC analyst job should pay between $60K and $70K for someone with five years experience and certs to match. You'll stay there for a year to eighteen months and get a couple more certifications, then leave for a new job making $80K to $90K. After a few more years in infosec you should be at $100K+.

If you have time to take formal classes at a local community college I'd also highly recommend at least one programming class, preferably in python. Being able to automate tasks is an invaluable skill as a SOC analyst and will set you apart from those that can't. Community colleges can also be a great pipeline to a new job through the school's career center.

u/Vontopovyo · 5 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

Absolutely. I did have a leg up in that sales really helped me to hone my social/communication skills, so I was confident once I got an interview somewhere.

But start building a home lab, tinkering, and learning now -
There might be a better resource, but this is how I passed my first exam.

Initiative seems to be well regarded in this field.

I got this job, which is WAY more than I was led to believe was possible for essentially a first time IT job, with the most basic Cisco cert. I worked with a few recruiting agencies and found a good fit, then they helped me get this interview. Offered the job the next day. Which is to say it's more than doable, and honestly, avoid helpdesk if you can, especially if you're looking at networking. Look for NOC analyst or tech. Hope this helps at all. Good luck, and if you have questions down the road, feel free to ask and hopefully I can answer them!

u/OSUTechie · 26 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

This book has been suggested a few times so I finally got around to reading it. I think it has some good information in it. I'm only about halfway through it, but I like it so far.

Time Management for System Administrators

Other books would be any of the social books like "How to influence people", "7 healthy habits..." Etc.

I haven't read this one yet, but It has been suggested to me if you plan to go more into management/leadership Start with Why

Other books that have I have ear marked due to being mentioned:

u/p00pdex · 3 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

You sound motivated! First off you definitely won't stay at the same company. You certainly don't "need" to go to college. Get yourself a book for red hat certification, or whatever you think you might be interested in, like this
And then get to reading and implement everything in the book on a computer at home in your free time. You can easily setup a CentOS VM(google!) to practice everything in the book. By the time you're done you'll have a a decent concept of how everything in the book works. Then do the same for Microsoft if you so wish, MCSA book+practice. Cannot stress enough that you have to actually make the thing work on a real server(s) or it won't stick with you and it won't make a whole lot of sense. It's time consuming, but it's still going to be way faster(and cheaper) than a college course and the struggle of figuring out things yourself will make you remember it.

As far as attracting employers, well, someone's gonna have to take a chance on you. If there's internal positions you can apply to that would be good, you aren't an unknown entity and if you ramp up your knowledge on the tech it will be obvious to those who are in a position to give you a chance. If you go internal, you won't get a raise worth a crap, you're gonna have to change companies, but by then you'll have some real experience under your belt and can command a higher salary. If you actually go and take the tests and get the certifications, you have a better chance of getting hired somewhere else in a junior position. What I like to ask in interviews is "how much opportunity will I have to work with X technology?" If it's a straight taking calls day in day out with no interfacing with the engineering groups then pass, but if it's a closer knit type of deal where you're just one cube over from the guy deploying production servers, jump on it!

u/_Skeith · 2 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

Certs will always be more reputable in the IT Sec field then a degree (up until you want to get into a management position, then the MS would be worth it) but after your BS go directly for certs.

If you want to get into Web App Pen Testing then I suggest you pickup the basics of networking, how Packets work, how they are transmitted across the internet. OSI Model, HTTP POST, GET, PUSH, DELETE , how Switches and Routers work as well as how backed server functions on Linux such as Ngix, Apache, how does PHP work.

From that you basically need to learn SQL, HTML, PHP, JavaScript, Python (or Ruby) and some C along with basics of Assembly if you want to learn how to make Exploits.

I suggest you pick up the Web Hackers Handbook. It's a great start to learning how to hack websites.

Also learn the OWASP Top 10.

Take in some knowledge on Metasploit Since it goes over basics of using the tool. Also learn how to use Burp Suite since it's going to be your tool of choice for testing websites, and Nmap as well, since it will be your scanner for checking other domains of the website, etc, etc.

Start practicing at home. Build a small lab with Kali installed on a VM.

You can practice hacking the Damn Vulnerable Web App

Check out VulnHub for more resources on vulnerable VMs to practice hacking.

And also follow Pentest Lab Bootcamp to learn the basics of web app hacking as well. I highly suggest you follow this outline as it will teach you the basics of Web App Hacking and will also provide you with VM's to practice SQL Injection, XSS, CSRF, etc.

As for certificates, since you are doing Web App Pen Testing don't go with the CCNA or CCNA Security, since those are mainly associated with Network Security. You need to understand how networks work, yes, but you don't need to have a deep end knowledge of it.

I suggest you go for Security+ since it will teach you security basics and securing firewalls, routers, switches, etc. After that pursue the OSCP and OWSE from Offensive Security as they are highly regarded in the Pen Testing field.

You might need to also take the CISSP since some companies will require you, but by then you should be able to work for a firm and get the CISSP over time.

Hope this helps, cheers!

u/InadequateUsername · 4 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

The A+ is an entry level cert, it's only "a joke" because it's entry level, the same way a HighSchool diploma is. If you can find an employer who can pay for it, great! (I did). IMO it gives you a good experience in how these certs work. Everyone recommends Professor Messer. I would recommend visiting /r/CompTIA to see what questions people have and what they struggled with. The book I read did not prepare me for a question regarding how to repair the Masterboot record (bootrec /FixMbr). But reading a book can be good too, Mike Myer goes but further in depth then is needed imo, but learning more is never an issue. Printers will be asked, I didn't think so but I messed up on them (I was asked about impact printers and had to guess).

I think you're looking at an old practice test as I took the 802 and don't remember anything about floppies. There were questions about Windows XP and a general question about IOS 6. The questions they ask are usually pretty general. They don't ask you about interrupts, maybe the basics of what a driver does, but I don't believe it would go further into it. Maybe a question relating to using a new driver to fix a problem. My book went indepth on how a processor communicates with RAM and vice versa. As well as HDD sectors vs tracks (was too indepth, and those Q's never asked).

A+ is very general, Network + is specific to networking, but again pretty general and entry level. If it helps you get your foot in the door, it's not "useless". A+ and Network+ would create a good base to start moving up from. The big thing is that they need to be renewed (tests retaken) every 3 years. So maybe try to aim for having a higher level cert in 3 years time so you don't need to renew your A+.

So for studying, Mike Myers Book
and Professor Messer would be good material. I just read the book and it was incredibly vague compared to what was on the test (general knowledge mostly). But it comes with a practice CD too.

also, everything /u/VA_Network_Nerd said.

u/PWill21 · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

Professor Messer for the best free online resource and videos.

Mike Meyers' Exam Guide for the best print resource. It's a book. Whatever price you decide to pay for it, or not, is up to you.

Of course there are other options and resources, but these were great for me. And there could be something else out there that works better for you. Either way, hope this helps and good luck!

u/ILoveTechnology2017 · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

The knowledge you get from the CCENT is really great. I would recommend using Packet Tracer. It's a beginner network simulator that allows you to practice configuring Cisco routers and switches from the Cisco IOS command line. You can get it for free by taking an hour long Cisco 101 course.

Additionally, Wendell Odom's CCENT book is awesome! He teaches the material in a really in-depth way, and it helps you understand the theory. It took me about a month of studying after taking the Cisco Networking Academy classes to be ready, so you would probably be ready after 4-6 months of studying.

Here's a link to Packet Tracer and the Wendell Odom book:

Good Luck!

u/polycarpgyarados · 8 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

The senior part is more of a technical grade level and not necessarily management... granted I'm in the lead role here, it's my first time as one. All I can say is what help me spring forward at a lull at mid-level was picking up Thomas Limoncelli's books, [the sysadmin one] ( and [the cloud one] ( /r/sysadmin recommends them too. These are your best practice books, these tell you why to do things, not how. It will turn you from being the guy that mops the floor in a burning building into knowing when to yell, "FIRE!"

Cert wise, unless a specific company or contract requires it, I don't bother with the time and money on certs if you already have years of experience on the books. I'd probably go for a Security+ and then go for a Red Hat and/or CCNA certification as they are both prestigious. Red Hat is a big deal just by its practical application test.

If you want to go into cloud related stuff, you might want to brush up on your programming. This is what is limiting me, I have very minimal bash scripting experience coming from military in the Windows world then making a move to Linux.

Honestly, I would focus on being both as they both overlap very often unless you are in really large stovepipe enterprise environments, but you never know if you need to make a move to something smaller where you have the many hats role. I'd get your degree in something Computer science related (CS, CIS, EE, CE, etc) and then go RHCSA/CE and maybe Sec+/Net+ or instead of Net+ just go for something Cisco related. My networking is Net+ strength at best and I resent not doing better when I was younger.

EDIT: Also, if you can do the math, BS is Computer Science all the way... sysadmins are still really kind of not doing well in the degree program department, mainly because were so... trade-like I guess. Honestly, we're the new Millwrights like my dad was. We keep the factory going and fix it when production stops. It's kind of cool actually, it's nice to be able to have some kinship to my dad in that way.

u/nicksuperb · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

"Hope for the best and prepare for the worst"

As someone who's recently been interviewing for senior level positions, this is probably the best way to sum up my experiences. It's not possible to predict with any certainty how hard the questions will be. Try finding a few topics you're unfamiliar with and diving into a book like this one:

In a perfect world the most optimal way to ace these types of interviews is to ALWAYS be ready... even when you have a job you like, 300 hours from now you could be looking for a new one...

EDIT: Online challenges/prep is an awesome way to go also

u/crankysysadmin · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

Geek Squad isn't IT. It's computer repair. It's better than nothing, but you would be better off doing something else.

Any way you can get a cheap sublease and stay on campus over the summer and try to work for the university? The time to get a job like that isn't the last week of the semester. It's probably in a couple of weeks.

Realistically you're probably like 19-20 so you can always do Geek Squad or a computer repair store, and it's way better than nothing, but you don't really get experience to IT operations. You're repairing home computers.

In the mean time, go buy this book and read it cover to cover. It actually tells you how to operate an IT department as opposed to people being overly focused on the specifics of the OS or software or hardware they're working with.

I think you'll sound more intelligent during future interviews if you've read it.

u/ArkionA · 3 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

Absolutely love being a pentester and the cyber security industry. If you are willing to put in the time and study it can be very rewarding. CEH is a good step in the right direction and should open doors for you.
For entry level positions, pentesting is usually split into two areas, web application and internal/external infrastructure. It's good to have knowledge of both but it's worth choosing which area interests you the most. Personally, I specialise in web applications & API and there is a lot of online resources to help you. (As you have mentioned owasp top 10, I'll assume web apps is your interest)

The best way to learn a vulnerability and get a good understanding is to create vulnerable web pages (this also gives you something to take into an interview). I would suggest doing some basic LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, Mysql, PHP) - Don't let this put you off as it's actually pretty simple. If you can make a few vulnerable pages to display vulnerabilities, you will fly through entry level interviews.

it's really simple to do.. Here is a form that is vulnerable to cross-site scripting. (a few lines of php with some html)

<form method="POST" action="">

<p> <input type="text" name="xss"/></p>

<input type="submit">

$value = $_POST['xss'];
echo $value;

Reading Material:

Practical learning
DVWA (Damn Vulnerable Web App) - Purposely vulnerable web pages to practice exploiting.

Once you have a bit of experience have a look at hackthebox

u/Hyphessobrycon · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

Here is the Amazon book that I used. I found it to be pretty good overall, but the author is wordy and includes information that is not required to pass the A+.

This Youtube channel has an A+ 901 and A+ 902 playlist, among many other useful videos. I watched the entirety of both playlists in addition to reading the Meyers book. I also bought the notes for these videos at:

I found them to be very useful. They are straight to the point, and consist of bullet point style information.

My study plan was to first read the Meyer's book completely, watch the Messer videos, take practice exams on, and then utilize Messer's notes and flashcards to memorize or reinforce whatever the practice exams showed that I was weak on. It seems like a lot, but it really wasn't that bad. I passed the 901 with a 759, and I am hoping to pass the 902 tomorrow. To pass the 901 you need a 675, and to pass the 902 you need a 700. These scores are out of 900.

u/EverydaytoLearn · 4 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

Start here: Create a homelab. This will help with testing out multiple paths.

System Admin: Create a domain controller and VMs using Docker or virtualbox and start looking at Active Directory and Powershell.(Windows Server 2016 Trial)

Azure Cloud: Here you can test out learning Azure Cloud(for free). You can use your Homelab to test free alternatives like Proxmox or KVM(Linux Bare Metal Hypervisor)

Security+: Secure your cloud or local homelab. Also, look into getting a Security+. Even if you don't go into security, I believe a SEC+ is required for government IT jobs(This is what I've been told).


Most of those are free to try and only cost your time. Start there and see what calls out to you.

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

If you commit the time you could be ready in 30.

1: Make sure all materials you are using are made for the current- 901 / 902- tests.

2: If you're the self-study type, Mike Meyer's all-in-one book is recommended. Only costs 20 bucks, it's a useful resource even if you're not prepping for the test.

3: Professor Messer has a boatload of free videos for it as well.

4: You can always look it up on youtube.

Honestly the hard part is learning to pace yourself. You need to commit the time and it can be infuriating to put up learning things you already know abundantly well because you need to get through it to get to the stuff you're less knowledgeable about.

u/retrospectr3 · 3 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

Four words, one book: Cracking the Coding Interview

Seriously, it’s the shit. It’s widely recommended because it’s just that good.

Keep applying, keep interviewing, keep studying. I too was worried about throwing away my chances with companies if I interview before I study enough to be 100% prepared but the fact is your first few will probably be throw aways anyway as you learn about how technical interviews go. By your third or forth you’ll be much more comfortable and there are tons of great companies out there, so worry not!

u/EaterOfBits · 11 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

Just to give you a peace of mind, I'm gonna share that I'm utter shit too. I have almost 20 years of experience and working at a huge worldwide company. I have conducted more than a hundred interviews myself and yet, if I apply to somewhere I can't write a simple parsing script in a coding interview.

Some of us just wired this way. Also interviews are like a date. It is equally up to chemistry and luck along with correct answers to questions if you get the job.

To be useful too, a few links. Check out this for inspiration:

The best book to get an IT job:

u/painess · 2 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

I really enjoyed this book while studying for my A+ certification:

Even if you don't go for the cert, it is still a very good read, as it basically covers a little bit of everything from networking to hardware to Windows. It is pretty long @ about 1600 pages (about 1300 main material), but if technology is something that interests you, you will enjoy it. And if you are able to absorb everything from the book and have the extra cash, you might as well take the exam and have an A+ certification to put on your resume.

u/ATI-RV350 · 5 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

Definitely not recommended. Make sure you look at what exam series the books you're buying are for - the current A+ is the 901/902. Mike Meyers' book is among the best and most popular, and he's great at explaining things from a more real-world, less technical view. (

u/meandrunkR2D2 · 3 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

The Cisco Press book is good for the exam. This One is what I purchased when I planned to take the exam. However, my focus changed so I never sat the exam or completed the book. I got a few chapters in and found a new job that pushed me away from networking and more on the systems side so my focus is on Linux now. But what I did read was very well written and easy to follow and understand. r/CCNA will be a great sub for you as well.

u/MassW0rks · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

I can't stress enough that I'm only about to be a senior in college. That said, my classes revolve around networking. My courses were Cisco related. My massive industry internship uses Cisco. I personally don't see why you WOULDN'T do Cisco. The foundation spans across platforms, so you might as well do a big name like Cisco. I would recommend this book a million times over. With this book and CBTNuggets, I was able to get a fantastic foundation. I personally am not worried about any programming languages. Man anything you want to learn will NOT hurt you. I plan on learning some python soon just for the heck of it.

u/OswaldoLN · 3 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

I used this book:

It pretty much has everything you need to know. I would 100% recommend doing CCNA, I feel SO much more knowledgeable now.

Also used CBT Nuggets, at 84$ a month it is pretty expensive. It is a great service however.

You will also inevitably need to use GNS3 which is a network simulator. It is annoying to setup, but a must. Unless you have a home lab which most people, including myself use. It is best to do both.

u/Ping_Me_Later_Dude · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions
  1. Download the Comptia exam objectives



  2. Pick a video training company, or go with Professor Messer

    Two vidoe training companies:

    IT pro tv

    CBT Nuggets

    The training companies have education coaches, virtual labs, and practice tests. The education coaches will help you reach your certification goals. Both providers have free trials

  3. Get a book for the exam:

    I suggest Mike Meyers book, and the exam cram book.

    Links below:

    Mike's book

    Exam cram:


  4. Get a practice test

    check out measure up.


    When you do study make sure you use material that is for the latest exam. Comptia updates the exam every once in awhile, and the material that is tested on the exam changes.

    See if any friends on family have any old PCs you can take apart. You might be able to get one from a Computer repair shop.
u/Enkindel · 3 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

Thank you for the very detailed reply. Where does VMware and other virtualization fit into that as well if you don't mind, a lot of the entry jobs around here will probably be dealing with that as I'm near a port city and heavy industry is huge here. Everything they do is on VMware usually to train their employees, etc. Is a CCNA/CCNP cert going to cover most of the bases on virtualization? They also just opened an Amazon warehouse here one reason why I thought the right thing to do was to pick the brains of some seasoned IT professionals and ask about AWS.

Here is what I was looking at picking up to learn.

u/joravi2000 · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

I've been using this book. If you join the rhel channel here in reddit, you will see a lot of people recommend it. RHCSA/RHCE Red Hat Linux Certification Study Guide, Seventh Edition (Exams EX200 & EX300)

Good luck.

u/NoyzMaker · 4 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

Powershell in 30 days of Lunches is what I buy for all my team members expressing an interest. It is hands down one of the best books to start with that I have found and my team recommends.

Also check out /r/PowerShell

u/phillipjacobs · 12 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

Pick up Powershell in a month of lunches and grab a free month trial of pluralsight. Two great resources for learning the basics.

For your lab, check on your local craigslist; someone is always getting rid of some gear there. If not there try EBay, can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a CCNA lab kit like these: Cisco Lab Kit

Once you have lab equipment, get some windows servers spun up as that will make learning powershell both applicable and rewarding to you.

u/Same_Bat_Channel · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

Putting asside VA_Network_Nerd's condescending advice. If you want to go anywhere in your career you need to go beyond google. I'd go to indeed or DICE and search for Network Administrator or jr network admin in your area then look up job requirements and preferences.

Set up a GNS3 or Virl lab, or just buy some cheap switches/routers on ebay for homelab.
Get your CCNA. There should be no debate that CCNA is best for network admins starting out. I personally wouldn't let someone touch my network without at least a CCNA. Get hands on with Windows and Linux servers and various tools like nmap, nagios and other monitoring tools, wireshark.


The Practice of System and Network Administration

I also use for my IT training. It's more than worth the monthly fee if you stick to it.

u/Chipotle_Turds · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

Learn the fundamentals of devops and how it relates to your company's technology usage and process.

Read the Phoenix Project, it will give you a better insight on how devops fits in with IT in general.

For technical skills it wouldn't hurt to know improve your scripting/programming skills.

u/StarkCommando · 3 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

Pluralsight has some good videos for the MCSA Server 2012. If you sign up for Visual Studio Dev Essensials, you can get a free 3 months with Pluralsight.

I should add, if you're going for the MCSA cert, I've heard it's Powershell heavy. You can get started with Powershell with Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches

u/studysanity · 4 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

I used Linuxacademy (the labs were great),

this book (mainly for review):

RHCSA/RHCE Red Hat Linux Certification Study Guide, Seventh Edition (Exams EX200 & EX300)

And this video series right before the test to get the feel for it:

All that plus labbing and I was able to knock it out. Good luck!

u/AccomplishedAdmin · 3 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

Sysadmin, I've been doing Lead SysEng/DevOps/SRE for the past 4 years and literally have multiple written offers I'm trying to choose from right now.

I only started looking 3 weeks ago.

Learn multiple clouds(I've done the big 3 in prod and other ones for utils/tools/hobby/legacy systems), Kubernets/docker, Linux, distributed systems and ansible/puppet/chef

Read this:
and this:

See if you can buy time for the internship offer, having multiple offers is always better :)
Is the internship paid?

u/Seven-Prime · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

I would recommend The Practice of Network and System Administration by Tom Limoncelli some very good practical advise about various operations issues.

u/kmsaelens · 9 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

The Practice of System and Network Administration: Volume 1: DevOps and other Best Practices for Enterprise IT (3rd Edition)


u/cisco_newb · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

Check out Mike Meyers [901 & 902 set][1].

Also, I've heard some great things about CompTIA's [Cert Master][2] program.

[1]: "901 & 902 set"
[2]: "Cert Master"

u/floppyphile · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

Don't let it intimidate you. YouTube is infested with IT info. Check this guy out [ELI]( /playlist?list=PL6B10FA35AACFA6E7). If you want to get certified start HERE. This BOOK will help.

u/Cyber_Analyst · 3 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

I used this book for my exam in May 2016 and I found his writing better than the Cisco Official Text.

u/Evil-Toaster · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

Haha, honestly I did study for it using this book but I skipped all the printer stuff. I mean I skimmed it but that’s it. This comes with a descent cram fact sheet and a few practice exams with the physical book. Idk about the ebook. When I took it i realized I built it up to be more than it is.

u/AnonymooseRedditor · 3 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

I started reading Time Management for System Admins (
and basically the author states that you have to be willing to accept some level of failure. Completely agree here!

u/northendtrooper · 2 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions
u/mmecca · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

Not at all. Comptia, here is the guide I was going to buy. CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Ninth Edition (Exams 220-901 & 220-902)

u/BezniaAtWork · 14 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

There sure are books!

My favorite authors are Mike Myers and Todd Lammle.

Here's a guide for the CompTIA A+ certification.

These books can be a bit pricey, but it's EVERYTHING you need to know for the certification. If you have this book and a computer to practice on, you have everything you need to pass. The book is nearly 1,500 pages long as well. If you struggle to afford the books, you can always search online for illegal copies of older versions and possibly even the latest version that I linked. I assume the copyright police aren't going to be breaking down your doors.

The A+ certification estimates 6-9 months of hands-on training to be able to pass, but it can definitely be done in a shorter amount of time. Don't get dissuaded if after a month you feel tired of studying. Even if you don't have the means to take the exam, the information you can learn will help you so much.

u/login_local · 3 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

If you have a predominantly Cisco environment, Wendell Odom's 100-105 and 200-105 CCENT/CCNA Official Cert Guide is the definitive guide to learning networking. I reckon you could learn and pass the exam from his two books alone.

(200-125) is the name of the accelerated exam. 100-105 is CCENT which is one-half of a CCNA. You can take one exam (200-125) or two exams (100-105 & 200-105) to certify as CCNA.

u/thesunisjustanadmin · 1 pointr/ITCareerQuestions

A lot has come from on the job experience, but it also comes from setting goals for myself.

In December I knew nothing about Windows PowerShell, so I started researching. I bought Learn Windows PowerShell 3 in a Month of Lunches. I used that to start making some automated AD reports.

My other goals for this year are Security+ by June 31st. Then read Learn Windows PowerShell Toolmaking in a Month of Lunches in July. And finally get Linux+ by December 31st.

This is my most aggressive year, mainly because I am starting to feel stagnant in my current job.