Looking forward to 2016 I’ve already thought about my IT Certification goals and where I want to be this time next year. As you probably know, back in July I achieved the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MSCA) certification in Windows Server 2012. This involved passing 3 exams, 70-410, 70-411 & 70-412, all are challenging in different ways, which I have already documented in this blog.
The obvious target then is to go for the MCSE (Solutions Expert), the Server Infrastructure certification being the obvious choice. I’d need to pass two further exams, these being
- 70-413 – Designing & Implementing a Server Infrastructure
- 70-414 – Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure
Both are achievable, but will take a lot of work and dedication to pass, and there is a BUT. All of the IT certifications I have achieved thus far have a Microsoft focus, which was fine 5-10 years ago, however the world has changed and although Microsoft technologies will not go away (and are still highly respected), the industry is demanding knowledge and experience of other vendors’ products and services. So with this in mind I have started looking at CompTIA.
CompTIA offer a range of certifications for the IT Pro, all are vendor neutral and are highly sort after in the industry. Looking through the list of certs they offer (A+, Server+, Linux+ & Network+), the one that jumped out at me was the Security+ certification. Part of my day to day job role involves maintaining and supporting secure telephony applications and PCI-DSS compliant systems in the retail and entertainment sectors, so a lot of the process and practices covered in the Security+ certification would be applicable. Therefore the Security+ from CompTIA is also added to my goals for 2016.
- SY0-401 CompTIA Security+
Over the past 2-3 years project management skills have become more and more important for the IT professional, which has caused in a few projects to land on my desk, and has resulted in me being the lead PM. Some of these projects have been internal, such as identifying and implementing a new helpdesk solution, and others have been for clients, both in the private and public sectors. However all these projects can and do present many of the same problems and challenges, which makes it possible to apply a project management methodology, such as Prince 2, to any type of project from any business sector. In May 2011 I gained the Prince 2 Foundation level certification, and for various personal and professional reasons I did not pursue the Practitioner status, so this will also be on my list targets to achieve this year.
- Prince 2 Practitioner
Four exams in a year will be a tough task, and a lot will depend on personal commitments, so at present I’m concentrating on the Security+ and the Prince 2 Practitioner, starting with Security+. IT security is a field I’m really interested in and I think this certification will strongly backup my experience in this rapidly growing sector.
I’ll keep you updated on my progress throughout the year
Thanks for reading