By Shame Bope
One of the most common questions asked by beginning networkers is “Which technology should I focus on first? Microsoft? UNIX? Cisco? Novell?” As with certifications, preferences vary from company to company and person to person. One way for a person to answer this question is to start with the technology that appears most interesting to them personally. Ultimately it probably matters little which networking technology one learns first. More importantly, one should acknowledge that technology changes rapidly, and that the person who can enjoy a successful career by learning about only one technology is rare indeed.
Focus on the Basics
Computer networking involves a certain number of fundamental technologies. These technologies form the basis of many networking courses. Regardless of the form of education one chooses to invest in, one’s career will always benefit from deeper study of technologies like IP and TCP/IP, The OSI Model, Ethernet, Internetworking etc .An information technology career is both interesting and challenging. You need to approach it with the right attitude. You need to know the different opportunities in information technology and the cost-effective routes that are available to you. IT is quite wide and you should know which area you want to focus on.
Here is advice I usually give newcomers:
As a newcomer, information technology training and certification is the obvious route for acquiring standard networking knowledge and skills. Before choosing certifications, you must have career ambitions. You must determine for yourself what your career goals are. Recognize that basic fundamental knowledge and skills are a necessity for sustainable career growth. As a newcomer your interest should not be popular or high level information technology training or certification, but instead your interest should be in developing strength and depth in the fundamentals. Very often many newcomers skip the fundamentals to save money and time. And of course this approach usually backfires and costs even more by hindering career growth.
Acknowledged beginner / foundation level programs in networking are: CISCO IT Essentials, CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA), COMPTIA N+ and Microsoft Certified Professional. These are the information technology programs you should start with. You need to have a focus, the right attitude and be determined. I can advise you, but only you can build your career successfully.
You must be sure that your fascination is geared towards working as an IT professional, not just as a user.
Shame Bope (ICDIT)
CISCO and Microsoft Instructor
(CCNA, CCNA Security, CCDA, CCNA Voice, CCDP,CCNP,CCIP,CCNP Security, CCSP, ASA Specialist, VPN Specialist, CISCO IOS Security Specialist, CCIE Written, MCITP, Junior Linux Professional)