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Can MCSE lead to a JOB?

An administrative assistant aspiring to a career with computers wonders about the merits of earning a Microsoft certification.

Dear Molly: I am currently working as an administrative assistant in a small company. I have a certificate in travel, but have never pursued it as a career. I have no college degree, but I have a lot of interest in getting into computers. I read your column on MCSE certification. If I do decide to get an MCSE, will it open doors for me?

Molly says: To be honest, I’m not sure this certification by itself would get you where you want to go. I’m sure you’re bright and it may seem that some kind of computer career would get you out of a go-nowhere job. They can, but, in my opinion, a certificate isn’t enough to build a career on.

Before you put the time and money into a computer certification, take the time to investigate your own likes and dislikes. Maybe you like the kind of work you do, but there is nowhere to go in a small company. Maybe there are aspects of the job, such as dealing with the public or helping other people get organized, that you really like and could expand upon to find a good career path for yourself.

The bottom line: take the time to find something that you really like to do and then see if you can use computers to help you do it.

Here’s a good site to help you get started doing soul searching and research for your new career: The Riley Guide. Good luck.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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