Molly advises a Verizon employee to skip database and networking certifications and look instead to disaster recovery or IT security.
Dear Molly: I’m a telecommunications professional (I work for Verizon DSL) and have almost completed my A+ certification. My company will pay for whatever kind of computer training I want to get into next, so what should I go for? CCNA, Oracle, and MCSE have all been suggested to me by friends. My current computer instructor says I should take them all.
Molly says: What a blessing to have an employer that is willing to underwrite the cost of your training! I agree that you should continue your IT education, but not with all of those certifications. Taking the initial training and keeping up with the re-certification requirements is a full-time job unto itself.
Since you already work for a major telecommunications company, I suggest you select training that makes you more valuable in this field rather than switching over to database or networking. So, think about focusing on one field of specialization, such as disaster recovery or IT security. With the combination of telecommunications training and experience and either of these, you could make yourself the kind of IT person that headhunters come looking for.
Check out the certification programs from the Disaster Recover Institute International. For information on security certifications, try the (ISC)2 organization and the ISACA site. You may have to travel to take these kinds of courses, but hopefully the company is willing to fund that part of your training as well as the cost of the courses themselves.
Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]