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182FF
10th April 2012, 08:09
Hello,
I have been a permanent employee for 10 years (7 years as a network manager) in Healthcare.
The government plans for primary care in the UK are practically to outsource alot of the previous in house I.T services - of which I am a part. We have been informed that we're on a ticket to redundancy, which I have no problem with.
I have been studying for 2 years (in preparation) for the above - as soon as I got the letter informing me of the impending government plans - when in a permie role, my qualifications had lapsed and didn't represent my actual real world skillset - although the experience is there.
So I'm happily still studying and currently at CCNP level with (as mentioned) 7 years experience in an infrastructure management role.

My question is really based on what to do next, that would put me in a better position for contracting. My hope is that there will be a requirement shortly for healthcare spec'd network engineers.

1. Complete CCNA wireless and/or Voice and/or Security
- main reason for this is that I'm not just routing & switching, can basically tackle everything lan based comms? jack of all trades
2. Continue toward CCIE
- I would estimate that the written component would only just be reachable before redundancy looms.
3. Update MCSA
- I am a Windows 2000 MCSA, which has done me fine, given 2003 was practically the same, still maybe 2008 might make me seem more relevant? means starting from scratch with no upgrade path which is my own fault for not seeing through the 2003 upgrade.

Or anything else....?

I've been reading from the outside on this forum and note many people are developers. I once had a go at C++ in my college years and aside from making a program that replicates the who wants to be a millionaire game, it was largely a fail. I make no apologies for who and what I am - HP/Cisco CLI muppet, but it would appear there are plenty of me about.

I have had my own companies before - one as a Dell re-seller (just box shifting really) in 04 to 06 and purchased an established business and turned it round and sold it again in 2008 to 2010 - so no stranger to self emloyment (and full time employment on top!).

Any opinions, greatly appreciated.
Based in Yorkshire BTW.

northernladuk
10th April 2012, 14:04
Have you been keeping an eye on jobserve to see how many roles require these certifications?

Do a search on them and see what comes back and see how you fit in. If one comes back with lots of hits and the other doesn't you have some kind of way forward.

It is great making yourself marketable but would be a good idea to check what the market wants.

pmeswani
11th April 2012, 07:35
Whilst I admire your desire to skill yourself up, don't be under the illusion that gaining a number of qualifications is a golden ticket to getting a contract. My advice to you is to play to your experience and when it comes to interviews demonstrate that you know what you are talking about in terms of projects you have worked on. Qualifications should only be used to enforce what you know, not to get that magical interview. A good recruitment agency and hiring manager will realise your true value over any qualification.

182FF
11th April 2012, 08:12
Whilst I admire your desire to skill yourself up, don't be under the illusion that gaining a number of qualifications is a golden ticket to getting a contract. My advice to you is to play to your experience and when it comes to interviews demonstrate that you know what you are talking about in terms of projects you have worked on. Qualifications should only be used to enforce what you know, not to get that magical interview. A good recruitment agency and hiring manager will realise your true value over any qualification.

I am under no illusions regarding certifications net worth - my post is asking which (or any other) of the choices in order to focus in the coming months. I am on a ticket to redundancy and patiently awaiting a voluntary redundancy package, but in the meantime I am using the time to attempt to backup my experience with something on paper. This is technically 'free' time for me to do this, so thought it made sense.

Contracting is not the only end game of the study either, permanent or contract work is of interest and it doesn't matter to me. I've been happily flirting with both.

In reference to the other post - I have checked the job market and actually applied for a job that was requesting a CCNA and studying for a CCNP! I'm all ready there - so not sure what to do exactly in terms of direction further than that.
I would appreciate some opinion on the skill sets that may have been noted as 'desirable' when contractors (from this forum) would have seen as a benefit when working in a similar networking/engineer or even desktop support role.

v8gaz
11th April 2012, 08:19
A good recruitment agency ... will realise your true value over any qualification.

What's one of them, then? :smile

AJones
11th April 2012, 08:21
What's one of them, then? :smile

Haha! Beat me to it. There a few good ones out there....

pmeswani
11th April 2012, 12:48
What's one of them, then? :smile

There was a sense of irony in my comment regarding good recruitment agencies. :happy

pmeswani
11th April 2012, 12:52
I am under no illusions regarding certifications net worth - my post is asking which (or any other) of the choices in order to focus in the coming months.

I hate to say it, but it's not something any of us can really answer. You have to ask yourself, what path do you want to follow. What area are you more passionate about. I know this doesn't answer your question, and to be honest, we can't, not that we don't want to, but your career decision has to be made by you, and not us. We can tell you to focus on Cisco, but you may end up hating it, and you will come back and say "You told me this, you told me that".

The market is always going to fluctuate, in the good and bad times. Sorry, for not being able to answer your question.

182FF
11th April 2012, 13:00
I hate to say it, but it's not something any of us can really answer. You have to ask yourself, what path do you want to follow. What area are you more passionate about. I know this doesn't answer your question, and to be honest, we can't, not that we don't want to, but your career decision has to be made by you, and not us. We can tell you to focus on Cisco, but you may end up hating it, and you will come back and say "You told me this, you told me that".

The market is always going to fluctuate, in the good and bad times. Sorry, for not being able to answer your question.

There will be no finger pointing - I asked for opinion (your own). I don't have to take it onboard and I certainly won't be coming back to say anything negative, so if you've got an opinion then share it.
To give you an example, when I put this to the office of I.T staff (permies) they all said "well I'd go for the CCIE because thats the highest you can get" every one of them said that, they wanted to go higher in one topic, rather than broader. When I searched for jobs with CCIE as desireable or necessary there weren't any!
It was an interesting enough answer for me to ask it openly on here - maybe gauging an 'outsider' contractor opinion.

I'm passionate about learning in the area's mentioned in the list of options - no particular favourite. So much so, I can't pick off the top of my head. If there was an angle in the market for something I'd study it - hence asking for any other subject pointers - although bare in mind programming/devloper work is not my forte.

Cheers anyway. Think I'll draw one out of a hat.

kaiser78
12th April 2012, 11:29
There will be no finger pointing - I asked for opinion (your own). I don't have to take it onboard and I certainly won't be coming back to say anything negative, so if you've got an opinion then share it.
To give you an example, when I put this to the office of I.T staff (permies) they all said "well I'd go for the CCIE because thats the highest you can get" every one of them said that, they wanted to go higher in one topic, rather than broader. When I searched for jobs with CCIE as desireable or necessary there weren't any!
It was an interesting enough answer for me to ask it openly on here - maybe gauging an 'outsider' contractor opinion.

I'm passionate about learning in the area's mentioned in the list of options - no particular favourite. So much so, I can't pick off the top of my head. If there was an angle in the market for something I'd study it - hence asking for any other subject pointers - although bare in mind programming/devloper work is not my forte.

Cheers anyway. Think I'll draw one out of a hat.

Are there any contractors at your place you can ask - contractor mindset may be different to permie and you may get a different viewpoint ?

pmeswani
12th April 2012, 12:19
There will be no finger pointing - I asked for opinion (your own).
I wasn't pointing fingers, and I gave you my opinion. I didn't ask you to like it.