An IT Career Boost

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I just read Patrick von Schlag’s article on IT careers, “Advanced Certifications: Taking Your Career to New Heights” (November 2005), and it gave me the boost I needed. I am into networking, and what I like best is designing networks, troubleshooting and also would like to offer security solutions. I am also good at hardware.


I have one small request: Can you advise and guide me on what kind of certification I can go for next to continue going further? My aim is also to migrate to Canada. I highly appreciate your feedback.


Yusuf Bhaiji Mombasa, Kenya
Editor’s Note: We asked Ed Tittel, technology editor for Certification Magazine, to answer Yusuf’s question:


“Your best bet in pursuing the subject matter and type of work in which you express strongest interest probably lies in the Cisco camp. The Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP) credential seems tailor-made to help you attain your goals, which perforce dictates acquiring the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) certifications as prerequisites.


“With this kind of collection of certifications under your belt and some actual on-the-job experience to talk about, you can start looking further into emigrating to Canada. The right place to start doing that is on the “Immigrating to Canada as a Skilled Worker” page on the country’s government immigration Web site, which you can visit online at


“Best of luck to you in your pursuits!”


Venerable or Prestigious?
You talk of the most “venerable” position in IT in your article “IT Don’t Get No Respect” (December 2005), but then ask us “What do you think is the most prestigious job in the industry?” However, “prestige” and “venerability” can have two very distinct meanings. According to


• Venerable: “worthy of veneration or reverence; deserving of honor and respect.”
• Prestigious: “having an illustrious reputation; respected.”


Speaking from where I live, the most venerable position in IT has to be the front-line support: the IT help-desk-type role that takes the initial request from the “client,” tries to resolve that issue and, if they can’t, then escalates the issue. They still own the issue when the issue is escalated. They still need to follow up with the client. They get the complaints about how long the issue is taking, and when trying to follow up with higher-level staff on the status, they get brushed aside.When there is a company outage of some kind (network, etc.), although they most often aren’t even informed of it or given the cause of it, they are still the front line to the company and receive all of the negative feedback from people who can’t utilize a resource. It’s a thankless job, but it is the interface between the entire corporation and the IT backbone that supports the company—the glue that holds it all together, if you will. Unlike other more technically specialized roles in the IT ranks, the technical skills must be combined with soft skills, and I truly believe the stresses are greater.


Obviously this isn’t a “prestigious” position. If prestige in the IT industry is what you are looking for, then it would have to be the CIO or vice president of IT, or some similar position.  Just my 2 cents.


Sharon Janics,
A+, MCP, MCP+I, MCSE, SCO CUSA, HDA Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

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