Certifications

Hello Everybody,

So after weeks of deliberation, I have finally come to the conclusion I have no idea what I want to do. Add on that I maxed out financial aid so I can't afford to sign up to be a full time student again, and my options are severely limited at this point for where I can go to college. Which means either getting a lower education then I would like, or going bankrupt in the process. So I've decided to take the next few years off to figure that out and save up money so I can become a full time student again. This also means all the loans are going to come due way sooner than I expected which is changing a lot of plans around. This all began when my previous college dropped me as a student instead of enrolling me into the online program as I had wanted and they said they had done, it forced me to re-evaluate things.

One of the things that got re-evaluated is: do I actually want to study cybersecurity? Which I decided upon in a rush decision to stay at my previous school so I could get a Bachelor's degree. But I came to the conclusion I didn't want to study cybersecurity, I love the concept of it and studying the methods. However, in reality I would not want to do that on a day to day basis. I would rather do other things in the field of Information Technology, but I need to figure out what that is. I was so focused with finishing with a Bachelor's degree, I didn't stop to think if the specialty was really something I wanted to do. I would rather be either a system administrator or a very technical, hands-on project manager. I did take the course for the Project Management certificate but didn't have enough hours to get into the exam, so I'm taking that exam at a later date so I can get more experience as required and possibly even a refresher course when I qualify to take the exam.

In the meantime, I don't want to lose the knowledge I gained so I'm going to take advantage of the fact my company will pay for any certification I want to do. So I'll be working on studying and taking those until I determine where I want to go for college and which specialty I want. Plus certifications look really good on a resume not that I'm planning on changing jobs any time in the next few years unless some amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity falls out of the sky and hits me on the head. Anyways, some of the certifications I'm going to study for at this time are the following, ones in bold are the top priority ones:

  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)
    • SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
    • Windows 2008 Server, Enterprise Administrator
    • Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
  • Microsoft Certified Solution Associate (MCSA)
    • SQL Server 2012
    • Windows 8
    • Windows 2012
    • Office 365

There are also just some 1 hour coursework I'm going to take as well that I thought would be beneficial, but these will be a lower priority since I want to get the certificates sooner rather than later:

  • Risk Management
  • The Voice of Leadership
  • Leadership Essentials
  • Constructive Feedback and Criticism
  • Personal Productivity Improvement
  • Optimizing your Work/Life Balance
  • Effective Time management

My CEO brought this up at the beginning of the year, but I put it off because I was too busy with school and work to actually look at any of the courses. But now since I'm taking a few years off due to financial aid and not knowing what program to be in or what college to go to, it seemed like the best option for me. Plus my company is paying for the course and exams, so why wouldn't I take advantage of that opportunity. And maybe when I finish all the certifications, I'll know what program and college I want to go to for my Bachelor. Or maybe I just stick with having an Associate's degree and a lot of certifications. I don't know but that's the thought at the moment.

- Mae Polzine