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These past months I have attained a bunch of security related certs:


When applying for IA/Security positions, will employers prefer to see these certs paired with MCTIP (knowing the system) or CCNA/CCNP (knowing the network)?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Rory Alsop Dec 12 '15 at 16:52

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What industry? What country? – this.josh Sep 28 '11 at 6:40
The industry in gov IT contracting. They have specific DoD 8570 requirement for a plethora of positions. I have seen guys with 12 years experience get turned away cause they don't have the certs - yet a 'chaser' gets the job for the cert. They all earn the job within a month anyway. Country is Afghanistan. – Abdu Sep 28 '11 at 13:12
up vote 5 down vote accepted

@thisjosh and @M15K are absolutely right in describing certs as a way to get you past the first HR cull - literally if they have a list of preferred certs and you don't have one, your CV/resume will be binned. It's not ideal, but is the only way for HR folks who don't know anything about the subject to reduce numbers of interviews.

However there is a risk if you have too many, once you get to the second round you may be excluded as a 'cert chaser' so you want to think carefully about what you go for. For example, on your list, C|EH is an entry penetration testing cert so if you are going for a junior pen test role it would be ideal. CISSP is a wider cert, indicating you have some knowledge of a range of security disciplines, but is not a deep specialist cert.

When interviewing, if I see a long list of letters, I go into each one to see if they are justified (did you do it as your day job and have experience, or did you bootcamp it to get the letters) - so make sure you can talk in depth in any of the topics you are certified in and use certs intelligently: if you have a position you are aiming for, and a cert would help you in pursuing it, go for it, otherwise, as @M15K says "you have enough certs to get your resume noticed"

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General mutterings in the chat room seem to indicate that certs are primarily for entry level positions. My personal opinion is that certs are for HR. HR will either require, give some preference, or completely ignore certs. The cert will only appear on the resume and maybe a good line or two on a cover letter. If a cert is required for a position you will either have it or not. Given the number of certs you currently have, unless you know you will need either MCTIP or CCNA for a position, focus on other accomplishments you can discuss in an interview.

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Depends on what the employer is looking to fill. CCNA has a bit better visibility than the MCTIP. Which do you prefer to learn? Certs only really get you the job interview, it's up to you to show you aren't just a paper tiger. So I would say if you dislike networking and do the CCSP track, you might be disappointed in getting a network security position.

Appears to me that you have enough certs to get your resume noticed.

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