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The company I work for up to this point seemed mortally afraid of getting me training.  I'm really not sure why.  If I were looking to leave, I'd have left by now.  I've been contacted several times by other companies in the area.

But when the branch's VMWare guy left, it seemed to force their hand, and now I'm being sent to VMWare training, and soon I will be a VMWare Certified Professional.

However, during that time, I was trying to decide where I want to go in my career, and since my employer didn't seem interested in where my career was going, I took matters into my own hands (as you always should), and began learning about SAN's.  I picked up a book, and got a Brocade switch off Ebay for $50.  I'm about halfway through the book now, and I've barely played with the switch yet.  My goal was to get a Brocade certification like BCFP, look for opportunities for hands on experience, and eventually a position doing storage.

Also, the goal was to get some certifcation that's not Microsoft before Windows Server 2008 comes around.  Since my current employer is mainly a Microsoft solutions provider, and because of my expertise in Exchange and Active Directory, I figure I'm going to be pushed to get MCITP in Exchange 2007 or Windows Server 2008 in the not so distant future.

However, I'm beginning to wonder if I'm spreading my knowledge too wide and thin.

On one hand, I think it's good to get some diverse expertise.  The one thing I worried about in my career and something I think that has hurt me is I only have Microsoft certifications.  There still seems to be a belief held by some IT decision makers that Microsoft exams are fluff, and many people pass them without a solid knowledge, or sound critical thinking skills.  Somehow that's not true for other certification holders, so if you get something that's higher level in certifications in addition to Microsoft certifications, that validates your Microsoft certs.  I don't agree with this view, but some decision makers do believe it.  I've even been lectured on the OSI model and VLAN's by Cisco guys who think I don't understand this stuff because...well...how could I?  I'm a Microsoft guy; they don't know networking!  *rolling eyes*

Also, there seem to be a bunch of Microsoft guys out there, especially with Active Directory/Exchange.  How do you differentiate yourself from that crowd, or show you're better and therefore worth more money if others can do your job (on paper based on their resume and how they do in their interview, which doesn't guarantee they'll do as good a job) and willing to do it for a whole lot less.  Plus, what if Microsoft begins falling out of favor in enterprise environments.  Or more and more companies go to hosted solutions, thereby eliminating AD/Exchange positions.  Etc.

On the other hand, whenever I'm reviewing candidates for position I have influence on who will fill it, I'm always leery of candidates who claim knowledge in numerous complex technologies.  Recently, I interviewed a guy who claimed expert knowledge in everything from Exchange, Cisco switches and routers, firewalls, to web design, from HTTP to Flash animation.  My initial impression of his resume is this guy can't know both.  That's just too much information.  I wouldn't know if he knows web design well, and it didn't matter, because the position was for an Exchange/AD guy.  We grilled him on AD/Exchange.  Turns out he didn't know either well.  But I wonder how many organizations might have passed on interviewing him just based on this mile wide razor thin depth knowledge that was implied within his resume.

Also, I'm afraid I'm gearing up for a jack of all trades position.  I don't want to be in that kind of position that requires you manage Exchange, AD, SQL, the SAN, the firewall, everything.  Those positions are often geared to make the position holder fail, or not be able to grow their expertise to a more expert level in any particular thing.  I know in the big scheme of things, I'm much better off becoming an ace in a few things than a jack in a lot of things.

I know I want to get something else not Microsoft.  But the question becomes do I get VCP *AND* something SAN related, AND continue getting Microsoft certs, or is it time for me to commit and narrow it down?

Any thoughts from anyone out there? Posted on Saturday, September 22, 2007 12:15 PM Certifications , Career | Back to top


Comments on this post: Career paths - am I focusing on too many things?

# re: Career paths - am I focusing on too many things?
Requesting Gravatar...
YEP!
You need to focus on just one thing
I see it all the time

Here is a free repost That I came across just last week that will help you.

http://careerexposed.com

Hope it helps
Left by Career Planning on Sep 22, 2007 10:36 PM

# re: Career paths - am I focusing on too many things?
Requesting Gravatar...
nice mate
Left by gocompare on Apr 08, 2008 5:32 AM

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