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Cisco vs. Microsoft - What certification route should I take?

Cisco vs. MSCE -- What route should I take? I am graduating with an A.A.S. in IT and will start studying for my certifications soon. I'm not sure if I should go with Cisco or MSCE? What do you think?

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If you want to compare apples to pears (related fruits, actually, both members of the rose family), then you should compare MCSE to a Cisco Professional cert like CCNP, CCDP, CCSP, or CCIP. In that case, the answer depends on whether you want to work as a system or network administrator at a departmental/site level (in which case MCSE is the right way to go) or if you want to work for a bigger company, ISP, or telecomm/comm provider on network infrastructure stuff (in which case CCNP or CCIP are good choices; CCSP would be a good choice if you want to work on network infrastructure security but building the right experience base in a hurry could be problematic).

My general advice is for people to follow the credential that interests them most, because obtaining them takes work, time, and money. Real interest, if not downright enthusiasm, goes a long way to carrying you to the finish line once you get started on one of these credentials.

This was first published in February 2004

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