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Upgarde to Unix or CCNP?

I have MCSE and CCNA and work experience of 2 years on windows NT administration and networking. Now I want to advance in my career. I am in a dilemma about whether to settle down in administration or as a network engineer. If I want to upgrade my skills, is it better to go for Unix administration or CCNP?

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A wise man once told me that the hallmark of a truly interesting question was that the answer always begins with the phrase "that depends..." By that criterion, your questions qualify as interesting. And the answer begins with the usual formula: The certifications you pursue for the future will depend on the kind of job role you wish to grow into. Thus, if your goals are to become a system/network administrator, the Unix/Linux administration path is probably best for you (though you should also consider other popular operating systems such as Microsoft Windows -- MCSA or MCSE, to be more specific -- or Novell NetWare -- CNA, CNE, or MCNE, to be more specific again). OTOH, if your inclinations lean you more toward network engineering, the Cisco credentials -- CCNA, CCNP, and on to other, more senior Cisco certs -- would represent a better growth path for you.

In the final analysis, only you can decide where your interests lie. But if you haven't yet started down the certification trail, you might want to begin with CompTIA's A+ and Network+ credentials to get you started with a solid basic techical foundation. In the process of completing those entry-level certs, you should also be able to get a better sense for where your long-term interests and goals reside.

Good luck!
--Ed--

This was first published in January 2002

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