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Unsure of career direction and expert suggests security cert

I work as an Automation Staff Assistant for the National Labor Relations Board.

My primary duties are to change the back-up tapes for the Outlook Server and the Network Server at my Region. I also troubleshoot when an individual is having problems with in-house software programs and excel, Microsoft Word and outlook express.

My question is: What is a good field for me to go into. I am not sure. I just know that I love working on the computer and want to learn more and earn more money.

My Masters degree is in business administration with a minor in Human Resources Management. I feel like I spent so much money and time for schooling that I am not putting to use.

Please give me some suggestions.

Dear Louise:
Given your technical experience and background, HelpDesk certifications sound like a good path. But given an MBA (with an HR minor) I have to wonder if you shouldn't try to get into something more related to your academic training. You didn't say what your primary focus for the MBA was, but if it has anything to do with MIS, IT, or accounting, you are clearly underemployed for your level of training and knowledge.

If you're interested in IT systems audit or related topics, you might want to investigate the CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) program and other things of that ilk. See http://www.isaca.org/ for more info on the CISA program, and related certs.

OTOH, computer security is a very hot area right now, that you might also find interesting. See my security certification surveys:

* vendor-neutral security cert survey:
* vendor-specific security cert survey:

I hope you find this information both helpful and useful. If you have further questions, please submit them here, and I'll be happy to answer them.

This was last published in August 2002

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