Milestone Check

Sometimes after embarking on a journey it feels good to take a look back at what you’ve done instead of just looking ahead all the time. It’s also interesting to see how the path changes over time based on either new information or new opportunity. In my very first post “Reboot” I outlined where I was at that point (approaching my second year of networking in college) and some general certifications I hoped to achieve before my program comes to an end.

College

There was a pretty major change that occurred here just recently. As of right now I have officially completed the academic requirements and just require one more co-op in order to graduate, which would have normally been happening this fall. However I have pushed back my co-op and have started an Information System Security program instead. Normally I’d want to finish the networking program first before doing anything else but the security course only has a single start date in the fall. This means that I will have 2 more semesters of classes for the security program followed by 2 back to back co-op placements after in order to graduate from all of my programs. Overall I think this decision will be worthwhile in the long term despite the pain of putting off full time employment for another year.

Certifications

I set out my goal of getting the Comptia A+/Net+/Sec+ certifications as well as the CCNA R&S before the end of my program. I seem to be right on track! I’ve managed to achieve all 3 Comptia certifications however I have only completed the ICND1 exam (giving me the CCENT designation) and not the ICND2 yet. In order to stay on course with my original plan I need to complete the ICND2 within the next 4 months as the original completion date for my program would be the end of December of this year. Since completing the Security+ I’ve been hard at work studying for the ICND2 whenever the opportunity arises, slowing down of course as exams roll in from school. I’ve also decided that there is at least 1 more certification I want to get before I start job hunting, the ITILv4. It would arguably be the easiest certification out of all of them so far, but the material doesn’t give me the same excitement as it did with the other certifications.

Family

My baby is now a toddler, walking around the house and grabbing anything within reach. Dad-hood really is something else. Even though everything else is generally focused on IT career growth this is probably the most important aspect of my life and as such, influences everything else. It’s important to keep in mind that there are many firsts going on, and certifications will always be waiting later.

Adjusted Goals

The first major goal to mention is getting through the Information System Security program over the next 8 months, followed by the 8 months of co-ops to finish both programs.

The ICND2 is definitely on the horizon in the near future but that was always part of the original plan. This should be completed before the end of the year.

Sometime after the ICND2 i’ll be working on ITILv4.

It looks like everything has been coming together quite well, once I complete the last 2 certification goals i’ll have to figure out what important next steps I should take for personal development, provided I have time balancing family life and college.

~Ian

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