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Your Information Technology Career: Certification vs. Experience
Whether you’re just starting your Information Technology career, or wanting to get further ahead in your current IT career, you have probably thought about earning one of the many popular computer certifications such as the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification, or the MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) cert.
A major point of frustration for individuals pursuing one of these certifications is a possible lack of experience with these technologies. Many future CCNAs or MCSEs simply stop trying to earn their certification, feeling that their lack of experience will hold them back.
Adding to this are those in IT who will stop everything they’re doing at the drop of a hat to stomp on the dreams of others. I recently saw a post by an IT newcomer on a popular website where he declared his intention of earning his CCNA.
Within minutes, several naysayers popped up and told him that he shouldn’t bother, it wouldn’t do any good due to his lack of experience, etc. (Did you ever notice that people who bash certifications generally don’t have any themselves?)
I am in no way discounting the importance of experience. What I am saying is that every single one of us was a beginner at one point, and a lot of IT professionals forget this. None of us was born knowing everything we know today, and we shouldn’t spend any time dismissing the goals of others in the IT field, or those just breaking in.
I am speaking from experience on this point. I had a tough time breaking into the IT field, and made a lot of calls and knocked on a lot of doors before I got in. I found out later that the reason I got that entry-level job is that I had a professional certification where the other candidates did not.
The pursuit of certification is the pursuit of knowledge, and in our field, you can never have too much knowledge. If your work is strictly on the Local Area Network side, don’t let that stop you from pursuing a CCNA.
If you work exclusively on the WAN side, don’t let that stop you from going after your MCSE. If you’re just breaking into Information Technology, don’t let a lack of experience prevent you from studying for your A+, Network+, or even your MCSE or CCNA.
Because one day, opportunity is going to knock – and the more you know, the readier you’ll be to answer that knock! Use your long-range vision to envision the day when you will have both experience and certification – an unbeatable combination.
10 Reasons For Women To Start An Internet Business
Starting an internet business is in my opinion, one of the fastest and smartest ways women today can make money. Here are 10 reasons for starting an internet business, and one reason why you shouldn’t!
1. Money. Pure and simple, we all could use a more of it. Whether it’s to get out of debt, build a retirement, or just simply make ends meet. With the right guidance, an internet business can start generating income almost immediately.
2. Family. Let’s face it Moms, a lot of you want to be home with your kids. A work at home job is great for just that reason…unless you have to leave home for appointments, parties, or sales calls. Then you’re right back to babysitters and being away from your kids. An internet business truly lets you run it from home.
3. Self Esteem. Many of us are so busy being Moms, and wives, and community members, we forget to forge something in our lives that reflects our inner selves. Starting (and becoming successful) in your own business can boost your feelings of self worth, and that makes everyone in your life a winner!
4. Community. Our communities that we live in are better off for us having started businesses. It provides good role modeling for our children, provides tax base for necessary programs such as police and fire, and a community where people exhibit pride and hard work is a better place to live for us all. Perhaps you will inspire more women in your community to start a business!
5. Tax Benefits. Most women who start a business at home are going to be able to take large tax deductions for their home business. Less taxes means more money in your pocket, and that’s a good thing!
6. Work at Home Household Savings.Working at home means no expensive wardrobes. The average professional suit for a woman can cost over$150! Can you imagine NOT having to buy expensive work clothes anymore, and how much money a year you can save your families budget? Also, how much do you think a work at home mom uses expensive convenience foods and restaurant take out?
7. Flexibility. Because I work at home, I can arrange my schedule to be available when a child is home sick or heartbroken, for a field trip at school, or to just take a mental health day once in awhile and sit at a park and read. How many bosses would give you the day off to read?
8. Being in charge of your own business means you are no longer at the mercy of layoffs. Don’t get me wrong, a home business can crash too…but at least YOU hold the reins and make the decisions, not someone else.
9. You determine how much you work, and how much you make. No more being paid less than you are worth, no more begging for a raise. If you educate yourself right, you can pretty much combine hard work + persistence=unlimited income.
10. You can sell your business later on down the line…it’s an investment! Build it large enough and successful enough, and many website owners have sold their sites for hundreds of thousands of dollars…and started out knowing very little about building an internet business.
One reason NOT to start an internet business…
DO NOT start a business to please anyone else. There is so much pressure on women today to do it all….many times we feel we are not successful unless we make a lot of money, are perfect moms, never gain a pound…you get the idea. Start a business for you, and your dreams, not to convince the world, or the mother in law, or your next door neighbor…that you can do it all. Running a business is not for everyone, but if you want to follow your dreams, work at home, and make a good income, starting an internet business is a great place to start.