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What's the best step after a diploma in System Administration?

I would like some advice as to the next step I should take. I am about to get my diploma in System Administration and I am currently working just as a tech support rep at a company. I want to know what I should be aiming at next. I am leaning towards Microsoft certifications, but I am not too sure as to exactly which one. I am interested in networking. Do you have any insight as to this career path? As always, thanks.

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Instead of generalizing on simply networking, you are probably better off to specialize on a specific networking topic. More than anything right now, security is THE hot industry topic, and those that have knowledge and experience in securing the computer environment and network will get the top jobs. So, for example, concentrate on network security, instead of just networking. Find some security certifications and take aim at those.

This was first published in July 2004

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