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Will a CCENT certification increase job openings after earning a computer hardware engineering degree?

Asked Limestone, Maine

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Rich’s Answer

Updated Washington

So like much in life it's not black and white. Certs can't hurt you but they won't help you all by themselves. Think of any certification below CCIE level as being that little extra something that might just make you better than your competition but they are no substitute to actual knowledge and experience. It's just a fact of life that some interviews value certs and some don't really your focus should be on what you learned by studying for a certs not the cert itself. Know the material and you'll be a better engineer, better candidate, better employee.


So at entry level it's hard to get experience when just starting out though but it's the same for everyone else. At the entry level in any tech-job what is often more important is your attitude. Do you come across as a nice person, are you friendly, caring and mature. Would I trust you talking to customers and a dealing with co-workers. This skills are actually harder to find that a CCENT but someone with both is great.

Rich recommends the following next steps:

  • It's hard to get experience when just starting out but it's the same for everyone else. At the entry level in any tech-job what is often more important is your attitude. Do you come across as a nice person, are you friendly, caring and mature? Do you present a clean professional appearance that matches the work environment you'll be in? Would I trust you talking to customers and a dealing with co-workers. These life skills are actually harder to find that a CCENT but someone with both is great.
  • Don't wait for jobs to come to you. Contact recruitment agencies and let them try and find jobs for you proactively. Also list the top 5 companies you want to work for and realistically think they'll have a job you would be a good fit for. Go to their website and scroll down to the very bottom, somewhere you'll find a link to Careers where they'll list job openings. 90% of companies have this but not many know about it. It cost them less to get someone directly than via an agency.
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