I have explained my reasoning to my peers on many occasions in hopes to inspire them to better themselves. Sadly the message sometimes does not make a dent and is met with a deaf ear. I went as far as to take and pass the 4 major CCNA exams (Network, Voice, Security & Wireless) just to get a broad knowledge base and to see which area I really wanted to pursue. I find I want to learn them all, but I decided to stay with Route/Switch for the time being. Even though I am a certified VoIP expert on another vendor’s product the networks that I deal with the most use Cisco and I find myself constantly reviewing router and switch configurations to support Enterprise level VoIP environments. Adding that skill to my technical arsenal has not made me a better voice engineer, but a much better overall engineer. Once I had knowledge of the network side of what possibly could be causing voice problems reduced downtime and helped me to offer alternative issues to explore in the network. That in itself is quite satisfying!
Someone once told me “the more you learn, the more you earn” and I have found that is very true statement! Since I have attained my first Cisco CCNA certification I have seen my paycheck increase easily by 30%! There really are fringe benefits to continually learning and certifying! (Personal satisfaction notwithstanding.) I will take my first CCNP level exam (Switch 642-813) and, if all goes well, hope to have my full CCNP certification by the end of October. Then I will see what other challenges I will pursue next.
For those who wonder it it is worth the time and investment, I offer this to think about:
If you invest in your career you are also investing in your future in more ways than you know.