2022 Certification Goals

My certification goals for 2022:

CompTIA Security+
Fortinet NSE1
Fortinet NSE2
PaloAlto PCNSA
Cisco DevNet Associate

If time permits:
Cisco CCNP ENCOR

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Wait, that doesn’t look like enough for a blog post. Maybe I should explain why I’m choosing these certifications.

Lets start with the CompTIA Security+. I’ve wanted this certification for quite a few years now, I’ve just never gotten around to taking it. I actually own a study guide for versions SY0-301, SY0-501, and SY0-601!

It’s a great entry-level security certification and if I want to be in network security I should have this one. I also live near a major military installation now and if I ever want to get a Government Contracting position this certification is pretty much a requirement. It should be relatively easy with my background, which is also a plus! I’m using Jason Dion’s Udemy course and practice tests, as well as the All-In-One Exam Guide to study. I will use Professor Messer and the Certification Passport book if I feel that I still need more information on a topic.

The Fortinet NES1 and NSE2. I figure these are just the low hanging fruit. They seem like they are easy to obtain so why not? Plus, in listening to the FortiJeff episode of The Art of Network Engineering podcast (episode 35, go check it out https://artofnetworkengineering.com/2021/03/17/ep-35-fortijeff/), they helped him so they can help me, right? I will use the training on https://training.fortinet.com to obtain these.

Since I want to be in network security, the PaloAlto PCNSA is a no-brainer. PaloAlto is one of the most popular firewalls on the market today. I want to make myself more marketable and this certification will help with that. I will use the Study Guide from Palo Alto to prepare for this exam. I do not know a whole lot about this exam so if you have any experience with it or have any pointers to share I’d love to hear about them!

With everything moving to Automation it’s only a matter of time before I will need to learn some Automation for my career. Why not start sooner rather than later and what better way to start than with Cisco’s DevNet Associate? I believe the other certifications on my list will help me get a networking or network security position sooner, which is why this one isn’t higher up on the list, but automation is absolutely the future. I already know some Bash, Python, and Powershell so this will not be completely new to me, though I still think it will be a bit of a struggle as I am absolutely NOT a programmer/developer. I already have the OCG to prepare for this exam. I also have the 100 Days of Code Python course on Udemy, the Network Programmability and Automation book, the Automate Your Network book, and a few other Python books (Automate the Boring Stuff, Beyond the Basic Stuff, and Learn Python 3 the Hard Way) to go hand-in-hand with this as well.

If I have time, I will finally start on the Cisco CCNP with ENCOR. I wanted to get this one this year but just didn’t get around to it. I want to be in networking or network security and I believe that a good foundation in Routing and Switching is key to doing well in that career, no matter what specialty you are in. What better way to solidify the foundations than with the CCNP Enterprise Core? I picked up Cisco’s CML on Cyber Monday so I have most of the tools I’ll need to obtain this (I already have the OCG and the Portable Command Guide and have the Lab Manual on the way), I just have to put in the time to study!

Now, this is not necessarily all of the certification that I will obtain in 2022. I may not even complete them all. I may throw some others in there (I have been wanting to get into Azure and AWS). It all depends on where my life is going to take me in the next year. Maybe I’ll get a new job and have to get some Juniper certifications, or Checkpoint, or Cloud. Maybe I’ll have time and decide to get a few other certifications (I’ve been eying that SNSA since I work with SonicWalls). Only time will tell. Now; it’s time to get back to some Security+ material!

Until next time…

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