Not on purpose or anything, but I skipped right over the A+ and studied for and passed the NT 4.0 MCSE as my first certifications.
It's not really skipping it any more than you likely skipped your automotive certification. It's not in the path between "interest" and the MCSE. And the Network+ didn't exist back then, so the MCP was the starter cert in that arena.
Well the job I had at the time was hmmm... install/fix end user PCs, run cabling, move (but not program) phones. We did eventually take over image deployment with a Partition Magic for Win 3.1 and 9x machines.
So, is that bench or IT?
This was my assumption.
I definitely didn't to be in that department for long. At the company, the pay topped out at like $28K for a bench tech.
Move to the LAN department (as it was called - the department that was responsible for the network switches/firewalls/servers) ranged from $40K - $130K. remember this is in NE, 15 years ago, and cost of living is still low compared to a lot of places, but apparently it's moderate compared to where Scott likes to live.