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Any advice on which path to start down with MS Certification?

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by EchoesOS, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. EchoesOS

    EchoesOS New Member

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    Hello everyone!

    I'll try to keep this short and to the point. Any advice would be very welcome.

    I've been in IT employment since 1996 and held the following roles over that time period:

    - 1st, 2nd, 3rd line ISP support including web hosting support.
    - Web hosting engineer, setting up IIS sites, Frontpage, Apache etc.
    - Database developer, working with SQL 2000, Visual Basic. Responsible for and created 50 user database.
    - Some mobile data device work.

    In my time I've come into contact with all the major Windows Server OS's and I've performed general administration such as setting up fresh server installs, setting up users, groups etc and I think it's fair to say if I'm not sure of something I have enough experience to work it out. I've also some experience of programming languages such as Java, VB, Objective C.

    My issue is over these years I've not completed any further training. Partly because the companies employing me haven't offered it to me and partly because I've been lazy and too comfortable. But as with life, I'm now starting to consider the very real possibility that I may be plunged back into the shark infested waters of the job market again and I'm worried that I don't have any paddles for my boat.

    While I have experience, I don't have any letters or certifications. I feel this can only be a weakness, or rather, getting certified can only help me.

    My dilemma is which route to take. Back in the day it used to be so simple with MCSE etc but I must admit I'm rather lost as to where to begin now.

    On the one hand I feel I should perhaps get an SQL related certification to back up my most recent job experience. But on the other hand I wonder if I should aim to get a more general certification to back up my whole work experience in IT in general. A 'this guy has been around' qualification.

    But I appreciate Microsoft may have intentionally changed the system to be more focussed to stop people doing that and force them to be more specific.

    Anyway.. this post is already too long. If anyone has any advice or suggestions they would be much appreciated. I accept at the end of the day it's my decision but something in the above may stand out and point towards a particular route. A lot may hinge on what it is I want to do next, which is an uncertainty currently.

    Thank you for your time.
     
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    you should study certs that backup your experience level. I would suggest starting with 70-270 managing, installing and adminstering XP in a domain environment.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. DryPlate

    DryPlate Nibble Poster

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    First, look at what you know. Second, look at what's worth your time. DBA for example, only do it if you want or are going to need to continue working in that field.

    Also besides MCITP certifications, whcih involve more then one exam, you can also look at the Microsoft Cert. Technology Specialist which is a title you get after one exam. You can use that to backup your skills like IIS, SQL etc.
     
    Certifications: CompTIA A+, MCDST, Apple Certified Associate
    WIP: CompTIA Network+, MCITP: EDST 7
  4. TheTrainingGuy

    TheTrainingGuy New Member

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    You could also start with the 70-680 windows 7 configuration. Just like the 70-270, it also credits towards an MCSE, but the 70-680 credits towards the MCITP: Enterprise Administrator also.
     
  5. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    Sorry to hear about the uncertainty of your job - I had this a couple of years ago - not fun!

    For me, it would depend on how quickly I could get some certs to my name - sounds like you've had a varied time over the years, how easy is the MCSA to complete for you? Or MCSE? If you are up to speed, you may be able to get some of these sorted quicker than maybe studying something from scratch ie, MCITP for 7/2008.

    I don't know enough about any DBA certs, but I seem to remember that some of the MCSE exams also apply to the DBA - so perhaps this will give you another easier string to your bow.

    If you've had contact with any 7 or 2008 stuff to a similar level you have on XP/2k3 then doing those exams towards the MCSE like TrainingGuy said works well. If you haven't and it'd take more effort, considering the possible urgency of your predicament, maybe its better to nail what you know first and then update later.
     
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  6. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    doh - just seen the age of the original post - sorry!
     
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  7. TheTrainingGuy

    TheTrainingGuy New Member

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    You used to be able to take some SQL 2000 courses as part of the MCSE but now they are retired.

    I do remember Microsoft allowing the SQL 2005 equivalents at one point but now looking at the MCSE exam path there isnt really much of an option for taking SQL exams as part of MCSE.

    Not sure what Microsoft are playing at really. They never used to allow A+ & Network+ as MCSE elective (it was only on MCSA) but now they do. Annoying how they keep moving the goal posts.
     

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