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Archaeology to MCSE

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by pushkin, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. pushkin

    pushkin Bit Poster

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    Hi

    Have never posted here before, need a little advice about what exams will achieve MCSE. Apologies if this question has been posted elsewhere.

    Career switched from archaeology a couple of years ago, went back to college and got a diploma in Elec and Computer Engineering. Wanted to get my MCSE so signed up for boot camp. Teaching method was very poor, with an emphasis on 'this is the answer to this question' rather than teaching us how everything ticked. Decided to instead study full time the way you would for college. We were given the MOAC manuals for the following exams:

    290, 291, 293, 294, 270, 297, 298.

    I have just noticed this morning that 297 and 298 are from the same group (design) and it seems I should be doing one or the other, not both. Shouldn't I be choosing a module from 'electives' ?

    Will the above set of exams qualify me as an MCSE ?

    Appreciate any advice.

    Thanks.
     
  2. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    As per MS http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcse/windows2003/default.mspx :

    How to earn your MCSE on Windows Server 2003
    To earn your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 certification, you must pass seven exams:

    • Four core exams on networking systems

    • One core exam on client operating systems

    • One core design exam

    • One elective exam


    The MCSE on Windows Server 2003 certification will not retire.



    Core exams on networking systems (all are required)
    Exam 70-290
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-290: Managing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Environment

    Exam 70-291
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-291: Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure

    Exam 70-293
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-293: Planning and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure

    Exam 70-294
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-294: Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure



    Core exams on client operating systems (choose one)
    Exam 70-6206
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-620: TS: Windows Vista, Configuring

    Exam 70-270
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-270: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Windows XP Professional

    Exam 70-2101,2
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-210: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional



    Core design exams (choose one)
    Exam 70-2973
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-297: Designing a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network Infrastructure

    Exam 70-2983
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-298: Designing Security for a Windows Server 2003 Network



    Elective exams (choose one)⁴
    Exam 70-0861
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-086: Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Systems Management Server 2.0

    Exam 70-0895
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-089: Planning, Deploying, and Managing Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003

    Exam 70-2271, 5
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-227: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000, Enterprise Edition

    Exam 70-2285, 7
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-228: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition

    Exam 70-2297
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-229: Designing and Implementing Databases with Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition

    Exam 70-235
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-235: TS: Developing Business Process and Integration Solutions Using Microsoft BizTalk Server

    Exam 70-236
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-236: TS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Configuring

    Exam 70-262
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-262: TS: Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 – Implementing, Managing, and Troubleshooting

    Exam 70-281
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-281: Planning, Deploying, and Managing an Enterprise Project Management Solution

    Exam 70-282
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-282: Designing, Deploying, and Managing a Network Solution for a Small- and Medium-Sized Business

    Exam 70-2845
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-284: Implementing and Managing Microsoft Exchange Server 2003

    Exam 70-285
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-285: Designing a Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Organization

    Exam 70-2973
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-297: Designing a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network Infrastructure

    Exam 70-2983
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-298: Designing Security for a Windows Server 2003 Network

    Exam 70-299
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-299: Implementing and Administering Security in a Windows Server 2003 Network

    Exam 70-3017
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-301: Managing, Organizing, and Delivering IT Projects by Using Microsoft Solutions Framework 3.0

    Exam 70-3505
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-350: Implementing Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004

    Exam 70-351
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-351: TS: Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2006, Configuring

    Exam 70-400
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-400: TS: Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007, Configuring

    Exam 70-401
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-401: TS: Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007, Configuring

    Exam 70-431
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-431: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 – Implementation and Maintenance

    Exam 70-445
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-445: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence – Implementation and Maintenance

    Exam 70-500
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-500: TS: Microsoft Windows Mobile Designing, Implementing, and Managing

    Exam 70-557
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-557: TS: Microsoft Forefront Client and Server, Configuration

    Exam 70-6206
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-620: TS: Windows Vista, Configuring

    Exam 70-624
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-624: TS: Deploying and Maintaining Windows Vista Client and 2007 Microsoft Office System Desktops

    Exam 70-630
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-630: TS: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Configuring

    Exam 70-631
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-631: TS: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Configuring

    Exam 70-638
    Review the preparation guide for Exam 70-638: TS: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, Configuring


    You can substitute one of the following Microsoft or third-party certifications for an MCSE elective exam
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  3. pushkin

    pushkin Bit Poster

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    Thanks. Spotted my mistake : P .....was on MCSA page....cheers.

    Am planning to get MCDST once I've passed two remaining exams I need for MCSE. Reason for this is I've only got six months experience in the business and am moving to another city this year. I'll be applying for junior desktop support jobs and thought it a good idea to have the desktop certification both for my own knowledge and for prospective employers to see. Would this be considered a wise move ?

    Thanks for any tips.
     
  4. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    Well an MCSE will be useless when it comes to desktop support jobs, so pursuing the MCDST first would be a very good idea.

    As for the bootcamp being poor for teaching the MCSE, I'm not surprised at all really. They are usually aimed at people whoe already have the experience and knowledge and just need effectivily an intense exam cram experience. It's not possible to properly learn the concepts of such a big cerfication such as the MCSE in a very shoprt period of time.

    Perhaps you ought to take a look at MS's own pre-requisits for the MCSE. It's mean to certify the experience of a candidate who's worked in a Network design and administration role in a large multi site, multi domain enviroment for at least 12 months.

    If you do decide to pursue the MCSE before you have the required experience, you will become a paper MCSE and futher devalue the cert. For helpdesk and DST roles it will actually hurt your chances of getting a job, not help.

    Anyway, good luck with the MCDST.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  5. pushkin

    pushkin Bit Poster

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    Cheers for the advice mate, I was pretty sure it was a good idea. I’m only one exam away from starting into the MCDST.

    I have to say that I’m both baffled and bemused by this term ‘paper MCSE’. The courseware is stated to be aimed at people whom have 12 months experience and certifies their ability to understand the material and be qualified to apply those skills, it does not seem to be there to certify your ‘experience’.

    The MCSE cert to my mind is devalued by overly easy exams and a whole industry and subculture within the profession aimed at cramming answers without truly understanding the subject in the same depth you would a degree – to my mind a form of cheating.....cheating yourself. I know people who have the cert and know very very little of what they should. Two people seem to be both able to hold an MCSE cert and have completely different levels of competency, regardless of experience!

    So after the boot camp I took my stack of MOAC books home and have studied full time everyday for the past 10 months. I know those manuals inside out, approached them the way I did my archaeology degree, combing through the text, taking endless notes, researching branch subjects or terms and being honest with myself – if there’s something I don’t understand I don’t move forward till I do.....regardless of whether it comes up on the exam or not. I spend about 4-5 weeks taking notes then start practicing sims on a virtual server and going through old exams. After about 7-8 weeks total I sit an exam, then start the whole routine again. As well as that I have made the Registry Guide my 'non study' reading for months now.

    I find it pretty unbelievable that sitting down at a DST interview with an MCDST, MCSA and MCSE would damage my chances of getting the job. Surely it is an indication of genuine interest, enthusiasm and some ambition and at the very least some basic competency. When I received my archaeology degree I had about 9 months digging experience with my college. It would have been ludicrous for me to not declare my qualification when I was starting to apply for jobs.

    I will be glad to have the MCSA, MCSE and DST certs out of the way and get onto DBA and other more taxing material – if only because they don’t seem to be so easy to bluff and thus don’t have this stigma about them.

    What do you think?
     
  6. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    The 70-291 and 70-297 are not easy. :dry
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  7. pushkin

    pushkin Bit Poster

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    I agree, but if the exams were more repesentative of the material they would all be considerably more difficult.
     
  8. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    What Modey said is correct.

    You should have atleast 12-18 months experience in managing and maintaining servers in a multi user environment before doing the MCSE.

    High level certs like the MCSA, MSCE and CCNA are supposed to show that you have the relevant experience in the jobs they relate to, not that you can pass an exam.

    Certs like the A+, N+ and MCDST are designed to show that you have good knowledge and a little experience to the represented jobs.

    When Modey says paper MCSE he is meaning that because people are doing the cert and getting certified without the experience means instead of employers thinking and believing someone has done well and has a good amount of knowledge, they are just thinking here's another one with some certification.

    Also most employers won't hire an MCSE with no experience as these employers know better.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  9. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Probably, but that doesn’t mean you would be a ‘better’ MCSE.

    Real world experience is what counts. 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  10. pushkin

    pushkin Bit Poster

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    It is just a certification. The work experience on your CV is what indicates experience.

    Surely the employer thinks 'the applicant has sat and passed the exams so must have some idea but lacks experience so therefore is a good fit for junior desktop support'. And if the employer had a clue himself he would know what an MCSE was and not think it was just "some" qualification - I don't know many industries where interviewers wouldn't be aware of most of it's own industry qualifications and their said merits/demerits. MCSEs are devauled by people being able to pass having memorised last months paper.

    The notion flying around these forums that you'd be 'better' to not declare that you've studyed and passed seven other exams relating to the same broad umbrella of employment when trying to get your foot on the ladder is frankly unbelievable.
    Qualifications in all industries find their own natural 'worth' which is ironed out over time, if a qualification is easy to aquire and there is much industry experience of holders of said qualifications not being up to the job it will rightly be devalued.
     
  11. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    If the employer had a clue about what the MCSE actually is then they would not ask for that qualification for a desktop support job.

    Also they might think you would leave at the first opportunity to move into a network support role.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  12. pushkin

    pushkin Bit Poster

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    I didn't say they'd be asking for that qualification ! I gave a scenario whereby you had an DST MCSA/E and applied for a DS role.

    So really, after all that, the worst that could happen in the real world is that you appear to be overqualified. Big deal, people in all kinds of professions start into that profession seemingly over qualified. It very rarely holds anyone back for long, unless they end up with a particularly un-ambitious employer.
     
  13. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    So if you are moving on so quickly why would an employer want to take you on in the first place? :blink
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  14. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    Seriously mate, we have had people apply for jobs at our place, junior tech roles who had MCSE's but no experience. They didn't get shortlisted, their applications went straight in the bin.

    I wouldn't ever let lose someone on my network who has studied advanced techniques but has no experience to back it up. It's just asking for trouble. I couldn't ever envisage it being advantagous for someone applying for a junior / DST type role who had such an advanced level network admin cert.

    These qualifications are really nothing like academic quals and aren't comparible.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  15. pushkin

    pushkin Bit Poster

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    When did I mention moving on ??!! ......... LOL ....... 'holds people back' is not reference to them leaving, it's in reference to them progressing......
     
  16. pushkin

    pushkin Bit Poster

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    What about the guys who had 6 months experience and an MCDST ? Did the boss show them the door if they had any better qualifications ? Doesn't sound like you've been an employer before.

    I wasn't suggesting getting let loose on a network, desktop support hardly qualifies as getting let loose on a network ! I was debunking the ludicrous idea that actually also possessing an MCSE would prevent me getting a DS job.

    Of course it's not advantageous to have an MCSE for a DS role, I never said it would be ! I said it wouldn’t be disadvantageous.

    No you're right, these qualifications certainly aren't comparable with academic qualifications ! Except in one overriding important area, if they are worth anything this will be recognised within the industry and if they are not, this too will be recognised.

    Where I would agree with you is that it certainly isn't the perfect scenario to appear to be hugely overqualified when applying.
     
  17. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Not all companies offer career progression for many reasons.

    If someone sent me their CV wanting a desktop support job with MCSE listed as their qualifications I would think they would....

    a) Want more money.
    b) Get bored very quickly.
    c) Potentially have used BDs to pass the exams.

    Ive seen this for myself, unfortunately! :rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  18. pushkin

    pushkin Bit Poster

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    Oh well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. One thing I reckon that plays a part in all this is the pervailing business culture in a given area or country. Some countries I've worked in I would totally agree with your point, where others lean more towards what I would be saying. Looking at job pages would bare this out to a large degree.
    I would say it's very disappointing that people are able to 'cheat' the exams, after putting in a hard a year as I have it's pretty crappy that the honesty of my qual might be questioned, I'm sure many others feel the same. I'll be glad to get few more yrs under my belt and maybe onto some other Microsoft qual that isn't questioned so easily.
    Anyway, have a good one.
     
  19. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    The profession isn't aimed at cramming answers without truly understanding the subject... the training provider you attended is what is aimed at doing so. If you were told to memorize test questions... it wouldn't have been the first time that a training provider has used braindumps - real questions from the actual exam - to enable students to cheat their way through exams. And no, braindumps are not tolerated by certification vendors such as Microsoft.

    You are correct in that people with different levels of experience do achieve the MCSE, and yes, that is why the certification is devalued. But it's extremely difficult for someone without experience to pass these exams without cheating. Still, most employers no longer look at certification first as a basis for hiring someone - they look at experience first and foremost. Only then, when experience levels are equal, do they look at things such as certifications and degrees.

    For these reasons, I would tell you that getting an MCSE at this stage of your career would be a mistake. What you would do in an entry-level job is unrelated to what is on the MCSE. I would recommend that you pursue entry-level certifications, such as the A+, Network+, and MCDST.

    If you apply for an entry-level job with those certifications, an employer will think one or more of the following:
    1) As I stated above, it is more likely that someone without experience has cheated their way through these exams. Someone who has cheated their way through exams is too risky for me to hire.
    2) Someone who has the MCSA or MCSE will likely want MCSA- or MCSE-level money. Rather than waste my time or yours, I'll likely pass over your resume, and go for the potentially less-expensive MCDST candidate who has applied for the job.
    3) Someone who has the MCSA or MCSE will either be overqualified for the job, or aspires for something greater. Thus, you're a flight risk - you're more apt to get bored or find something better within a few months - leaving me to have to find, hire, and train someone all over again.

    (EDIT: I see Sparky has already said the same... and he's right!)

    And if you apply for an advanced job with those certifications, the employer would turn you away due to a lack of experience.

    For these reasons, having the MCSA, MCSE, CCNA, CCNP, or any other advanced certification without the appropriate amount of experience CAN be a hindrance, not a help, in finding an IT job. Believe what you will... but this is what I have seen in my past 10 years in IT.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  20. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    You're not getting it. They wouldn't likely be given an interview at all.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!

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