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Best starter Certifications for IT Newbies

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by simonkn, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. simonkn

    simonkn Bit Poster

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    Hi everyone.

    Been in and out of the IT game for a few years - i'm an Aviation Security instructor for an airline at present! Previous IT experience is: PC/Network support technician in a school (1995) IT/Electronics Engineer (hardware)(1998) and at present i support the training department with IT issues. (sort of desktop support/networking-MSServer 2003/XPPro)

    Ok, I'm looking to get certified to make the transition into IT completely. I've got one last career change in me as i'm 35 (so over the hill and far away) but in my defence I can play a mean game of Dungeons & Dragons and know most episodes of Red Dwarf off by heart!

    Ok, joking aside, and the reason for the post....

    I'm old and earn a decent wage but am realistic about potential entry salaries. SO, should I be looking to start off with compTIA A+ and Network+ and build up to an MCSA/MCSE or (taking Kevicho's excellent post into account!) plump straight for the MCSA/MCSE? As i'm touting myself with limited practical experience, what looks better on my CV?

    Ive got 3 pc's and a mac at home that I can/do network (+vmware) and have access at work to Server 2003 for playing. So thats the hardware sorted - Therefore i'm thinking it's best to buy the books and go it alone?

    Just which way shall I head?? before i part with £300 with Amazon. (grin)

    Thoughts appreciated,
    Regards

    SK
     
  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    If your last IT post was about 11 years ago ( 1998 ), and only dabbling now. I doubt that at the minute you're designing and implementing AD & networks, accross multiple sites and domains. I would say go the A+, Network+, MCDST route, then the MCSA.

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  3. Obinna Osobalu

    Obinna Osobalu Banned

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    Oops! Ken just beat me to that. Actually, it's not a competition. ;-)

    All the best!

    ----------------
    Now playing: moss_17
    via FoxyTunes
     
    Certifications: MCITP:SA,MCTS(x5),MCSE2K3;MCSA2K3:M;MCP
    WIP: EDA7,70-652,Project+,MSP(70-632)
  4. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Take Ken's (wagnerk) advice ! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  5. simonkn

    simonkn Bit Poster

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    See post below.. sorry, forgot about the 5 post moderation...
     
  6. simonkn

    simonkn Bit Poster

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    Thanks for the comments...

    I'm an electronics/science person by nature and am usually found underneath the server rack/sound stage/motorbike rather than phone support (although thats more of my role at present since the "official" IT dept. moved overseas!!) Hence the MCSE.

    So simply put.... what's the value in doing the MSDST cert? Do all MCSEs start life in desktop support? Or is it just a "good" cert. to have on the CV?

    Since writing the initial question i've read up on CompTIA and they look like good ones to start with so yes Ken, without recent experience i'll be doing those two. Just not sure about the MSDST?
    Is it acceptable to do A+, Network+, MCSA,MCSE?

    And then start on £15k? By the time i'm retiring I might be back on my current salary! But then life's too short to worry about things like that!
    Cheers guys.
    play safe now...
     
  7. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    there's value in all certs but not everyone starts in a MCSE role and if you have been out of IT that long regreshing your memory with something like the MCDST would probably be a good idea.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  8. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    I started off with a bronze swimming certificate if that helps . . . .
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  9. simonkn

    simonkn Bit Poster

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    Damn, knew that qualification would have been useful.

    Despite doing my:
    Helicopter CPL
    Scuba 100m+ depth mixed gas technical qualifications
    Advanced Police driving qualification
    and DfT Firearms and Explosives course.......

    I only ever had a cycling proficiency certificate....... GOD if i'd only learned to swim before i could cycle!!!..

    ok, MSDST it is......
     
  10. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I would have thought that in today's climate you'd be in high demand as an Aviation Security Instructor.

    Unless you just show people how to carry out basic frisking and putting car keys into a little basket.

    Why on earth would you want to get into IT?

    :blink
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  11. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    While that may be one of the jobs that a person with a MCSE may do, it's not the only job:

    The designing part is the main difference between the MCSA & the MCSE.

    Go for it if you wish, but don't get suckered into gaining something that is being used as a buzz word, when the experience does not match. Professional IT certifications should be used to reflect your job experience and responsibilities.

    There is value in the tier 1 & 2 certs, like the MCDST, etc... I've meet MCSE's who think that they know all and still have trouble with client operating systems. How can you take someone like that seriously? I know I'm generalising. I'm not saying that you have to take those exams, but have the knowledge that those exams represent.

    Not all desktop support techs move on up to 3rd tier support and gain their MCSE, and not all MCSE's start off on desktop support. However the majority do.

    Yes... I did the A+, Network+ then the MCSA before I did the MCDST. I still learnt a few things.

    You could start on £15k, however you may even have to start on £12.5k. It depends what's around at the time and what you can get. Job vacancies now-a-days, because of the recession, are experiencing 25-100 approx applicants per post.

    -ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  12. simonkn

    simonkn Bit Poster

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    Hi Jonny,

    Yep good question, I can't knock my current career. It's one of the old favourites really... I just need to change my personal circumstances and therefore my job.

    As cabin crew for 10 years I flew around the world having a laugh. I had plenty of opportunities to take many qualifications but spent it drinking and swapping bodily fluids with the opposite sex!

    So now i'm happy in my life and my GF wants to move her horses and family to the country. So I need to move from Luton. Comuting is an option on the bike but IT and electronics engineering are the jobs i always end up wanting and finding the most challenging and rewarding and therefore feel its the most 'portable' career for someone in my position.

    No, the Av Sec stuff is cool, especially the training sessions in Thames House. We train crews and pilots about hijack rectification,IEDs and IIDs, Dangerous Goods and firearms recognition.

    I got to do the frisking and "keys in the basket" type stuff in the Police. It was a horrid job but one where the customer is ALWAYS wrong! now that's kinda satisfying...... Just not sure i've got the temprement for MSDST... (grin)
     
  13. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I'll swap you!

    :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  14. simonkn

    simonkn Bit Poster

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    Thanks Ken,

    Frankness and insight appreciated. I think i'll aim for the A+ and Network+ quals then see where I stand.

    Just going on gut feelings alone I have always been in Customer Service because of my broadcasting background and chatty nature. BUT i have always been an engineer at heart and if I am going to end up in IT, would prefer being an engineer over a support person. Perhaps i'm just too long in the tooth at the CS game. Want to have a challenge.
    Also, most of my career has been spent using life experience as a method of promotion. Will be new to me having to gain experience - but thats all the fun, ain't it!?

    And Jonny..... unless you're a traffic warden... you got yourself a deal! need about £30k though.... I'll take a cheque???
     
  15. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Just curious, but what do you consider being an Engineer in IT to be?
     
  16. simonkn

    simonkn Bit Poster

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    Sorry Simon,

    I would consider an IT engineer to be someone that designs and physically implements the technology. whether that be installing software on a workstation or equipment in a remote site. Proactively fault-finding and maintaining the IT environment within which s/he works.

    I see a support technician as someone who uses their CS skills to advise and train end users/managers on hardware/software usage and who are usually centrally based and telephone contactable.

    engineers get their hands dirty / cs agents get their brains dirty, perhaps?
     
  17. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    You'd be very surprised then... At least in my experience.

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  18. simonkn

    simonkn Bit Poster

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    I'm intreagued now Ken,

    Don't systems engineers "get out much" or am i simplifying the role of desktop support?
     
  19. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    And mine! :biggrin

    I'd say that you are definitely simplifying the role of 'support'. Sure you may get to be the guy who desiglns and implements systems, but in order to implement those systems you also have to know how to support them! :ohmy
     
  20. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    The Systems engineers in other organisations that I know, even those who designed and implemented their companies systems, also deal with 3rd line support questions and jobs when tier 1 & tier 2 (Desktop & server support) can't deal with them. Granted these systems engineers are specifically employed directly by the company themselves, so it may be different from contracted-in engineers - but I can't believe that much.

    Modey & myself, would be classed as system engineers. We've designed and upgraded our domain/forest from 2000 to 2003 to 2008 r2 (currently), but we still get both our brains and hands dirty from everything from installing toner to modifying AD to suit our users & to implement new technology. Granted we work in education, however the same thing happened at our last place.

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip

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