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Certification path advice

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by CJWelch89, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. CJWelch89

    CJWelch89 Bit Poster

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    First off, hello all! I've been lurking about these forums for a fair while now and they have proved to be an invaluable asset to my self development so thank you all for allowing that to happen, truly, this is one of if not the best online IT community's I have come across.

    After leaving the army late last year I'm in the process of transitioning to 'civvi street' and have decided that IT is definitely the right route for me. I've no hands on experience but I am a massive IT enthusiast and find all of it extremely interesting. For a few months now I have been self studying towards the A+ and for a month now I've been attending what is essentially a resettlement college for ex-army to help cut my learning curve. Tomorrow I finish the course and I know I'm ready for the exam since I'm consistently scoring high 800's using the Boson ExSim software, which is excellent by the way and anyone looking for practice exam software shouldn't hesitate to invest.

    Anyway, the college is offering a course that starts a week or so from now which upon completion would enable me to pass the N+ and S+, it's a month long and I know it's all excellent instructor led lab work, hands on etc... The thing is a they're also offering a course which runs at the same time offering tuition to gain the MCSA which consists of the 70-640 MCTS, 70-642 MCTS and the 70-646 MCTS.

    Now the question is which one do I go for? I have a keen interest in networking and security but also realize the value of having the MCSA. I just can't decide which to go for.

    God I waffle a lot.




    TLDR:

    About to pass A+
    Should I go for Network+ and Security+ next or MCSA: Server Administrator?
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
    Certifications: Network+, A+, ITQ 2
    WIP: Security+, Server+
  2. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

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    I would go for the MCSA looks better on your CV and I would say it's harder than the N+ and S+ which you could self study easier and cheaper compared to MCSA.
     
    Certifications: A few.
  3. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    I disagree with Rob (who I know personally so he knows not to take it personally).

    Have a look here (http://www.certforums.com/forums/training-development/49085-entry-level-certifications-beyond.html) and read what the entry level certs are.

    The MCSA is a stepping stone to the MCSE and I definitely don't think that you should be looking at it as an entry level cert (the idea of the MCSA is that you have 12 months experience or there abouts). With no real world experience I wouldn't be going down the MCSA route to start with.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  4. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

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    Although Simon is technically correct (he usually is :), the CompTIA certs just are not that well known and although from a learning point of view they make sense from a getting a job point of view I'm not sure.

    Also if the courses are free at the college then I would think the MCSA would be more expensive than the other so financially makes sense to take the opportunity when it arises.
     
    Certifications: A few.
  5. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    Have to disagree with this, MCSA with no server experience is a bad call. If you do want to go down the MS route you are far better off looking at client certifications which match your exposure levels. I've had to deal with my share of 'paper MCSAs' even those whose study methods were robust and in depth still had difficulty when they hit the job market because their answers all came from the lab.

    IT Certifications | MCP | Microsoft
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  6. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

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    I am not saying get the MCSA and you can do a server admin role you will still need to start from the bottom but just compared to the CompTIA ones for helping get a job it's better.

    Also bear in mind if you only recommend certs where they have the experience N+ and S+ both recommend experience so that actually leaves very few certs to do. Having the knowledge in something is not a bad thing it will help when you finally get the chance to gain some real world experience.
     
    Certifications: A few.
  7. CJWelch89

    CJWelch89 Bit Poster

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    Whoa whoa guys I don't want to start WW3! :lol:

    Many thanks for your advice it's much appreciated, I have decided to delve further down the the CompTIA rabbit hole. I have a firm belief that a well rounded foundation of knowledge allows more specialized skills to slot in on top a lot easier.

    Am I right in understanding that provided I pass the N+ & S+ I can then count them as a single elective for the MCSA?

    If so, which exam would you recommend I start studying for in order to gain that MCSA? I'm thinking the 70-680?

    Thanks again.
     
    Certifications: Network+, A+, ITQ 2
    WIP: Security+, Server+

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