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Certification - Which way?

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by scottishdave, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. scottishdave

    scottishdave New Member

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    Afternoon all,

    I'm after a little advice on which direction to go with my certification. I have sat and passed exams 270, 290 and 291, but I cant decide whether or not to carry on with the MCSE path that I set out on in the first place or should I change what I'm doing and aim for an MCSA and then upgrade to a MCITP? These new certifications have thrown me somewhat! :( Not sure what to do...

    Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    D
     
    Certifications: MCP
    WIP: MCSE, Security+, CCNA
  2. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    It depends on what your current level of experience is.

    In any case, it's always a good idea to knock out the lower-level certifications, then pursue the higher-level ones.
     
    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!
  3. hailstorm

    hailstorm Bit Poster

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    Well personally I'd get your MCSA then go for the MCSE. One thing worth remembering is that Microsoft require you to refresh your certification with the new certs. I can see what they were aiming for but I don't think I could stand having to take a refresher exam every two years.

    The MCSA 2003 should still continue to be relevant for a long while yet.
     
    Certifications: ACTC, ACSP, MCP, MCDST, MCSA
    WIP: ACSA
  4. scottishdave

    scottishdave New Member

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    I've 6/7 years of experience with MS server 2k and 2k3 and networking. I've just never had the inclination to get the qualifications.

    The plan was to go all the way with my MCSE before starting on Cisco certifications. In the last 3 weeks I've sat the three exams I mentioned and I was given advice to go as far as an MCSA and then upgrade to MCITP from there.

    I'm not sure what to do.
     
    Certifications: MCP
    WIP: MCSE, Security+, CCNA
  5. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    With your experience, you should be fine pursuing the MCSA and MCSE. If you were just starting out in IT, I'd have advised that you wait.

    I would recommend that you get your MCSA and continue on the Server 2003 path towards the MCSE. Companies currently use Server 2003, and they will for some time to come. Windows XP is proof of that! In fact, many companies still use Windows 2000 Server, believe it or not!

    Also, remember that you can always upgrade to the MCITP... but you can't "downgrade" from the MCITP to the MCSE if you decide that you want it later. So I *always* recommend pursuing the older certification to its fullest extent, then upgrading to the newer certifications.
     
    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!
  6. scottishdave

    scottishdave New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I reckon I'll carry on with the original plan and then upgrade to a MCITP further down the line.

    I'll go and book the next few exams now before I change my mind! :)
     
    Certifications: MCP
    WIP: MCSE, Security+, CCNA
  7. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    Most companies still don't really know what MCSA is, let alone MCTS or MCITP. Just the other day I had someone with an MCSE on NT 4.0 tell my boss (at the time) that I wasn't qualified with an MCSA on 2003. I really wanted to tell him that MCSE on NT 4.0 is a joke in comparison to the performance/simulation-based exams they use now, but I bit my tongue and resolved to just go ahead and finish what I had started on the Server 2003 track.
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: none
  8. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    Also made me think that mandatory recertification every three years isn't such a bad idea after all.
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: none
  9. scottishdave

    scottishdave New Member

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    That was one of my concerns. Definitely sticking with the original plan!
     
    Certifications: MCP
    WIP: MCSE, Security+, CCNA
  10. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Hi Welcome :)
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  11. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Still, you can use the MCSA to your advantage. If nothing else, saying you have an MCSA and MCSE might look better to an uninformed employer than just saying you have an MCSE.

    In truth, it's not like you have to go out of your way to get the MCSA; it comes along quite naturally in the pursuit of the MCSE. So you'll likely pick it up anyway. :)
     
    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!
  12. scottishdave

    scottishdave New Member

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    Evening!
     
    Certifications: MCP
    WIP: MCSE, Security+, CCNA
  13. Inspiration

    Inspiration Bit Poster

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    May I add my own reply to this in the form of my own path question.

    You may recall I posted a couple of months ago regarding going for the MCDBA qualification.

    A little background to myself. I've been in IT support for around 10 years now. In that time I have installed/supported Windows Servers (2000, 2003), Windows XP and more recently I've been working with a Microsoft SQL 2000 database including installation and development of an Access front end.

    So I know my way around Windows and Windows Server, although my knowledge of subjects such as domain controllers and networking is a little shabby. But hey, we're all here to learn.

    I'm debating perhaps taking the following certification route:

    MCSA
    MCSE
    MCDBA

    My questions are as follows:

    - Does this sound a realistic route for me, based on my experience?
    - Based on my experience, would self study with books give me a reasonable chance of success in the exams?

    And finally a question that may sound silly and is probably covered in an FAQ, but I wanted to ask anyway:

    If I take exam 70-290 as part of my MCSA, and this exam also appears as an exam in the MCDBA.. do I need to:

    1) Retake the same exam
    2) Pick another exam
    or 3) Can I simply forget about that section knowing I've already passed an exam in that section

    In other words, can you take 1 exam, such as 70-290 and use that 1 pass to go towards gaining 2 qualifications?

    I hope I'm making sense!

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated. You all seem liek a great bunch here and I'm looking forward to perhaps getting started on this long term goal.
     
  14. scottishdave

    scottishdave New Member

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    Hi Inspiration,

    I'm glad to see I'm not the only person thats finding this whole certification thing confusing. Or maybe my issue is just being undecisive...

    In your example the exam will count towards each certification, so you dont need to retake it or choose another exam.
     
    Certifications: MCP
    WIP: MCSE, Security+, CCNA
  15. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    YES! That's exactly what I did.
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: none
  16. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    Might look better to an informed employer too. If you have both then you didn't just upgrade from MCSE on NT 4.0. ;)

    I'm also finding that there's some repetition. The training kit for 294 covers delegation of control that I'm pretty sure I did in 290 and security templates that I'm pretty sure I did in 293, plus a little DNS that was in 291 So while 90% of the 294 material is new, seems like about 10% of it is just review of things I've studied before. :biggrin

    I know MS says you can take the core exams in any order, but based on my experience 290 really should be first and 294 last. I did take 293 before 291 though.
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: none
  17. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    It was possible to get the MCSE without getting the MCSA back in the Windows 2000 days. The MCSA required 70-218, I believe, but the MCSE did not. I never went back and took it. I was eventually granted the MCSA when I upgraded my certs to Windows Server 2003... I don't think you can avoid getting the MCSA in the 2003 track, though at worst, you may get it at the same moment you get your MCSE. :)
     
    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!
  18. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    As the others have said, passing 70-290 is good for ANY certification that requires 70-290. :)
     
    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!
  19. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    As others have mentioned in some cases you can use one exam for mulitple credit, use the mcp cert planner to get a better idea.

    The MCDBA cert track is going to expire in 2009, If you took that route in order you will likely never get the MCDBA cert, I think you need to satisfy the objectives for MCDBA by March 2009, thats four exams if you don't currently have any.

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcdba/requirements.mspx
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcpexams/status/examstoretire.mspx

    Its still possible, but you are leaving it a little late, also the number of SQL 2000 installations in 2009 is going to start to drop off, as the upgrade should not be a big issue for most companies.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  20. Inspiration

    Inspiration Bit Poster

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    So is this right.. please forgive my lack of knowledge.. it's a tad embarassing and I do admit I've not read into it. I much prefer to have other people give me information who have been through the process.

    I can take MCSA (70-290, 70-291, 70-270, 70-228 )
    Then MCSE (70-293, 70-294, 70-297) with 70-290, 70-291, 70-270, 70-228 taken as part of the MCSA
    Then MCDBA (70-229) with 70-228, 70-290 and 70-293 taken as part of the MCSA and MCSE

    Is that how it could work out for me? So in total eight exams that would make up the MCSA, MCSE and MCDBA?

    I hadn't realised that is how it all pieces together but it sort of makes sense now and a friend did mention to me that the Microsoft certification does piece together and should really be done as close together as possible. Perhaps this is what he meant.

    If I'm wrong I'd appreciate some guidance. Thank you for your replies. :)

    scottishdave: We'll get there. :) Thank you for letting me jump onto your thread. :)

    Edit: I've since noticed a few replies above that answer this post. Thank you guys!! I will consider the MCDBA time limit. :)
     

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