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Desktop or server exams?

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by SteverFer, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. SteverFer

    SteverFer New Member

    Hi Guys,

    I have an A+ and N+ and have about 2 years experience in a helpdesk role and 2 years in a desktop role, with very little server/ networking experience. I would like to get more day to day server work,and have decided to take a bit of time off to study for some MS certs, I had intended to do the 2 Win 7 certs to get the MCSA and hopefully enough time do one of the server exams(I probably wouldn't have enough time them all to get a server MCSA aswell as W7 but thought One server exam would help me) .
    Even though I want to get more server work I was thinking of doing Win 7 first as it seemed like the natural progression and that I should have a Win 7 MCSA first to build on before doing a server MCSA, now I'm re-considering and thinking of just going straight into the server MCSA to make the most of my time. My questions are,

    Would it be possible to pass the server exam without any server experience? Is there much difference in difficulty between Win 7 MCSA and Server 2012 MCSA?

    Would it be possible to get a back end job having a server MCSA without any day to day server experience, or say a role that involves customer facing and back end, without any server experience, I realize MCSA is the most basic but I'm not sure how basic it is?

    Basically would I be better of doing the Win 7 exams and building up from scratch, / would the Win 7 exams benefit me that much, or would they be that important in what I want to do , I know I wont be going straight into a full on server role and will still be working with W7 alot either way.

  2. reverb

    reverb Byte Poster

    Your last sentence sums it up really, it would be wise to get the Win 7 certificate.

    It's recommended to have server experience to do the MS server certifications otherwise it may be fairly difficult as everything will be literally new to you compared to the material in the Win 7 certification. Someone who administers Server 2003/2008 for example will find it much easier. After all the certs are to validate experience rather than a pathway to a server admin role.

    Your best bet is do the Win 7 cert and perhaps target smaller firms where teams are much smaller or just one sys admin and one desktop support person/junior sys admin/understudy so you can get the work you want to do.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  3. SteverFer

    SteverFer New Member

    Thanks for your reply,

    A couple of questions, is there an benefit to having one of the exams passed without the full MCSA, I'm thinkng I would find the server MCSA extremley hard, but say if I just passed the 410 , I know I would certainly have increased my server knowledge by just passing that, especially if I was to setup labs at home and get hands on knowledge, but would that be of any benefit on a resume when applying for a job , or would people only really consider the full MCSA of value ?

    Also, the Win 7 680 exam seems mainly to do with setting up imaging and deployment, considering most companies(I presume) are on Win 7 , and have the deployment server etc already setup, would that exam be of much benefit to them, I know XP expires in April but anyone not on 7 would surley be starting upgrading soon, before I would have my Win 7 exams done, and I can't see many going to Win 8 in the corporate enviornment soon?

  4. RichyV

    RichyV Megabyte Poster Forum Leader


    If you've not sat any MS exams before, and also have no hands-on experience of Server, as you say, then considering anything else other than 680 will probably be a waste of time and money for you.

    Try looking at these exams as 'evidence' of your previous experience. Diving straight into a Server 2008/2012 exam will probably mean a first time fail and a generally bad experience of the certification process.

    I'd leave Windows 8 alone for now and, at least - with no obligation to take the exam, buy the 680 press-book and go through it alongside the Prof Messer free video course.

    This will undoubtedly set you up in a better position to make a decision about future plans. Remember - certification is not a race....

    Certifications: B.Sc.(Hons), MBCS. MCP (271,272), MCDST, MCTS (680), MCITP:EDST7, MCSA:WIN7, MCPS, MCNPS
    WIP: 70-686, then onto MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure via MCSA: Server 2012...
  5. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    Please understand that the MCITP\MCSA\MCSE are designed for people with enough experience in the subject matter, if you're new the technology then these exams aren't for you.

    I would stick with the Desktop exams for the moment and try working your way into a server based role without the exams, spend a couple of years doing that kind of work and then look to certify.
    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).

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