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Does this plan make sense?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by somabc, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. somabc

    somabc Bit Poster

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    OK guys after having time to away and think about what IT Qualifications I should take I have come up with plan and I was hoping you could give me some pointers. I have the attached the list of Certs I would like to achieve. What do you think is a reasonable timescale? 1 year?

    I would like to start off with the CompTIA qualifications, as a) they seem the easiest, and b) they are useful for exemptions from some MS exams. I think it is best to do the Server 2003 track then convert to Server 2008 as I guess employers do still value MCSE over MCITP? On the other hand we are now commonly using Server 2008 at work.

    I plan to study in my own time, by getting some books for each course, setting up a a virtual lab and taking practice tests with some tutorials as necessary. I am planning on buying a Server such as Dell Power Edge T105 AMD Opteron Quad Core 1352 Tower Server 1GB / 2 x 80GB SATA DVDROM. Will that be alright with 4GB of RAM. What do you recommend for running the VMs / Virtual Network. I would prefer free software obviously if possible. What do you think out of Hyper-V, 64 bit Linux with Virtual Box, VMware (not sure which version)?

    I know this is a lot of questions but I'm keen to get started and know that having a good plan at the start will pay off later.

    Thanks for the advice / help.
     

    Attached Files:

    Certifications: BSc MBCS
    WIP: MSc, PRINCE2, ITIL
  2. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Although your plan looks good in theory, it's too early to even be considering the MCSA or MCSE until you start administering servers. Plus, you never know - your career might take you down a different path... one where you start working with Linux or Solaris, and in those situations, you'd be better served by pursuing those certifications.

    For now, I would stick to the A+ to MCDST portion of your plan and keep the rest of it in long-term storage. :)

    As far as the timescale... unless you're already administering servers, no, 1 year isn't a very reasonable target... particularly since Microsoft recommends a year of server administration experience before STARTING to pursue the 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!
  3. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    All well and good to have a plan but if you actually read the requirements for the Microsoft certs you'll see they expect you to be working in a server environment for some time before they recommend you tackle things like MCSE.

    So do you actually work in IT atm ?
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  4. somabc

    somabc Bit Poster

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    Sorry should have been clearer about my employment I have coming up for 3 years experience of administering servers (both Linux & Server 2003) so I believe an MCSA / MCSE would be suitable for me just now. Don't worry about just having a paper cert, in fact my problem is the other way experience without any (relevant?) qualifications to back it up. What with the credit crunch / recession I think now is a good time to stock up on qualifications?
     
    Certifications: BSc MBCS
    WIP: MSc, PRINCE2, ITIL
  5. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I would try and keep an open mind when you are planning your certs. Although it is easy to write down the certs you are going to do you will have to put in allot of time to actually *pass* all the certs you have listed.

    Things change as you progress in your IT career. My original plan was A+ -> Network+ -> MCSE-> CCNA but I have changed direction and added MCSA:M and MCTS instead of going onto the Cisco certs. Also I am studying for some additional Server 2008 certs just now.

    That wasn’t in the master plan a few years ago when I started studying! 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  6. somabc

    somabc Bit Poster

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    Yeah you are totally right, so it will likely be a case of A+ -> Network+ then we'll see. Does anyone know when the Server 2003 track exams are being retired?
     
    Certifications: BSc MBCS
    WIP: MSc, PRINCE2, ITIL
  7. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yup, kinda take things in stages. I think you are right to aim for the MCSE in the long run though as employers will take a while to catch up with the Server 2008 certs.

    No official word from MS on the Server 2003 certs as far as I know.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  8. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    In that case, your plan is excellent. I'd progress more or less as you've got them laid out.

    I would recommend a few (entirely optional) changes, however:
    - Do 70-270 after 70-271 and 70-272. Then do 70-290, 70-291, 70-293, 70-294. The four core MCSE exams flow nicely one into another.
    - It's your choice as to when to do the 70-620 (or, preferably, the 70-621, which encompasses 70-620 and 70-622, granting you the MCITP: DST, if I've got my acronyms right). You can do it after the MCITP: SA, or you can hit it earlier on, say, after you've tackled the MCDST or the 70-270 exam.
    - It's your choice as to when to do Security+. If you've already got security experience, you could knock it out right after Network+... get CompTIA out of your system. Trust me, it'll be a little bit of a shock going back to CompTIA's poorly worded questions after being in Microsoft-certification-land for so long.

    Still, even with experience, and studying legitimate sources, it would be tough to knock all these out in a year unless you weren't working or doing much else. Sure, you want to get certified as quickly as possible... but it's not a race. And after all, you don't just want to pass a bunch of exams - you want to become a better tech, right?

    Not saying it's impossible... but it's not very wise, considering you'll be studying for a total of 18 exams (or 19, if you choose to do the 70-621... which includes studying for 3 "single exams" for the 70-649 upgrade exam).
     
    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!
  9. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    At least 3 years, and likely much longer. Consider, they JUST retired the Windows 2000 exams. And Server 2003 has been around for 5 years without a replacement until Server 2008 came out. I'd be somewhat surprised if they retire them before 2013.
     
    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!
  10. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Cool, plenty of time for me to take the 70-285 to get to MCSE:M 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  11. somabc

    somabc Bit Poster

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    Ha ha yeah, I think I am still in the mindset that its not what bits of paper you have its what you do that counts. :)

    I know as well that having work to do with no deadline means work that never gets done :twisted:
     
    Certifications: BSc MBCS
    WIP: MSc, PRINCE2, ITIL
  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Well... keep in mind that 70-285 isn't part of the Server 2003 track... it's part of the Exchange 2003 track, which got a replacement in 2007. That one might be retired a tad bit earlier than the Server 03 track.

    That said, I have no inside information - that's merely speculation and logic on my part.
     
    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!
  13. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Good point, will probably make a start on it next year. Dont want to run outta time! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  14. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    EDIT: Double post
     
    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!
  15. Mr.Cheeks

    Mr.Cheeks 1st ever Gold Member! Gold Member

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    Did i just hear an echo echo :biggrin
     
  16. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Actually, that IS true. The certifications don't make you more valuable... it's what you know how to do that makes you more valuable. In truth, all certifications do is get you more noticed by potential employers.

    Don't misunderstand me - if I didn't believe in the worth of certifications, I wouldn't work in the certification training industry. You do learn a lot while studying for certifications, and they are helpful in getting you noticed by employers... but ultimately, what is important is what you can do, not what bits of paper you have. That's why most of us here constantly caution about having the relevant amount of experience for those bits of paper you collect. :)

    Not always... not when you love what you do, or you're motivated to get it done regardless.

    It's good to set goals. But they've got to be realistic. Why don't you set a goal for the A+ and see how it goes from there? :)
     
    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!
  17. BosonMichael
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    For some reason, the screen froze (the forums have been rather sluggish and buggy recently), and I didn't think it submitted... so I submitted it again.
     
    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. somabc

    somabc Bit Poster

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    I took the plunge and ordered the Dell Server & A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Sixth Edition
    Total price £150 for the server, and £20 for the book, not bad!

    http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/pedge_t105?c=us&cs=555&l=en&s=biz

    I was looking at testing centres and found this

    http://www.uxl.org.uk/training/comptia-aplus.htm

    How can they offer free 24 week courses?
     
    Certifications: BSc MBCS
    WIP: MSc, PRINCE2, ITIL
  19. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Good choice on the server, very useful for studying. 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010

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