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Greetings

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by Nick_G, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. Nick_G

    Nick_G Bit Poster

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    Hi all.

    I've had a look around the forums a bit and thought I'd say hello.
    I am trying to get into the IT industry after a background mainly in science/laboratory work and signed up with ICS?Apprenta nearly a year ago. It has not been that easy as a few things have got in the way (such as buying and doing up a house for several months).

    Anyway, I may need some help and advice over the coming months. I'm back on the course now though, studying from home. The first exam I am aiming to take is SQL Server 2000 Design, but it is not easy - I have never used databases before, not even Access! I've been thrown in at the deep end somewhat.

    I have an HNC in Multimedia but decided to do a Microsoft course as it is more likely to lead to a job. The plan is eventually get an MCSD qualification.

    Nick.
     
  2. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    WHOOOOA there!

    SQL Server Design as your first M$ exam?

    Seriously - pick an easier one!

    Its a beast of an exam - it took me four months' study before I plucked up the courage to take the test - and I still only got 800-odd (the pass mark is around 770).

    What are the other exams on your course? I've never gone down the developer route, but aren't there easier ones on the MCSD track? Even SQL Server Admin would be a better choice than 70-229 as its not as baffling as design - especially since you don't come from a DB background.

    If you're set on doing 70-228, then I may be help you out with some stuff on here, but I'd seriously consider taking something else to begin with!

    PS: Welcome to the forums - I haven't been here more than a month, but there's some pretty good folks on here

    Oh and, one more thing:

    [​IMG]

    :)
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  3. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Hi there and welcome to CF, nice pic zeb :D
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  4. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    LOL - I wondered how quick it'd be before you spotted it :wink:
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  5. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    Hi and welcome to CF!:biggrin
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  6. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Welcome to the forum Nick.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  7. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Hi Nick, welcome aboard.

    Si
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  8. jcb

    jcb New Member

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    I'm studying for the developer cert too (c#), but I'm doing the new Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS). I was going to do the MCAD but it looks like the MCTS is a newer version. Well, the easier version. I've spoke to recruitment agencies about it, they told me that it doesn't matter that much as long as you demonstrate the skills. But as I started studying 3 months ago, I thought it's best to go for the new cert.

    Good luck with the studying!
     
  9. Nick_G

    Nick_G Bit Poster

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    Hi zebulebu.

    This is the order in which ICS have decided to make the study path:

    SQL Server
    Visual Basic
    C#
    .NET

    I think that is about right. As you say, because I don't come from that kind of background, I'm only understanding about half the things in the study guide (Sybex MCSE Study Guide Exam 70-229). ICS say they train people from scratch but I'm finding it all a bit baffling.

    There are alternatives, e.g. they do live webcasts from the classes from 1800-2100, as well as archives, but I don't have broadband and I am absolutely skint. When I first started the course last September I was travelling to classes in Fareham, which is a fair way from my home location. The petrol costs are prohibitively expensive now. I asked ICS if they could send the class archives on CD but they won't do it.

    Everything was on hold between the end of January and June whilst the house was sorted out. Unfortunately I now have to pay back a Career Development Loan too.

    I'm not really sure what the best option is here. ICS give you up to 12 months to complete the career path but that seems very steep for someone with no previous experience.
     
  10. Nick_G

    Nick_G Bit Poster

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    Thanks for the welcomes guys too!
     
  11. UCHEEKYMONKEY
    Honorary Member

    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Hello & Welcome to CF:biggrin
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  12. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Hi Nick

    Wow - in your first post you said it had been nearly a year since you signed up with ICS - have you only got a couple of months left to complete the course?

    If you have, you'll really need to cram it all in - and I don't think you can do that on your own at home. Especially not having a background in SQL Server, the classroom courses will be absolutely invaluable to you.

    I hate to sound all doom and gloom (its probably not what you want to hear!) but since you've already invested all that money in a CDL I think you'd be better off pushing the boat out now and making the most of whatever time you have left on the course - even if it means making another investment (travel costs to CBT, broadband so you can see the webcasts etc). otherwise, in the long run, you may end up wasting all the money you've spent on a CDL :(

    Not sure what your background is like in programming, but it does seem fair enough to structure the learning in the way they have done - not being developer-minded, my programming experience consists of one year of Turbo Pascal & C++ on my HND - its no coincidence that every other module I got a distinction on, but programming I only got a 'pass' for :oops:

    Like I said, I'll give you any help I can on SQL Server - and there are other folks here who I'm sure can help you on the developer side.

    Good luck!
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  13. Nick_G

    Nick_G Bit Poster

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    Because everything was on hold for several months I was told that I could pick up the course again when I was ready, so in theory I should have until March 2007.

    I have absolutely no programming experience whatsoever. I know a little Microsoft Office i.e. Word and Excel and have used Photoshop and a couple of other graphics and animation software on the Multimedia HNC.

    From an IT point of view I am a total newbie.
     
  14. Nick_G

    Nick_G Bit Poster

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    I've just seen zebulebu's post on the 'What to know before the SQL exam' thread and the gist of it is that you need to have come from a database background and devote several months of full-time study before taking the exam.

    It seems a bit odd that ICS are taking on people like me with little or no IT experience and expect them to pass the SQL exam in about 3 months. No wonder a lot of this stuff is going over my head! I only have time to study during the evenings and weekends because I am in full-time employment (nothing to do with IT).

    The daft thing is I had started doing an A+ Course with another vendor before I was accepted with ICS. The A+ course started from basics and worked up from there but the ICS course for me is turning out to be a huge leap into the unknown.

    Do people think I should just scrap the ICS course and get back on the A+ instead? I know it will take a lot longer to get to a senior level but at least I should find it easier.

    Nick.
     
  15. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Hi Nick, unfortunately many training companies are not very scrupulous about taking money from people who have a very limited chance of passing their courses. You will find many people in a similar boat to you.

    The A+ would be an ideal cert for a newbie such as yourself, but as Zeb pointed out, you will be losing your money that you've invested in the ICS course. Also, you should be aware of the impending changes to the A+ requirements, if you study the current material for too long, you will find yourself taking an exam with very different material in it.

    I would suggest that broadband (even 1Mbps with a limited cap) is a must for anyone serious about doing IT certs, it will open many opportunities for you - videos, software etc.

    Good luck with whatever route you decide to go down.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270
  16. Nick_G

    Nick_G Bit Poster

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    Hi there.

    I have to pay off the career development loan, and, to avoid paying the extra interest, my wife and I have decided to pool our savings and pay it off next month in one go.

    What with that and having to buy a car that has needed expensive work doing on it we are skint so can't afford to pay for luxuries like broadband. My wife cannot work full time as she is ill so you can see how tight things are.

    I think I will email a few people who were on the ICS course - one was a newbie like me too. It would be interesting to see how they have been doing.

    Nick.
     
  17. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    I did my whole MCSE on dial up and only 28K, so it is possible albeit a tad on the painful side :eek:
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  18. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    You're obviously a much more patient man than I am Pete!:D
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270
  19. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    I didn't have any choice Baba, ADSL broadband wasn't available and other high speed options were either not applicable to me ie cable or way too expensive to even contemplate :eek:
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)

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