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Have i left it too late to go for N+

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by orangepeeleo, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. orangepeeleo

    orangepeeleo Nibble Poster

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    Hi guys,

    Been away from here for a while as i have been getting stuck in at work and there's also been a shed load of real life stuff going on, but now that im back and ready to get studying again i have a dilemma :blink

    My original plan was to do the N+ and then the MCDST but that was in June.... its now nearly september and i still havent buckled down with the N+ studies so i'm worrying if i would be able to study for and pass the N+ before the december cut off date?? I don't want to spend money on studying for the N+ and then failing as i havent had the time.. and then not bothering at all because my re-test would be past december and i wouldnt be qualled for life, essentially wasting 4 months of studying and £100+ in books and exam fees for a qual that i don't want if its not for life.

    So my other option is to just bin the N+ idea and go straight for the MCDST, no pressure to get it studied for in time, plus i am working a 2nd line position now (f****rs told me it was 1st/2nd line when its not, so what im being paid is daylight robbery for a full on 2nd line role, but thats another thread!) working with and supporting XP users on a daily basis, i've had a look at the requirements and i think that with my experience i shouldnt find the MCDST exams too hard, just some brushing up on the things that i don't use too often i think. Plus my contract is up for renewal at the beginning of december and i think that an MCP on my cv, or mcdst if i can get both done, will hold more weight than an N+ anyways, either in contract negotiations or in looking for another job if they can't pay me a 2nd line wage.

    So what say certforums?? And please reply fast as if i order in the next 5hrs i can have a book at my house tomorrow with express delivery :D
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+
  2. Beerbaron

    Beerbaron Megabyte Poster

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    You should be able to pass the N+ in 4 months :) I have just started the Security + and in the same situation as you. It will make you push harder to complete as you have a deadline
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), MSc, ITIL v3F, MCP, MCDST, MCITP: edst7, MCTS, MCSA: Server 2003, MCSA: Windows 7, N+, NVQ IT lvl 3, MCSA Windows 7, VCP5, CCENT, CEH
    WIP: CISSP
  3. gosh1976

    gosh1976 Kilobyte Poster

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    I think 4 months is plenty of time. You should have a base of knowledge to build on if you are working in a support role now and already have the A+. I think if I was in your position I would start tonight by ordering that book and by looking over the objectives to see what you think you will be weakest in and what you have the least knowledge about and watch the corresponding professor messer videos.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCDST, CCENT, MCTS: Win 7 Configuring, CCNA
  4. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

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    Still do the N+ even if you finish it after December you still have learnt something and gained a cert.

    As for the MCDST if you work 2nd line you should do that no problems, but I would do the N+ first. Also bear in mind the N+ holds very little weight in employers eyes.
     
    Certifications: A few.
  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Absolutely.

    Not if you knock it out BEFORE December, giving yourself enough time for a retest... or two!

    Perhaps you didn't see the announcement that the MCDST exams are going to retire next March...

    First, what you consider to be "2nd line", many companies consider "1st line" (and still others consider "3rd line"). There's no set definition for what "2nd line" should entail. If they said you would be supporting XP users on a daily basis, then you're likely doing exactly the role - and getting paid for the role - that you were offered at the interview.

    Second, if you ARE doing more advanced work, count it as a blessing. You're getting great experience. Those who are struggling just to get into IT would give their right arm to be in your position... and you should keep that in mind when you complain about how much you're getting paid.

    Out of curiosity, what do you believe a "2nd line wage" is?

    Certifications don't qualify you to make more money... your ability to support the employer qualifies you to make more money. Hopefully studying for certifications will make you better able to support the company... but realize that it's not the certifications on your CV that'll do it for ya... it's your ability.

    With that in mind, if you're supporting XP users on a daily basis, Network+ would absolutely help you support those users. If you don't want to get Network+, that's fine... the MCDST is also a worthwhile certification. But I disagree with your reasons for dismissing Network+.
     
    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. orangepeeleo

    orangepeeleo Nibble Poster

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    OK OK! The Mike Meyers AIO has been ordered, i'm doing the N+ :D

    Good tip about looking through the objectives before the book gets here though, will definetly do that, now i just have to knuckle down and get it smashed out before Dec.


    Not sure where your going with this, if its about the timescales and pressure then the MCDST would be (imo) much easier for me to achieve in a short timescale, and between now and march is nowhere near a short timescale :) I may be being over confident but looking at the exam objectives reading through the press book will be brushing up on skills rather than learning new ones, which will be the case for me with the N+.


    I see what you mean about different companies opinions but imo 1st line = helpdesk, first point of contact and doing what you can, you then pass it up to 2nd line, who go out to users sites and fix problems. This is my job, I login every morning, pick up a list of new jobs and go off around site doing them, i work in a team that is the 2nd line of response in our org, some jobs get resolved by the girls on helpdesk, software installs, simple "is the power cable plugged in" etc etc and anything they can't do they pass to us. Anything i cant do i pass up to the server guys, the 3rd line in our chain, so i think in my organisation there is a very clear resolution process and i am definetly the 2nd line in that process.

    Also, when i had the initial contact from my employer (not employed by the charity i work at but employed by an external agency who obviously hire me out to this particular client) they asked me what my wage reqs were.

    Now at this point bear in mind that i was just about to get out of the army with a family of 4 (wouldve took anything) and i had no real idea of my skills and worth in relation to civilain employment, i thought that in the army i did a 1st line job and went for 1st line/Helpdesk roles when i was initially looking, but now that i understand a bit more about the industry and the jobs in it, i know that the role in the forces was second line, and the role that im doing now is 2nd line.....

    Anyways, when they phoned i said that i would be happy with 15-18k, as i thought that this must be a first line/helpdesk role - that was all i had been applying for, or so i thought, now i'd missed an answer machine message from them and had missed the first round of interviews but they gave me a tech interview over the phone, told me that they would be putting me forward for the role and would put me in at 18k (the very top of my reqs, what luck!), and then sent me off to have an interview with their client, when i was successful i went to sign contracts with my employer and was told there that i had undersold myself by a long way, admittedly this was a lot of cockups on my part, should have kept track of where i was applying for and got them to send the advert to me when they first made contact before i told them my wage requirements, but what it comes down to is that they knew they were getting a bargain and at the time i didnt, just wanted a wage coming in when i left the forces, i now have a LOT more of an understanding about the the industry, i know what job i'm doing and i know what that job pays b/c i know that the other 3 guys are on a lot more than i am with not a huge difference in ability or exp.


    Anywhere between 20 and 25k per year is achievable around my area, going by research in the past week or so on jobs going atm on jobsite & jobserve.

    Certifications don't qualify you to make more money... your ability to support the employer qualifies you to make more money. Hopefully studying for certifications will make you better able to support the company... but realize that it's not the certifications on your CV that'll do it for ya... it's your ability.

    This is a very good point and i totally get this, but thats the thing, i'm confident of my ability and i'm confident that i can make more money and give my family an even better standard of life, i watched a program on TV the other day where they were trying to find 2 unemployed, and completely unemployable, guys jobs, one was a young kid who had just been misguided and hadnt done much but get in bother since leaving school, the other was a mid-late 30's scum of the earth type guy..... they both ended up on more money than me, whats that all about! I'm not just doing this to have a whinge and i know that lifes tough atm for people but i want and deserve more money, i love my job but with the half way point in my 6 month contract approaching i've understandbly been assessing my skills to update the CV and looking for my next move, clearly if i dont have another offer on the table by december then i'll take whatever rise they will give me, be that 1k or 4k, but i'm just saying that i can earn more and am actively looking to earn more

    Anyways, i totally went off on one there and i apologise if it comes accross as arrogant and indeed ignorant of your advice, but this is a sore spot for me atm and if i seem ****ty about it and the things you have said then i didnt mean too :D

    Back on topic, thanks for the advice all, the N+ book is on the way, now its time to get my head stuck in the thing at every oppurtunity!
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+
  7. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Maybe, maybe not... the MCDST is two exams (in 7.5 months), whereas the Network+ is just one exam (in 4.5 months). Looks to me like you'd have less time to study per exam with the MCDST.

    The only reason I brought it up was because your post seemed to imply that the clock wouldn't be ticking if you were to pursue the MCDST, when in fact, it would be.

    All that said... you can do BOTH of them if you apply yourself.

    What your opinion is - or my opinion is - about what 1st line and 2nd line means doesn't mean jack squat. In my first job (12 years ago), my job as a "field service tech" - which was the first line of support - was to go out to sites and fix problems. And I made a whopping $11/hr. In my previous job (3 years ago), our first line techs looked at the support tickets and... went to the sites to fix problems.

    In short... the titles don't matter.

    Now, if the company you work for as people who are "first point of contact", and you *know* you're making only as much as they are (and not as much as the other "2nd line" techs there), then perhaps you have a valid complaint. But if they can hire someone else qualified to do your job for the same salary or less, then you're NOT being underpaid.

    But consider... had you NOT done that, you MIGHT not have been hired for the job! They might have hired some other guy who wanted less money or who had more experience for the same money. See what I mean? You can continue to second guess your decision and kick yourself all you want, but it will only bring you needless frustration.

    By all means, if you don't think you're being paid enough, go apply for another job and try to get more. But be advised: the grass isn't always greener on the other side... and asking your current employer for more money - particularly in this economy - can poison the relationship you currently enjoy with your employer.

    Perhaps. But I'd rather be the guy who is a good value to an employer than the guy who isn't worth the salary he's pulling down. True, you want to be paid fairly

    Fair enough. But how much longer have they been there? Are any of them newer than you? If so, perhaps you have a valid argument. If not... rank - as well as time in service - hath it's privileges.

    Then go out there and get one of those jobs. :)

    Being covetous of what money others end up with isn't particularly healthy... it'll eat you up inside. There's *always* gonna be people who luck out and make gobs of money but didn't really work for it and don't really deserve it. The key is to be content with what you've got... but constantly strive for more, regardless of what other people are making.

    I don't know how it is in the UK... but over here in THIS economy, ANY raise is a good one. Most companies have salary freezes going on over here. :blink

    Anyway... I hope this advice is taken in the spirit it was given. :)
     
    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!
  8. orangepeeleo

    orangepeeleo Nibble Poster

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    Thanks for the advice, it has been taken in good spirits, i dont get angry easily lol

    Makes me smile when i think about the type of person i am, spent the last 3 years of my army career not enjoying myself, get out and find a job which i do actually love doing and dont mind getting up for in the slightest.... and 3 months in i want either more money or out lol, its either ambition or someone who will never be happy!

    I know that paying attention to others wages isn't a healthy thing to do but its bloody hard when you know that your working harder and better than people who are on more than you, hopefully i reap the rewards when i move on and get a gleaming reference!

    Anyways, thanks for the comments everyone, cant wait to get my head in the N+ book and get it done before december!
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+
  9. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Ambition is fine... in fact, it's quite natural to find in someone who does well at a job.

    That said, I've had a few friends who, despite being extremely intelligent, *always* thought they were worth more than what they were making. And they were constantly miserable over it.

    It will pay off in the long run. Perhaps not now, but definitely later, as you move on, and they do not.

    Drive onward, Orange!
     
    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. simonp83

    simonp83 Kilobyte Poster

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    I did both the mcdst exams in 3 weeks, but that's me having a lot of xp experience and being unemployed so might be enough time to do the N+ and mcdst this year. I am also just about to star doing Server+ so hopefully should have that crossed off my list before the 31st December.
     
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP
    WIP: 70-291
  11. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Why before December 31? Server+ isn't on the list of exams to be put on the 3-year-recert list... only A+, Network+, and Security+ are affected.
     
    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. simonp83

    simonp83 Kilobyte Poster

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    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP
    WIP: 70-291

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