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Hello, Nice to meet you...

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by CliffG, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. CliffG

    CliffG Nibble Poster

    Hello everyone,

    Firstly let me say, that I'm really impressed with some of the things I'm seeing on this site.

    I see that many people come here and ask for advice, and in that respect i'm no different.

    For 15 years i've been doing a job i've never really wanted to do, i've been 'stuck in a ruck' as it were. The other week I was made redundant for the first time in my life and while at first it was quiet scary, now I realise this is my opportunity to actually move into something I really want to do.

    I've been tinkering with computers in general for more years than I can count, and I know I have a fairly broad knowledge about many different aspects of IT.. Who do my friends and family call when they run into problems... Me..
    However, I feel i'm more of a 'Jack of all trades, master of none', and I have no real professional or academic experience or qualifications in IT.

    After much research recently and soul searching, I've decided I would like to move into an IT Network Engineer type role.
    Furthermore, I've discovered that (and please correct me if i'm wrong) the MCSE Certification is a pretty good way to get into that.

    I also realise that it's probably a little unwise just to jump into doing MCSE without previous experience in networks. However i've seen one or two threads about doing Comptia A+ then moving into MCSE..

    I'm not the most studious of people, but I do feel I can apply myself where necessary into any study, especially at a time like now.

    My main concerns right now are:
    a) Am I correct in what I said earlier about the path to take? Is it wise for me to just jump into MCSE after A+?
    Finding a Network type role without any previous professional experience/qualifications I feel would be near to impossible, so I may have to look at 100% academic route to this..

    b) Full course (tutor let classes etc) or Self study from books..
    A friend told me about these books. Cost IS an issue, Is it really worth paying the £5-6,000 for doing a full course? Furthermore time is a bit of an issue, If I do a full course, then I couldn't really look to seek alternative employment just yet, because i would need so much time off (not to mention home study time).

    I would appreciate any advice the Certforum community can offer me, as right now my future seems a bit unclear and I'm trying to seek as much advice from as many channels as I can.

    Thank you.

    Certifications: A+
    WIP: Network+
  2. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Greetings, CliffG. Welcome to CertForums. Hope we can help you out.

    To try and answer your basic question (assuming I understand you correctly), you don't get your MCSE and *then* get a job in IT. The MCSE is actually about 7 separate exams and they are quite difficult to pass...especially the more advanced ones.

    It would be good if you have no IT experience at all to start out with the A+ and Network+ exams (I'm sure if you've visited those forums on our site, you'll see that many of our members are going that route).

    These will lay the basic foundation on which to build on. Keep in mind that sometime fairly soon, it would be really be helpful to start getting experience. That can include working on PCs at home, just tinkering around to start.

    If you want to be a sys admin, you'll need to pay your dues, so to speak. You won't land a high-paying job right away. You'll probably spend some time at a helpdesk somewhere or doing desktop support. These aren't glamorous jobs, but it will give you the experience you need to start working your way up the ladder.

    Hope all this isn't too discouraging. Just trying to give you a look at the path you are pursuing. Hope this helps. :)
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  3. Veteran's son

    Veteran's son Megabyte Poster

    Welcome to the forums, CliffG! :)
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+
  4. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    Hi from me as well, CliffG - hope we can help you make your choices :)
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  5. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    Hi Cliff and welcome to the forum :D

    The MCSE is targeted by Microsoft at people that have at least a years experience administrating a network. This means experience with server products, which are totally different to home PCs. To be honest, I would forget MCSE for now, set your sights a little lower and do as Trip said. The A+ (Hardware and software exams) is an entry level exam, it's tough enough believe me and a very good starting place as it is vendor neutral and recognised all over the world, even here in Australia. Follow that with the N+ (Network essentials). After doing those you will be in a much better position to decide where you want to go from there.

    The MCSE is a long haul (seven exams), I had years of experience administrating a network before I started my MCSE track. I thought it would take me under a year but It took me *three* years of full time study to complete it and there are now two more exams I have to sit to upgrade it to Server 2003.

    Once you have done the A+ and N+ you can go for an MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), an MCP is only one exam typically on Windows XP.

    After that you should consider the MCSA (four MCP exams) and then, if you are still a glutton for punishment you can go for MCSE (three more very tough MCP exams).

    Good luck, hope that helped :D
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  6. CliffG

    CliffG Nibble Poster

    Thanks for the response guys,

    To be honest, yeah, I am slightly disheartened, perhaps I was led to believe it would be relatively straightforward (/shakes fist at career's adviser, hehe).
    However i'm not put off, if that's what it takes, then that's what it takes.

    I picked up this book a couple of years ago, but working the hours I worked back then, I never really got time to study it, I also was 'comfortable' in my job, just plodding along.
    Now however, I'm more determined than ever to see this through.
    So i'll do the A+, book and (hopefully) pass the 2 exams, then move onto Network+, and repeat...
    After that I can possibly look at MCSE.

    In the meantime I can look for IT jobs (preferrably in networking), but I don't hold much hope for that at the moment (based on what i've got in my CV), prehaps AFTER i've done A+ and Network+ I may be in a better position. So I guess until that time, then I think I'll just need to grin and bear any old position.

    I am IT literate, and as mentioned have a broad knowledge of IT related subjects (I've designed and managed websites, I've built many different systems for various uses, know a fair amount about different OS's (windows based), plus office products (especially excel)). Unfortunately nothing on paper to back this up at the moment, so i'm not sure on my chances to land an IT position at this time.

    Anyway, thanks again for the advice and recommendations, I will heed this advice and i'm sure i'll be a regular visitor here to bug you all to death with my specific questions (in the correct forum off course hehe). Prehaps in time i'll be in a position to help others here like you've helped me :rolleyes:
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: Network+
  7. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    That was a nicely written reply Cliff. Good communication skills will also help to find you the right position in the future!
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  8. Tyler D

    Tyler D Gigabyte Poster

    Greetings Cliff :biggrin
    Certifications: A+,70-270
    WIP: 70-290
  9. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

    A welcome from me Cliff! :biggrin
  10. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

    Write it all down mate. It all counts as experience and will help you get that crucial first level support job. It will also make the difference between you getting hired over someone with the same qualifications and no experience.

    Welcome to the forum too.:D
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685

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