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Hi All!! Advice needed please!

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by AmandaT, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. AmandaT

    AmandaT Bit Poster

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    Hi,

    Obviously i'm new here :D and was just wondering if someone could offer me a little advice on the MCDST training/exams.

    I've only just started looking at working towards the MCDST as I have a lot of IT knowledge but it is all self taught and I have nothing written down on paper to prove it! Part of my current job is IT support so i've picked up a lot through that too but my employers aren't keen on helping me progress in this area (in case it takes me away from the main part of my job) so have decided to go it alone.

    I've been having a search on where to get started with it and have seen a lot of distance learning colleges offering the training but i'm not sure whether this training includes the exams at the end? I've also seen a few of the posts on here talking about different books (i've seen a couple on amazon) and wondered if people teach themselves by working through the books to do the exams at the end or whether they are to assist alongside doing a course? And if you have to sort out the exams yourself where do you start with that?

    Sorry i've gone on a little here, but any advice will be much appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Amanda :biggrin
     
    WIP: A+, poss. N+, then MCDST
  2. Notes_Bloke

    Notes_Bloke Terabyte Poster

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    Hi & welcome to CF:D

    I see you're from the same neck of the woods as me:D

    Yes it is quite possible to buy the books from Amazon and self-study for the MCSDT without the need of a course and the added expense. If you already have experience and knowledge then you shouldn't have any problems.

    The exams can be booked online through Prometric's website.

    Cheers
    NB
     
    Certifications: 70-210, 70-215, A+,N+, Security+
    WIP: MCSA
  3. Notes_Bloke

    Notes_Bloke Terabyte Poster

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    Certifications: 70-210, 70-215, A+,N+, Security+
    WIP: MCSA
  4. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Welcome!

    Hey, if it's as easy to book Microsoft exams as CompTIA, it's a peice of cake. Honestly. Just go onto the Prometric website, select what exam(s) you want, select a date and place, pay (typically about 5% the cost of a TP course), done! Now you just need to turn up on the day.

    Good luck with that. I'll probably be running alongside you, as I'm planning to start the MCDST in the next few weeks.
     
    Certifications: A+; Network+; Security+, CTT+; MCDST; 4 x MTA (Networking, OS, Security & Server); MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Support; MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Administrator; MCITP - Server Administrator; MCSA - Server 2008; MCT; IOSH; CCENT
    WIP: CCNA; Server 2012; LPIC; JNCIA?
  5. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Welcome to CF Amanda. I've done the MCDST and the only problem I had with self studying it was with the second exam as it's heavy on Exchange and at that time I came from a Lotus Notes background and so struggled with it. I found the Microsoft MCDST study books to be really good. I would suggest self study and getting yourself a PC to test on as that really helps. As far as doing distance training I'm not sure you will get a lot out of it for this cert especially as you can get help from people here and is a cert I think can be easily self studied.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  6. Johnd76

    Johnd76 Megabyte Poster

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    Hi there, i went for the option of going with a Training provider........big mistake!

    gave them a couple of thousand pounds to basicly give me the books and for them to tell me to "just get on with it" (well not in those words but it felt like that)

    so i would go for the self study option (which i will be doing from now on). You can get the books of amazon for a reasonable price also try getting the CBT nuggets for the MCDST, there good to.

    this is a link to the books you need

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcdst/requirements.mspx
     
    Certifications: MCP, MCDST
    WIP: Not a thing
  7. AmandaT

    AmandaT Bit Poster

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    Thanks to all of you for the advice.... I think self-study is definately the way I'll go as I can be quite focussed at getting things done on my own and obviously it'll be better having money in my pocket than those of the training providers!! Will be looking at ordering the books off amazon in the next couple of days then and will get on with sorting myself out - I'm actually quite looking forward to it!!!

    I'm sure I'll be asking for more help when I get stuck with something but am really enjoying having a browse through this forum - lots of good advice and opinions!

    Thanks,
    Amanda :biggrin
     
    WIP: A+, poss. N+, then MCDST
  8. Dullage

    Dullage Byte Poster

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    Hi Amanda, welcome to CF. Good luck with the studies :D
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: Network +
  9. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I got all of my certifications through self-study, so I'm a believer! :)

    Welcome to the forums!
     
    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. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Hi there and welcome :D
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  11. Leehaa

    Leehaa Gigabyte Poster

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    Hey Amanda!

    Welcome!!

    Looks like you've already made your choice up to self-study (good on ya!).

    Please stick around as you'll get loads of advice and it's great to have another female onboard (there aren't that many) :biggrin

    Lee

    *runs and hides*
     
    Certifications: MCP, MCDST, ITIL v3, MBCS, others...
    WIP: BSc IT & Computing, RHCE
  12. AmandaT

    AmandaT Bit Poster

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    Glad I'm not the only female here too!! :beers2 (No offence to any of you guys though!! :biggrin)

    After chatting to my other half I'm definately going down the self study route and he's supporting me all the way. I've been having a read of the many posts still and have seen that a lot of people have done the A+ exams first. Is it better to do these first? I do have quite a bit of experience but as I stated earlier, I don't have anything on paper. What about the N+ too?

    Still asking lots of questions but I want to give myself the best chance of moving into the career I want as possible :)

    Amanda :hb
     
    WIP: A+, poss. N+, then MCDST
  13. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    At the risk of getting flamed by others here I'd say it depends. Back in 2001 I started an MCSE (I had 3 years experience by then of server work on NT4 and Server 2000). Although the course spent a couple of weeks going over Network+ the intructor was firmly of the view that if you were suitably qualified with experience and knowledge then the MCSE was a higher qualification and so taking the Network+ exam was not necessary.

    In your shoes, if you do already have that knowledge then taking the A+ and N+ may help with getting a job; it really depends on how much knowledge you already have and where you're trying to get work-wise. One way, perhaps, to approach it is to go thru' something like Transcender and see how you score. If it's low, do the study and take the exams. If you're doing well you can decide if you wnat to do the exams or skip into something more technical.

    You might also want to consider joining te British Computer Society as a student : http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=nav.5664 :wink:

    Hope that helps.
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  14. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    It depends. I would say the MCDST will hold more value as when you pass one of the exams you also get MCP status. I enjoyed doing the A+ and Network+ but I don't think they hold that much weight in the UK. Most generalised IT jobs are interested in Microsoft and Cisco certs IMHO.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  15. Leehaa

    Leehaa Gigabyte Poster

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    :biggrin

    That's great he is supporting you. Is he into IT in any way? There's no harm in doing A+ and N+ first. If they are too easy then you'll get confidence from that and also you will have certs to show for it. It would be a reasonably 'gentle' way to 'break you in' to studying if you haven't for a while too! That said, I have MCDST and some other of the Ms exams, but not yet done A+ N+ (intend to go back and do them very soon though!)

    So how did you start to develop your interest? Did you get into it mainly during your current job role, or have you always been into computers/ troubleshooting etc?
     
    Certifications: MCP, MCDST, ITIL v3, MBCS, others...
    WIP: BSc IT & Computing, RHCE
  16. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    Welcome to the forums...

    Self-study is the way I'd suggest. :study
    You can always look at other methods afterwards if needed. Even if you do decide to use a training partner, the self-study will help termendously as background and will only enrich the learning experience.
     
  17. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Although the MCDST is probably more reconised by employers in the UK than the A+ and N+ is, getting the A+ and N+ will provide you with a good stepping stone for the MCDST.

    Networking through windows could be quite difficult for a novice to master, but having the N+ will provide the novice with a good understanding of how it all works, the A+ will povide the novice of how the Hardware and software interact with each other so when it comes to providing support for applications in Windows then you will also have a good grounding.

    Think of it this way, you learn to walk then you learn to run then you learn to ride a bike then you learn to drive. Each one of those is a stepping stone and a learning experience, it's always best to start at the bottom and work your way up :)

    Welcome to CF
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  18. AmandaT

    AmandaT Bit Poster

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    Well,

    Got my first 'proper' computer when i went to uni (did a degree in Animal Science and behaviour but that's by the by!), and I guess I just started to play! Got a job in my second year at uni as the computer room supervisor during evenings and weekends - I was there to make sure the students weren't really doing anything they shouldn't but it developed into a bit more of a hands on role as I was on my own if things went wrong, so I had to learn at least the basics!

    It's kind of gone from there though as messing about with computers seeing what happens when I click on something and fixing it if it breaks seems to have come second nature and I've never been frightened to find out how to do something. Every job i've had (I got stuck in admin type jobs after uni with a short stint as a lorry driver for Eddie Stobarts) I've always managed to steer towards an IT support kind of position even if unofficial! I've always been the first port of call if one of the IT guys needed a bit of support as they knew I could be trusted not to 'break' anything! :)

    Then the job i'm in now (civil service :blink), i'm the acting 'Local Infrastructure Manager' which means I'm first port of call for any computer problems - forgotten passwords being the norm, upgrading memory, installing various software, printer problems, voip, and the usual. Then I have IS which is miles away to back me up with anything I can't do that they can do remotely. I'm involved in dealing with the server quite a bit too although not to the extent as everything else. The problem I have is that I end up spending so much time helping colleagues with these problems that it's taking me away from the main part of my job and the work is piling up (although I know what i'd rather be doing). Now my line manager is trying to take the IT side of my job away and give it to someone else (who will need training as there isn't anyone else) when it's really the only part of my job I really enjoy! Hence this is why I'm after the career change...

    As for my partner he doesn't have an IT background at all - he's just really supportive of anything I want to do (whether it's this or running round a dog agility course in the rain!! :eek:)

    Phew, that was a bit of an essay and a quick look into my life in IT so far!!
    Amanda :D
     
    WIP: A+, poss. N+, then MCDST
  19. AmandaT

    AmandaT Bit Poster

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    Thanks for your comments on the A+. I think i'll possibly start with that one now i've had a read round and had a look at what you've all had to say. I don't want to get ahead of myself and think I know more than I do. Even if I do find it straight forward I think it will give me that confidence boost after starting to study again!

    I'll keep you all informed how I'm getting on and no doubt will be asking for more advice in the very near future - or just popping on for a chat! :D
     
    WIP: A+, poss. N+, then MCDST
  20. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Sounds good, even though the MCDST sounds like a good option for you perhaaps consider the A+ and N+ after it. More qualifications can't hurt as long as they are not high end ones.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?

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