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Hi all

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by j3ff3, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. j3ff3

    j3ff3 New Member

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    Hi,

    Obviously I'm new and thought I should introduce myself. I've done a bit of reading around on how to get into IT, and came across the 'Firebrand' courses (recommended by a friend).

    To be honest, having decided that the MCDST was the best route to go, I couldn't really justify the cost, £2250:blink, of the course when I'm fairly sure I should be able to learn it myself. (I did A level IT and spent most of my politics degree cramming, so am used to it!)

    Just wondering where the best place to ask for help is within this forum. I was thinking of writing a thread with my progress / questions, but didn't know if that was ok. I shouldn't have many (I hope) as I'm using the MCDST selfpaced book, which seems self explanatory, but have 1 already! (how can a multiple domain be "managed as a single cohesive yet decentralised unit"? - that's contradictory :biggrin)

    Anyway, I'm hoping to gain this cert, get into a tech support role, with the ultimate aim of getting an MCSE some point in the future (which I can then justify the Firebrand course fees!)

    I assume this is the right way to go, rather than jumping straight into MCSE (which several training companies have suggested......)

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!

    Nick
     
  2. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Welcome, home study is the way forward :D
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  3. j3ff3

    j3ff3 New Member

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    yeah, i thought so too - especially as i'm unemployed at the moment, so have the time. £2200 keeps me eating for a while!!


    just done a bit more research on the MCSE (my goal in a year or two) - it seems that the MCDST doesn't contribute, but the A+ and Network+ count as electives. Is this true?

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcse.aspx#tab2

    I'm finding all this quite confusing and just want to get on with it! :D
     
  4. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    If you're just now getting into IT, you shouldn't be considering the MCSE yet. That certification is designed for people who have administered servers in a multi-site, multi-server environment for at least a year... not being in IT for a year, but a year DOING server administration... which is not something you'll typically be allowed to do starting out.

    But... Firebrand didn't tell you that, did they?

    Get your A+, Network+, and MCDST while looking for your first IT job, and leave the higher-level certifications until later. :)
     
    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!
  5. j3ff3

    j3ff3 New Member

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    No you're right, they didn't :D. It was a company called Joskos. I'm not considering the MSCE yet, but that is a good goal I think. The Firebrand guy suggested either the A+ N+ or MCDST, and thought that because I've had experience building PCs etc that the MCDST was probably best.

    I'm just thinking that perhaps the A+/N+ might be a better option - or should I do them both? I know every cert helps, but if I can get by without one for the moment (ie get a job without) it would help - I'm running out of money!! :p

    Cheers for your input
     
  6. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Keep in mind that certifications are designed to show not what you want to be doing, but what you can already do. So if you've already got experience building PCs, get the A+ to show an employer that you have those skills.

    Personally, I think the best decision is to get all three - A+, Network+, MCDST - in that order. But don't wait until getting all of those before starting to look for your first IT job... start looking NOW. Certifications simply make you look more attractive to employers.
     
    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!
  7. j3ff3

    j3ff3 New Member

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    good advice - cheers! +rep.

    my main problem is that I have limited on the job experience (despite building PCs for friends, maintaining an office network for my parents etc) - I know its all about how you phrase it in your CV, but I'm tempted to try and get the MCDST really quickly - like two weeks of 10 hour days - to help get me into a helpdesk roll.

    btw, I've got the self paced book, but its published in 2004 - which I assume makes it out dated in terms of service pack 2. does this matter?
     
  8. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Everybody starts out with zero experience. That's what entry-level jobs are for - a job in which you ENTER the career field! :)

    I doubt there are many SP2-specific questions on the exam. SP2 certainly increased functionality and stability... but how much stuff was REALLY changed in SP2?
     
    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. j3ff3

    j3ff3 New Member

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    fair enough! have you got any advice on this front? I've been completely blanked by IT recruitment agencies due to the competition. Obviously I'm going to hit up PC repair stores and places like ebuyer, but have you any tips? (whats really worth hunting down, worth avoiding, good job sites etc).

    I assume its worth putting on my CV 'currently studying'.....



    true - but until I learn the MCDST I won't really know how well I know xp so can't really answer that! :biggrin (also I think there is a 2nd rev of this book)


    *edit - genius avatar btw. :)
     
  10. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Everyone checks out the adverts in the paper and on the online job sites... so competition for those jobs is fierce. One often overlooked method of job finding is by social networking - meeting people who are already in IT, who know where the "hidden" IT jobs are - the jobs that aren't yet listed in any job advert or are about to come available. If you don't know anyone in IT, meet some. In fact, you're already meeting some here. There are also a few professional organizations you can join, several of which hold meetings on a regular basis.

    There are other methods you can use to find your first IT job. If I were starting all over again, I'd apply to every technical IT place out there... PC repair shops, IT service companies, ISPs, you name it. I'd also target a few resumes to some good (not necessarily large) companies in the local area. Some people have gotten their first dose of real-world IT experience by doing a volunteer work or an internship for a charity or other small business. Keep in mind that "free" isn't always "free", even to a charity or business, so be understanding if they turn down your offer of free or low-priced support.

    What jobs are worth hunting down? Any and all of them! You can't afford to be picky at this stage of your career. That said, you have much more chance of getting an entry-level IT job (help desk tech, field service tech, PC repair tech) than a network admin or security admin job.

    I understand that you want to let an employer know that you're currently studying something of value... but I can't say that it would earn you any points if I were an employer looking over your CV. I want to know what you can already do, not what you're studying to do... because anyone can say they're studying anything.

    If the MCDST is important enough to put on your resume... knock it out and THEN put it on your resume! ;)

    Just my opinion. Other employers might feel differently. :)

    If there's a 2nd edition, then obviously they thought there were enough changes to warrant a second printing. In that case, I would get the newer book. Consider any purchases like that as an investment in your career... it is far better to buy the new book and pass than to fail the exam and have to pay to retake it.
     
    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!
  11. MrNerdy

    MrNerdy Megabyte Poster

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    Hello & Welcome to CF.

    Have you thought of voluntary work where you can put the experience you all ready have to good work?
    I did voluntary work to enable me to get in to NHS IT work full time & it looks good on your CV!!
     
    Certifications: ECDL, CiscoIT1 & A+
    WIP: Girlfriend & Network+
  12. j3ff3

    j3ff3 New Member

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    Ill get on applying to everyone and anyone :biggrin
    I'm based in Reading, so its not like its short of tech companies! Hopefully that should help.

    you kind of touched on the reason why I want to get this cert wrapped up, or at least mention it - why spend hours on / handing out a CV that I'm going to make obselete in a few weeks (hopefully!).

    Ill have to look into that 2nd edition.... you make a good point. still annoying though! :x

    great advice again, I can't tell you how useful it is to get some guidance in an unknown area. thanks!

    good point. I'll definitely have to look into that.
     
  13. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    That's what we're here for, my friend! Remember to pay the advice forward when you're in a position to do so!
     
    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!
  14. j3ff3

    j3ff3 New Member

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    ^ I will do!

    Should I ask questions in here or go to a different section?

    I'll put it here for the moment!

    Chapter 2 of the MSpress book (got version 2 this morning from amazon - talk about swift) talks about the syntax used for a clean network install of xp, but I'm lacking in DOS experience so have no real idea if I'm supposed to understand this or not:

    winnt [/s:SourcePath][.u:answerfile][/udf:ID[,UDB_file]]

    or for 95 etc:

    winnt32 [/unattend[num]:[answer_file][/udf:ID[,UDB_file]]

    would this have been covered in the A+ exams? I know what it does, just not what the individual sections/tags mean. The firebrand dude said I should have the knowledge to go straight to the MCDST. I plan on doing the A+ and Network+ (because they all add up) but have the MCDST books now and am on chapter 2... (not far I know but still)

    will it explain later on?


    Cheers!
     
  15. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Probably not, since that's an OS-specific command.

    Google is your friend! :)

    Dunno... check the index. It might not; training products aren't perfect. When you encounter something you don't understand, use ALL the tools at your disposal... most importantly, Google.
     
    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!

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