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In support role,what next...???

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by Dubfire, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Dubfire

    Dubfire Byte Poster

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    Hey people,

    Looking for some guidance..

    Im currently in a first line support with the usual stuff that involves.. administrating AD, maintaining back-ups, remoting into servers and workstations to check conectivity, trouble shooting desktops generally. Some of my work is also 2nd line stuff.

    Also, working with 3rd line in the same office so also seeing what those guys are involved in which is more server administration and network admin(want to be doing there job in a year) Anyway, ive passed the N+ and also the 70/270 xp exam which was a tick in the box for being in my current position (trust me, the certs are worth it!:))

    So just wondered what you guys thought would be the next step. Because im dealing with desktop support just now the next logical step would probably be the MCDST but just feel I may be wasting my time and maybe I should be aiming higher, as done the 270 for one. Maybe the MS server exams or even server/securtity +(working in a locked down environment, where security is a must by the way) Just feel that the MCDST would be a step sideways rather that onwards and upwards toward better things?

    Basically, what next???

    Advice would be more than welcome..
     
    Certifications: N+, 270.
    WIP: 291 then 284 for the MCSA.. ITIL...
  2. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I would say to wait on the server certs such as 290, 291 because you don't have a lot of experience dealing with servers. It takes time and experience to get to that level. It's better to do certs when you have the experience rather then doing them before. Reason being is that theoretical knowledge is not the same as practical or hands on knowledge/experience. You wont be able to do a job with only theoretical knowledge. I personally am a desktop support guy and only in the last 6 months I started doing some server stuff after two years of doing only desktop stuff and with change I decided to go for the server certs.

    You see certs work back to back with relevant experience. I recently took the 290 exam and I didn't do so well I got 600 on it but that's without studying for it what so ever, I took it with only having experience and I got pretty close to passing, and with a little bit of studying I will pass it next time around.

    Good luck!
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  3. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    I'm in a position similar to yourself.

    I have been in my job since the start of June as a Helpdesk Analyst and have been seconded to another desk as 2nd Line for the last month.

    I would recommend the 70-290, give it a whirl and see what you think!
     
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5
  4. MLP

    MLP Kilobyte Poster

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    If I were you, I'd study the material for the 70-290, but without any intention of sitting the exam for a while. Read the MS Press book, the Mark Minasi book, and any other relevant material, and play with servers at home.

    You can then try to apply that knowledge in your work environment, by asking your 3rd line people questions, and looking for opportunities to carry out what you have read / practiced at home. Hopefully, this will lead to getting more hands on experience in a production environment.

    When you are actually doing the server admin job, comfortably, then consider studying for the exam. Studying doesn't necessarily have to be focused just on passing the exam.

    Just my opinion though.

    Maria
     
    Certifications: HND Computing
    WIP: 70-680, 70-270, 70-290
  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I'd recommend you go ahead and get the MCDST out of the way, if you can. Shouldn't be that difficult, if you're already doing desktop support.

    Additionally, you should try to get into a position where you can assist the server admins with doing server (and, if possible, network) administration. Eventually, you'll be able to get a server admin job. After you've been doing that for about 6 months, it's the perfect time to sit the MCSA exams - 70-270, 290, and 291.
     
    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. Dubfire

    Dubfire Byte Poster

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    Thanks for feedback guys.

    There is no question working alongside the server admin guys im picking things all the time. Going to show interest and hopefully this will be noticed and I'll be put into a more server tech role real soon. Untill then ill put the 290/291 exams on the back burner going to buy the server book of amazon mainly for reference(for now). Gonna go for that Mark Minasi book.. (thanks Maria!) once get some major hands on then full steam ahead.

    So, going to start getting stuck in to the Sybex MCDST book and order the Microsoft book get that out of the way. Then because im government emplyed now seems ITIL is a must for future contacts that all seem to be asking for ITIL it in their job descriptions.

    One more thing though, Is ITIL a starter on the way to a prince 2 qualification? what experiance does one need to attain before starting Prince 2? The cost? is worth while for future goverment contracts?

    Cheers again.
     
    Certifications: N+, 270.
    WIP: 291 then 284 for the MCSA.. ITIL...
  7. sakuraba1982

    sakuraba1982 Nibble Poster

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    I have been in a 1st line support position for 18 months , i now have my MCSA as well as A+ and N+ i'm finding it hard to find a 2nd line position, there are a couple of reasons for this that i am finding

    1 - With the credit crunch I am seeing jobs asking for MS certs offering 12k - 15k (Im on 18k already)

    2- Some of the job adverts of 2nd line support are asking for about a million skills and still offering low salarys. exchange, AD, VMware .... as a 1st liner i struggle to get any hands on with these things.

    3- I got turned down for a job interview as i have 18 months experience and they would not entertain me without 2 years prior experience.

    Its a very tough market out there at the moment... I'm hoping things will get better after xmas
     
    Certifications: A+ N+ MCSA 2003
  8. sakuraba1982

    sakuraba1982 Nibble Poster

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    Just for info.... my work is also effected by the credit crunch i work for a local council and they have no money fro promotion this year. i do have hands on/troublehooting with win serv 2003/XP, citrix, AD, Hardware and over 80 software applications.

    Its a very tough job market at the minute

     
    Certifications: A+ N+ MCSA 2003
  9. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I agree, while it may seem like a side step, it isn't. The MCDST (and the material studied) demonstrates & teaches skills that are not part of the 70-270 and in my opinion worth it.

    ITIL is not part of Prince2, ITIL is the framework (best practices) for the whole organisation, in particular IT Services. Prince2 is project management, and while ITIL can be applied to Prince2 it is not a prerequisite.

    You can see here for Prince2 cetification, there are 2 levels, Foundation & Practitioner. You can read about the requirement on the site.

    Is it worth for future government contracts? It depends on the job, and it depends on whether or not you're going to go into project management.

    1. That's one of the problems with people gaining the higher level certifications without the relevant experience unfortunately.

    2. That's becoming standard, you state that you're on £18k already for 1st line support. That is a very good wage for that level. If you want to move up and gain that experience, you may have to move into a 2nd line support role at a different (maybe smaller) place for about the same amount of money (or less) that your curently on, if you can't move up where you are. More money means more responsibility.

    3. That again is the signs of the times. Companies want people who will not just stay there for a short time. if a company is going to invest in you, develop you, they want to see some sort of commitment and one of the only way to see that is by the amount of time you've stayed at previous jobs.

    It is tough out there, I agree. We shall see what happens in the next couple of months.

    -ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  10. sakuraba1982

    sakuraba1982 Nibble Poster

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    The main problem i am finding more than anything is there is a severe lack of jobs on the market to start with... this credit crunch has lots to answer for!! :)
     
    Certifications: A+ N+ MCSA 2003
  11. Gomjaba

    Gomjaba Bit Poster

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    Certifications: VCP, MCITP:SA, MCITP:EA
    WIP: MCITP: Database Admin
  12. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Oh great :rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  13. Gomjaba

    Gomjaba Bit Poster

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    Certifications: VCP, MCITP:SA, MCITP:EA
    WIP: MCITP: Database Admin
  14. sakuraba1982

    sakuraba1982 Nibble Poster

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    Sorry to be a wet blanket but I feel that if i lie then get a job i will look like a mug when i am not able to do the things that they expect from me. most companies have a 6 month probation period so they can get rid of you at the end of that time if they are not happy. but that being said it was 12 years ago i'm sure you have picked up many skills since then as you are an It manager. I will stick with doing it the hard way gaining certs and getting lots of hands on experience, this credit crunch cannot last forever
     
    Certifications: A+ N+ MCSA 2003
  15. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I'm sure you're not... but I certainly don't want to work with anyone who has. Around here, that's a "career-ending mistake".

    Sorry, your apologies are rather hollow... you really don't realize that actions like yours are part of what is wrong with the IT industry today. :dry
     
    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!
  16. Gomjaba

    Gomjaba Bit Poster

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    Certifications: VCP, MCITP:SA, MCITP:EA
    WIP: MCITP: Database Admin
  17. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Sorry, man, you used one of the worst lies on a CV that I am aware of - fabricating experience where none exists.

    There's absolutely no catch 22 if you do things the way they should be done - you start at the bottom and work your way up... just like everybody else.
     
    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!
  18. Gomjaba

    Gomjaba Bit Poster

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    Certifications: VCP, MCITP:SA, MCITP:EA
    WIP: MCITP: Database Admin
  19. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Should that not be 9 years? :tongue
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  20. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    8... 9... 10... 2... who cares, as long as you're in IT, right?

    :blink
     
    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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