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Is MCSE the right way to go?? advice please

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by emma190780, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. emma190780

    emma190780 New Member

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    Hi all,

    I would like to get in to the IT field and have contacted advent which have offered me a course MCSE for the cost of £4450!

    Is it worth it?

    i have no experience in IT except in college when i passed GNVQ advanced IT.

    Im just worried that if i pursue this course, will employers want me without any experience?, advent said they can get me a job within 6 months on passing my first few exams to make me MCP (does any one know if this is true or are they just trying to sell me a product)

    Also im a girl so would you think this would go against me? as i see the IT industry very male dominated

    sorry for all the questions but i just don't want to pay out £4450 if its no good to me :rolleyes:
     
  2. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Hi Emma,

    welcome to CF.

    take a look at this thread and post back if you need any further advice.
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  3. emma190780

    emma190780 New Member

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    Hi boyce,

    thanks for the reply, self study is alot cheaper at £1,500 rather than £4500!

    Im just worried that if i pursue this course, will employers want me without any experience?


    Also im a girl so would you think this would go against me? as i see the IT industry very male dominated
     
  4. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Emma,

    I have almost two year's experience (so more experienced members will be along to give their input) and have to say I don't think IT is a field that is *bound* to male/female.

    If my company called our 3rd support company in, no-one would know (or mind) if a man or woman turned up.

    As for the experience bit, i see your concern. Going by other postings, it would appear there lots of people with certifications but no experience. There are also lots of people with lots of experience and no certifications.

    To get your foot in the door, you will be applying for jobs that will expect you to be keen, willing to learn and have other attributes. Don't forget, employers want more than just someone with good technical skills. What good is someone who knows *a lot* about their field but cannot speak to members of staff or worse upset customers.

    I would suggest looking at the A+ course. It will cost you around £30 for a good book and you can see if *IT* is for you. If you take to it, you can also prepare for the exams - we will help you if we can.

    Don't be disheartened by the jobs you will see advertised wanting everything you could shake a stick at -this is not the type of job you will be going for or expected to know about.

    Good luck
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  5. emma190780

    emma190780 New Member

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    so am i right in thinking the best thing to do first is:

    Comptia A+ Certification ??

    Would this be the kind of certification exployers will know? and look for?

    I would like to start a job on helpdesk as i have been told this is the best place to start, i am currently in full time employement for past 6 years and i am always on phone to customers etc

    so hopefully this will show that i can speak to customers etc.
     
  6. Tyler D

    Tyler D Gigabyte Poster

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    Greetings :biggrin

    Boyce has already given you some sound advise i see. As has been said the best place for you to start would be with Comptia A+ exams. Grab yourself a book and an old computer or 2 so that you can get some hands on with what you are learning.

    The MCSE is no easy task and consists of a number of different exams, that could take you several years of study to pass. Why spend all that money on a course when maybe a year down the line you decide IT is not for you.

    The A+ will give you a solid foundation upon which you can build your IT skills and will also give you a great insight into the world of IT certification.

    Best of Luck.
     
    Certifications: A+,70-270
    WIP: 70-290
  7. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Emma,

    the fact that you already deal with customers on the telephone on a daily basis gives you a good start.

    the A+ does crop up more month by month, but no-where near as much as MCSE - they are two completely different levels of certification.

    to answer your question, the a+ is aimed at entry level IT personel compared to MCSE status who should be leagues apart.

    anyone applying for jobs who has the MCSE cert will be expected to do the job roles that they are certified for.
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  8. emma190780

    emma190780 New Member

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    Thanks Boyce you have been a great help.

    I am taking your advice and not going to go with advent as it is alot of money for something that i may not get on with.

    Instead i am going to buy the following books from amazon and a pc to get some hand on experience.

    ** A+ Certification All-in-one Exam Guide (All-in-one)- Michael Meyers Hardcover

    ** Mike Meyers' A and Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs: Lab Manual (Mike Meyers' A+ Guide)

    ** Mike Meyers' A+ Guide to Operating Systems: Lab Manual (Mike Meyers' A+ Guide)

    Total cost of above books only £52.78

    as for when i am ready to take the exam where to i find local test centres? I live in south of UK and would like to know if there is any centre near me?
     
  9. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Hi Emma,

    Glad to be of help. With the material you mention in your post, you will be off to a good start.

    As for the exam centres, go to;

    http://www.pearsonvue.com

    or

    http://www.prometric.com/default.htm

    both have lots of centre's throughout the Uk and world for that matter.

    by the way, self study vs training provider is a personal choice - you might be happy to complete the A+ on your own and seek classroom help for further courses. Once you have started you can see what suits you best.

    Good luck
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  10. Tyler D

    Tyler D Gigabyte Poster

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    You can take the tests at either a Thomson Prometric testing centre or a Pearson Vue testing centre. Take a look on either of their websites to locate one local to you.

    *Edit*

    Beaten to it by Boyce, plus he also provided links of which i was way to lazy for
     
    Certifications: A+,70-270
    WIP: 70-290
  11. emma190780

    emma190780 New Member

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    Thanks very much to both of you.

    I have found a test centre only 10mins away from me!

    thanks again!
     
  12. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Good advice there.

    Don't forget, it is normal to 'build' on your certifications throughout your career - as you develop in different areas.
    It's not necessarily sensible to go for a top whack cert like MCSE before you even start out.

    Go for something which gives you a solid foundation, like A+ N+ (or even iNet+, which doesn't get mentioned very often...)
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  13. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    emma,

    no problem - it is nice to put back in some of the useful advice i once received from the valueble members of the forum. stick around - there is loads more!

    Si
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  14. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    If you study using self-study methods, you won't have gotten any experience... and if you study using Advent... you STILL won't have gotten any experience. Experience is gotten one way and one way only: getting an IT job and actually DOING the job.

    By the way, I always encourage people to go the self-study route. Every single one of my certifications was achieved through on-the-job and self-study training, without a single training course.

    Without experience, you'll be looking for an entry-level IT job. Getting entry-level certifications like the A+ and MCDST are good ways to set yourself ahead of your competition. In my opinion, you should pursue the MCSE later in your career... not at the start.

    Best of luck to you!
     
    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!
  15. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

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    This type of experience is always understated unfortunately...but I reckon that customer relations and phone skills are incredibly important when a tech first starts out!

    Also some of the best techs I know are girls....one in particular can really kick butt techincally and as a worker!

    Best of luck in your studies!

    supag33k
     
    Certifications: MCSE (NT4/2000/2003/Messaging), MCDBA
    WIP: CCNA, MCTS SQL, Exchange & Security stuff
  16. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Hi Emma,

    Some great advice have been given, as I would also second that you self study and know the material inside out. Also get a very fast PC and install VMware or Virtual PC so that you can load Windows server create a domain and do all the practice whilst studying for your MCSA or MCSE.

    This way you can get so good practical hands on too. Best wishes in your aspirations.:D
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell

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