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Looking for advice?

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by mish, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. mish

    mish New Member

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    Hi,

    Just joined as I'm hoping someone might be able to help with getting on the right track...

    My partner and I have been looking into getting him through a MCSE.
    He was made redundant in October from an IT manager role, he had worked up from 1st line in other roles through to 3rd line and then on to his recent IT manager position.

    He has a number of years experience, but no bits of paper proving it!

    Job applications seem to be going nowhere so getting Microsoft Certified seems to be the best way to go (plus it has been on the agenda for a few years).

    Options he's considered have been class studies, intensive training, E-learning, self study.
    Quotes for class study with the likes of QA for a 10 day intensive are apparently around £5,900! :shocked
    Thats without books OR exams.

    Class studies would probably be a bit cheaper although we are living off my wage and that only just covers the bills...
    We need to keep the costs down as much as we can so we can afford to get him back on track so self study is possibly the best way to go (unless there are recommendations?).
    Preference is to get it done as fast as possible, he has plenty of time on his hands!

    We're currently looking into funding options, a career development loan may be the best way to go as there are no more savings. These don't have to be paid back for about 12 months...

    Not sure if a MCSE would qualify, were waiting on the information pack to find out.
    I get the feeling that it would only work if we could find a college that does the course...

    I'm worried that purely book study won't be enough in getting him through to a pass.

    Exams via Prometric are £88 each (£616 in total for 7).

    Books seem to come in at £150 for the self paced training kit - does anybody know anywhere we can source them 2nd hand?

    Were not sure if online training will be any benefit, every site we've been to needs you to pay something in the region of £150-£200 - I don't want to pay and then find out it's some tin-pot website with no benefits/help at all!

    Is there any recommended websites that will help or is it better relying on the books and lab work?


    Any advice would be really appreciated!

    TIA

    Michelle
     
  2. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Experience is of far greater value then the bits of paper. Have you looked into why the applications are going nowhere? Could be down to CV issues.

    Getting someone without a job into debt is not really the best solution. Neither is paying massivly over the odds for something that can be done via self-study, he has the experience already right? So the books and exercises will do fine!

    Paying £150 for the training kit with 88 quid an exam is FAR MORE sensible then taking out an interest bearing debt for a training course that may not be completed - most TPs hope this will happen! You've identified the options: £766 versus £5000 plus interest! I know which one I would take! That being the £766!

    Why not search ebay for the training kits plus the CBTs such as Learnkey etc.
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    He won't be going on purely book study... he'll be going on book study AND real-world experience. After all, he's been in IT! That experience will come in handy.

    And why wouldn't book study alone be enough? See those certifications in my signature line below? Every one was gained through book study and on-the-job experience. I have yet to take a training course for any of my certifications. And if I can do it, he can too! :)

    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!
  4. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I agree with whats been said.

    Whilst I am pretty new to being in a career where I am doing networking and server work I just passed the 70-271 to gain my first MCP I only read about half of the book as the knowledge I had gained from real world experience was enough for me to pass the exam.

    Experience will help more than course can and if you don't really have the money to do these expensive courses then self study is the most logical answer to the problem.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  5. mish

    mish New Member

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    Thanks for the help!

    I've gone through ebay and could only see the CD/DVD versions that would likely be burnt copies - he'd rather have the recommended books.

    Either way we do this, I need to get our debt re-financed to make our outgoings lower and would have to go the CDL route (if the courses were an option) or just upping my loan to pay for all the stuff he needs.

    He's currently also pricing up the components for building a lab machine.
    If I can get a handle on the total cost (probably about £1500 then) we can get the ball rolling.

    Looks like self study it the way to go!
     
  6. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    you could build lab machine for less that £1500:)

    A pretty decent computer would be needed like a quad core cpu but he could use vmware or virtual pc and have a virtual setup (more than one pc on his pc). All you would need to buy is the operating systems to put on this virtual network.

    The training kits and books can be gotten from Amazon, like I said before I wouldn't do a course or take out anymore debt.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  7. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Or he could go out and get a job - any job - to fund this training!! Why such eagerness to get further into debt? Particularly in this current climate? And if he was made redundent then surely he got a pay out? Can that not be used to fund his bits of paper?

    And you still haven't answered the question re: job applications getting nowhere?

    And spec'ing up the components for a Lab Machine? What's that all about? You can easily pick up a Dell Optiplex P4 or above with a gig of RAM for less then £100 from ebay - and YES the original training kits are on their too if you look hard enough.

    Finally, if he's on the dole then tell him to get his @rse down to the job centre to find out what taxpayer funding is available for training purposes...funding that you don't have to pay back i.e. it's free and has naff all to do with the criminal banks.
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  8. mish

    mish New Member

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    He's in a catch 22 situation..

    When he's been interviewed by a small company or for a lower level, he's been told he's over qualified and not likely to be happy in the role that's being offered (thats a load of nonesense in our opinion as a job is most important currently).
    Larger companies - more relevant being the last one he went for, basically told him he got an interview due to his wide level of experience, but were focussing more on experienced and qualified individuals!!

    His CV has been complimented on by past employers and job agencies (not that i trust their compliments) he's re-worked it 3 times since then to see if it makes any difference.

    We have mortgage insurance which has started paying out, and he does get jobseekers. the problem with getting any job is that it would have to pay better than minimum wage to make sure we are actually better off....

    We found out about the CDL from the Job centre, unfortunately the people in job centres particularly in our area don't seem to have two brain cells to rub together and are actually surprised when he wonders in with his laptop with pages of job applications he has sent in the last week.
    Most funding can only be gained from going for courses such as literacy and numeracy (the sort of courses that educate you on stuff you should have learnt at school!) or possibly college based courses that cost thousands.

    We've budgeted for about £500 for the machine, £618 for exams, £150 for the books and the £1500 total is rounded up to cover any unforseen costs....if i can get any of these cheaper then the better!

    I'll pass on the info on the Optiplex P4, I think he's comsidering on going to a computer market locally (Manchester) called Bowlers to get the hardware cheap.
     
  9. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    I'm not even sure if you'd qualify for a CDL doing self-study from what I've (briefly) read. It seems you may need to use a TP on the CDL approved list.
    More info at www.direct.gov.uk.

    I don't know what they're like (direct.gov) down in Englandshire but I found the Scottish equivalent to be really helpful so it may be worthwhile giving your local office a phone. There might be other options available that the jobcentre lot don't know about.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  10. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Yes I can see the Catch 22 there. Seems to me that you're decided on the self study route but it's going to take LOTS of motivation from him.

    Best of luck!
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  11. mish

    mish New Member

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    Lol, that was my initial concern.. pay out all that money and then it all ends up sitting on the shelf...
    He is fairly motivated and is currently climbing the walls at home.
    I daren't leave my car at home as it's likely to be in bits when i get back...

    I think the motivation will come from the idea of just getting himself out of the house and being able to afford going out at the weekends.

    Plus as a sweetner, I have one of those activity days voucher i got from my sister for my birthday... she accidently got me a Rally racing day instead of a voucher where you can choose the activity yourself.
    He's hoping I've forgotten about it... (I was going to get it changed so i can use it for something a little less 'crash and kill myself').
    I might use it as a gift for completing the MCSE course! :twisted:

    If he completes at least one unit, I'm hoping that would give him the edge he needs to get employed. It would take him longer to complete the full MCSE if he has to do it in the evenings but that's better than no income at all.
     

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