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Lords, ladies and computer nerds

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by ManicD, May 24, 2007.

  1. ManicD

    ManicD Byte Poster

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    Well, i'm new here and the message at the top says i should say hello, so hello.

    I suppose i should make this topic longer so i'll say a little about me.

    So far i have spent the past 6 years training as a theatre technician (lighting sound etc) landed my self in a comfort zone job and sat still. Now i'm looking at moving, following an argument with my boss i'm off to better climates.

    I'm currently lookign at every company in the world that offer the MCSE training and unfortunatly i'm on a budget.

    I've spoken to advent training, they want to offer me a e-learning course for £4750

    I've spoken to Computeach, they want to offer me a e-learning course for £5850

    i'm currently waiting for NITLC to contact me back

    and tomorrow i'm gonna phone a new one i just found out about tonight theskillsgap who do a 6 week course for £3999

    I have thought about self learning but not sure if i could keep the motivation up.

    so if anyone has any advice about these or any other companies, please speak up.



    EDIT: mabye i should be more clear the courses i'm after run through and qualifiy you as A+, network+, MSDST, MSCA and Finally MCSE
     
    Certifications: MCSA, N+, A+(Tech), ECDL
    WIP: 70-294, 70-298
  2. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    MCSE is really for people who have been in the industry a while. Of course, that's not what the training providers will tell you, because they want to sell you their courses.

    I'd recommend you start at the beginning - with the A+ certification, which consists of two exams. Either before or after you get the A+, get an entry-level IT job to start building some real-world IT experience, which is your key to bigger and better things (everyone starts at the bottom, but nobody said you have to stay there forever).

    After the A+, start pursuing more advanced certifications, like Network+ and the MCDST. Later in your career, you can start pursuing the MCSA and MCSE, as well as other highly respected certifications like the CCNA.

    I'm a big advocate of self-study - I got all my certifications through on-the-job work and self-study, without a single training course.

    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!
  3. Raffaz

    Raffaz Kebab Lover Gold Member

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    Welcome to CF!:)
     
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, AutoCAD
    WIP: Rennovating my house
  4. Amine

    Amine Byte Poster

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    Great advice !

    why waste 4 or 5 Gs when you could do it yourself and save your money for a holiday!
     
    WIP: Exchange
  5. stuPeas

    stuPeas Megabyte Poster

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    Welcome ManicD. I must agree with Boson's comments (probably, so will everyone else here): MCSE may not be the best introduction to your IT career . :D :) :biggrin
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronic, CIW Associate (v5).
    WIP: CIW (Website Design Manager)
  6. stuPeas

    stuPeas Megabyte Poster

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    Hang on a minute....You are only 19. Was it a traveling theater with a school in the wings???
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronic, CIW Associate (v5).
    WIP: CIW (Website Design Manager)
  7. MrNerdy

    MrNerdy Megabyte Poster

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    ManicD suggest you try some local colleges and see what they offer, it will be way cheaper that way.
    Most offer a PC Maintenance course that leads to A+ or Cisco IT Essentials 1 which does the same.
    Should not cost more that £250.

    Once you have A+ join an IT employment agency and whilst working get more qualifications such as Network+
    Getting experience in a working IT workplace will help a lot more than just going for a higher level course first.

    Oh & welcome to CF.
     
    Certifications: ECDL, CiscoIT1 & A+
    WIP: Girlfriend & Network+
  8. nXPLOSi

    nXPLOSi Terabyte Poster

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    Welcome to CF ManicD! I also have to agree with Michael, MCSE isnt designed for computer newcomers and without any experience it wont hold the value.

    :)
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, MCSA 2003 (270, 290, 291), MCTS (640, 642), MCSA 2008
    WIP: MCSA 2012
  9. Headache

    Headache Gigabyte Poster

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    Welcome.
     
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: CCNP
  10. ManicD

    ManicD Byte Poster

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    mabye i should be more clear the courses i'm after run through and qualifiy you as A+, network+, MSDST, MSCA and Finally MCSE
     
    Certifications: MCSA, N+, A+(Tech), ECDL
    WIP: 70-294, 70-298
  11. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Greetings, ManicD. Michael's comments are spot on.

    That said, certainly with your electronics background, the A+ is the way to start as it leverages your current skill sets. N+ and MSDST will get your foot in the door but remember something here...

    Certifications are designed to establish what you already know and are experienced at...not qualifications to get your first job in the IT field. I know the certification industry tends to say otherwise but please keep that in mind. About the only cert that got me jobs without my having experience is the A+ and that's only because they were contract jobs and the contractors made certain assumptions based on the cert.

    One other important point you should consider (especially at your age) is to take a look at *everything* that can be done in the IT industry. I guarentee there's more to it than managing Microsoft products. Don't lock yourself into an educational and career path just because it has a high profile in the media and on the Internet. Microsoft does a very good job at marketing itself including it's certification industry. Not saying it's a bad way to go, just that it's not the *only* way to go.

    Think about it. You've got time. Cheers.

    -Trip
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  12. ManicD

    ManicD Byte Poster

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    cheers trip, just spoken with theskillsgap and he seemed like a real down to earth guy, very helpfull, hes reccomended that i look at reading the material for the A+ and N+ myself then just going to the 6 week boot camp and getting parctical experience for teh MCSE simply and quickly.

    This sounds like a very plausable option for me and very cost effective
     
    Certifications: MCSA, N+, A+(Tech), ECDL
    WIP: 70-294, 70-298
  13. Tinus1959

    Tinus1959 Gigabyte Poster

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    6 weeks for getting experinced MCSE? Better think in terms of 18 months or so. Bootcamps do not give you what you need.
    My opinion.
     
    Certifications: See my signature
    WIP: MCSD, MCAD, CCNA, CCNP
  14. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Whoa, whoa, whoa! Boot camps are meant for sysadmins who have years of experience administering Windows systems but who are required by their employers (for whatever reason) to become certified. It's basically just to tighten down what they know so they can pass the series of exams (there are about 7) to earn their MCSE. In all practicality, they already "have' those qualifications, they just have to demonstrate them in a testing environment (and they already have demonstrated those skills in the production environment).

    If you try to take a six week MCSE boot camp, unless you learn faster than the speed of light or have tons of Windows Server administration experience you haven't told us about, you are going to drown.

    The only people I know who *honestly* earned their MCSE certs took years to do so (think about 2 to 3 years) and that's while actually working in IT and getting both the education and experience it takes. This is more than studying technical information out of a book and then passing some tests. You *really* have to be able to administer complex client/server environments. If you can't...don't count on anyone hiring you.

    Think about it. You have to make sure that network security is iron clad. If you have employees that must connect to the business domain from home or the road, VPN must be configured correctly so that only authorized personal can access the system and even then, those employees must only be able to access what they have rights to (and not be able to read confidential files belonging to the HR department, for example).

    What about backup and restore procedures. You'll be expected to design, implement, and maintain a system that protects business data in the event of one or a group of servers crashing. What are you going to tell the CEO of your company on the day after a natural disaster destroyed your data centre when he or she asks if all the corporation's invoices, legal agreements with partners, and other mission critical data is safe?

    These are just a few real to life examples of what actual MCSEs have to deal with. These aren't skills you can learn in six weeks and then expect to be able to perform. Even if by some miracle, you are able to make it through the boot camp and pass all the tests, no CEO or CIO in their right mind would hire you to perform high level administrative work with absolutely no practical experience.

    Ditch the boot camp idea. It's expensive and impractical to the extreme. I agree with the idea of starting out with the A+ and N+ certs. That'll keep you busy for the next six months or so. After you get that far, see where you want to go from there.

    In the meantime, if you're out of work, you might as well start looking for a "day job" to help pay for all of this as you pursue your goals.

    Sorry to be so rough, but this is "reality check" time. :wink:
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  15. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Trip and others are absolutely right. Certifications don't "qualify" you to hold a position. Without experience, certifications are of very little use. I say all this to keep you from spending a lot of money for extremely limited benefit.

    The other forum members are absolutely correct that boot camps aren't the right way to go. Perhaps you don't yet know the overwhelming amount of material you have to digest and understand to become not just MCSE certified, but also A+, Net+, MCDST and MCSA certified. You may be able to have questions and answers shoved down your throat to be able to pass all those exams in 6 weeks, but you certainly will not be able to understand the concepts behind them. And companies realize that; they will not hire an MCSE without experience to do the job of an MCSE.

    Keep in mind that the advice I give is coming from someone who has worked in IT for the last 10 years and has seen people start their careers the right way... and the wrong way. Plus, I sell IT certification training for a living, so certification training directly benefits me. But I have to be truthful with you: certification is useful only when used the way it's designed to be used... when you have experience to back up the letters after your name.

    There are no shortcuts, there are no easy paths, and there are no magic formulae; if there were, we'd all be doing it. I strongly urge you to start with the A+ and get an entry-level job and work your way up from there.
     
    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. ManicD

    ManicD Byte Poster

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    So you guys would reccomend a E-learning course rather than a boot camp, not sure i can convince myself to do self study.

    and would rather the backup be there
     
    Certifications: MCSA, N+, A+(Tech), ECDL
    WIP: 70-294, 70-298
  17. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    With respects, I don't think you have a clear idea of what you are trying to do. If by backup, you mean you would prefer an instructor led course to help you learn, that's fine. However, boot camp isn't the best option for someone in your position.

    My basic education in computer and network technology came from a two-year program offered by my local uni. I tend to learn better in instructor-led environments, at least as far as learning content I'm totally unfamiliar with.

    After that, everything I've ever learned, I either learned on the job or by studying at home. I understand that many of the members here have elected to go with private training companies. They are expensive, but for some people, the cost is worth it.

    Given your young age and relative lack of IT experience, it would probably be best (my opinion) for you to enroll in some sort of formal educational program. After all, you've got time and this is your career we're talking about. It's not uncommon for young people to take two to four years to receive their basic education in the career they have mapped out for themselves. In that time, many students modify their plans (anywhere from abandoning their original goals to tightly focusing on the specific career area they want to pursue). What is your rush?

    If this is all about the impatience of youth, learn patience. You're going to waste a lot of time and money rushing around, trying "boot camp" solutions when a slower, more detailed educational venue will serve you better.

    Relax. Just start out with the A+ and take it from there. Don't let some sales person talk you into a solution that will only benefit them, their company, and their pocketbook.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  18. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    You can use E-learning courses, but you don't have to (and I don't use them). There are plenty of books you can buy that will give you a great deal of understanding. Getting a few books with some hands-on practice with a computer you can tear down and build back up will help you to get on your way and not be in debt for many years to come.

    Some people do learn better in a training course. However, if you can't convince yourself and motivate yourself to self-study, you're in for a long, hard road in IT. You have to constantly be learning to stay on top of technology, and those who don't get left behind and passed over. And companies don't usually spring for expensive courses to keep their employees trained... they expect them to learn it on the job and/or on their own.

    If you can't motivate yourself to learn it even NOW, while you're young and hungry for a job... how are you going to motivate yourself when you're older, perhaps with a wife and kids and job stress and other responsibilities? Now's a good time to assess if this is really what you want to do, with the full understanding that you DON'T just certify once and you're set for life... it's constant learning.
     
    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!
  19. malik06

    malik06 Nibble Poster

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    ManicD: Welcome. :)

    I just wanted to say a little about motivation. Based on your posts, it seems to me that you want to sign up with a learning provider because they'll keep you motivated.

    Well, I'm here to tell you, in the end, the only one who can keep you motivated enough to keep learning is You.

    Anybody who tells you anything else is selling something.
     
    Certifications: Network+, MCDST, MCSA
    WIP: MCSE
  20. Tinus1959

    Tinus1959 Gigabyte Poster

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    Who mentioned E-learning? There are different ways to get the theoretical stuff in your head. You can read books (count to about 800 to 1000 pages per exam), you could do instructor led courses, you could do e-learning. But either way, you'll have to study and cram the material in. No-one I know have ever passed the exam just by attending a course and nothing else.

    The practical experience however will take much more time.
    There are ways to do this (virtual PC or VMWare) even if you have only one computer and are not very pleased to install the thing three or four times over in three or four different ways (like CD, RIS, sysprep and so on)
    How to practice slipstreaming a service pack? How to make an answerfile and an uniqueness database and how to call it in the different situations. How to tackle installation problems.
    (this is only objective 1.0 for the starter exam for MCSE and, in most cases, chapter 1 of 20 in the book).

    It is your money, but I would strongly advise to start with A+ and Network+. Read the books (mike meyers is good) and buy an old 386. Take it apart and rebuild it again. Take the time to get it in your head. You'll thank us in a year or two.
     
    Certifications: See my signature
    WIP: MCSD, MCAD, CCNA, CCNP

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