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MCSA help

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by Jonezy101, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Jonezy101

    Jonezy101 New Member

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    Hey everyone. I'm new here (I've already posted in the newbie forum :) and basically, I want and need as much help as I can get and I know all you good people are more than willing to do that!

    My ultimate goal is to achieve an MCSA and have a challenging and enjoyable career that's fun and pays the bills too. 'Cause it needs to be done at the end of the day. I'm new to IT bar a GNVQ at pass level when I was 16 (I'm nearly 19 now) and I passed my computers in music module on my college course which I graduated in June.

    ANYWAY enough of the rambling. I've decided to go down the self-study route to achieve and pass the exams and things I need to be able to get to MCSA level, so my main questions are;

    Which "entry-level" exams should I study for first?
    CompTIA A+ or MCDST? and reasons why I should go for your reccommendation

    What self-study techniques can I employ?
    Like making notes, etc. to help me learn as easy as possible

    What options are there after MCSA if I wanted to go further?
    Slef explanatory

    Thank you in advance for your replies :)
     
    Certifications: Does a GNVQ count??
    WIP: undecided at the moment
  2. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I would recommend A+ first, then Network+, then MCDST. That's the logical order. The A+ is vendor-neutral, and covers things that are MOST relevant to an entry-level tech.

    Whatever works for you. Everyone is different. What works for me might be different from what works for you. What I like to do is to get hands-on experience with a product, read a book (or two), take a high-quality practice exam to see if I'm ready for the real thing, then go take the exam.

    Well... per Microsoft's recommendations (which I wholeheartedly agree with), you should get six months of server administration experience in a 250+ user, multi-server domain environment before pursuing the MCSA... not just six months in IT, but six months doing server administration... and that doesn't typically come at the beginning of an IT career.

    After the MCSA, the MCSE is good to try. For that, you should have a year's experience with server administration.

    Keep in mind that nobody is saying that it is impossible to pass the exams without that much experience (though it will be more difficult to pass them without that experience)... what I AM saying is that the certifications aren't going to be very useful to you without the requisite amount of real-world IT experience. The MCSA and MCSE are simply not relevant to entry-level or desktop support technical work.
     
    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. Jonezy101

    Jonezy101 New Member

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    Thta's for the advice, Boston. I'll elaborate more on the 2nd question. What I mean is should I make notes whilst reading and doing practical (kind of like you would do revising) or anything else that others have found useful.

    I get that it's whatever suits me best, but I just want to you know, trial and error things and see which is the best for me :biggrin
     
    Certifications: Does a GNVQ count??
    WIP: undecided at the moment
  4. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Boson, not Boston. I'm from Tennessee, not Massachusetts! ;)

    I don't take notes, but I understand it works for some people.
     
    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. Jonezy101

    Jonezy101 New Member

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    Haha yeh, I have no idea why I wrote Boston!

    Okey doke. Someone also suggested to me (probably you, but I can't be bothered to check right now) that I should invest in a cheap computer. Nothing fancy though, something to take apart and put together and stuff. What do you recommend?
     
    Certifications: Does a GNVQ count??
    WIP: undecided at the moment
  6. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    A cheap compaq P4 or two from EBay would do the trick and remember VMWare Server or Virtual PC 2007 are free and valuable tools. Cheerio and best wishes:)
     
    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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