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MCSE 2003 Course - which one? help!

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by ckjhalpin, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. ckjhalpin

    ckjhalpin New Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I have a slight dilemma, the company have agreed to pay for my MCSE 2003 training course. I picked a training provider who is a Microsoft Gold Partner and would take 27 training days (1 year to pass all exams) to complete at a cost of £3,235.00 + VAT (not including exam fees). I was about to go with this when I spoke to another training company which do a boot camp, 14 days of training, they are also a Microsoft Gold Partner at a cost of £4,760.00 + VAT, this includes the training, exams, accommodation and meals.

    I have been an IT Technican for a small company (25 people) for a number of years, I have a few MCP's in NT4 and Win2000.

    I would like to know are the boot camps worth doing? and any advice you could give me on it.

    I am not sure if my company would be willing to pay the extra so would have to pay the additional fee myself.

    Your views would be greatly appreciated as I am not sure what to do!

    Thank you

    Chris
     
  2. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Not even a course taking 27 training days to complete, in itself, is enough to pass the MCSE. 14 days is insane.

    Certification isn't about passing a bunch of exams... it's proving that you understand the technology concepts related to that certification. Thus, there are no real shortcuts to certification if you want your IT career to thrive. Learn each concept completely, or you'll be sitting with an MCSE certification in your hand, but not truly *understand* anything more than when you started.
     
    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. ckjhalpin

    ckjhalpin New Member

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    Thank you for replying so quickly, the 27 day course is based over a period of a year, you take a trained 5 day course you go away and practice and study what you have learnt in those 5 days and when you are confident enough then you take the exam.

    What would you actually recommend me to do as you have the qualifications, what did you do?

    Chris
     
  4. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    What he said.

     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  5. ckjhalpin

    ckjhalpin New Member

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    So you recommend to buy the books and study in my own time learning, rather than go to a class and listen to a trainer and practicing?
     
  6. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    So what you have to ask yourself is... is 5 days of instruction per exam enough? If it's not enough, then why get the training in the first place? And if it IS enough, then why spend a ton of money on the training? Just do it through self-study.

    I worked as a tech to get hands-on experience, and I studied on my own to take the exams. When I had studied enough to the point that I understood the concepts, I took the exam. None of my certifications were achieved through taking a training course.

    I wish you the best of luck!
     
    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!
  7. ckjhalpin

    ckjhalpin New Member

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    I do have a couple of MCP's in NT4 and Windows 2000, I have been working within a Windows 2003 Server for a couple of years now.

    I can understand where you are both coming from saying that you can get through the MCSE course and pass the exams but if you don't study the books and keep testing then you won't learn a thing.

    Do you think it might be wise to consider studying for the A+, Network + and Security + before moving on to the MCSE?

    I am guessing if I did go that route MCSE 2008 would be starting?

    Thanks for all the advice, my company is willing to pay for my courses/training just need to know what the best step is.
     
  8. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    You can practice without a trainer. All you're paying for is the instructor's time and the use of the training center's equipment... equipment that you could purchase on your own if you weren't paying the training center, right?

    So, yes, I'd recommend self-study using books and real equipment and software.

    Some people need that classroom training environment to "force" them to study. But if someone has to be forced to stay on top of technology, then they probably shouldn't be in IT. Most companies expect you to pick this stuff up on your own time, and at your own expense. They'll usually buy you books and pay for your exams, but they won't typically pay for an expensive training course. So you'll probably have to learn how to study on your own at some point.

    Since your company IS willing to pay for the course, you have to ask yourself whether you want to take advantage of the company's money to be able to take a structured course, or whether you want to tell your boss to save the money in the budget and instead purchase a few books, practice exams, and pieces of equipment (and allow you some paid time off to study). Who knows... if your boss is appreciative (as I would be if I was in his/her shoes), some of that saved training money in the budget might just end up in the form of a salary increase. Just a thought. :)
     
    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!
  9. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Yep, that's exactly what we're saying - a course doesn't automagically make you qualified. And some courses use "less than honest" methods to help you pass the exams just to get you certified and out the door... which CERTAINLY doesn't make you a good tech!

    Personally, I always recommend getting the A+ and Net+ before advancing onward. Here's my logic:
    - If you already have the knowledge to pass those exams, studying should be VERY quick, and you can knock them out without much trouble at all.
    - If you *don't* have the knowledge to pass those exams, then that's even MORE reason to start out with those exams and fill those gaps in your knowledge before you work up to something more advanced.

    Security+ is a good basic security exam. Whether you get that before or after the MCSE exams is up to you.

    I'd recommend that you get the earliest Microsoft certification possible, time permitting. After all, some companies still use Windows 2000 Server, and I was supporting a customer who had two NT4 servers up until last year! Plus, having an "earlier certification" makes you look as if you've "been around the block" a bit, and not just an IT newbie just on the scene.

    All that said, the Windows 2000 exams will retire as of March 2008, as will the corresponding Windows 2003 upgrade exams. So if you don't think you can pass your exams before then, you should probably start on the Windows 2003 MCSE track. Nobody's using Windows Server 2008 yet, so I'd hold off on going down that path just yet.
     
    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!
  10. ckjhalpin

    ckjhalpin New Member

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    Thanks for all your advice!

    What study books, CD's etc do you recommend for the A+, Network +, Security +?

    Once I have got those underneath my belt then I can go onto MCSE Windows 2003, what study books and CD's do you recommend?
     
  11. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Since I work for a practice exam provider, my opinion is quite biased on practice tests. I'll allow others to share their opinions instead.

    Book recommendations:
    - For A+, I recommend Mike Meyers A+ All-in-One Study Guide, 6th edition and James Pyles (our very own tripwire45) PC Technician Street Smarts.
    - For Network+, I recommend the Sybex Network+ Study Guide.
    - For Security+, I typically recommend the Syngress Security+ Study Guide. However, I used the previous version of the book for the previous version of the exam. I can only assume that the new version is as good.
    - For Microsoft exams, I typically recommend Microsoft Press (MSPress) and Sybex. I'm particularly fond of the Sybex book for 70-620, but I know the authors personally. 8)
     
    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!
  12. ckjhalpin

    ckjhalpin New Member

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    Thank you for the advice on the books to buy, I have ordered the A+ and Network +, hopefully I can whizz through it and move on to the MCSE books which will be a lot thicker and tougher! Will let you know how I get on!

    Thanks for all your advice again!

    Chris
     
  13. Tinus1959

    Tinus1959 Gigabyte Poster

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    Thank you, You just put me out of a job.:rolleyes:
    I am a professional tech trainer and in my opinion it is not that easy to say. Not all people are alike and there are some advantages in following a trainer based course.
    If you do not understand the book, the trainer can help you to understand the consepts. The trainer can give you hints on (extra) books to read or sometimes a chapter in a book. Links to websites, examples, extra scenarios and so on.
    Some people do not need the extra care, but some do.
    It is really up to you if you need the extra help or can manage without it.
     
    Certifications: See my signature
    WIP: MCSD, MCAD, CCNA, CCNP
  14. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I work for a company that provides live training, but I have to preach what I believe. Some people need the extra care... but most do not... and the money can be best spent elsewhere. It kills me to see these folks that want to break into IT go into thousands upon thousands of dollars of debt in order to get live training that they've been TOLD that they need. I'm here to tell them that they absolutely do NOT *have* to have it.
     
    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. Tinus1959

    Tinus1959 Gigabyte Poster

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    Okay, lets not argue about that point. Not all people are the same. Some can do without, some need that bit extra, but all need experience. Noone will be a good tech just with books, you need practice and a lot of it to.
    Self-study is one method to get the certification, but there are other ways to.
     
    Certifications: See my signature
    WIP: MCSD, MCAD, CCNA, CCNP
  16. Lee

    Lee Nibble Poster

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    Hi

    I've been reading some of your post's and found it very enlightening.

    How many hours of studying (mean average)would it take to complete the MCSE 2003?
     
    Certifications: A+ C Programming
    WIP: Network+
  17. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Hi Lee,

    Welcome to the forum.

    The amount of time it takes to complete any certification depends on several factors; someones knowledge on the topic, ease of learning new / memorising (and understanding topics) and the amount of study time that can be put in.

    Why not pop in to the lounge and tell us a little bit about yourself?

    Boyce
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  18. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Yep - everyone's different. What one person can do without any studying might take someone else years to learn.
     
    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. Lee

    Lee Nibble Poster

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    I agree. Could I have a less subjective answer though, please?:) Am I looking at 20 or 200 hours? I know some gifted individuals will fly through it and understand the contributing factors for self study as I learned C programming from home (was a carpenter for 15 years before that) and aced it with no prior experience.

    How long would you say if you had to give a ball park figure?

    BTW thanks for the heads up on these training camps, I was close to enrolling and parting with my hardearned:D
     
    Certifications: A+ C Programming
    WIP: Network+
  20. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    It depends on the individual, so no one can give you an exact figure.
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009

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