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MCSE/A or MCITP - advice needed.

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by Stuka, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. Stuka

    Stuka Nibble Poster

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    Hi all,

    I'm at a bit of a crossroads at the moment. I've attained the Comptia A+, N+ and MCDST certs. Now the last time I did an exam was about 2 years ago, and I've since decided to revive my studying.

    I was planning on doing the MCSE or the MCSA. But after doing a bit of reading, I don't know whether it's worth it.

    I've been an IT Tech at a school for 5 years now, and I've got experience with Server 2003, AD, Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 and Mac OSX 10.6 & 10.7.

    I'm looking at doing the MCITP Server Administrator exams. With 5 years experience, do you think it's worth it? I mean, we still use Server 2003 at work, but I do have some experience with 2008 (we have a few 2008 servers).

    I'm torn between the MCSE/A or just jumping straight onto the MCITP cert. What concerns me the most is legacy certs. I'm not sure if the MCSE/A is worth it and I'd rather chance my arm at aiming to pass a more recent 2008-based set of exams...

    Advice would be great.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
    Certifications: IT 2:1 Degree, A+, N+, MCDST
    WIP: MCITP
  2. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    Tough one. It's going to take you 3 exams to achieve either the MCSA or the MCITP:SA so it's probably going to be down to which technology you feel is most important.

    One idea might be to do the MCSA then upgrade to MCITP:SA. It would take 2 more exams than just doing the MCITP, but one of them would be and MCTS in W7 (680), so you would get 2 extra certs for doing 2 extra exams. A good option if your experience means you can pass the 290 and 291 without too much effort.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  3. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Something worth thinking about IMHO. MCSA will last for life, MCITP lasts as long as Server 2008 is in action. If you are using Server 2003, that's what I would start with ... then worry about Server 2008. By the time you get it, Server 8 might be a la mode?
     
  4. Stuka

    Stuka Nibble Poster

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    Thanks guys.

    I think the MCSA then onto one of the upgrade paths to the MCITP seems like the best choice.

    I suppose I could use the MCSA as a "spring board" which would lead me to the MCITP in the future.

    Do you think the MCSA is more suited to someone in my position rather than the MCSE?
     
    Certifications: IT 2:1 Degree, A+, N+, MCDST
    WIP: MCITP
  5. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I stopped at the MCSA as I only administer the server environment rather than design it, as the MCSE is more suited for. I see the MCSA and MCITP:SA as the "doing" rather than designing, qualifications. Again, that's my opinion though.
     
  6. Stuka

    Stuka Nibble Poster

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    Thanks, ade. That's what I'm gonna go for then.

    Oh, I've got the typical Microsoft blue books (70-290, 291). Are these sufficient enough to pass the exam? Obviously taking into considering experience in the field.
     
    Certifications: IT 2:1 Degree, A+, N+, MCDST
    WIP: MCITP
  7. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    That's all I used. Make sure they are the latest revision though, and get the errata off the Microsoft site. 291 is a bugger of an exam though (a lot of people on here call it "the beast")
     
  8. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Should be mate. I would still consider the MCSE though.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  9. Stuka

    Stuka Nibble Poster

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    Cheers guys.

    I don't like the sound of the 291, lol.

    The books I have are the "Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment" 70-290 Self Paced Training Kit, but I think it was published in 2004. It was given to me by the previous tech at my place of work, same goes with the 291 book.

    Anyone know where to buy the latest revisions?

    NB: Just bought the 70-290 second edition - published 2006. It was only £10. Hope this is the latest edition!
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
    Certifications: IT 2:1 Degree, A+, N+, MCDST
    WIP: MCITP
  10. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Worth checking the MS site mate as some of the exams have added WSUS questions but they had SUS when the exam first came out.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  11. Stuka

    Stuka Nibble Poster

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    Thanks, Sparky.

    Just to confirm, there are four exams to be taken to earn an MCSA, right?

    The elective exam puzzles me a bit. What are the "elective" exams, exactly?
     
    Certifications: IT 2:1 Degree, A+, N+, MCDST
    WIP: MCITP
  12. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    If you've got the MCDST, that counts as one of the exams (which I think is the elective), I did 70-270 (configuring XP, which is a bit harder than the 70-290 exam, as it goes in a more "enterprise" sort of way of setting up), but I believe you can do the Vista / Win 7 exam equivalent, and then you do 290 and 291.

    The A+ and N+ together also count as your elective.

    So, yes, there are 4 exams, in your case.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  13. Stuka

    Stuka Nibble Poster

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    Cheers, ade.

    Bit confused, though. I have the MCDST, A+ and N+. So does that mean I don't have to do four exams, but rather three? i.e no elective?

    Also, and this is probably a silly question to ask at this stage - but what are the questions like for the 70-290? I mean, are they multiple choice or "scenario" type questions where you have to write sentences/paragraphs?

    Cheers.
     
    Certifications: IT 2:1 Degree, A+, N+, MCDST
    WIP: MCITP
  14. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    There's no written paragraphs in any of the exams, but there are simulations of things you would do for real.

    The MCDST counts as your elective. If you didn't have that, then the combination of the A+ and N+ would have counted anyway.

    To get the MCSA, you need to do 270 (or the Vista equivalent), 290 and 291. This information would be on your cert planner on the MCP site. I find the cert planner as clear as mud though, and it doesn't work in Firefox (with the plugins I have anyway) https://mcp.microsoft.com/mcp/tools/CertificationsInProgress.aspx

    The 270 is harder than the 271, even though they are the same thing ... what I was trying to get at was don't think because there is overlap in the exam, you could pass the 270 from reading the 271 material. The 290 and 291 are a big step up again.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  15. Stuka

    Stuka Nibble Poster

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    Cheers Ade.

    At the moment, I'm working through the 290 book. I must say, it's the hardest thing I've had to study for, thus far and thats with 5 years in the field, too. There's just so much to take in. I'm getting frustrated with it to be honest because I'm trying to remember everything I've read.

    Need a break for a day or so I think.
     
    Certifications: IT 2:1 Degree, A+, N+, MCDST
    WIP: MCITP

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