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MCSE or MCSA??

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by immoral giant, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. immoral giant

    immoral giant Nibble Poster

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    I am going to do the Comptia A+ Certification soon. And maybe even the N+ Certification too.

    From what i have found out N+ and A+ go with the MCSA.

    Either way i will be doing the home study option and was wondering which one would be better to do?

    How much do the 2 differ and which one is the higher certification?

    And finally, how much would either cost with the prices of exams and books?
     
    Certifications: A+, N+
  2. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Hi,

    If you plan to do A+ and Network+ then yes they count towards MCSA. As far as I am aware when you acheive MCSA you are only 2 exams from getting MCSE.
    MCSE is the higher Cert. There are several exams that have to be passed. Take a look at this
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  3. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    A+ and N+ only count as one MCP towards the MCSA, NOT for the MCSE. Therefore if you got your MCSA via 3xMCPs plus 2x Comptias (aka A+ and N+), then you would still need 4 MCPs for MCSE.

    Did you follow at the back ?
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  4. immoral giant

    immoral giant Nibble Poster

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    What??

    So if i decided to do the 2 CompTia's then the 3 MCPs to get the MCSA, i could quite easily in the future do the other exams to get MCSE if i wanted to?

    I think that seems the best things to do.

    So am i right in thinking that with the MCSA.

    I would do 1 core exam on the operating system and 2 core exams on the network. Then for the elective exam i would do the A+ and N+ exams.

    So i would be doing 5 exams.

    What are the prices of the MCP's? I know the comptia's are £100 each, just wondering how much each MCP is? I can't find any prices.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+
  5. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    In the UK they are about 88 pounds each. It's not the exam prices you need to worry about though, it's the training costs. :)
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  6. immoral giant

    immoral giant Nibble Poster

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    I'm planning on doing home study, so it shouldn't cost too much. I believe i already have an adequate knowledge.

    I've found books for the 70-270 and 70-218 but i can't find one for 70-215.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+
  7. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    I'm sure you still need both OS exams as core for MCSA as well, IG.
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  8. KeithNN

    KeithNN Byte Poster

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    Don't want to sound pedantic but you'd actually be doing SIX exams. There are two to sit for the A+ (at £100 each), one for the Network+ (£146) and then the three core Microsoft exams (£88 each). That way your total (for exams only, not study materials) is £610 plus vat. That does mean, of course, you have more than the one MCSA cert to your name (the A+ and Network+ still count on their own merits) but does leave four Microsoft exams (at £352 plus vat) to go for the MCSE.

    The most cost effective way is just to sit the four required Microsoft exams (three core and one elective) at £88 each = £352 plus vat. And you then only have the three extras (another £264 plus vat) to get the MCSE! If you want to keep the costs down and have enough networking knowledge that would be the way to go.

    Whether you particularly want or need the two CompTIA exams really depends on your current knowledge and/or your direction...
     
    Certifications: MCSA/MCSE, MCDST, MOS Mstr, Sec+,Net+,A+
    WIP: 70-284
  9. immoral giant

    immoral giant Nibble Poster

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    The microsoft site says only 1 core exam is needed. links

    I was aware of the 2 exams in A+ i just forgot when i was typing.

    So your saying it would be better to go for the MCSE?

    The MCSE and MCSA are the same except for inplace of the Comptia exams i would have to do 3 more MCP?

    I thought it would be best to do the A+ and N+ to get my foot in the door. Then while i was working i could do the MCP's.

    What layout are the MCP's, they aren't multiple choice like CompTia's are they?
     
    Certifications: A+, N+
  10. KeithNN

    KeithNN Byte Poster

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    Looking back over your other posts I get the feeling you'd probably be best sticking with your original idea... A+ then Network+ then MCSA then take it from there... As I said earlier, it all depends on your direction but A+ could be useful for your first step into an entry level job.

    The MCSA was introduced a couple of years ago as an interim step to getting the MCSE (seven exams was a long haul). You don't have to go the whole hog if you don't want to... The three exams for MCSA (or four if you don't use anything else for your elective) are also part of the MCSE so you need to add the missing three/four (depending on your route!) exams to reach MCSE.

    Yup, but they're starting to introduce simulation questions. The 290 and 291 (the two Network exams for MCSA) were the first and I think they're now doing or about to introduce the 293/4?
     
    Certifications: MCSA/MCSE, MCDST, MOS Mstr, Sec+,Net+,A+
    WIP: 70-284
  11. immoral giant

    immoral giant Nibble Poster

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    Im thinking of doing the A+, N+, 70-210, 70-215 and 70-218.

    Does that sound alright?

    With the A+ and N+ first, i should be able to get my foot in the door while i do the MCPs.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+
  12. KeithNN

    KeithNN Byte Poster

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    Sure. Although I'd personally recommend going the 2003 route... by the time you've got your MCSA Longhorn will probably be out and you don't want to be too far behind (and there really isn't too much difference between the 2000 and 2003 tracks so you'll be set up for whichever you end up working with).
     
    Certifications: MCSA/MCSE, MCDST, MOS Mstr, Sec+,Net+,A+
    WIP: 70-284
  13. immoral giant

    immoral giant Nibble Poster

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    So for the MCSA 2003:

    70-210
    70-290
    70-291
    A+
    N+

    Or would you recommend doing 70-270 over 70-210?

    Looking at your information, are you doing the same as what i want to do? Except for 270 instead of 210.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+
  14. KeithNN

    KeithNN Byte Poster

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    Weeell, I guess from my earlier reasoning I'd have to recommend doing the 270. Although I do suspect that the 210 might still be a viable option when the next track comes out (whenever that may be)... Of course, if you're more familiar with Windows 2000 it may be worth sticking with the 210 as it would make it easier for you and improve your confidence for the other exams!

    That I am. I had already done the A+ and Network+ before looking into the MCSA so it was a pretty obvious elective option for me. I started out with the 210 in January last year but got side-tracked a little (work gets in the way too much, dammit!) and when I got back into it last October re-evaluated a little and decided changing to the 2003 track was probably better in the long run. Although, in my case, it is helped a little with the fact I've had two years experience administering a Server 2000 environment (with a mixture of 2000/XP Pro workstations) so having the 2003 cert does help cover both bases on job applications!

    I've got a couple of other plans for the remainder of the year (assuming I pass the 291 in two weeks time :ohmy ) but plan to continue with the MCSE next year - starting with the 284 to get MCSA: Messaging and then there should only be three more to go...
     
    Certifications: MCSA/MCSE, MCDST, MOS Mstr, Sec+,Net+,A+
    WIP: 70-284
  15. immoral giant

    immoral giant Nibble Poster

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    I think i'll do 270. I have an XP and a 2000 machine, but use XP a lot more.

    Do you have to book the A+ and N+ before or can you just go and do the test? I thought you had to book but by the way i saw on another post of another forum, you can just go and do the test whenever.

    Thanks for the help, i've got the last of my a-levels on monday and tuesday then i'll start on A+ and N+.

    And good luck for 291.

    Can you do MCSA at VUE centers? I can't find it in the list on locate test center. Are there any other centers?
     
    Certifications: A+, N+
  16. mrobinson52

    mrobinson52 Security Maven Gold Member

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    I went the A+, Network+, MCSA route myself. I would recommend taking A+ and Network+ first, since they form a core of knowledge that will help you greatly with the MCSA/E. The Microsoft tests make the assumption that you already know the basic hardware, software, and network configurations that you learn for the A+ and Network+.

    Beware of thinking that being familiar with XP Pro will help that much on the 70-270! Using the OS as a standalone is QUITE different than using it in a network, which is what you will be tested on. As one who blew the Windows 98 test thinking that I knew the OS well enough, I can tell you that the OS in a network is much different knowledge!

    For study materials, I recommend Mike Meyer's All-In-One A+
    for the A+ This is the most current version, #5. I cannot find any info that he is updating it for the newest tests yet, but he is THE expert.

    Do not get anything from Meyers on Networking however. I recommend using the Sybex books for Network+ and all of the MCSE studies. They make sure to cover all of the objectives. Their practice questions are of limited usefulness though.

    Good luck in your studies! Make sure to build a practice network and get an evaluation version of Server 2000 or Server 2003, since hands on will be a great help on the simulations. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCSA:Security, Security+
    WIP: CISSP
  17. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

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    I too took A+, Net+, 210, 215, and 218 exam for MCSA 2K, then got a very severe case of "what's the point" and put everything to the side.

    Then when I wasn't expecting it, I got a job offer in the IT field.

    So I started thinking. I could go ahead and take 216, 217, design, and elective for MCSE 2K, then 292 and 296 for the upgrade to 2K3, but that would be 6 exams.

    Luckally, there's an upgrade path from MCSA2K to MCSE2K3, and it's only 4 exams. :D

    As for study material, Transcender, Action Pack, and VMware.
     
    Certifications: CompTIA and Micro$oft
    WIP: PDI+
  18. KeithNN

    KeithNN Byte Poster

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    If you use XP more then I'd recommend you do the 270 then. I think it's best to stick with the OS you're more familiar with - there's still more to learn than you know now but at least you're part way there! Be aware, though, that there is quite a leap in difficulty from the 270 to the 290 which catches a lot of people out!

    I'm not sure if you can just "turn up" at a centre like that (some allow you to phone up the day before, that's the shortest notice I know of). I always recommend booking well in advance (say a month or two) - you know you can get the day you want and it also gives you a goal to aim for (you can always cancel or reschedule if you're not ready).

    You're welcome. Good luck with the A-levels.

    Thanks, I'll need it! :eek:

    You don't actually DO the MCSA. You sit all the component MCP exams for any cert and when you've got the required selection you become MCSA/MCSE/etc.. Sign up with both Prometric and Vue so you've got a wider choice (my favourite at Sheffield do both testing... Vue get really booked up but there are usually a few Prometric seats going spare!)
     
    Certifications: MCSA/MCSE, MCDST, MOS Mstr, Sec+,Net+,A+
    WIP: 70-284
  19. immoral giant

    immoral giant Nibble Poster

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    I meant doing the MCPs. As far as i can see there are no Prometric Centers near me, only VUE.

    Do Sybex actually do books for the actual exams like Meyers? I've found single books for each exam by Meyers. For the MCP's Meyers has passports for each and have got good reviews on Amazon.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+
  20. immoral giant

    immoral giant Nibble Poster

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    I found the Sybex books in the end.

    A+
    N+
    270
    290
    291

    That all look right?
     
    Certifications: A+, N+

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