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MCSE vs CISCO Certs Question

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by danOne, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. danOne

    danOne Bit Poster

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    Hello,

    I am making the decision (after I pass N+) to either go MCSA/MCSE or go the Cisco route with CCNA CCNP.. The major part if deciding is do the Microsoft and/or Cisco certifications expire and then require retaking?

    This is important for me because I am still in school and trying to persue the certifications which do not expire..


    Thanks. :biggrin
     
  2. Tyler D

    Tyler D Gigabyte Poster

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    Greetings :biggrin

    As far as i am aware,the Cisco certs do expire,and therefore you will need to study/retake the exam to remain certified.

    As far as the MS certs go,they dont expire.
    But you will find as MS bring out new O/S's,they will follow that up with new exams,giving you the option to upgrade.An example being an MCSE 2K doing upgrade exams to become MCSE 2003.

    I.T is all about constantly learning,and getting certified if you so wish.So regardless of which route you take you will have many years ahead of learning/studying to stay current in the field of I.T.

    HTH.
     
    Certifications: A+,70-270
    WIP: 70-290
  3. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    I was in your position not so long ago... if you have long to go stick to comptia and maybe look at another of their certs (Sec+,Linux+ or Server+) personally i would look at s+ and l+.

    Choosing your cert shouldnt be for the reason of making money or if it will expire or not - your future employers WILL want up to date skills as a newbie another factor and the most important when choosing your cert is that its going to be something you going to enjoy: MS certs are software related whereas Cisco are hardware eg microsoft teaches you to use a server 2003 OS as a router between two networks and cisco teaches you to place a physical router between the two networks!

    Just some tips! 8)
    Good Luck! :thumbleft

    EDIT: Welcome to CF!
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  4. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Just to throw something else into the equation - What do you want to do for a career? :blink
     
  5. Clyde

    Clyde Megabyte Poster

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    and regarding ccnp - do you have previous cisco experience ? a CCNP expires in 3 years or so AFAIK and in the meantime, with no experience, you'll never use what you learn... focus on MCSA if admin is your bag and worry about MCSE later - just get ccna and or a few mcps and some experience if its networking...then worry about ccnp
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: MCITP
  6. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    If your worried about which route to go down due to certification expiry, don't. Even though the current MS certifications don't expire, the new ones will (check out the question on "Will the new certifications expire?").

    Just a question, why don't you just stick with Comptia certs, get maybe a CCNA (I believe that's 1 exam, or 2 if you choose a different route) and maybe a MCP/MCDST (again 1 or 2 exams depending on which one you want). Then when you get your foot in the door of IT, decide where your career is going to go and then do the higher CCNP (and above) or the MCSA (or above)?

    It's always going to be easier studying for a IT Professional exam once you're in IT, as you'll be using the technology, and hopefully you'll have a good enough employer that will be willing to pay for the exams for you. :biggrin

    It's only a though

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  7. danOne

    danOne Bit Poster

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    I am currently in school. Around summer I will be trying to get a job at a IT related place like CompUSA, Circuit City maybe a private computer repair store or something and work my way from there..

    Currently I'm studying N+ (taking classes) and Microsoft Office Specialist in Excel (self study-very simple). I should be done with them both in 2 months and then I plan to self study/mess around with Linux and when I feel comfterable with using linux as a OS go for Linux+, LPIC maybe redheat certs.

    Meanwhile doing Linux I'll prolly take some classes for MCSA/MCSE. BTW, when I say study Linux I don't mean read a book about it for an hour I just mean mess around with it, learn the features try stuff out, watch some videos about it, etc.

    Any suggestions where to start working and where it would prolly go from there I'll be very happy.

    I thought about Security+ but it seems pretty tough and needs a very high passing score so since I really don't need it I figured I'll just leave it for now since I have enough stuff to go for.

    THANKS!

    MCDST that's like an equivelent to A+ isn't it? Is thre any value in the market for it?

    In CompTIA what I'm planning to be going for is A+ (already passed both) N+ (within 2 months) and Linux+ eventually.. After I finish up with N+ I will prolly go the MS route for a little while MCSA, MCDST (maybe).. By then I'll prolly be working and have a little more idea what I should be doing and learning :)

    Thank you.

    Also, I passed the MOS Word last week. After I'm done with the MOS in Excel I won't be doing anymore MOS certs.
     
  8. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Hi danOne,

    "MCDST that's like an equivelent to A+ isn't it? Is thre any value in the market for it?"

    I wouldn't say that the MCDST is equivalent to the A+ & Network+, as the subject that is taught in each of the 3 courses are different. However, I would say that they are on the same level, level 2.

    This is how it was told to me (some may disagree, some may agree, it depends who taught who and where, etc)

    Level 1: Intro certs, IT Practitioners System Support, 1-day tasters, etc
    Level 2: MOS, MCP, MCDST, A+, etc
    Level 2/3: CCNA, Network+, CCDA, etc
    Level 3: MCSA, CCNP, CCDP, etc
    Level 3/4: MCSE, and the higher CISCO courses, etc
    Level 4: Computing BTEC HNC (not sure why this one was put in, as I always thought that the HNC would have come under the academic certs but who am I :unsure ), etc

    If you go to the individual cert providers they'll give you their own guide/level for their own courses.

    Is there is a value for the MCDST in the market, I would say yes, others would say no. MCDST is for entry level personnel on say the helpdesk, and above. It depends on the company, if they keep up to date with IT Pro certs or not. Lets face it, how many of us of gone for interviews and ended up having to explain the certs that we have, alot of companies don't even know what the abbr MCSE or MCSA stand for. :biggrin

    Hope your Network+ goes well.

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  9. danOne

    danOne Bit Poster

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    What are these tests in level 1 and level 4 you are talking about?

    Thanks!

    Note:
    Some job suggestions and stuff as I asked above :)
     
  10. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Hi danOne,

    This is not set in stone, but for example:

    Level 1: IT Practitioners System Support, this is a vocational cert in itself from the local college, C&G's 7261 level 1, Learndirect courses, as these aren't qualification - just certs of completion. etc. Alot of these courses are multiple choice, easier than the A+ exams.

    Some job suggestions: trainee IT technician to IT technician, Trainee helpdesk to helpdesk, trainee workshop tech to workshop tech, entry level jobs.

    Level 4: This would be alot harder. HNC's are equal to 1/3 of a degree, you're looking at about 10 modules with a combination of multiple choice exams, written exams and projects taking about 2 years (give or take) to complete. Then there's the MCA (Microsoft Certified Architect) or the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE). These, I believe you actually have to be accessed by a panel of people. Then there's the NVQ's at level 4 or 5.

    Some job suggestions: System Architect, Management, System designer, high level jobs.

    Please note that these are just suggestions of jobs for each level/cert, they won't guarantee you a job at the level, they will just make you more marketable for them.

    Hope this helps, hope I've answered your question, if not I'll try again or someone else will. :biggrin

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  11. danOne

    danOne Bit Poster

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    Thanks, that's all my questions :)
     
  12. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    ooooo sorry im strongly disagreeing with you.. no way about the mcse in that position! :blink more likely this is a better reflection:

    Level 0: Intro certs, IT Practitioners System Support, 1-day tasters, etc
    Level 1: MOS, MCP, MCDST, A+,Network+
    Level 2: CCNA, MCSA/MCSE and i think CCDA
    Level 3: CCNP, CCDP
    Level 4: and the higher CISCO courses
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  13. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    If you think the MCSE is the same level cert as an MCSA you are sadly mistaken. MCSE *must* have electives that relate to design. These design exams are in a different league IMHO. Plus seven exams, in comparison to four! I haven't got a clue as to the level in comparison to Cisco and I doubt anyone would have a clue unless they had attained both.

    Zimbo, when you have progressed through to MCSE, then you will understand what I am getting at. The road gets tougher, you cannot judge the complexity of the whole thing by the first couple of exams. I would call those an introduction :twisted:
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  14. danOne

    danOne Bit Poster

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    Would it be a good idea to do MCSA first since it includes some exams which also give credit for MCSE?

    THANKS!
     
  15. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

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    Hey Zimbo - looks like you are sparking up us MCSE types here - LOL

    Actually as Bluerinse pointed out the MCSE and MCSA are very different, so I would organise the certs this way IMHO...

    Level 0: Intro certs, IT Practitioners System Support, 1-day tasters, etc

    Level 1: MOS, MCP, MCDST, A+,Network+

    Level 2: CCNA, CCDA, MCSA

    Level 3: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNP, CCDP, Security+, standard Linux certs, standard Solaris Admin Courses

    Level 4: CCIE [really should be in class above this perhaps], MCSE/MCDBA with programming, messaging or security specilisations,
    Specialised security and forensics courses,
    specialised courses from Banyan, Oracle, IBM, Lotus and SUN Solaris etc

    IMHO - Note that a tech needs to have MCSE/MCDBA plus CCNA, then have project management and various "soft skills" - like people skills, management, and report writing these days to really hold their own in the job market.
     
    Certifications: MCSE (NT4/2000/2003/Messaging), MCDBA
    WIP: CCNA, MCTS SQL, Exchange & Security stuff
  16. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    :oops: :oops: :oops: okay okay! :P my table looks better than the one before! 8)
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  17. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Hi guys,

    Don't worry I don't want to restart the debate. :biggrin

    Basically everyone who has worked/work in IT as well as earned their experience (as well as certifications) have their own view on which level each cert is based.

    I disagree with Zimbo with where he'd place certain certs, but that's his view.

    After all we all work in different enviorments, if you came across someone who works in a pure Apple enviorment or a pure Linux/Unix (so doesn't use MS technologies) and didn't use Cisco equipment, how would that person rate our certs? And how would we rate their certs?

    So to all those who want to enter the IT field, or are new to our field. Keep an open mind, with progression in the IT and the ever increasing changes with certs, you never know whats acround the corner. :biggrin

    Have fun

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip

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