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Need your advice, suggestions, guidance etc...

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by mepraveshp, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. mepraveshp

    mepraveshp New Member

    I joined the forum this morning and have been reading various posts and am more lost than when I started.

    First of all, my potted career history - I am 54, have a degree in Physics, post-grad diplomas in Marketing and Accounting. Spent most of my life with DEC machines starting with PDP11s, rose to corporate support where resolution to problem was more political and less technical. And, in 1993 when DEC was loosing market share and rapidly going downhill, I decided to leave them and start something non-IT where I could be with family more often than not. Soon, it became boring and I bought myself a PC, educated myself and started a sales and training outfit.

    I can install, configure and administer PC world (starting with Windows 3.1, 95, NT, 2000, Servers - NT, 2000, 2003, Exchange, SBS 2000 and 2003 plus applications). Most of what I know, I have taught myself through doing, reading and asking questions on newsgroups - basic moto being - install, configure, get it to work and when broken, fix it. And I am a fairly good trouble-shooter - formal training: Kepner-Tregoe.

    In 2005, my IT business had to give in to my partner's flights' business which despite our efforts went down with huge losses.
    With huge mortgage I found myself having to rejuvenate my IT business and a year and a half later, it is proving an uphill struggle. So, I decided to sign on the unemployed register and agencies. Three month's later, not much of progress.

    Although, I can do the job but have not done it commercially. So, I thought maybe I should get formal certification and experience. To cut the long story short and it is already getting too long - I phoned a few training companies and James Thornton aka Student Campus seemed attractive. I went for the interview (mere formality) and completed application for CDL of £8000. For this they provide for out of pocket expenses, course material, upto 6 months of training, outplacement with a Microsoft partner, A+, Net+ etc, MCSA and before six months are over place you with MS partner. Total course is for 2 years but only 6 months full-time then one evening leading upto MCSE and CCNA. Asked how they could provide all this - subsidised by Microsoft.

    Made sense at the time. That was on Wednesday and I found this conference this morning.

    This is where I need advice: Is the certification worth doing considering my age bracket, although I think I am maturing very slowly? Is doing it via James Thornton wise? If not, where and how do I get started and what is the best route.

    Desparately seeking enlightenment.
  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    First - I'm older than you, so don't let your age get in the way!

    Second - The route is good. A+ then N+ then M$ certs. And you are right about needing experience. Whether the training provider will give you that experience I don't know. Really you should build on the experience you had in your former company.

    I can't comment about the training provider as all my certs were gained by self-study.

    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  3. MacAllan

    MacAllan Byte Poster

    If you are already struggling with mortgage and previous debts, £8000 is an awful lot of money to invest further....

    Given your experience, I would have thought you could achieve A+ and N+ very quickly yourself through self-study. If you have reason to believe it is lack of certs that is hampering your employment than think about this way forwards first. There is no 'waiting list' for an training provider - there will always be a place available later if you find self-study doesn't suit you. And with an A+ / N+ behind you, maybe you can get a job - and even if not, the cost of just the MCSA will be less on its own.

    Have a look now at the objectives of the exams, and gauge how much you already are comfortable with / or not.
    give out free stuff and there are sites for practice tests that will also give you a flavour of things - there is a slight problem here, in that some test-sites are actually cheat-sites, but if you look on the
    site, you can get lists of sites that are not providing illegal material.

    Maybe have someone look at you CV - there is an anti-age-discrimination law in force now, but sometimes it helps not to give away information too easily :dry

    Certifications: A+, N+, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP, Linux+
  4. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    First off, welcome to CertForums. I'm only a year younger than you are so I don't think age should be a significant factor. Based on the quote above, I don't think you need any training agency...seems you learn just fine on your own. I suspect you could successfully pass any technical certification exam you put your efforts into by just studying from the relevant books and using online resources. Save your money and don't waste it on a trainer that probably doesn't know half as much as you do.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  5. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

    Hi and welcome to the forums. I agree with gentlemen here.
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
  6. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Me too :D

    Hi welcome
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  7. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster


    Certifications are great, even at your age. That said, I'd highly encourage you to use self-study methods, unless you've just got money burning a hole in your pocket! I got all of my certifications through self-study and on-the-job experience.

    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!
  8. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Well anyone with a Physics degree and that knows their way around a PDP-11 should find it pretty easy going !

    You should be able to self study for all the certs I would think, its gonna take some time though, personally I find studying for more than 1 exam a month challenging.
    The package sounds like about 10-12 exams so should be possible in 2 years if a little hectic !

    I'd advise against the high cost packages provided in the UK.

    I'd consider self study (books or possibly cbt) first, maybe a course if you want to use some elses lab or are taking a harder cert. Theres normally local tech colleges that offer good value.

    If you have the experience and want to get certified as quickly as possible then a boot camp might help, a friend used a company called koenig-solutions and reccomended it.

    Why don't you try to get a job at a local tech college based on your current experience and study part time ?
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  9. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    I would go for the MCSE to add to your Windows networking experience. You posted that you are self taught so buy some good books and you should be ready to go. :biggrin
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  10. mepraveshp

    mepraveshp New Member

    I like to say a BIG Thank you to everybody. I didn't expect anyone to respond so quickly. I think you have already saved me from taking out more debt.

    I have already downloaded a few documents from 'cramsessions' website. Where can I go to find out certification routes/exams and study guides etc info. I had a quick look on Microsoft site and it is very confusing. Everything seems to be shrouded in mystery. What I basically need to know is where do I start. Is there a set route or can one take any exam. What comes first or is that relative to what exams you can pass.

    Thanks once again.

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