1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

New and confused

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by OnFire, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. OnFire

    OnFire Nibble Poster

    79
    8
    27
    Hi all,

    After 10 years of messing around in dead end jobs I have decided to do what I always wanted to do and get into IT. I'm currently off sick at the moment recovering from a motorcycle accident so I wanna start studying asap while I have the time.

    I have had Computeach around here and their quote for CompTIA A+ and MCSE is.......£4700. I only wish they would tell you the price earlier in the meeting so I can save on a teabag, and show him the door.

    So I have decided to self study. This is the plan for the route I want to take in terms of exams:

    CompTIA A+
    70-270
    70-290
    70-291
    70-293
    70-294
    70-298
    70-299

    Ultimately looking for a career in PC/Network support, starting at the bottom in hopefully a helpdesk.

    Just for a bit of my background nearly all of my PC knowledge is self taught in my own time. Built around 20+ computers for family and friends, set up home networks, raid arrays, bios editing and flashing, overclocking, registry editing and played a hell of a lotta games. Also did a year course of Pascal programming at college but not really looking at the programming side as I dont beleive it have the same prospects of "looking busy when your not".

    So then, just a few questions:

    1. I'm under the impression employers would like to see security qualifications too, would I be best adding CompTIA Security+ exam to my list or is there a better one to take, perhaps Microsoft based?

    2. Is my list correct to earn the MCSE with a view to a networking/pc support role?

    3. How do the certificates work, i.e once I have done one exam, like 70-290, am I then a MCP? If so how many do you take for a MCSA. And more so, do you get an extra certificate at the end of the seven exams to say your a MCSE, or is it just accepted that if you have seven, then you are one.

    4. Any links or ideas to what materials you guys use/used to study, have just ordered the Sybex 3rd edition A+ guide but at a loss as to what else to use in addition, and for the MCSE.

    5. Sorry I know I say a few questions, finally......how do the exam vouchers work, I looked at Examvouchers.com and they quote $ for the discounts, still ok to use here? And how do you book an exam using the discount vouchers.

    So many thanks in advance to anyone that can help and great forum btw. 8)
     
    Certifications: See Signature
    WIP: None....at last!!
  2. Phil
    Honorary Member

    Phil Gigabyte Poster

    1,680
    7
    87
    Hi OnFire, welcome to Certforums. In answer to your questions

    1. The chances are, if you're lucky / persistent enough, you'll land a job in IT while you're doing your first few Certs. I'd say get started then tailor the exams to the way you find your career going.

    2. To be honest I'm not too familiar with the 2003 track exam numbers so I'm not sure. Somebody who is following that track will probably be along shortly

    3. Yup, you get MCP after one exam along with a certificate, credit card style Microsoft ID thingy and a badge. You get the same for each major milestone - MCSA & MCSE. Keep at it long enough and you end up with a folder full :)

    4. If you're going the Self study route then do as you have done for the A+, grab a study guide of your choice and see if you like their style. I used the MS guides, others will tell you they prefer Sybex, it's all down to personal choice in the end. As for other materials, the internet is great with a lot of guides, white papers and of course Certforums :D Microsoft Technet is a fantastic resource. You're also going to need a lab, a pretty good space saving way of doing that iss to use virtual machine software such as VMware or MS Virtual PC, take a look at our Virtual Computing forum for further info on them.

    5. Ummmmm sorry, don't know, never used them.

    HTH
    Phil
     
    Certifications: MCSE:M & S MCSA:M CCNA CNA
    WIP: 2003 Upgrade, CCNA Upgrade
  3. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    13,493
    179
    287
    Ohmigosh! That's a lot of questions for one sitting. :blink :biggrin

    I don't know if I can give you definitive answers to all of them but worry not...the rest of the team will be jumping in any time now.

    1. Do you have an interest in Security? Don't take a job or design a career path based on what's popular or what makes the most money. At least don't make those your only criteria. Design your career path on what your interests are and what you are good at. Also, you have time to make that decision later if need be. Your first cert is the A+ and depending on your experience, learning style and a variety of other factors, that should keep you busy for a bit.

    2. You don't need a full fledged MCSE or MCSA just to support PCs. In fact, you will likely find it impossible to complete your MCSA/E cert path if you don't also factor in getting some real world IT experience while you are studying. As far as your questions about the certification path, I assume you've already been to Microsoft's site and looked it up. You might want to try Frequently Asked Questions about MCSE.

    3. If you pass any of the MCSA/E cert exams you are an MCP. As I understand it, the actual certificate will arrive by snail mail at some later time, but you get a computer print out of your test score saying you passed (hopefully) right on the spot. As far as the MCSA, here's the MCSA Home Page at Microsoft to answer those questions. I have no idea how the whole certificate thing works when you have achieved an MCSA or MCSE.

    4. Links? There must be millions. Let's start with the A+ and work up from there. Trying to give you all of the information for the entire MCSE path at once would be overwhelming. First off, have you looked at our A+ forum? Puruse the forum and explore the various threads. They might shed some light on the subject and answer some of your questions. Also, don't forget to visit Comptia's A+ Certification site. A lot of your questions can be answered right there.

    5. I don't have any test voucher info relative to the UK. I only have This site that might help.

    I hope that some of the above is useful to you. Like I said, first things first. Concentrate on your first cert and work up from there. Otherwise, you'll end up feeling overwhelmed by the whole process. BTW, welcome to CF. Please take a moment to go up to the New Members Forum and tell us a bit about yourself. Cheers.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  4. OnFire

    OnFire Nibble Poster

    79
    8
    27
    Thanks for the reply guys, really helped a lot.

    I am going to focus purely on the A+ first, and ideally hope to take the exams next month. As not working right now will be putting in a lot of hours of study 8+ hours per day as I'm so bored sat around recovering.

    Have been having a quick look for entry level IT jobs and I'm a bit scared since alot require 2 years plus experience.

    Thanks for the MS virtual PC tip, I was going to use an old ide harddrive to set up a lab but the MS way may be easier.

    Ta Ant.
     
    Certifications: See Signature
    WIP: None....at last!!
  5. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    13,493
    179
    287
    Just an add on to what Phil said (I was still typing my response when he posted), for the A+ it would help if you had one or two older PCs around you could play with. I don't know how much experience you have playing around in the guts of a box, but it helps if you can actually, install various components and the like. I never used the Sybex book when I was studying for my A+ but it probably has a labs section that will help you get some hands on experience.

    We have a Virtual Computing forum here at CertForums. I use VMWare Workstation and it is really handy for creating virtual machines and networks, so I think it would be ideal for studying for the MCSE.

    Keep in mind, you will still need all of the OS software to create the VMs and you will need a host machine with sufficient HDD space and RAM to run two (or more) VMs at one time. Visit the Virtual Computing forum to get a better feel for how it all works.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  6. Phil
    Honorary Member

    Phil Gigabyte Poster

    1,680
    7
    87
    :D Just to add to Trip's last post, for the OS software you can get hold of trials from MS which are fully functional but time limited to 180 days, plenty of time to build and break. Great for studying.
     
    Certifications: MCSE:M & S MCSA:M CCNA CNA
    WIP: 2003 Upgrade, CCNA Upgrade
  7. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

    7,796
    71
    224
    As for resources, this place is one of the best. If we can't solve your problems or answer your questions, then we can usually point you in the right direction.

    Oh, and welcome to the forum.:D
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685
  8. OnFire

    OnFire Nibble Poster

    79
    8
    27
    Hey all,

    Its been around 3 1/2 years ago since I first posted here and just wanted to drop by and say hello and update you on developments since this thread. Also just say thanks for all the advice given, more so regarding self study.

    Since this thread, I did self study and completed the A+ exam. From there, I looked for entry level IT positions but was completely out of luck, not even getting an interview.

    Instead I started a job as an office manager, as well as doing general IT work for the dept I worked for. This same company had an outsourced IT support company of which, after a year of working there, I met them and they enquired why our dept never had any IT requests. I told them about some of the work I had been doing and they offered me a job on the spot, at a lower salary to be a field based IT engineer.

    I took the job and stayed with them for a year, gained my MCSA whilst I was there. After this, due to personal reasons I quit and lived in the States for 6 months. Didnt work whilst there, but completed my MCSE in my spare time.

    On moving back to the UK, I got another field based engineer position with a good salary and company car. This only lasted for 3 months before I was offered a position I had applied for 3 months earlier as a server admin, same salary, no car, but funded exams, etc.

    I started this position and thats what I'm doing at the moment. I have completed my CCA, VCP and Security+ since being here and I'm on my way to Citrix CCEA. The salary aint great, I had hardly any admin rights yet.....but the hours are good, working from home half and half.

    So there you have it!
     
    Certifications: See Signature
    WIP: None....at last!!
  9. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

    3,081
    70
    171
    Sounds like you really went to town on it! Congratulations on all you have achieved! :)

    Wish I could work at home... *mumbles*

    Qs
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  10. Big_nath

    Big_nath Kilobyte Poster

    397
    8
    44
    WOW, that is great. I haven't been in IT long and hope to of acheived all you have in 3 1/2 years!
     
    Certifications: MCP, MCSA, MCSA:M, MCSE, MCTS
    WIP: A few
  11. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

    3,477
    121
    184
    Good for you !

    Just shows what you can achieve if you stick at IT (pardon the pun !) :biggrin
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  12. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    13,493
    179
    287
    OnFire, if anyone but the topic starter had resurrected a 3 1/2 year old thread, I'd have slapped them. Glad to get your report on how your IT pursuits have worked out for you. Don't wait another 3 1/2 years to post again. Welcome back. :)

    -Trip
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  13. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    Congrats!

    Don't be a stranger!
     
    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!
  14. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

    1,562
    24
    79
    OnFire,
    Good determination. Many people wouldn’t have stuck with it.
     

Share This Page

Loading...