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OU MS courses

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by bluechip, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. bluechip

    bluechip New Member

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    Hi

    I'm new to MS certification and am trying to find out more about it and what it entails.

    I am signed up to do a Foundation degree in Computing with the OU. I signed up mainly because I am interested in the Programming modules but I just realised that part of my course is a compulsory unit that requires MS certification. The courses I have to choose from are:

    MS70-621 OR
    MS70-620 OR
    MS70-270 *OR
    MS70-640 AND MS70-642 OR
    MS70-680;

    The OU gives you 30 credit points for having one of these certificates (plus you pay them £80).

    I'm just wondering how to go about getting certified in one of these courses and which you would recommend? Will the Vista ones go out of date now that Windows 7 is here? I think the XP course is non-viable as the OU won't accept it from next year so it would have to be Vista or Windows.

    Also what is the cheapest level of kit I would need (eg. would a cheapo PC be enough or do you need something fancy?). Is it the kind of thing you could self-study and pass (I learn best through self-directed learning rather than a classroom but I need to be competent enough to pass).

    Do you have to buy professional Windows 7 etc.?

    Also I was reading a review on Amazon of a Self-Directed Book for these MS certificates and one of the reviewers said something about needing two PCs to pass the exam. Is this the case?

    Also how long would you say it takes to learn the info and study for one of these exams?

    Sorry for all the questions - I have grown up using another OS so I don't really know much about MS or Windows but I'm hoping to learn more.

    Thanks
    Bluechip :D
     
  2. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    I would do the windows 7 one thats a definate, you do not need to buy windows 7 as you can get evaluation versions either from microsofts website or through the 70-680 mspress books (eval versions can be reinstalled as many times as you like). If your laptop or pc is of decent spec you could build a virtual lab for the 680, a computer with about 3 gig's of ram would be able to have 2 win7 vm's on it quite happily, the experience may bit a tad slow but hey it'll be free.

    You'll want to use something like suns virtualbox or ms virtual pc so you do not get bogged down to much in the configuration side of things. Any thing further than a 680 study I would highly recommend buying at least one vmware esxi capable server (got my 2 dell sc440s for about 250 notes new, I've seen them on ebay go for about 80 quid so again not too much dosh is required).

    I registered some time ago for the effectively free 30 points towards my foundation degree too, the "course" opens in November so bring on the 30 points for no effort :)
     
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
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  3. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    It's not just the case of just having the MS certs, you have to have three things in order to get the credit:

    1. Specified prerequisite Open University study (for the MT127, it's either the M150 or T175. For the TM227, it's the T215 or the M255 plus the M257)
    2. The Microsoft Cert &
    3. A statement of relevant practical experience (defined as at least one SFIA task at SFIA level 2) along with the name of a previous or current employer or a chartered computing professional.

    See here & here.

    Alternatively, the OU does the TM128 module on MS Server Technologies, which "prepares" you for the exams, I say "prepares" you as it's an OU course and doesn't include the MS exams. Modey here is one of the tutors for it :)

    -Ken
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
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  4. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I take it that you've gone for one of the 'accreditation of certified practitioner' units (or whatever they call them)?

    It is of course up to you and it depends on your experience, but unless you already hold a certification then there are easier ways of getting 30 points (especially when you consider that there is also the requirement to have passed one of the compulsory OU modules too). I already held 270 so in effect I 'bought' 30 points for £80 and zero time and effort. If you don't hold a cert, you aren't really making your life any easier.

    My personal suggestion would be to look at an alternative short level 1 course to give you the 30 points that you need.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  5. bluechip

    bluechip New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

    I actually have to do the MS certified course for 30 units as it is compulsory for the Foundation degree that I am doing (my funding is contingent on me doing this particular Foundation course). That's why I am asking for some advice about how to get started on studying for the MS certification.

    I have completed the pre-requisite OU M150 module already and am currently doing other OU programming modules so won't be doing the 'MS certified' module for another 1-2 years (by which time hopefully I will be able to get some workbased experience as well). In the meantime I wanted to start doing self study for it so I would be prepared.

    How much time and effort did you feel you needed to complete one of these Certs through self-study and is it a possible route or can you only learn the information required while in the job?

    Are books like these worth investing in or would I be wasting my time?
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/MCTS-Self-Paced-Training-Exam-70-680/dp/0735627088

    Any info is much appreciated as it is all new to me!

    Thanks
    Bluechip
     
  6. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Sorry mate, I don't mean to doubt you as I'm sure that you've looked into this. I've been with the OU for 10 years now, and it's unusual that a single module is a requirement for a qualification. Especially the certified practitioner ones. They are more like converting existing higher education experience into OU points (which of course you can do too) rather than being a course in themselves.

    Unless you have any other restrictions or criteria that you haven't mentioned yet, I can pretty much state with certainty that you don't need an MS certification to pass the OU foundation degree in IT.

    Which OU modules have you already passed?
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  7. bluechip

    bluechip New Member

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    Hi Jonny

    Thanks for your post. I have only done M150 so far and am doing two other 'academic' modules this year.

    I definitely do have to do the MS certified course for the Foundation Computing and its Practice degree (perhaps the IT degree is different). The course site says:

    For this 240-credit foundation degree you require:

    90 credits from the following compulsory modules:
    Level 1 compulsory modules Credits Next start

    Data, computing and information (M150) 30 Feb 2011 FINAL

    Accreditation of Certificated Practitioners 1 (MT127) 30 Nov 2010

    Career development and employability (T122) NEW 30 Nov 2010

    Thanks
    Bluechip
     
  8. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    For the foundation degree in computing and it's practice you need:

    30 points at level 1 compulsory, for which you have M150.
    30 optional level 1, MU123 or T175 or MST121.
    60 compulsory level 2, M255 and M257 and M253.
    30 optional level 2, TM227 or M263 or M256.
    60 work-based 1, MT127 would count as 30 of these, but so would T122 or T121.
    30 work-based 2, T226

    So, not telling you how to go about it for the best - only you know that. Just saying that you could avoid it if you prefer.

    As I said before, it's handy if you already have the cert but can be a real bind if you have to go and get one from scratch. As Ken mentions, you also have to provide a statement of practical experience from an employer - not that I can recall them checking up on mine... :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  9. bluechip

    bluechip New Member

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    Hi Jonny

    Thanks for your post.

    On the OU course site, it says you need 90 compulsory points at level one - 30 points of which has to come from the compulsory course 'Accreditation of Certificated Practitioners 1 (MT127)'. The other compulsory courses are T122 and M150.

    Here's the course site.....

    http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/qualification/g06.htm

    Either way, do you recommend self-study, having done that unit yourself or did you get the training from an employer?

    Thanks
    Bluechip
     
  10. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Use the qualification planner on your studenthome page - or failing that, give the guys at your local centre a call. Most of the literature is hard to work out, but the online tool is excellent.

    As I said before, I already had some certs so I used them the same way you can use partial academic credits towards OU courses.

    I've just posted the requirements, so I'm not sure what you're asking me.

    Send me a PM if you wish to chat... :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD

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