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Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by DiscoDave, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. DiscoDave

    DiscoDave Bit Poster

    Hi Everyone,

    Just as a bit of background I grauduate this year with a degree in Computing and have secured a job as a IT Systems Administrator for a small company in York (about 200 employees, 7 servers etc). I've spoken to my boss before about taking the MCSE/MCSA and has mentioned possible funding for taking the course.

    Prior to this employment I have a years work experience working in a first/second line support role working in a Microsoft environment.

    Now, I've never been a fan of boot camps or highly compacted training courses. What I would like to do is learn at home in my own time on evenings and weekends. So, if this is the case, is taking the course just a matter of getting the study material (books etc), software (I have acquired legetimate copies of Windows server through the university - MSDNAA) and taking the exams at a registered microsoft exam center?

    If anyone has done similar to this, can you please tell me of your experiences with this style of learning.

  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    That is exactly what you do. Most of us here recommend self study because it's cheaper, you can take your time, you can't rip yourself off and it's cheaper :D

    For Microsoft exams you take them at your nearest prometric centre (visit there web site to find your nearest one) usually in the MS press books you get discount vouchers and trial versions of some OSs. You can use the discount vouchers to get money of the exams.

    Welcome to CF :)
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

    Hi and welcome to Cert Forums!

    To give you an idea of my own study methodology, I have written guides for the MCDST, Vista Client OS & Server 2003 exam.

    The later of which can be found here http://www.certforums.co.uk/forums/thread27970.html

    Hope that helps a little :D
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5
  4. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    Hi & welcome to CF :)

    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
  5. Dullage

    Dullage Byte Poster

    Hi Disco Dave :p Great name, welcome :D
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: Network +
  6. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

    Welcome to CF!! Congrats on that job role - graduating too and 1 yr support but no job lined up so i guess you can consider yourself lucky! I have done my MCSA though! Right to get you going there is a lot of information in these forums - many people have written reports back for each exam (270,290,291) for the MCSA exams i did for example. My suggestion is find out what OS is being run at the company since you will be working there - if its vista do the 70-620 exam and if its xp do the 70-270 exam those are a good start. I would sit down with the boss's and maybe discuss if you really need the MCSE or will the MCSA be sufficient - then maybe you could squeeze a CCNA in there too to get more qualifications for you working knowledge (assuming you will be running Cisco routers and switches!!) WOW i really wish i was in your position! :biggrin

    good luck! 8)
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  7. DiscoDave

    DiscoDave Bit Poster

    Thanks for all the replies so far guys :)


    Yeah I guess it was a very lucky role to be put in, I mean, the company is small, only about 150 employees or so and about 7 servers but once the handover is done I'll be the only IT guy there so I'll deal with everything from 1st line to network and VPN mantanience etc etc, good experience methinks considering my age (22)

    The Servers at the site I work at are only Windows Server 2000 (If it isn't broken don't fix it..) However, these servers have run out of warrenty so there are talks about getting them all replaced. Workstations are running XP Pro.

    The networking environment is very mixed, including 3com, Cisco, Netgear layer 2/3 switches and routers with SonicWall hardware firewalls.

    Say I persued getting the MCSA qualification and further down the line I decide that I want to get the MCSE. Can I "upgrade" my MCSA to a MCSE? Or would I have to take every exam for the MCSE?

    Thanks for the warm welcomes and advice.

  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    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!
  9. DiscoDave

    DiscoDave Bit Poster

    Thanks :)
  10. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    The *only* IT guy? :eek: I take it you have some sub-contracted support as well? I mean if two of the servers went up in smoke tonight you would be fine restoring the servers from tape right? :blink

    Sounds like a good job though, what sonicwalls are you using btw?
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  11. DiscoDave

    DiscoDave Bit Poster

    Well I actually work for an outsourcing company, so the company is a client. When i need help i can contact my co workers for help.

    It does feel weird though as I have a lot more responsibility compared to if i got a support job for a large company. I previously had a interview for another company, a large one. They said that I wouldn't even touch any of the servers.

    Can't remember which sonicwalls, they're quite recent though, and high spec.
  12. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Ahh, so you are the on-site guy. Be prepared to get bombared with questions from users. :biggrin

    Do you know which OS? Enhanced is much more difficult than standard but has way more features.
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010

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