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This certificate business is to confusing.. help a brother out here

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by Juelz, May 22, 2013.

  1. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    Q. I want to get into 1st Line Support, what Microsoft cert should I take and can it be done through use of a book? I am also considering the comptia a+, but was hoping to get my a+ and a good MS cert.. is there a cert that MS does that is good for 1st line support but doesnt expire?
     
    Certifications: MTA Windows Fundamentals, ITIL Foundation, Mac Integration 10.12
    WIP: MTA Networking Fundamentals
  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Certification isn't really about getting a foot in the door, it's about proving your experience, that saying I would probably look towards the Comptia and perhaps the ITIL Foundation exam (ITIL will give you an understanding of why things are done a specific way). If you're going to go for a Microsoft exam then go for an MTA exam rather than an MCTS exam, it's an entry level exam rather than one there to prove your abilities.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  3. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    Thanks do you have any idea how much MTA costs? and any recommended study material (home based)
     
    Certifications: MTA Windows Fundamentals, ITIL Foundation, Mac Integration 10.12
    WIP: MTA Networking Fundamentals
  4. B33 ENN

    B33 ENN Nibble Poster

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    If you are in the UK taking them privately, £76 per exam. I'm using the official MOAC books by Wiley (put "Wiley MTA" into Google) and they are short but expensive. I'm on my second one (Server Administrator Fundamentals) and I would say the quality of the material is adequate, but in places not written or organised particularly well.

    It's not too bad for me as most of the subjects and concepts are already very familiar, but for the less aquainted learner, I would recommend backing them up with internet research on particular areas if you find the book doesn't explain things well.

    There are alternative books available under the Sybex brand, easy to search up on Amazon if you use the exam name. There is also extra study material available on the Certiport MTA site, such as PDF downloads under Student Study Guides.
     
    Certifications: ECDL, ECDL Expert | Cisco ITE | CompTIA Strata, A+ | Microsoft MTA Operating System, MTA Server Administration | CCNA Exploration
    WIP: CompTIA Network+ | Microsoft MCSA Windows 7, Server 2012 | Cisco CCENT, CCNA
  5. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    dont you only need to take one exam to get the MTA cert though? Maybe I didnt read the info correctly on the MS site...
     
    Certifications: MTA Windows Fundamentals, ITIL Foundation, Mac Integration 10.12
    WIP: MTA Networking Fundamentals
  6. B33 ENN

    B33 ENN Nibble Poster

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    That's correct. Each exam is a standalone certification for one subject area leading to you getting an individual MTA certification for that subject.

    There are three groups of certification paths, Infrastructure, Database and Developer, and you can choose to do exams from any you like, in any order you want, depending on what interests you.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
    Certifications: ECDL, ECDL Expert | Cisco ITE | CompTIA Strata, A+ | Microsoft MTA Operating System, MTA Server Administration | CCNA Exploration
    WIP: CompTIA Network+ | Microsoft MCSA Windows 7, Server 2012 | Cisco CCENT, CCNA
  7. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    Thanks for all your help few last questions... I want to get into tech support what MTA exam should I take? Im hoping an MTA combined with comptia a+ and possibly another cert combined with some work exp will get me into an entry level support role.
     
    Certifications: MTA Windows Fundamentals, ITIL Foundation, Mac Integration 10.12
    WIP: MTA Networking Fundamentals
  8. buddoggin

    buddoggin New Member

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    I would start with the CompTIA A+ and go from there. If you are new to IT, the A+ will be a good foundation and will take some time to get through. By the time you finish you may have a better feel about which direction you want to go.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
  9. B33 ENN

    B33 ENN Nibble Poster

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    Following the "MTA Infrastructure Track" would be most suitable. It comprises four "Fundamentals" exams: Windows OS, Server Admin, Network, and Security. However, I also suggest completing your A+ first as MTA exams are somewhat more specialised than that being focussed on Microsoft's own technology progression path.

    Microsoft originally developed the MTA as an academic level step towards their higher certifications, and still markets them as such even though they've broadened the target audience beyond students since then. So although they are not recognised as "industry standard" in the same way as the A+, they can be considered similarly to CompTIA's "Strata IT Fundamentals" exam.

    As such, they are a perfectly good starting point for anyone, but even more so if you don't have a lot of experience with Windows and IT in general, because they give you a comprehensive overview of the various systems and technologies without going into too much depth for a relative beginner. They should help you develop your understanding and gain confidence, but you will need to fortify your learning with as much practical work as you can.

    In terms of whether this will be enough for employment in 1st line support, I'd have to defer to members with more experience to give an opinion on that, but from what I've read it seems to vary a lot among employers and regions.
     
    Certifications: ECDL, ECDL Expert | Cisco ITE | CompTIA Strata, A+ | Microsoft MTA Operating System, MTA Server Administration | CCNA Exploration
    WIP: CompTIA Network+ | Microsoft MCSA Windows 7, Server 2012 | Cisco CCENT, CCNA
  10. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    Thanks again, another question has now sprung to mind (sorry) say I complete all the exams in one track.. will that get me anything better than an MTA or will I just have several MTA certs?
     
    Certifications: MTA Windows Fundamentals, ITIL Foundation, Mac Integration 10.12
    WIP: MTA Networking Fundamentals
  11. B33 ENN

    B33 ENN Nibble Poster

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    So far as I know, completing a set doesn't grant you an additional qualification - so, as you said, you'll have several individual certs.
     
    Certifications: ECDL, ECDL Expert | Cisco ITE | CompTIA Strata, A+ | Microsoft MTA Operating System, MTA Server Administration | CCNA Exploration
    WIP: CompTIA Network+ | Microsoft MCSA Windows 7, Server 2012 | Cisco CCENT, CCNA
  12. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    Right been doing some thinking but abit unsure if what I want to do is worthy. Im going to first self study comptia a+ THEN move onto a MS cert! Now my only real confusion is which MS cert to get, keeping in mind I want to get into firstline tech support. Only other problem bothering me is how quickly MS certs become retired I think I wont be going for my a+ till DEC13 tbh and plan to get a relevant MS cert in 2014.. if you could give me any info on what type of MS cert I need that would be great.
     
    Certifications: MTA Windows Fundamentals, ITIL Foundation, Mac Integration 10.12
    WIP: MTA Networking Fundamentals
  13. Chief

    Chief Bit Poster

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    I've actually gained a lot of appreciation for CompTIA since the Navy twisted my arm and made me do them. A+ is a good start. You could probably get started at a computer rental company, or pretty much any place with some sort of a service department like a frys electronics or something... and reinforce what you've learned. Then follow what catches your interest. I went networking and server administration. It's a big wide world of many opportunities though.
     
    Certifications: MCSE (2003), MSTS Vista, S+, N+, A+, CCA (Metaframe), MCSE (NT4)
    WIP: MCSA (2008/2012), CCA (XenApp 6.5, XenServer 6), CCNA (Not sure, but probably +Security)
  14. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    The only problem with CompTIA over here in the UK is that hardly anyone knows of them.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  15. B33 ENN

    B33 ENN Nibble Poster

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    Besides the marketing, the reality is CompTIA A+ has always been very Windows centric, and I think things will become a lot clearer for you after you've achieved your A+, so I wouldn't think too far ahead about MS certification options yet.

    Until recently, they've been realistic about keeping certs available for their technologies that are still widely in use. They've started killing off the previous generation prematurely this time in an effort to force their latest rebranding drive onto the market, as well as build pressure for the new OS launch. While this affects people studying the older ones right now, or who are better aquainted with them in the real world, and wish to certify before the deadlines, it won't really affect you. You'll find by the time you are experienced enough to think about the higher certs, the new ones will be the only established route, and should be around for some time.
     
    Certifications: ECDL, ECDL Expert | Cisco ITE | CompTIA Strata, A+ | Microsoft MTA Operating System, MTA Server Administration | CCNA Exploration
    WIP: CompTIA Network+ | Microsoft MCSA Windows 7, Server 2012 | Cisco CCENT, CCNA

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