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time to get some certs..

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by steph746, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. steph746

    steph746 Bit Poster

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    I've been working in Help Desk Support for about 7 years and I would like to actually get some certifications to further my career and put on my resume. I don't want to do Help Desk forever and I'm not sure exactly what path to take.

    I'm a bit overwhelmed by all of the certifications out there. It seems that perhaps an MCSA is a good first step and then MCSE? What about certs like CCNA or COMPTia? Basically I'm not sure where to start.

    Many years back I got an A+ certification and an MCP (Windows NT though) :)

    Thanks for any advice you can give me to make myself more marketable.
     
  2. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

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    Depends what you work in and the range of technology you work in. Ill assume it will be Windows / Server 2008 and with seven years you will pretty experianced.

    I would certify in what you do firstly by getting 70-680 / 685 leading to MS Enterprise Desktop Support Tech. From here depending on if you want to go down networking or ms route you could do either MCSA Server 2008 or CCNA. Perhaps both.

    For the 'softer' skills I would look at ITIL Foundation first then perhaps Prince 2 Foundation if your from the UK and want to get involved in projects. You could probably do either of these exams with a week or two of self study.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), PGc, MCTS:Win 7, MCSA W7/MCITP EDST, ITIL Foundation, Prince 2 Foundation, C&G: Web Design, MOS 07: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook.
  3. steph746

    steph746 Bit Poster

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    Thank you for your reply. I thought the help desk certification was discontinued and only covered XP? Does it make sense to pursue that or does just going for MCSA seem better.

    I like your suggestions about project management certifications as well. I'm currently based in Japan but maybe moving to the States.

    I'm really not sure what direction I will go from here. Could be network or project management. I just thought that not sitting back and waiting I decide but to get some certifications on my resume would be the best thing to do while I also job search (I am currently working short term migration projects).,.

    I've been thinking too of getting into teaching down the road too...

    Thanks again for any further help/suggestions you can provide...
     
  4. RichyV

    RichyV Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Hi,

    no, there will always be Certs for Desktop technologies.

    Both Vista & Win7 have Certs available and even XP has the (non-MCDST) MCP certs available.
    They are a very good starting point for MS Certs dependent upon which you think you will be working with.

    If you need any further info, just drop me a line or post on here...

    HTH
     
    Certifications: B.Sc.(Hons), MBCS. MCP (271,272), MCDST, MCTS (680), MCITP:EDST7, MCSA:WIN7, MCPS, MCNPS
    WIP: 70-686, then onto MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure via MCSA: Server 2012...
  5. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Ha! I was in Japan too. Sagami area, not too far from the mountains.
    Ah, I wanna go back... how about a job swap!

    If you want to teach, the CTT+ is a good way in. With it, you can apply for MCT or Adobe Trainer status to teach whatever you're certified in.
    While you're there, if you've had or get the chance, do some ESL teaching - even if it's just voluntary. The one bit of experience the best prepared me to teach entry-to-mid level IT (real IT, not the MS office training they have to give in schools!) was teaching English in Japan. If you can teach English - with all our phrasal verbs, irregular verbs, articles, and our mashed up spelling systems - to someone, and make it all start to make sense... teaching IT is a walk in the park.

    Ganbatte!
     
    Certifications: A+; Network+; Security+, CTT+; MCDST; 4 x MTA (Networking, OS, Security & Server); MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Support; MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Administrator; MCITP - Server Administrator; MCSA - Server 2008; MCT; IOSH; CCENT
    WIP: CCNA; Server 2012; LPIC; JNCIA?
  6. steph746

    steph746 Bit Poster

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    What is the exam and certification that you would recommend starting with? I'd probably want the latest and go with Windows 7...thinking also of doing ITIL foundation. Are there at study books you recommend for either?

    Thanks.
     
  7. RichyV

    RichyV Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Hi,

    for Win7 definitely 70-680 MCTS:Windows 7, Configuring

    Take a look here: MS Learning 70-680

    I'd suggest the MS Press Book even though the contents are rather 'dry' and it has several mistakes, as this will also give you a disk with practice tests and a 15% off voucher for the exam. The mistakes are not major and are covered in a thorough errata on the web. A video course may also be useful and Professor Messer offers a free video course on his website.

    HTH.
     
    Certifications: B.Sc.(Hons), MBCS. MCP (271,272), MCDST, MCTS (680), MCITP:EDST7, MCSA:WIN7, MCPS, MCNPS
    WIP: 70-686, then onto MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure via MCSA: Server 2012...
  8. steph746

    steph746 Bit Poster

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    This looks like a good start. Would you say that Windows 7 is probably the way to go? Anything else would soon be outdated?

    I see that this exam leads to MCITP desktop certs. Would you say that I should go for MCITP and then see how things progress and go towards the MCSA?

    Thanks.
     
  9. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Personally, I would say once you've done the 70-680, you should go for the 70-685. You can see from the objectives that there's a fair overlap between the two - from 680's "Configuring Network Connectivity" to 685's "Identifying Cause of and Resolving Networking Issues"; from "Monitoring and Maintaining Systems" to "Managing and Maintaining Systems"; "Configuring Mobile Computing" to "Supporting Mobile Users" - from knowing about something, to supporting it. It feels like a natural progression, and this gives you your first MCITP, the EDST7 (Enterprise Desktop Support Tech)

    An alternative is the 70-686. Combined with the 680, this too would give you an MCITP, but this time EDA (Enterprise Desktop Administrator). In my opinion, this is a tougher route. Perhaps I had a tough question set, but there was some stuff in here that was fairly alien to me. There is some overlap with the 680, but less. This was a skin of the teeth pass for me (scored in the mid 700s IIRC)


    Edit: And just to answer your other questions, yes, go for Windows 7. A lot of companies still use XP, but a lot now seem to have migrated. I don't think going back for an MCDST would help any - especially not when you've been supporting it so long anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
    Certifications: A+; Network+; Security+, CTT+; MCDST; 4 x MTA (Networking, OS, Security & Server); MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Support; MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Administrator; MCITP - Server Administrator; MCSA - Server 2008; MCT; IOSH; CCENT
    WIP: CCNA; Server 2012; LPIC; JNCIA?
  10. steph746

    steph746 Bit Poster

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    Which book exactly do you recommend for the 70-680 exam? I see the Sybex book (October 18th edition) coming up on Amazon. It seems to have decent reviews.
    How do these certification self-study books look/feel on the Kindle or iPad? Would you think it's still better to have the paper version to work with?

    Thanks...
     
  11. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Looking back, don't think I had a book for 680, just the Sybex for the 685/686.
    That was quite good.

    Just to note - a lot of times, if you get the real book, you get a CD with practise tests and an electronic copy anyway. So I tend to buy the real book, and get the .pdf off the CD for my Kindle. Best of both worlds - especially when Kindle versions only tend to be a few pound cheaper.
     
    Certifications: A+; Network+; Security+, CTT+; MCDST; 4 x MTA (Networking, OS, Security & Server); MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Support; MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Administrator; MCITP - Server Administrator; MCSA - Server 2008; MCT; IOSH; CCENT
    WIP: CCNA; Server 2012; LPIC; JNCIA?
  12. steph746

    steph746 Bit Poster

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    Just a quick question about how the certs work. Like you have recommended, I plan to take the 70-680 exam first. If I pass this exam, does this mean I hold an MCTS certification in MCTS: Windows 7, Configuration? Or do I need to pass more exams for that.

    Thank you.
     
  13. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster Forum Leader

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    When you pass the 70-680, you'll hold the MCTS: Windows 7, Configuring certification. You don't need anything else. If it's your first MS certfication, you'll also get an MCP id, and access to the MCP site to download your logos, transcript and such. It'll all be emailed to you.
    I believe each MCTS is associated with its own exam, so when you pass an MCTS exam, you have that certification. These can also be combined into MCITPs.

    If you then pass the 70-685 as well (i.e. such that you have the 680 & the 685) you will also hold the MCITP-EDST7.


    There are other combinations possible (for example, the 680 also counts toward the MCITP-Enterprise Desktop Admin and the MCITP-Enterprise Admin.)This page outlines what you need for each MCITP.
     
    Certifications: A+; Network+; Security+, CTT+; MCDST; 4 x MTA (Networking, OS, Security & Server); MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Support; MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Administrator; MCITP - Server Administrator; MCSA - Server 2008; MCT; IOSH; CCENT
    WIP: CCNA; Server 2012; LPIC; JNCIA?
  14. steph746

    steph746 Bit Poster

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    Thanks again for all of the replies. I know prep time is different for everyone, but I was just wondering about how long it should take to prepare for this exam given about 3 hours of study per day?

    Thanks..
     

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