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Want to work in I.T support - is win 8 easier to leanr than windows 7??

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by shocksl, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. shocksl

    shocksl Byte Poster

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    Okay guys

    About a year ago i contemplated doing Micro Cert for Windows 7 (70-680) in order to get into 1st line support. It was difficult as I found it difficult to understand and learn the different command lines.

    My knowledge is pretty good as an end user and I can find my way around the computer and do basic diagnostics, but not really had any experience using command lines etc as an I.T professional!

    So my question is now that Windows 8 has emerged. Is this cert somewhat easier??? or is it going to be as difficult?? if so I may have another crack at trying to enter into the I.T industry!

    Hope someone can shed some light here.

    thanks.
     
  2. Apoc220

    Apoc220 Byte Poster

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    Hi Shocks,

    I'm sorry that you had difficulty with the Windows 7 certification last time. Out of curiosity, did you actually do the commands on the operating system or did you just read the materials? If you didn't attempt the different tasks for the cert on a computer or virtual machine then it won't help you better understand the materials. Personally I think that even if the Windows 8 cert were easier it would still be worth it to get your windows 7 training out of the way first. The fact of the matter is that windows 8 will likely not make a major impact in the business world. So unless you are planning on being on a call centre for a consumer pc support company then you won't find many places where you will be expected to heavily support windows 8. With that said, Windows 8 is big change from Windows 7 (and XP) but it is still a whole OS. This means that there are just as many (if not more) parts to learn. Just because they have introduced a new UI (user interface) doesn't mean that they have made it any less complicated on the inside.

    I'd HIGHLY recommend learning Windows 7. Check out professor messor in case you haven't (Professor Messer, CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, Linux, Microsoft Certification Training) for his FREE Windows 7 videos. I find it helps viewing someone do something to help reinforce what I have read. And as always, LAB LAB LAB! Best of luck!
     
    Certifications: MCDST
    WIP: 70-680
    shocksl likes this.
  3. FlashDangerpants

    FlashDangerpants Nibble Poster

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    It won't be easier. Also, few companies are interested in deploying Win8 right now. If you get into a support role any time soon it's going to be 90% Win7, 10% WinXP at most places.
     
    Certifications: MCITP Exchange 2010, MCSA Svr 2012
    WIP: Exchange 2013
  4. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    It's going to be as difficult mate. What I have noticed as well is that the exams are highly based on the new features that the exam would bring over the previous OS, in this case 7. So it probably incorporates all that was in Windows 7, plus new stuff.

    Also the Windows 8 uptake has been poor in business. Concentrate on 7, I would. 8 won't be any easier.
     
    shocksl likes this.
  5. shocksl

    shocksl Byte Poster

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    thanks every one.

    appoc220, I didnt really do too much lab work. I just couldnt get my head around how the command lines worked. i.e I couldn't really understand if there's a structure to it. or if it was randomly the way it was (if u know what i mean)!


    basically I have 3 months of revision time. And I have 6 hours a day to spend revising . I dont know if it's possible to get it done in that time.

    Also in addition to the 70-680, I'm assuming theres more certs to learn before i can even think of getting my foot on the ladder? for example i dont think active directory is covered in the 70-680. So i'd struggle probably working in the i.t environment.

    Basically i'm looking for advice on what i need. I am not computer illiterate. I am very good at using them as an end user.
     
  6. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    The command line isn't really necessary to assist users with Windows 7 issues. What particular examples are giving you trouble?

    I will echo what has already been said; Windows 8 will not have been adopted at many places and Windows XP is still very much in use in a lot of businesses. If like you say you know your way around the core basics of using the OS, then perhaps you need to approach certification a little differently. It sounds like your issues are more around the general logic of the software, and so I think the CompTIA A+ would stand you in great stead before tackling the 70-680. 6 hours a day and 3 months is more than enough time to get the basics of the A+ down as well as revise the 680.

    I must emphasise as well, if a book is asking you to do a lab, then do a lab; working in IT is a practical job, and you will only learn by getting hands-on with what you are reading about. Otherwise, it's just words on a page that aren't going to go anywhere.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
    Apoc220 likes this.
  7. RichyV

    RichyV Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Achieving a 'random' certificate of any kind will not help you enter the IT industry in any way.

    What's needed is experience and THEN certification, as MS no longer offer 'starter' certs (other than , I guess, the MTA). sadly , there is no easy.

    Possibly the "easiest" way to pass the Win8 certs are to pass the Win7 ones and then upgrade - but as this exam isn't available yet, it's difficult to say.
    On top of all this, as has been mentioned above, the take up of Win8 is low - even more so within the business community. Having lots of experience in all Client OS's since Win95 (beta), I have to say that I cannot blame them. The choice to move over to Vista burned some businesses, and this is a similar 'upgrade' to the previous OS offering dubious and somewhat strange "advantages", the memory of Vista is still a raw one for some.

    I'd stick to the CompTIA A+ cert that you have been (still are?) studying...

    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...
    shocksl likes this.
  8. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    That to me says Comptia A+ cert. It should get you a foot in the door.

    The problem is with the 680 ... it shows you about 3 or 4 ways of installing Windows in the enterprise, but really speaking everyone I know uses Acronis or Norton Ghost. It's a pain that the Windows 7 certification track is that it depends on knowing all of those 3 ways and the ins and outs. If you struggle with the command line there, you really will struggle with Powershell for the 685.
     
    shocksl likes this.
  9. shocksl

    shocksl Byte Poster

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    thanks so much guys.

    I stuggled with the command line before because I had never done anything like that!

    So would the competia A+ teach me most thing I would probably need in 1st line support? or does that knowledge derive more from the Micrsoft certs? I know it's best to obtain experience, but it isn't that easy to acquire it.

    RichV I did start revising for the competia a while ago, but i stopped and went straight into the financial industry instead! but now I'm having problems getting promotoed due to a satisfied CCJ i have on my file and I have to wait 5 years before that gets removed! so im thinking of changing industries!

    Arroyn, did you mean it will take 3 months each for the comptia and micrsoft cert. or did you mean in total?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I was just reading through some job descriptions. And they were asking for the following skills. Can somebody point out which certs would have these skills more or less covered just in study material standpoint?

    ''As a minimum you should have an understanding of Active Directory, groups and permissions, MS Windows Windows 7 desktop support, Remote Assistance, Remote Desktop, MS Exchange management, Good working knowledge of General IT infrastructure, Basic understanding of IP networking fundamentals''

    I also noticed alot of the job descriptions were asking for knoelwedge on exchange servers. Would a competia A+ and a 70-680 give me a good foundation or understanding on the relavnt knowledge on these required skills?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  10. Apoc220

    Apoc220 Byte Poster

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    Right now I think that 70-680 and the A+ will be a good start for you. The A+ is a vendor-neutral cert that will teach you the basics of troubleshooting hardware and software in addition to other basics. This would be ideal for you to do before the 70-680 since the knowledge you gain from it will make the 70-680 topics a whole lot easier to handle. As for the time it will take for completing the certs, there isn't a set time, to be honest. If you plug away at it and put in the time you may be able to knock out the certs in a couple of months.

    Concepts such as active directory, permissions, exchange management, and networking fundamentals are generally learned on the job in addition to any study you do. The typical progression is that you start on a helpdesk and prove yourself technically and personally. It does no good that you know how to resolve a software issue if you can't communicate properly with a customer. Then once you prove yourself on the helpdesk you get put into desktop support and so on as you gain experience. This progression could take months, or years depending on how hard you work.

    Back to certs, the skills learned in the A+ and the 70-680 will be a very good foundation for you. I'd say that if you want to make your life easy you should go through the A+ curriculum first. Professor Messor also has A+ videos for free on his site. The skills learned on the A+ may be enough to get your foot in the door on a helpdesk. Then you can look at the 70-680 and other client (windows 7/8) certs. After a while working on the client side then you may be ready to get into infrastructure (server management, network management) as you will have gained the experience and the trust of your employer to do so.

    Ultimately the main thing is to remember that you have to crawl before you walk. Focus on the basics and don't get too wound up on advanced concepts or else you may end up being frustrated. You'll get out of this what you put in so just work hard and you should be OK!
     
    Certifications: MCDST
    WIP: 70-680
    shocksl likes this.
  11. FlashDangerpants

    FlashDangerpants Nibble Poster

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    You couldn't plausibly learn anything useful about Exchange without working in an environment where you support it. While the same isn't absolutely true of Active Directory, it's probably a waste of time to pursue that in any detail at this stage.

    A+, N+, Win7 instal/config etc will get you into a job where you will most likely be introduced to those things very quickly though. The things a first line engineer does with those technologies are all pretty simple and you will pick them up in no time flat.

    There's no harm in getting acquainted with the basics by building a test domain on a virtual computer and adding a user account, joining a virtual desktop to the domain etc. But taking on the certs for that sort of thing would be excessive.
     
    Certifications: MCITP Exchange 2010, MCSA Svr 2012
    WIP: Exchange 2013
    shocksl likes this.
  12. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Was a little hammered when I wrote that last night (amazingly coherent, I think!) ... what I should have also said was the 70-680 is almost like the overview of Windows deployment, for real world and in much more depth, you need to look at the 686.

    The long and short of it is probably this: I don't know what sort of money you are on at the moment, but where you are likely aiming for in the IT industry is an entry level job paying probably about 15-18k. Whether it is worth the aggro and potentially a backward step, whether you can do certification and training in the industry you are in and ride out your 5 years (I don't know the rules on the financial services industry are), or whether you want to get out of the industry full stop, is a matter for debate which realistically only you can do.

    HTH
     
    shocksl likes this.
  13. RichyV

    RichyV Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    The spec of that job you posted is *way* above anything you should be looking at, and yes, I completely agree that you should go back to the A+. If the concepts within it are too much, then IT support probably isn't for you... You don't necessarily have to take or pass the exam (although, obviously, this would help) but you would certainly need to grasp everything within it. Realistically, I'd stop looking at any MS certs at the moment.

    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...
    shocksl likes this.
  14. shocksl

    shocksl Byte Poster

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    thank you guys sooo much guys that was some very good advice there! great insight!

    Ade18 , well my ideal wage after 2 years of working in the I.T industry would be something between 22k- 28k . if thats possible then it's worth it for me.

    RichV, the spec I posted was for jobs after I build some solid knowledge via the A+ and 70-680. Would it be feasable enough for someone with that kind of knowledge to apply for jobs like that? The job advertised was only for 17k.
     
  15. buy_my_cookies

    buy_my_cookies Bit Poster

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    hi,
    I agree with the others start with A+ it gives you a great foundation and eases you into studying.

    I was in the same boat as you and decided to do A+ then N+ and after that I was planning to look at MS certs. After i passed the A+ I decided to apply for any IT helpdesk jobs that I saw (never know your luck). And to my supprise I managed to land a 1st line helpdesk job :). So it is possible to get there with just the A+!!

    As a side note (imo) for 1st line jobs its also important to emphasize any soft skills that relate to the job e.g. customer service, organisational, communication etc etc. I think these really helped me land a IT job.
     
    Certifications: BTEC national diploma in computing.
    WIP: N+
  16. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    You say only 17K but you don't mention where the job is or where you are based?

    Salary expectations differ based on where you live, for example I live in Colchester but there is no way on earth I could earn the money I am if I tried taking a role based in Colchester so I have to commute to the other side of London to do that.

    Unfortunately the days of IT being the best paid job are long gone, people shouldn't be getting into IT thinking they are going to be reaping the rewards after a couple of years because that isn't the case these days.

    2 years into IT 'could' earn you 22k, if you were in the right location working for the right company, it's also likely to earn you 20k with little prospects of promotion and long hours. These days it's a market definitely more swung to the side of the employer than the employee with regards to salary and rates (more people out of work and willing to take lower pay).
     
    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).
    shocksl likes this.
  17. shocksl

    shocksl Byte Poster

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    Thanks both of you for hat great advice!!! I am definitely willing to relocate. Moving down south is something I'd do in the near future! I am based in Leeds, west yorkshire, hence the job was advertised in this region.

    I think my question is more to the fact that would an A+, and 70-680 give me sufficient knowledge to do a job something like that I mentioned or atleast understand the basic terminologies? If it's the case, I'd deffo try doing the studies. if not then I dont think I will persue with this career path as it seems a long long way.

    here's the job description once again. once I complete the studies would applying for jobs like this be something I 'should' be able to?

    ''As a minimum you should have an understanding of Active Directory, groups and permissions, MS Windows Windows 7 desktop support, Remote Assistance, Remote Desktop, MS Exchange management, Good working knowledge of General IT infrastructure, Basic understanding of IP networking fundamentals''

    Also when working in entry level do they give you some formal training before starting the job? I do have the soft skills, as I have worked for Banks and had direct contact with customers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  18. Apoc220

    Apoc220 Byte Poster

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    I stand corrected. Having a look at some of the previous posts, the 70-680 would actually not be as valuable for you as probably the 70-685. The 70-680 and 70-686 are more geared towards creating/deploying images as the 70-685 I personally feel is more akin to the old school MCDST in teaching you the basics of supporting Windows. The A+ will give you basic skills that will be of immediate use to you working with windows in a helpdesk. If you don't have prior experience with IT in a professional setting then you will only GAIN from doing the A+ at the very least. The problem at hand is the fact that Microsoft no longer provides a TRULY entry-level cert option like the MCDST once did. They have the MTA (Microsoft Technical Associate) option, but it doesn't compare with the level of detail that the MCDST had. Sorry if this is confusing, but I guess the jist of it is that your best option is to start with the A+, I think. It will provide you with fundamentals that you will use in IT regardless of the role you are in. From helpdesk to sysadmin the A+ has skills that will apply. As for formal training, generally speaking helpdesk is on-the-job training. You handle what you can and whatever you don't know you either google or ask a colleague for assistance. You'll find that you will generally be spending a lot of time on google learning what you don't know how to do on the job. It's part of the challenge and the fun of it all. Hope that makes sense. Stick with the A+ and go from there!
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
    Certifications: MCDST
    WIP: 70-680
    shocksl likes this.
  19. RichyV

    RichyV Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Hi shocksl,

    I don't wish to come over harsh, so apologies if this reads as such. Sometimes it's difficult to avoid this when reading the written word.

    You have been a member of CF for 18 months. And, pretty much from day 1, you have asked the same "Wiil I be able to do this job", "What will be expected of me working in this IT role" & "Will this certificate get me that job" type of questions.

    To be fair, that's what the forum is about, asking questions and getting others with more experience in defferent areas to answer them. Which is what the more experienced members in here do as they are here to help. So I am not "question-bashing" by any means.

    My problem is that during this time, you have variously started and presumably stopped, both the A+ and 70-680 (apologies if I've missed others). You don't seem to have actually got anywhere near completing the study and booking the exams. Of course, this has happened to others too. Other life-events take over (it's happening to me at this very moment as I am awaiting some permanency in a job role as moving around is having adverse effects on my study, so I have paused it for the time-being). But it does seem to me that you really haven't got the motivation to complete any IT study, your last post again pointed to this when you said:

    The point being that it will always be "a long way off" if all you are going to do is ask questions. You have to study to take the exam and you have to take it to pass it - there just seems no commitment here, just endless questions.

    The answer I would have to give is that No certificate will ever get anyone a job. It is always the certification that is there to prove ones knowledge through experience. I will though add that the A+ is really all that anyone with no experience at all of working within IT should contemplate.

    I'm sure that you are an enthusiastic computer user and, as such, somewhat above the general day-to-day user. But that isn't going to get you a job, even more so when you seem to have the attitude of "If I'm not guaranteed a job at the end of it, I'm not going to study". There are NO guarantees anymore, even for someone with an MCSE and the associated many years of experience.

    You may want to seriously look at what you want out of IT - you are certainly, at a mimimum, going to have to work through the A+ syllabus and make sure that all of the subjects therein hold no fear for you. Have you looked at trying to volunteer somewhere to get some experience, otherwise even a base-level IT job will continue to be out of your reach.

    I am only trying to help, as I don't wish to be complicit in you wasting time when you could be happier persuing other avenues.

    We are all here to help and will continue to do so, so please don't take any of this as a slight on yourself. In fact, feel free to ingnore every word, but I do feel that you may wish to take a step-back and think about if IT sudy is really for you.

    Again, my sincere apologies if anything here come's over harsh, as it isn't meant to be in any way. I wish you well in whatever you decide to do...
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
    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...
    nXPLOSi and shocksl like this.
  20. shocksl

    shocksl Byte Poster

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    Thanks for the great help here. Most people are saying that after A+ 70 -680 is the way to go. and the rest of the micro certs should be done after...

    - - - Updated - - -


    tbh I am quite glad you wrote that, so thanks. It has given me a chance to clear a few things up. I.T is something I've always wanted to get into. but I had the wrong approach in terms of certs, as i tried doing the 70-680 without prior any prior knowledge. consequently I realised the best route for me was to do the A+ (about a year ago). I read a few chapters and found it pretty easy to understand and instantly i could tell the huge difference in level between the 2 certs! however during that time I landed myself in a financial job. I tried applying for better positions in the industry gearing more towards my knowledge. I got the interviews with ease (even now receiving emails). But unfortunately I've ended up with a CCJ from a university I attended a few years ago, subsequently meaning I can't pass a 'fit and proper' test which is obligatory to provide face to face advice set by the Financial Services Authority. I am now more or less stuck in a dead end job in Sales and customer service for financial products until my CCJ is removed from my credit file! so there's no progression there for me until another few years! I'm not sure I want to wait that long! hence I am now exploring the I.T industry again.

    I think my main question should really be could an A+ give me enough knowledge for the job I looked at. I know passing the interview etc is down to the indvidual. I believe i have the soft skills such a Customer service etc, as I have done it for many years. My only concern is my technical knowledge. If the A+ gives me enough knowledge to atleast understand the basics of a help desk role. Then I am willing to give it a go. I ask this because i have never done I.T and I have no idea what level tech skills a 1st line support agent posses. So if someone can give me a breakdown of the job description and if an A+ will give me an insight of them skills then there shouldn't be really anything to stop me. if I am fortunate to land in a job i can continue to learn and progress and do more certs.

    I hope you understand the dilemma i'm in. I'm probs earning abut 19k atm and if i had not had the CCJ , I would have easily hit the mid to high 20's as a starting point. I am willing to drop my salary down to 14-15k to start in a new industry where I can start to immediately progress. I have 3 months to utilise for revision, before my hours etc change. 5-6 hours 5 days a week. I want to make sure I use this time effectively. So thats why i have so many questions. I want to feel that if I put maximum effort in trying to understand the concepts in A + , once completion I should feel ready and comfortable to apply helpdesk jobs with sufficient tech knowledge.
     

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