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What to Do?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Gingerbeard, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. Gingerbeard

    Gingerbeard Bit Poster

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    Hi All,

    I have been working in I.T. for 5 years+ now, most of that time has been part-time whilst also doing my manufacturing technician's day job, since March though I now have a full-time I.T. job with the same company.

    I have learned a lot during time, mainly about support, but also about networks and project planning. I don't have a reference to compare my knowledge / experience against but I would like to obtain some certification for a number of reasons.

    1. Formalise my knowledge / Skills
    2. To provide better support to the business
    3. To help with getting a job somewhere else if the need ever arose, my experience locally is that you don't even get your foot in the door without qualifications.

    In terms of supporting the business I'm currently working for its mainly about OS, Server & Network support but also business system administration, I am also expected to project plan new implmentation / changes, also I am responsible for technical purchasing decisions and budgeting. The business will be upgrading our systems shortly (MS Server 2003SBE and migration to Exchange from local PST files), personally I like networking, I got a real buzz out of solving a recent network problem we had which, due to a merger, involved 'nesting' a Novell Netware 5 server and 10 clients within our Win2000 network, our support told us not to connect the networks as we would have a 'addressing' conflict but did not offer a solution, this was a problem for us because data could not be shared, neither could the Novell clients/users access our centralised network printer/scanners, obviously I was not happy about this and did some research, it did not take long for me to realise that the conflict would only arise because both servers were providing dynamic addressing via DCHP and they were on the same IP range, not wanting to change the IP range on either server I unloaded the DCHP server from the Novell config file, gave the Novell clients static addresses and patched the panels together and hey presto, drives could be mapped from our network to thiers, also I could access our network printers to set up on the Novell client, saving a packet as they were all using deskjets,

    I was a hero!!, since then I have moved to a different support vendor as well.

    I have looked at was is available course wise to suit and I have shortlisted the following.

    1. MCSE (this one worrys me though because its so MS specific, great for the business, not so good for me?, also it seems quite intensive and rewards for having it don't seem so great in the market place anymore, am I wrong?)

    2. BCS Professional Diploma (this one seems more general, less tech orientated, I like the sound of this as a general qualification but I am not sure where it sits in the market, is it respected etc)

    3. Network+

    4. ITIL Service Management

    Or something I don't know about!, I have to learn at home either via a e-learning solution or by buying the books and getting my head down.

    Anyway thanks for reading and I would appreciate any advise / experience you may.

    Gingerbeard
     
    Certifications: GCSE in Computer Science, HNC in Manufac
  2. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Ginger,

    From what you have said, if i were you, i would head straight for MCSA/E.
    I understand what you mean about being specific to MS, but there is a fair bit of networking and security which would apply to most networking environments.

    Good luck

    Si
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  3. Gingerbeard

    Gingerbeard Bit Poster

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    Si,

    Thanks for the reply, yeah, when I first looked at MCSE I though it looked good as it covered all the bases, so to speak, I was put of however buy comments I have read that its so commen place now that prospective employers don't give it much credit, thats not my only reason for getting certification but I realise there is a lot of work involved in obtaining it and it would be gutting to go through that work to find that people don't respect it much if I have to look for a job elsewere.

    Ginger
     
    Certifications: GCSE in Computer Science, HNC in Manufac
  4. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Ginger,

    I would say that MCSE is worth doing because of the level of knowledge you will have achieved/gone over on the road to becoming certified.

    If your CV is next to someone who has similar experience/history and you are certified (and your opposition isn't) it can only go for you.

    Best of luck.

    Si
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  5. Gingerbeard

    Gingerbeard Bit Poster

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    Hi Si,

    Your not wrong, thanks for the encouragment.

    Ginger
     
    Certifications: GCSE in Computer Science, HNC in Manufac
  6. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Ginger,

    No problem, good luck :thumbleft

    Si
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  7. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    I'd say that the ideal thing for you to do at this stage in you IT career would be to develop and build on a broad set of skills. For instance I think that the MCSE may be too much for you, but the MCSA may not, but then I thought about what you have said about it being to focused on MS, and you may need a broader scope of skills.

    I'd suggest then that your first cert should be the MCP in windows XP, followed by the vendor neutral Network+.
     
  8. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Where are all these MCSEs, I don't actually know any in the real world apart from me :blink
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  9. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Is this because you spend all your time on that empty beach? :biggrin

    Harry (running away...)
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  10. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    LOL actually I am not a beach addict, my white London skin tends to be too glaring in the sun and it frightens the local surfers 8)
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  11. Gingerbeard

    Gingerbeard Bit Poster

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    Hi Bluerinse,

    Yeah, I must admit, I only know two, maybe it's a perception issue.

    I thank everyone for thier comments to date, I think I will investigate the MCSA further.

    Has anyone had any experience with the ITIL Service Management Certs?, I have had some advice that if I'm going to be involved with support / service management in the future that this may become a 'de-facto' requirement, especially with the public sector.

    Ginger
     
    Certifications: GCSE in Computer Science, HNC in Manufac
  12. G1BB0

    G1BB0 Nibble Poster

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    funny you mention ITIL as I was speaking to my boss about it on Friday and he gave me a few booklets to peruse. Most of the guys here at wrk who have it have done so off their own back, cost about £600 for the foundation one if I remember him rightly.

    Definitely something I would look into at a later date altho how much difference it makes to ones knowledge and employability i dont know.
     
    WIP: N+ & CCNA
  13. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Hi Gingerbeard.

    The way I see it MCSA/E is a great knowledge to have and unfortunatly at this point its not as valued as before. There is a reason why people say dont use braindumps, its simply because when an indavidual uses braindumps to pass the exam they dont actualy know the material well and when they obtain a cert like MCSE and go to work and cant do their job the boss starts to think why is this employee being so qualified on paper cant perform some simple tasks and then realizes that just because someone has MCSE it does not mean anything. And thats why we dont get payed as well as before and its harder to find a job. I think that if you are going to do MCSA/E do it for yourself primarly because its a lot of work and doubt that many employers will give you credit for having MCSE these there might be a few that will but the majority wont care, for them its more about experience then anything. I mean I know people who are Enterprise Adminisitrator and are extremely well at their job and they dont even posses one cert. So anyways buddy I wish you luck with your studies and it seems like you know your stuff so I am sure you'll do well.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  14. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I would go for the MCSE mate, you will gain loads of new skills! Don’t think its just MS related though: DNS, DHCP, etc. applies to many platforms. 8)

    Your Novell\Microsoft fix for DHCP is most impressive, its problems like that that will boost your confidence and expertise. You do have other options to fix that problem, you could of changed the DHCP range on the Windows Server to exclude the range on the Novell network. I know you said you didn’t want to do that but with the MCSE behind you it would be no trouble! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  15. Gingerbeard

    Gingerbeard Bit Poster

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    Hi All,

    Many thanks for the comments and encouragment, I think its time for me to treat this like any other problem, one step at a time, I think I'll just start with the MCP in WinXP and go from there.

    Thanks again all.
     
    Certifications: GCSE in Computer Science, HNC in Manufac
  16. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    That is a very sensible decision IMHO - you will know more about the whole process then and therefore be in a much better position to make choices.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  17. Handyman

    Handyman Bit Poster

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    Best way (IMHO) is to go to a recruitment site and pop it the relevent qualification and see how many come up. Chances are those qualifications that have the most jobs advertised will be better on your cv.

    An ITIL Foundation won't harm your cv at all, It's fairly easy to do and is not time consuming though I'm bound to say that as I work for an ITIL training providor.

    If you search ITIL Weekend Foundation you'll also find a 2 day version of this course run over Saturday/ Sunday that won't need you to eat into holidays to do.
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation, BTEC Nat Computing
    WIP: CCNA
  18. Keimos

    Keimos Byte Poster

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    Hi Gingerbeard,

    From what you say you are an administrator, or loosley, help desk.

    MCSA would probably your first bet as a good to
    , can you design networks of 500 plus computers?

    Also get a book about Novell networks to find how they work. You probably have anyway.

    You have some good experience but is it relevant to the provide the evidence to where you want to move?

    ITIL is a good qual but very broad. Educational quals and IT quals are different in that IT quals are very specific edu quals tend to be very here and there.

    Some things to think about,

    Make sure, do not go for anything that does not fit your long term goals.

    Keimos
     
    Certifications: Microsoft Office Specialist
  19. Gingerbeard

    Gingerbeard Bit Poster

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    Thanks all for your comments and advise, they are really appreciated.

    As I said I am lucky enough to have a job, my function in that job is to provide support to the business and to be the administrator for the business manufacturing system, i.e. maintenance, report writing etc.

    At the moment I am leading the project team for replacing our system to unify our core infrastruture and also our business system so, as typical with a SME business, my role covers helpdesk troubleshooting to project planning new installations and ensuring 'required feature lists' are meet with new business systems.

    Getting certification is great for the CV but what is really great about it, and its the main reason for me, is the knowledge they empower you with.

    As I started on this journey in I.T. I found there was nothing worse than not being able to support a user, or not to be able to:biggrin bring the network back up and get the business going again, nothing brings knowledge, or lack of it, into as sharp a focus as a business on stop with everyone looking at you!

    Equally though, when you do have the knowledge, there is a great sense of satisfaction from fixing a problem, people seem so amazingly grateful to be working again!

    Designing a network for 500 users is not something I have done yet, my experience is based on what I have had to achieve in work, we have a workforce of 60.

    When looking at what certification to get I have tried to be honest and realistic about what knowledge and experience I actually have and where I am going and my aspirations have changed since I first posted here, I started with wondering about MCSE, decided to start with 70-270, I have now resolved to start with A+, N+ and the ITIL Foundation and then move onto 70-270 from there.

    Anyway this has turend into a essay, sorry about that, thanks again to everyone.

    Ginger
     
    Certifications: GCSE in Computer Science, HNC in Manufac
  20. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Ginger,

    Sounds like a good plan. Good luck :thumbleft

    Si
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT

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