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Which order to do exams??

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by Japanese Elvis, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. Japanese Elvis

    Japanese Elvis Nibble Poster

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    I'm just about to embark on a journey to try and break into the world of IT :eek:

    I am fairly sure the broad route which I am going to take, but am not sure what is the best order in which to take the exams.

    First off I am going to do A+ and N+, that's settled.

    I intend to then go down the MCSA route via 70-270, 70-290, and 70-291.

    I'm also wondering whether there would be any mileage doing the MCDST 70-271 and 70-272.

    What would be the most logical order?? - numerical??

    .....or does logic not come into it??
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCSA Server 2003
    WIP: Get a job?
  2. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    well the MCSA is the ideal route thats for sure (im taking it that way too) as for the mcdst it totally depends on what kind of job you looking at? if its supporting xp pro then i say do it! also its an elective for mcdst BUT since you doing the a+ and n+ that can be your elective for mcsa! :biggrin

    have a look here MCSA - for more info on the mcsa and how you can use your a+ and n+ to good use and save time and money!
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  3. Japanese Elvis

    Japanese Elvis Nibble Poster

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    Thanks for the reply Zimbo.

    I have read the Microsoft blurb and realise that A+ and N+ count as an elective towards the MCSA.

    I still think that perhaps doing the MCDST could be interesting and provide me with a more well rounded set of basic skills, but I'm not actively looking to waste time or money!

    I'm anticipating that given my lack of experience I'll be looking at entry level support roles to start off with, so MCDST might be handy.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCSA Server 2003
    WIP: Get a job?
  4. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    fair enough :biggrin two questions thou:

    1) umm whats your B.Sc in?
    2) are you going the self-study route?
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  5. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Elvis,

    Snap! I am doing the A+,N+, 70-270 route! My personal opinion is these three exams are a good grounding whichever route you want to take after.
    Best of luck.
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  6. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Hi Japanese Elvis, Well the MCDST seems to cover OS and MS Application issues. The MCSA/MCSE is more a "networking" qualification and possibly OTT for the average IT Technician or Desktop Support Techie that don't dabble that deeply in the art of Active Directory network support. I think M$ realised this and decided to launch a "Desktop Support" type qualification!

    However, they're not a lot of high paying positions out there that are Desktop Support in the true sense - just troubleshooting Application and OS issues only. I believe that to get somewhere in this IT world you have to be a real all rounder that means:
    * troubleshooting Hardware and software issues
    * troubleshooting and having a good understanding of Networks: IPX and IP based
    * knowing when to pass a job to the next line of support (MCDST covers this)
    * understanding productivity tools (MS Office, SAP): installs, basic useage, recognising when an issue is a App Support issue or Technical Support Issue - experiance will give you this intuition!
    * being aware of the SLA concept and customer service (MCDST covers this)

    The A+, N+, MCSA and MCSE are pure Techie/Networking based certs. They do not cover the other side of IT: SLAs, Call Logging, Passing the Buck etc...However, from what I have read the MCDST does cover what I mentioned. By studying this cert path (you don't have to take it) you should be more prepared on what to expect when you get your first IT position...and also be able to understand what the interviewers are saying too!

    Hey, you may even get a position that enables you to introduce the concepts covered in the MCDST...they're many places that have never heard of call logging or SLAs...it could be your first step in IT consultancy!

    Look into it, if you like what you see then go for it. It won't hurt to have an extra cert!

    Cheers!!
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  7. Japanese Elvis

    Japanese Elvis Nibble Poster

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    Thanks all, excellent help.

    drum_dude ; thanks very much, a most comprehensive answer!

    zimbo; my BSc is Electronic & Electrical engineering - but I graduated 12 years ago and haven't really been working in a related field (i.e. not even remotely :eek: ) . Mode of study? - full time with a local training provider. I'm in a very fortunate position that I've sold my existing business (taxi trade) and can sustain a fairly meagre existence whilst I train full time. Thats the theory anyway....

    Like I said already, I'm not looking to waste time or money - but I get a definite inkling that studying the MCDST path will be of interest and maybe of use.

    Thanks again, I'm always happy to hear your opinions!
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCSA Server 2003
    WIP: Get a job?
  8. wigwam

    wigwam New Member

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    if that's your situation you should get a foot in the door , anywhere , anyhow , as experience is vital.I've been using my holidays the past year and a half to train , but getting the experience while you do it is paramount.
     
  9. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    No probs, i'm glad you found my advice helpful! Thanks for the reputation too...very reassuring for me m8, cheers.

    On another note, I think it would be great if we had an "Experience" topic on these forums where those of us lucky to work in IT can post our day-to-day activities @ work. At least this'll give some of you IT newbies (no offence) an idea of what goes on in this industry. The goal of this topic would be to equip you, the novice, with info on what to expect in an IT type position! Hopefully this would enable you to give the "right" answers at the interview thus enabling you to get the gig!

    What do you reckon? I'll PM Gav with the idea just incase he doesn't read this post!
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  10. Japanese Elvis

    Japanese Elvis Nibble Poster

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    None taken!

    I really don't want to underestimate what kind of problems I'm likely to have gaining employment without any real experience.

    On the plus side, my attitude at the moment is that I'd probably be happy to take as lowly a position as possible in order to just get to work.

    I'm just at that point where I know I can do the study and get the results and I just have to have faith that it'll be worth it.

    If I don't, then I'll never get anywhere - but even if that happened at least I'd save on getting help with my home pc's!

    Interesting idea about hearing from people like yourselves who are actually at the sharp end. That probably would be a good reference for those clueless individuals like myself !
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCSA Server 2003
    WIP: Get a job?
  11. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    You think I don't read EVERY SINGLE post on here ??? How you doubt me :biggrin

    Seriously, do that Sacha - would be interested to discuss this further :)
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  12. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    LOL Gav!!

    Yeah i'll PM you on this one Gav! Trouble is that I'm on the 6th can of carlsberg (yes there was a special at tescos!) and i'm wrecked as usual!!! I have quite a bit floating round my mind on this but probably should wait untill i'm sober!! lol:)

    PM ya soon dude!

    Japanese Elvis-sorry to go of topic on your post! I'm sure you won't mind tho :)
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  13. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    COOL 8) 8) there is three of us now!!
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  14. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    I just came across this thread, maybe because my girlfriend wants to spend to much time with me that I never get online, or maybe because I wasn't looking. But I have to say that it's already been well covered.

    Very good comments by drum_dude, and I'll just addin my own 2p if I may, by saying that I was already an MCSA before I got my MCDST. Why? Because I looked at what The requirements were and thought 'I do that everyday'.

    Despite being a network manager I find that the servers can look after them selves (if they're set up right) and that I spend most of my time troubleshooting problems with users.

    So what am I saying in terms of advice? As has already been said by drum_dude in IT you need to be something of an rounder, esp in the support role. So your idea of going for the A+ and then the Network+ seem like a good choice to me, but it's after these that you are having the dilema.

    How about this then, after the A+ and N+ why not go for the 70-270. Then, depending on your circumstances, (as I'm assuming that you will be either in work, or looking for it,) take a look at what your role is and decide where to go from there.
    If you're doing desktop support, go MCSDT. If your looking after Servers, go MCSA.

    Regardless of which certs you opt to persue, none of them will be a waste of time because you will take valuable things from all of them.

    8)
     

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