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would be grateful for any advice you might be able to give!

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by rebooting, May 13, 2011.

  1. rebooting

    rebooting Bit Poster

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    I'm really struggling. I have 15 years of IT support (including trade floor), migration, implementation etc experience and latterly some project roles involving application discovery work.

    The problem is my last contract was at the end of 2008. I have school age children so had previously tried to do short contracts or work part time to fit in around them and all the holidays etc.

    I am now trying to return to full time work as my domestic situation has improved but finding it impossible. I realise the gap doesn't look good and I also don't have any accreditations. But I do have all this experience, most of it with blue chip companies.

    What should I do? Should I try and catch up with exams and if so which ones? Money is very tight so that's a problem in itself paying for the material and the exams. MCITP, MCSE or just a couple of MCP's? I am daunted by choosing the wrong path and wasting money. Have I mentioned money is tight?

    Ultimately I am interested in ending up in something security related if that helps.

    My confidence has taken a hit and I'm finding it difficult to think a way out of this so I would really appreciate any words of wisdom. Thanks.
     
  2. Beerbaron

    Beerbaron Megabyte Poster

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    Welcome to CF.

    The price of MS exams is due to increase as of 1 July 2011...if money is tight 8)

    Prometric Services: Testing and Assessment

    Moving into security you will probably need to have quite a few certs as this is a specialist area. I would probably work toward an MCSA or MCSE as this will include both client and server side. Network+ would also be a good basic cert to start with and then move on to Security+.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), MSc, ITIL v3F, MCP, MCDST, MCITP: edst7, MCTS, MCSA: Server 2003, MCSA: Windows 7, N+, NVQ IT lvl 3, MCSA Windows 7, VCP5, CCENT, CEH
    WIP: CISSP
  3. rebooting

    rebooting Bit Poster

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    Thanks.

    Some suppliers I've been talking to are all quoting packages around 2k (not including exams). I just don't have this lying around. Should I just concentrate on working my way through the individual exams. I think some of the early ones I could probably get away with just doing practise questions for them (there appear to be a lot of free braindumps but which one to trust?). Old colleagues all used Transcender I think but that's looking pricey too.

    I know I'll need more material for the more recent technology so how to source this? Perhaps I shouldn't worry about that now and just get past the first few papers?
     
  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Braindumps are illegal and unethical, they are cheat sheets of real answers, or stolen exam content that breaks the cert providers NDA and copyright. Using them can lead to de-certification for life and will in no way validate your knowledge or experience.

    Microsoft test guides can be bought in track packs from amazon, resulting in books cost 25-30 each, the exams cost around 100 pounds, or these can also be bought in packs.
    Thats a minimum of 130 per exam.

    There are other legit exam simulator providers than transcender, use certguard to find them.

    Not sure if certification will solve your issue, be interesting to see what happens.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  5. rebooting

    rebooting Bit Poster

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    LOL stay away from braindumps!

    What I meant was do I have to endure a course (and the cost involved) for the earlier exams which I feel I could get through pretty quickly in terms of revision? I don't want to fork out for subscriptions and live labs etc if all I really need is practise papers. I know I have the necessary real world experience up to XP.

    I'll check out MeasureUp.

    Your last comment is what worries me and why I haven't commited to anything yet. Why might it not solve my issue?
     
  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    You issue appears to be your marketability after having children and taking a career break, no hiring managers mentioned qualifications to you did they ? So I would expect that you need to find a way to market yourself that employers will find attractive, perhaps you can take a work from home or part time role that meets both your needs and allows an employer to have extra staff at lower cost etc.

    No courses are strictly necessary for most certifications, a few like VCP, MCM, OCP mandate it but they are few and far between.

    The microsoft training kits (a book) contain sample questions and answers at the end of each chapter. Some legit providers provide samples too and there are a few sites that provide user generated content and exams, revision guides etc.

    Some MS exams are pretty easy, others are pretty hard, with 15 years experience I'd expect you should be able to pass with some self study. Take it one exam at a time and buy and read the books.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  7. rebooting

    rebooting Bit Poster

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    The few I've actually got to talk to mentioned my lack of windows 7 and server 2008. I looked at bridging that gap but it appears I can't just jump straight into those without gaining the mcse first and upgrading. That was my understanding, so I ended up looking at what was involved and realised what a long road I had in front of me. I had imagined a windows 7 relevant mcp would do it but apparently not.

    Thanks for talking to me btw.
     
  8. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    You can take MCTS/MCITP exams on Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2. Its personal preference if you go the upgrade vs non upgrade route.

    MCSA and MCSE are for life and will probably become impossible to get at some point. The new exams expire at end of product life.

    Having boths sets of quals does look impressive but requires more exams. I'd maybe just get MCTS on Windows 7 and MCSA or MCITP SA.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  9. rebooting

    rebooting Bit Poster

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    Thankyou, you've given me lots to think about.

    I've just been looking at MeasureUp and PrepLogic. MeasureUp looks affordable actually, if I concentrate on 1 exam at a time.
     
  10. rebooting

    rebooting Bit Poster

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    oh dear lots of mixed reviews for measureup.

    in terms of books, what would people recommend generally? The microsoft ones have measureup test questions.
     
  11. Beerbaron

    Beerbaron Megabyte Poster

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    you should buy the exam text books and self study. then all you have to do is pay for the individual exam. at present an MS exam is £88 but they are currently on offer if you purchase more than 1.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), MSc, ITIL v3F, MCP, MCDST, MCITP: edst7, MCTS, MCSA: Server 2003, MCSA: Windows 7, N+, NVQ IT lvl 3, MCSA Windows 7, VCP5, CCENT, CEH
    WIP: CISSP
  12. rebooting

    rebooting Bit Poster

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    I'm getting the Microsoft text book today and just going to concentrate on that first exam. It'll be a confidence boost after all the floundering I've been doing. If I try to think about them all together I feel completely daunted by how much I have to catch up on.

    I know I have the skills so I just need to get over this.
     

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