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A couple of MCSA / MCSE questions

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by Inspiration, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Inspiration

    Inspiration Bit Poster

    Hello again!!

    A few may remember I posted a couple of posts earlier in the year about MCDBA and other Microsoft qualifications. At the time I wasn't sure what to do, and I'm still not sure what to do.. the only difference is this time I'm determined to shut myself in a room and actually get these exams studied and completed rather than just dream about it.

    To recap on who I am.. I've around 12 years IT experience ranging from 1st line internet support to hosting support.. to setting up and building an SQL 2000 database that 40 people use daily. I've experience of Windows server, some exchange experience, experience of all major Windows OS and I like to think I'm the right type of person to take the Microsoft exams.

    My aim is to get some Microsoft qualifications under my belt to help me in the future with future jobs. I won't be in my current one forever and I'd like to place myself in a good position when the time comes.

    So my rough plan at this stage is as follows:

    - Get MCSE
    - Get MCSA
    - Get MCDBA

    I've a couple of questions that are confusing me right now.

    My plan for MCSE includes these exams: 70-290, 70-291, 70-293, 70-294, 70-270, 70-297, 70-228 (whew!)

    I then started to look up MCSA and the site seems to suggest I can gain an MCSA with the above exams I've already taken. Am I missing something? Surely I must be? I can't understand how I could become an MCSA by just becoming an MCSE. There must be a catch to that? Have I slipped up?

    I'm always torn between which certification I should go for. I think half the time I scare myself out of even trying because I get so stressed out about what exam would work with which certification and when and forget that I should just pick one exam and concentrate on that rather than freak myself out over my route to cert.. but it's important to me. I don't want to pass an exam only to find it's not worth anything in the long run.

    Any advice/tips/suggestions would be much appreciated. I really want to give this a shot and just want to get stuck in. Thank you :)
  2. MLP

    MLP Kilobyte Poster


    You might want to consider revising the order in which you approach your certification track. You state that you want to gain an MCSE, then and MCSA. The MCSA requires you passing four exams: 1 x Client OS (70-270 - XP, is on your list), the 70-290 and the 70-291, and one elective exam chosen from the list shown here.

    Then, you could use the exams that you passed in order to gain the MCSA towards your MCSE. You would need to pass an additional 2 exams on networking systems, 1 design exam, and 1 elective on top of your MCSA exams. Although, I would suggest double checking I've got this right by looking here.

    With your experience, I would suggest going for the 70-270 first, as it is probably the least challenging of the required exams (IMHO).

    As for the MCDBA, I'm not sure on this one at all, but it appears that some of the MCSA / MCSE exams are also applicable for this too. Check it out here.

    Hope this helps, and best of luck with your studies

    Certifications: HND Computing
  3. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

    Sound advice by MLP there. What she said really. :)
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  4. Inspiration

    Inspiration Bit Poster

    Thank you for your very helpful reply. :)

    So here is my changed 'path':

    MCSA (70-290, 70-291, 70-270, 70-228 )
    MCSE (70-293, 70-294, 70-297) * 70-290, 70-291, 70-270, 70-228 taken above
    MCDBA (70-229) * 70-228, 70-290, 70-293 taken above

    Perhaps I'm being too optimistic in thinking I can get all of that done but no harm in setting a goal. :) At the very least getting MCSA will benefit my future and it makes taking the others easier.

    This is starting to sound possible. :)
  5. MLP

    MLP Kilobyte Poster

    No problem. Glad to help.

    Just take the exams one at a time. Then, when you pass the exam, celebrate, take stock and move on to the next. Remember, an MCSA / MCSE / MCDBA is a long journey. Enjoy it.

    Certifications: HND Computing
  6. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    Just remember exams: 70-229 & 70-228 retires in March 2009, so you will have to complete the MCDBA by then.

    And considering that MS SQL is not supported on Vista and that mainstream support ended in April 2008. Businesses should be moving to at least SQL 2005 SP1 if they haven't already moved. I can't say much about the SQL certifications apart from both myself and Modey support 2 MIS systems (used by about 100 users) and 1 library system (this year will be used by about 1500 users) based on MS SQL 2005. We install, maintain & migrate, but don't fix any data related issues so I wouldn't be comfortable doing any of the SQL exams.

    Good that you have 12 years experience in IT, however doing 1st line to hosted support, I would recommend just concentrating only on the MCSA for now, unless part of your current job is designing multiple Active Directory domains. And then take it from there.

    Good luck with your studies :)

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: MSc in Tech Management

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