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Advent Training - MCSA

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by JEFF4508, May 9, 2008.

  1. JEFF4508

    JEFF4508 New Member

    Hey Guys.

    Have done a search on this already and found that a few of you think distance learning might not be the better route to take.

    I approached Advent after doing some browsing on IT Quals/Certs training courses. I have had an advisor talking to me since then who has offered some good help.

    I'll basically spell out the nature of what's involved. (The course fee is £4450 btw).

    It's a course that's meant to be around 560 hours of learning, they said 2 years is the common timescale, but that works out at less than an hour a day.. I suppose this is aimed at people in full time employment already though.

    You go through the stages of Comp TIA A+, MCP, MCDST ending up with MCSA.

    You get tutor support by phone and email, 14 days in the classroom (come in sets of 2 days each).

    Additional learning material on CD

    "Comprehensive" Study Manuals supplied.

    Finally they offer their agency service until retirement for all students. This seems like the main positive for me. Because as mentioned in other threads, I could essentially do the learning for less, and end up with MCSA myself.

    My dad's (I'm just turned 21) initial concern was that they work using Windows XP and 2003 Server ed.

    Basically I'm on here looking for affirmation or an alternative really..

    What kind of costs would one be looking at to do it alone? I'm not a technophobe, I would consider myself adept at computer use and can easily pick up new things.

    I've spent the past couple of years doing civil engineering and surveying... Long and short of it is, I'm a computer person, and want a career eventually developing something in IT.
    Certifications: F All
  2. Lev Arris

    Lev Arris Byte Poster

    Hi Jeff,

    Its been a while since I've done some of the exams but I'll give you a rough breakdown of my own costs :

    Before starting studying I'd had the usual keen interest in IT, done a bit of a BTEC in computing and also worked in a first line helpdesk (again very basic troubleshooting).

    Comptia A+

    Took me about 6 - 9 months to complete, steadily reading through the book and also getting advice from these forums

    Mike Meyers Book £30(ish)
    Exam x 2 £200 (ish)

    Comptia N+

    Took me around 4months to complete, again reading through the Mike Meyers book & I also watched some videos a friend had.

    Mike Meyers book £30(ish)
    Exam x 1 £190(extortionate)


    After completing my N+ I moved to a new IT focused role. I studied using the MS-Press book plus online videos my employer provided. In all honesty I think if you're doing a desktop support role you would just need the book.

    Took me about 3 months of reading the book, playing around with my home PC and also watching the videos.

    [Edit] You do not need to take these exams to become and MCDST as I had already passed the A+&N+

    MS press book £30
    Exam x 2 £190

    270 XP client exam

    Same as MCDST really, except this took me a month of hardcore self study, again using the book & some videos provided by my company.

    Book £30
    Exam £90


    I worked for a major bank and they have only recently upgraded to windows XP. At my present company some of the servers still run Server2000.

    Home users will upgrade quite rapidly but for businesses it is a massive job to upgrade all inhouse systems and all hardware to meet a new operating system. I wouldn't worry at all about doing the exams in XP and server.

    I'd recommend trying the self study route at first. A lot of the materials the college provide will probably be books and you can ask any questions on here or type them into google.

    I'd recommend trying self study because its so cheap. Without IT experience though an MCSA is just a piece of paper to the majority of employers, it won't get you an outstanding job unless you're an awesome CV writer and interviewee.

    Start your learning journey and try to get some experience early on. You have the great benefit of being in work at the moment. I've learnt the hard way that you need to find a good company to work for in IT. One that has room for you to expand and gain experience.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, MCSA (270,290,291)
    WIP: CCNA ..Global Domination
  3. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    I agree with what was said above but you should wait until you have relevant experience before doing the MCSA but a salesman isn't going to to tell you that,

    Welcome to CF
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  4. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    Great advice given already above and welcome to CF:) I'd recommend you start the comptia A+ cert and go the self study route.

    All you'd need to do is buy the book and read through at your own pace as well as get a spare computer you can pull apart for hands on practice. Best wishes and lets know if you require further information etc:)
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    GBL is right. Microsoft recommends 6-12 months of real-world experience administering servers in a multi-site, multi-server, 250+ user environment. Not 6-12 months in IT... but 6-12 months administering servers... which you won't likely be doing in your first IT job.

    But... Advent's not gonna tell you that. Don't believe us? Look for yourself - this is the first exam in the MCSA track: link

    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  6. supernova

    supernova Gigabyte Poster

    You have got this wrong ... you in fact end up with a MCSE

    A+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA ending up with MCSE.

    You can get a job in IT now or after the A+ then by the time you reach MCSA you should have 12months + in a support role.

    I wouldn't bother with Advent unless you use the workshops or you feel you need the extra support

    Certifications: Loads
    WIP: Lots
  7. supernova

    supernova Gigabyte Poster


    LOL ..... i almost have all this running in the house...a part from 250 users :)

    Certifications: Loads
    WIP: Lots
  8. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    Thats the key, the users.

    They're comin at ya like a foul smelling breeze (sorry went a little into boosh land there), ill rephrase.

    They come to you all day with do this, and do that, this is where the real training is.

    A static network where nothing happens is hard to train on anything than how to get to things.

    Its the thinking on feet and keeping those pests happy thats where you should be immersed in before trying for MCSE (Ive been working in IT for 10 years and have heard all sorts of strange requests)
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  9. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    You're not reading the recommendations. Your first role won't have anything to do with server administration... and your second role might not, either. You need a half-year doing that job before starting to pursue the MCSA. Six months in a help-desk role ain't gonna cut it.
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  10. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    And that's the problem... you don't have the real-world users or the real-world data or the real-world profit that is lost when your data circuit goes down, and your real-world boss is sitting over your shoulder threatening to separate you from your real-world paycheck if you don't get it fixed.

    Nothing replaces experience. Not home labs, not school labs, not book learning, not certifications. Nothing can take it's place. The only way you can get it is by DOING it for a job.
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  11. Chopperchand

    Chopperchand Nibble Poster


    Good advice has been given already, £4450 is alot of money for what they are stating. You can study upto the MCDST on self study. As it is mostly getting to know hardware and software. You will need experience from MCDST upwards,

    As not everything you read (books) works when a user comes running to you with a problem saying that it is life or death!!!

    I have been working on a helpdesk for 3yrs now and the IT department is just 4 guys. I only just got my hands on setting up a new domain controller a few months back. (worked with Network administrator). Had to look things up on google (experience is priceless!!!)

    I would go uptp MCDST (self study) then try and get IT admin/helpdesk experience (you learn alot on the job).

    You will find alot of good tutor's on this site who are more then happy to help:biggrin

    Don't waste your money
    WIP: MCSA Sql Server 2012
  12. supernova

    supernova Gigabyte Poster

    Actually i used to be in IT years ago as a developer, who got lumbered with a network admin job on top (2 x windows server 2000, 1 x PPC IBM AUX, 1x Intel Redhat 7). Only problem was i hated development. So i left and in fact left most of IT for years.... because i was ill for years i fnow find it difficult to get a job and have had to start at the bottom and get certification this time around .... but i know loads of top IT admins and engineers who don't have certification between them.

    My point was that he could leave the MCSA until he was in a position with 12 months experiance whether it was 3 years or more down the line.... at you own pace

    You could do it and just , leave it off your cv until the time is right like i have seen suggested here on cert forum by top members.

    The later part about it been set-up at home was just a joke. But true.... every one should have a test bed

    Certifications: Loads
    WIP: Lots
  13. supernova

    supernova Gigabyte Poster

    Certifications: Loads
    WIP: Lots

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