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Hello Help with certifacte training

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by Simon HEster, Jul 17, 2008.

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  1. Simon HEster

    Simon HEster Bit Poster

    Hi everyone,

    Found this forum and looks to be just what I need in order to get some help so here goes. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give and sorry for so many questions.

    I’m looking to go into IT doing something in IT support, network admin with a view to moving up the ladder over the years into more management roles.

    However I realise I need to start at the bottom somewhere. I do have some personal experience with IT I’ve built PC’s before and installing XP and other software is something I’ve done loads of. I also did a degree in software engineering from 2000 to 2003 but since leaving all my jobs have been in financial services so never used my degree.

    Been looking at the different IT training courses even had a Computech advisor visit.

    1. What are peoples views about doing these courses are they worth it?
    2. From the chat with computech they seem quite good been offered a MCSA course for £2700 is there a cheaper way to do this?

    Instead of using these online training companies I wanted to find out how to sit the exams on my own but been finding this hard.

    3. Can anyone tell me how you go about booking the exams direct? Is there a website I can visit to find testing centre’s for the Microsoft exams and compTIA?
    4. How much does it cost for the exam CompTIA A+ ?
    5. How much does it cost for the exam MCDST?
    6. What’s the best what to find the course materials is there books, mock exams out there?
    7. How long can it take to do these? Could they be done in 3-4 weeks working full time? Just want to pass these quickly so I have some qualifications?

    I ask this as I feel there is a chance I could sit these exams now on my own and pass them with little study due to my personal background and degree.

    Since meeting with Computeach been seriously thinking about the MCSA course but is there a cheaper way to do it?

    8. What are the exams fee for the MCSA exams? I thought these were about £1000 is this right?
    9. Can they be done on my own?
    10. Are there books study material for these exams?

    If anyone can answer these questions or point me in the right direction other links or web sites

    Once again thanks

  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Hi Welcome :)

    Firstly starting at the bottom is the correct idea, but the MCSA is not starting at the bottom. You should have atleast 6 - 12 month experience as a network admin before attempting the MCSA.

    You should be looking at entry level certs such as compTIA A+, N+ and MCDST all of these will help you in a support role.

    All certs can be done by self study, there is no need to go with a company like computeach, advent or skillstrain as all they do is give you some books and tell you to read them. The they charge you for the privelage.

    Why not save yourself some cash and buy the books yourself? if you need help then there is this place and it's free.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. Simon HEster

    Simon HEster Bit Poster

    Hi greenbrucelee,

    Thanks for the post.

    It was computech that sugested the MDSA after chatting with me and considering my own personal knowledge and my previous degree they thought it would be better to leap frog the compTIA A+ and MCDST. Would you not recommend this?

    The idea computech suggested was to try and get me into a job using the knowledge I currently have at the bottom of the ladder and then forge on with the MCSA obviously it all sounds very good when your sitting with them. Don’t get me wrong I thought his presentation was good and not pushy at all but once I found this site I thought I would ask around and get some other views.

    My current thinking was given my own experience and knowledge I could probably buy a couple of books and get the A+ and MCDST exams done quickly by myself for a fraction of the cost. Any idea on how quick they can realistically be done? Yhe A+ and MCDST I mean.

    Could you recommend any good books for A+ and MCDST?


  4. Ropenfold

    Ropenfold Kilobyte Poster

    I wouldn't recommend leap frogging anything that will in the long term improve you as a Technician or your employability.Even if much of what you will learn in the A+ and the MCDST may be common sense or seem easy, its worth starting at the entry level certs. All a cert shows you is you can learn information, to get your foot in the door you need to be able to show you can apply this knowledge.
    As GBL rightly stated the MCSA is not an entry level cert and while I wouldn't discourage you from learning some of the principles that the exams that make up the MCSA, its unlikely you would use them if you started at the bottom.
    As for doing it through a training provider, its entirely up to you, I couldn't comment on their services as I don't or will ever use one. I've sat through their advisor chats and at the time I was fairly niave to it all, but the price put me off. I'm happy to read the recommended texts advocated on here, book the exams and do it that way.

    Good luck with your studies.
    Certifications: BSC (Hons), A+, MCDST, N+, 70-270,
    WIP: ITIL V3
  5. Gingerdave

    Gingerdave Megabyte Poster

    Welcome Simon

    GBL is right, the Training Providers are expensive and individuals milage will vary as to how much they get out the arrangement. If you already have some skills and experiance do the A+ (£140 per exam, 2 exams) and then move to the MCDST (2 exams ~£90 exam) that will have your basic hardware and windows support sorted. In the mean time try and get your foot in the door with an it job, helpdesk or similar and continue to build the experiance.

    Good Luck
    Certifications: A+,MCP, MCDST, VCP5 /VCP-DV 5, MCTS AD+ Net Inf 2008, MCSA 2008
    WIP: MCSA 2012
  6. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Certification isn't designed to teach you new things, or to get you a job you WANT to be doing... certification is designed to show an employer what jobs you can already do.

    As GBL correctly stated, the MCSA is designed for people with 6 months of server admin experience... not 6 months in IT, but 6 months administering servers... something that you aren't likely to do starting out. Thus, the MCSA isn't really relevant to entry-level jobs. The A+, Network+, and MCDST are.

    But Computeach wasn't going to tell you that... they either don't know any better, or are trying to sell you a more expensive course.

    You certainly can. Many of us here recommend self-study for that very reason.

    How long does it take to study for them? Anywhere from a couple of hours to more than a year. Everyone is different, with different abilities and knowledge and responsibilities. It would be irresponsible of me to tell you how much time YOU should take to study. Study until you fully understand the concepts, then take the exam - no matter how long that takes. It's not a race.

    For the A+, I'd recommend the A+ All-in-One Exam Guide Sixth Edition by Meyers and PC Technician Street Smarts by Pyles.

    For the MCDST, although I haven't used them, you'll likely get good results with the MS Press and/or Sybex books.
    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!
  7. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    yep the books BM has said are the best ones to use.

    Computeach were only after your money and don't really care if they over certify you. Being over certified for your experience level can mean that it is harder for you to get a job as employers will think you want more money than your actually worth and they could also think that you'll go to a different job pretty quickly.

    Employers don't like having to train new people all the time, so they don't want to risk their money on someone who wont stick around long.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  8. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

    Welcome to CF! 8)

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