Hi, I'm an MCSE Instructor

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by BlueTac, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    I think the bottom line, to the majority opinion here anyway, is one that we feel that MCSE for beginners isnt beneficial in 'average' cases. There will always be exceptions at the top end of the bell curve of normality, but for most, it would be better to start at A+ or N+ -type level, get them qualified there, try to help them find a job (perhaps with advisers to help draw up their CV, etc), and try to take a genuine interest in that. Once they are in, tailor their course to suit their needs, and possibly move onto an MCSE from there.

    This technique has several benefits: Firstly, it allows for changes in their circumstances, I havent actually completed a cert yet, but thats partly because I started A+ when trying to get into IT, once I was in, i stopped and switched to 294 since AD was of greater benefit to me at the time, and now I've switched to programming, and am looking at the MCTS. Until I know my career has settled a bit, I may not properly look at any cert (although reading the media certainly helps to increase my knowledge.

    Secondly, It allows the person to have a less steep learning curve. They feel more comfortable with the material, pick it up easier, and therefore faster. Happy customers are more likely to return. If people feel its a hard hard slog to understand even the basic concepts, they may not feel a desire to do anything more. Even if its just because they werent studying hard enough, it will skew their view of your company's courses.

    Thirdly, It serves to bring in more money to the company. I appreciate that you yourself are not concerned about this, but the execs will be. If you can convince them to take a route that brings in less money per course, but overall more, then they are going to be happy with it. besides, its better to get only a part of the target cost, than none at all.

    As I said, and Phoenix's standpoint is defending, there are exceptions to the rule. No-one is really denying that there are people there that are more than capable of MCSE off the bat, nor that there are some employers willing to take on people with the MCSE for entry level jobs. What we are saying, is that we (as a majority it seems), feel that it would be of more benefit to the community as a whole, to look at something more appropriate to nurturing the beginners to our field.
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  2. JonGlory

    JonGlory Byte Poster

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    My personal view on things is, if you want to get a MCSE and you have no working experience in IT, then what's the problem, It shows that you want to learn how everything works in System Administration, you will learn a great deal of valuable information that you will be able to use in most support jobs. And it will be fun and interesting along the way. It's great finding out how everything works, and the different ways of doing certain tasks.

    If you find it is way over your head, then obviously you may have to rethink what you want to do, or put it back a few years.

    The attitude of "you cant /shouldn't try for MCSE if you have no experience" is stupid to say the least. There is no harm in learning, Just don't expect to get a job from it.

    Many people who are IT literate may not want to learn A+ or N+, and they have the aptitude to learn MCSA/MCSE. And may not expect to get a job from it, but want to learn it.
     
    WIP: LIFE
  3. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Meh.

    I don't really know about this. on the one hand, everything Ryan says is true. There ARE plenty of companies out there for whom an MCSE is a prerequisite for a job as a tape monkey. These are NOT the sort of companies I want to work for! On the other hand, personally I don't think this is a good thing - and I'm not sure we should be encouraging people to take this route. Yet if they don't, in London its true that they stand little chance of even getting an interview simply because of the ridiculous amount of CV-matching that goes on in agencies (which, in London, is pretty much the only decent chance of getting a job). It's a conundrum I tells ya!

    Whenever I'm hiring (or contributing to hiring) I always make a point of chucking the 'MCSE but no experience' bods in the bin as soon as I get their CVs, and there MUST be other people like me out there in positions where they are recruiting. However, it must be said that most people probably wouldn't do this - especially true if its HR doing the hiring rather than the IT department (a common occurence) - simply because they can easily cover their arses if the new hire turns out to be a complete tool by saying 'but he was MCSE certified'. The easiest way round this is to ask a technical test which is liberally sprinkled with questions that only a nerd would know - but I've been to so many interviews where the tech test was ridiculously easy - and was probably grepped straight from a '101 interview questions' type site. I've even had one first interview where one of the questions had 'testking.com' in it!

    It's a very tricky problem, because, as Ryan says, it is SO difficult to get an entry-level job in IT in London. Much more difficult than getting a job with, say, five years of experience - if you have that plus an MCSE at the moment the world is pretty much your oyster here (I keep getting job offers left right and centre - and some of the contract roles that are coming up are edging back towards the sort of rates I saw in 2000-2001). Also, from what I've read of the thread, this guy seems really keen on making a positive contribution not only to this forum, but to the industry as a whole, and I feel we should be more welcoming to him. I understand where GBL and others are coming from on this and sympathise with their sentiments. I share most of them - my mindset is that the MCSE shouldn't be attempted by anyone with less than three years' solid network/sys admin experience - but hey, its not a perfect world, and I recognise that my 'one size fits all' approach to life often doesn't work very well!

    Welcome to the forum blue_tac - I for one look forward to more posts from you.

    Incidentally, when I was first considering doing my MCSE I was so pissed off at the lack of decent Training Providers that I considered writing a load of test prep questions myself and setting up a website. Luckily, I eventually found a decent TP (who have since gone bust - and I found out that they, too, went downhill a couple of years after I used them). Doing something like you're suggesting is a LOT of hard work - so good luck with that!
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  4. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster

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    Hello BlueTac

    I just want to say that this thread has a great insight into the whole MCSE for newbies or not. I don't want to be repetitive because the majority of the members already stated what I agree upon. Also I don't have much experience in this field my self as I just started working last year as a desktop support technician. I would just like to say Welcome to the Forums and good luck with your project. It real does seem like you are trying really hard and working towards your goal.

    Hope to see many more of your posts.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  5. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Put far more eloquently than my post, but exactly what i was getting at!
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  6. Becki

    Becki Byte Poster

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    In all honesty see what people both sides of the river are saying...

    when I first hear about the MCSE qualifcation i was like "yes, i want that and I want it now"

    but after training for the first few weeks, i now see that (as i said before) like driving a truck with no previous driving experience, and i now know that i would go through the experience first before tackling this moutain!

    BlueTac I know that you believe and see potential in what you are doing, and as others have said, without real experience your students could get stuck!

    Ideally i would like a training centre in which i learn qualifications and i can get real experience: fixing server problems and have a more fully practical workshop!

    when will be something like this?!

    Becki x
     
    Certifications: NVQ IC3 A+ Network+ MCDST MCITP MCTS Vista & 7
  7. Kitkatninja
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Kitkatninja aka me, myself & I Moderator

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    I don't believe it is (but that's just my opinion), I see that you're studying for the CCNA (in your WIP). Why don't you go for the CCIE?

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, MBCS CITP, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCE, A+, N+, S+, Server+
    WIP: Master degree
  8. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    As Becki said, this is a great thread for discovering what people on "both sides of the river" have to say about this issue. Keep it up. Just keep in mind that conflict does *not* have to be personalized or emotionalized. If you type a reply while "worked up", calm down and re-read (and edit if necessary) what you've typed *before* hitting "Submit Reply". Thanks.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  9. JonGlory

    JonGlory Byte Poster

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    Because I want to learn the material that's in the CCNA.

    All I can say is, thank god I have a mind of my own , and never came here asking "should I go for CCNA"

    I have also started studying towards my MCSE, but will most like stop at MCSA as that covers the majority of the material I WANT to learn, not expect to get a job from.

    In my opinion, People that want to sit certs for the purpose of learning, should never be told don't bother, you have no experience, on the other hand, people that sit certs just to get a job, should be brought back down to earth.
     
    WIP: LIFE
  10. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    This is a great thread guys, please keep the interesting posts coming.

    Bluetac - welcome to the forums. Quite a contribution to your first post, I see!

    I'm going to try to approach this from 'both sides of the river', but as someone who doesn't *particularly* have much interest in pursuing the MCSE (waiting for Vista...) I might not have the right understanding of the situation. So apologies if this sounds like a pile of tosh! :p

    From my understanding, you are offering an opportunity for students in and around London to study the MCSE material. You do not force the exams on them, you are not giving them the common disillusion that they will be earning £30K in a wonderland job when they finish, you have real world experience, and you're not trying to fleece the students for their cash.

    Firstly: bravo. It sounds like a superb idea, and if you stick to the base ideals mentioned above, your company should become a celebrated success.

    I agree with the 'on the whole' idea that companies do not hire non-experienced MCSEs to look after their servers, their infrastructure, and everything that is attained for and holy in IT.

    But I have seen jobs where the prerequisites for First Line are astronomically ridiculous.

    I don't know if this is because of the volume of MCSEs or what. All I know is that when I first looked for an IT job, I had a chat with a well-known bank in Central London. I was told categorically they wouldn't even look at my CV to do support, if I didn't have a CCNA. I don't personally see the CCNA as having any relevant use for First Line support, but that was their wishes. The flip side of the coin is that it can be who you know, not what you know, gives you your openings. I became friends with the IT manager at that bank, and 18 months down the line now I have experience, she offered me a second line job there, and I still don't have my CCNA :tongue

    Bluetac - if you are considering teaching completely green students MCSE level material, you may consider putting A+ and N+ material on the syllabus too - or at least some entry level tuition to get your students conversant with the general jargon that goes hand-in-hand with working in IT.

    Some people will have the aptitude to sit down and take the material on board; others may feel they are in above their heads and drop out the course - but because this isn't a money-aggressive training provider, it might not prove to be the financial pitfall we have seen time and again over the years on these boards.

    I think the point that is trying to be made by those in London (where these courses will be based) is that these students probably won't be applying for sysadmin jobs, or even second line jobs. They are being given a qualification that is unfortunately seen as the first rung on the ladder in an incredibly competitive city.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  11. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Recruitment agencies might want an MCSE to do their help desk jobs, but who in their right mind would want a help desk job after studying for and paying for an MCSE :blink

    You will not use even 10% of the knowledge you learned whilst studying for an MCSE whilst working on a help desk.

    My point is this... The knowledge you learn whilst studying for an MCSE is invaluable. In order to retain that knowledge and build upon it, you have to be working in an environment where you can *use it*.

    The old addage, if you don't use it you'll lose it is very true and it is my fundimental argument for pushing the notion that MCSEs should be working with and have experience with the technologies they are studying.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  12. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    I completely agree with you Blue :D but if that's the requirement for the job, are they just fulfilling what they think they need?

    This is probably more suited to another thread, but if HR are in charge of hiring as opposed to the IT managers, then it could be realistically possible that they are asking for MCSEs to fill their first line roles... to no good end, if you look at the content of the MCSE syllabus. But there again, a course in 'tell them to turn it off again' wouldn't take long. Although I bet I could find a company that would sell you the course for a grand
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  13. BosonMichael
    Honorary Member Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Ken, either Jon doesn't know what the CCIE is, or his sarcasm meter is broken.
     
    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!
  14. JonGlory

    JonGlory Byte Poster

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    But it the lowest from of comedy :P
     
    WIP: LIFE
  15. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Gee...does *anybody* read my not-so-subtle hints anymore?
    Excessive sarcasm has been known to result in more than one locked thread. :offtopic
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  16. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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    Let me be as blunt as humanly possible. Studying through the MCSE without experience is absolutely pointless. You'll never get a job out of it and you'll be significantly out of pocket at the end.

    However as I've pointed out before this depends on your interpretation of 'experience'. Have you setup an extensive home lab, have you spent countless hours tinkering with it and fixing things when you did something you shouldn't have? In my book this is some of the best experience you can get.

    Having worked as a server admin for a large company I can say that I didn't get to tinker with much at work. They didn't want someone playing around with their production systems. So it seems clear to me that the only place you can get this involved with the products is in your home lab and implementing in a production environment when needed.

    Whilst it is one of my own pet hates I also have to admit that an increasing number of employers are asking for MCSE's when it's clearly not warranted, for example entry level jobs and desktop positions.

    However if you ask me should a training provider push students through a course promising them well paid jobs and providing nothing more than a quick summary of the technologies - hell no. These providers should be shot because they're costing us all money.

    The OP seems to be doing things the right way.
     
  17. BlueTac

    BlueTac Bit Poster

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    Thanks for your encouraging words. But I'm willing to offer my expertise and help to any who have contributed to this thread whether it was positive or a good hammering!

    My first experiences in IT were very bad. I was 1st line and the 2nd/3rd liners were over-protective about their so-called knowledge, humiliating me on many occasions, until I just got fed up and started self-studying my NT4 MCSE and Novell CNA. I got a few certs and did a lot of work at home with labs until I got my first proper 2nd line role. What I learnt at my first investment banking role in 2 weeks from friendly fellow techies was truly awesome but it would've been pointless without knowing the theory. I'm not a rocket scientist, but some of you are truly overrating the MCSE as really challenging. I'm doing a Masters part-time and that's what I call challenging. The depth to which we're studying operating systems in one lecture on the Windows 2000 kernel is more than the entire MCSE syllabus put together. The MCSE is really easy to digest if you have good analytical skills and can be bothered to read. If anyone wants to take me up on the offer, I'll offer a free lecture on a "complex" topic to show you how easy it really is.


     
    Certifications: MCSE 2003, MCT
    WIP: CCNP
  18. BlueTac

    BlueTac Bit Poster

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    Becki,

    Unfortunately, there are so many dreamers out there whose only experience of a computer is playing solitaire on an office computer who want to become IT engineers. For them, the ads promising "guaranteed" jobs and "guaranteed" passes seem far more attractive than a course offering decent exposure to real-world technologies. A lot of people sign up to Career Development Loans and I've even heard of someone paying £000s for a course and he was so happy that he got a "free laptop" out of it. When we used to offer government funded training for our Mcirosoft & Cisco courses, some of the people that used to turn up didn't even have a computer at home. You can't pretend to love something for the sake of money.

    On the other hand, if you're a paper MCSE but a hardcore nerd, I'd consider taking you on as a trainee Server Administrator, because I'd know you'd spend the weekends reading the boring manuals before I let you anywhere near my equipment. If you're really serious about getting into IT you'd spend weekends loittering around computer fairs or on ebay sourcing stuff, making a mess of your bedroom and thinking about technical stuff every moment that you're awake. The TP or instructor can only do so much. Career changes are a big deal. Often, it means dropping salaries and working your way up.



     
    Certifications: MCSE 2003, MCT
    WIP: CCNP
  19. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I have to congratulate you on your responses, BlueTac. It would have been easy to personalize some of the comments made in this thread and become upset by them. Kudos.

    I hope that you'll feel you can offer whatever comments and assistance you want in any of the forums on our site. Certainly, our Microsoft forums would benefit from your input and I'd be particularly interested in reading your insights on the CCNP since it's currently your "WIP". Cheers.

    -Trip
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+

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