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MCDST training video/future employment

Discussion in 'MCDST' started by drivinginstructor, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. drivinginstructor

    drivinginstructor New Member

    Hello everyone,

    Just a quick backgound on myself I hope it doesn't bore you. But please do read it. Thank you in advance.

    My passion for computers started in 2002. Since then I have taught myself all about hardware/software. Took a course in web design (CIW) but was conned by the training center (£3000):(. However I decided to pursue web design since I wasted so much money and taught myself to be a confident web designer. Looked for some web design jobs but i dont have any server-side knowledge and can't be bothered to learn any programing. Recently been looking at some IT support/Desktop Support/1st Line Support jobs and now I'm very keen on try to find a job in that role. Drafted a CV and lied about experience but supprisingly have been contacted by some recruitment agency about a possible job :biggrin crapping myself just in case i get an interview and don't what to say. I know alot about Windows XP, hardware/software and some networking but not actually worked as a IT support/Desktop Support/1st Line Support so I wouldn't know what kind of possible troubleshooting scenarios I would face in this role. This brings me to MCDST.

    1. Any IT support/Desktop Support/1st Line could give me an idea of the things that you normally do daily at work with regards to supporting users so if i get an interview I can blagg it.
    2. Is MCDST the right course for me?
    3. I've been using VTC MCDST training video, will this be enough to pass the MCDST exams?
    4. Should I pay someone to train me and get mugged off again?
    5. Should I study from a book? And what book?
    6. Will MCDST boost my job prospect?
    7. What do i need t learn with regards to troubleshooting Microsoft Office as I have noticed on ,ost job specification that this is required. This is a question for those that are currently an IT support/Desktop Support/1st Line and to pass the exam.

    Thank you for taking the time to read all this. Hope to hear from someone very soon.
    Certifications: CIW Web Master Designer
  2. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    Firstly, congrats on finding Certforums - always a good step ahead :)

    You may want to post in the introductory members forum as well, so that you can receive the traditional CF 'warm welcome' (no, I'm not being sarcastic ^.^)


    No, no no no no. Don't lie on your CV, especially about prior experience (and an evident lack of it). Whilst you may have an aptitude for IT, if you're found out, you'll be out on your end quicker than you can say 'whoops' and that would be disastrous on a CV this early in your IT career.

    Not really, no. Every company will vary massively with regards to what their support teams actually do at which tier. I have what I consider to be a very unconventional 'first line' job (ie, more complicated than you'd expect). And plus, you lied. Don't condone that, but already mentioned that above. Only experience can allow you to answer that kind of question.

    The MCDST is great if you know you're going to be supporting users in a Microsoft environment. For a more generalised certification in IT hardware and software, you need to look at doing CompTIA's A+. You can self-study for this (just buy Mike Meyer's All In One Sixth Edition) and most people on CF self study and pass this Cert without many issues.

    No - will embellish further down.

    Nope, self study for this one if you're comfortable with that :)

    Definitely, and more than one source is often recommended. I hear the Sybex MCDST book is highly regarded. I'd also recommend you get the Microsoft Press MCDST books - they're separated into 70-271 and 70-272.

    Not on its own - the best booster to your job prospects would be experience - but it will probably help you get noticed, and maybe help you get to interview stage as opposed to someone without the cert or relevant experience.

    That's too vague a question to answer, and would again depend on what the company you are working for implements. Just get Office 2K3 on your laptop/PC at home and play... a lot. The best way to learn a program is by using it.

    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Absolutely horrible mistake. Lying might get your CV noticed, but you won't be able to fake it during an interview. A halfway-decent interviewer can spot a faker a mile away.

    Plus... you really don't want to get blacklisted before you get your career started... do you?

    No. If there were a way, then you could just take a course and know everything about how to do IT support, and experience wouldn't be desirable or necessary. However, gaining theoretical knowledge through study is night-and-day different from actually DOING it in real-world application in a business IT environment. That's why, with the exception of entry-level jobs, employers look for people who have experience. You can certainly regurgitate knowledge... but you can't fake the experience, sorry.

    I typically recommend the A+ and Network+ first. Afterwards, the MCDST is worth getting. However, certification doesn't automagically qualify you to get a job. Certification is not a substitute for experience.

    What you need is an entry-level IT job that does not require experience... one in which you don't have to lie to get it.

    No idea.

    No; you should already know the answer to that, considering your experience. Self-study methods work just fine.

    Yes, you should study from a book... but not only from a book.

    For Microsoft exams, I typically recommend MSPress and Sybex. That said, I haven't used either of them for the MCDST exams.

    Not for jobs that require experience - at least, until you get that experience. But it can certainly make you look more attractive for entry-level jobs.

    For the exam or for the job? For the exam, you need to know what's in the books. For the job, you need experience in troubleshooting Microsoft Office.

    Sorry, man, you're headed down the wrong road with regards to your CV. There's no justification for lying on a CV or resume. Have integrity: be honest. Plenty of us got our first IT jobs legitimately, you can too. Build your career the right way, and you'll have no need to lie about what you can do.

    Welcome to the forums.
    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!
  4. drivinginstructor

    drivinginstructor New Member

    Ok here is an example of a job that I have applied for.

    Manufacturing corporation seeks a 1st Line Support Engineer to provide technical support and troubleshooting for around 300 users.

    Working with laptops & PC's the 1st Line Helpdesk/Desktop Support Engineer will rollout workstations for new users, troubleshoot technical issues as they arise and provide support and advice for users over the phone and at the desktop.

    You will resolve technical issues with hardware, peripherals, software applications and operating systems including Windows 2000 & XP; MS Office 2003 including Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Lotus Notes is used as the email client and whilst it would be useful, experience with this technology is not essential. Candidates will be confident self-starters able to work in a team without constant supervision.

    Experience of Windows 2000 & XP along with MS Office products is essential as is the ability to provide technical support for hardware and peripherals. You may have gained some experience with Windows Server 2003 and Active Directory which would also be beneficial.

    Core experience will have been developed working in a helpdesk support and desktop support capacity providing high levels of customer service to users and troubleshooting issues quickly and effectively. Possibility of long-term opportunity.

    I take it that this is an entry level position. I don't think someone without experience would even be considered for this position. I can honestly say that I'm very experienced with Windows 2000 & XP but not sure what troubleshooting problems I may have to deal with. As far as MS Office is concerned again I feel that I am very confident when using this software but again dont know what troubleshooting problems I might to deal with.

    This would be the ideal job that I want to start with so I decided to tweak my CV. On my CV I mentioned that I'm currently employed as a Desktop Support Technician with a company that I know would be happy to act as a reference. I have done some IT work for them in the past but not anything to do with Desktop Support. Like I said I'm confident enough to go for the job even without experience but lacks experience troubleshooting. How hard can it be? In the meantime I've got myself a training video on MCDST just in case I get an interview. I know that everyone disagree with what I have done but come on! I know for a fact I dont stand a chance getting this job without tweaking my CV. Do you still disagree with what I've done?
    Certifications: CIW Web Master Designer
  5. ericrollo

    ericrollo Megabyte Poster

    Again doing something as small as that will probably get noticed as a lie they will ask about the job title and what roles you had to the reference. falsifying information on a CV like this is a foolish thing to do and if you still do not understand all i can say is good luck to you.
    Certifications: MOS Master, A+, MCP 271
    WIP: HND, Programming, Another Job
  6. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    If you don't stand to get the job without telling lies to get a foot in the door, then don't you realise that you probably don't have what it takes to do this job?

    Yes. Yes. Yes. You feel you've had to lie to just get to interview stage. Does that not fill you with even the slightest amount of worry that you might in fact not be completely prepared for what they need you to do?

    I'm going to break this down into the core parts in the job specifications, and how you are completely overestimating your abilities and what they need from the person they are going to employ.

    If you're experienced with the OSs and the specified software, then fine. But you are evidently not used to 'users' as you are unsure of what troubleshooting to expect. Jamming printers? Disappearing toolbars? Mucked up resolutions? Most user queries at first line are the mundane things that IT techs 'take for granted' as it were. That's why we're there to help them - we already have the 'know how'.

    But if you've never had any customer service experience (as it seems to appear) OR IT experience in a corporate environment, then do not apply for this job.

    I'm sorry, but the fact that you even said that smacks of arrogance, ignorance, or a sublime mix of the two. My 'first' IT job has consisted of such things as troubleshooting hardware and software, configuring AD accounts, troubleshooting servers, configuring ghost images, negotiating deals with suppliers, ripping out a coax network and installing a new ethernet network, and a multi-site VoIP rollout, never mind the boring stuff! It's not all *turn it off and on again* and it is not something you can walk in to.

    If it were a small business with a small number of employees then fine. But the warning bells you should have paid attention to are these:

    The 'one weakness' you say you have is troubleshooting. If you go in with your purported 'experience' they'll want you to be able to resolve issues without turning around and asking for help every two minutes. If you're not experienced at troubleshooting techniques, then you are going to panic, for the following reasons:

    ... and they don't mention how many other first line techs there are... with a company this size, don't count on there being many.

    You haven't got any experience of this... but the hint of its 'usefulness' gives an insight into how quickly they'll possibly want you to progress in your job role.

    And without the supervision, with a lack of experience, where do you turn when second line isn't there, and all user eyes turn to you as their first bastion of IT support?

    I'm sorry, I don't normally get on my high horse like this, but you're not looking at this from a realistic viewpoint, and you're severely underestimating what you're probably going to have to do on the job. If I were you, I would withdraw from the job interview, change my CV to reflect the truth, and go for jobs that will mean you're not in the deep end and drowning at the first week. If you did go for it and somehow got the job (as a lack of experience will be clear in the job interview) then I would be suprised if you made it past your probationary period.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA

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