MCSA from scratch

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Richardod, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. Richardod

    Richardod Bit Poster

    I have spent the Xmas holiday reading through the A+ course it was given to me by a friend,it is supplied by a company called Macmin and consisted of 2 large binders and a couple of CD's (Practice exam Questions) well for what it is worth I thought the course was useless I for one could never learn like that it is just too much.

    The MCSA course is the one I really fancied taking and I know the A+ forms only part of the elective for this qualification but this already has me worried.

    I am already at a disadvantage, i feel because I will be starting from scratch and am not currently employed in the industry so will obviously not be getting the day to day experience.

    My main question is regarding the practical side to the course I personaly think I would need a massive amount of practical time to learn this properly as I feel i learn this way best ,is the course set up for people like me or is it too ambitious a project for someone with no previous experience.
    I have found a fairly local company for training that say they provide all the practical but I just wanted an honest second opinion from people with experience as I don't want to be wasting £3,000 which I can't afford.

    I would say I am fairly average inteligence wise it is just the way the A+ was presented by that company has put me off am i worrying about nothing ? or am I being too ambitious.
    Is the MCSA really only for people already in the industry any answers greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Well, sort of. That is, you could probably pass the A+ exam and maybe one or two others if you worked hard in a lab situation and studied the material. the MS exams really are designed to defeat someone trying to pass them by studying the material alone. I learned that the hardway 16 weeks into my college IT program, cocky as heck, taking the 70-215 exam thinking I'd be great. Went down in flames.

    Three years ago, I knew next to nothing about IT. I was determined though and well, you have to start somewhere. Take it a step at a time. Start with the A+ material and become familiar with basic computer hardware and OS issues.

    I would suggest taking a look at the Mike Meyers text. It remains the best manual around for teaching the A+ material and I highly recommend it.

    As for the rest, I can't really say since I don't know the material you have in your hands. You will also want to get ahold of a computer or two and become familiar with the insides of the thing, if you haven't done so already. As I recall, I passed the A+ more because of what I remembered doing with computers rather than what I remembered reading about them.

    Good luck.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  3. SimonV
    Honorary Member

    SimonV Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    Trip has about covered everything I would have said, we all start somewhere ans the A+ is a great place to start for somebody that doesn't have all that much experience with computers. The book that trip recommended is in my opinion a great book but the hands on experience is a must at this early stage of your learning.

    Its a steep learning curve even more so if you haven't done the practical side of things, I first started out at my local college on Saturday mornings doing a PC maintenance course, that enabled me to get to grips with the basics and some of the terminology.

    Spending £3000 on a course might not be the right course of action at this stage, you may benefit more from learning with others, I know that helped me in the early stages, being able to go over things with a tutor and other classmates. I guess it also depends on how desperate you are to move into IT. I was working in IT already as a tutor so was surrounded all day everyday then had my class on the weekend. You may want more exposure to computers.

    If its the basics your after I'd say make enquiries at you local colleges, go to the library and find some PC maintenance books and soak up as much as possible. Alot of people new to the scene jump straight in at the MCP level and find it hard going due to not having the basics. Course providers will tell you it doesn't matter you can do it, sure you can but you'll find it alot harder without the basics.

    Just my opinion.

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
    Certifications: MOS Master 2003, CompTIA A+, MCSA:M, MCSE
    WIP: Keeping CF Alive...
  4. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    Hi Richardod,

    Here's my 2 groats-worth.

    I think the MCSA (and prob any of the "entry-level" Certs) are achievable to the novice. I started from zip, and, like a few of the other Guys around here, am close to MCSA.

    It just takes commitment, determination, and plenty of hands-on experience. Also, good study materials are key - Mike Meyers is undoubtedly The Man for A+.

    Whether you choose a Course Provider, or go solo is your choice, but you will find as much support, help and advice around here than you could ever ask for.


    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  5. dreec

    dreec Nibble Poster

    I to started from scratch in Jan 2000. No experience, not even a PC just wanted to get 'into' in IT. As with most things the most important thing is attitude. I started with MCSE on NT4. Took me 10 months of hard graft to get through, then I started learning HTML, then Visual Basic, then moved to Windows 2000, from there went to CCNA and now studying CCNP, Security+. As well as topping up my existing knowledge
    Everything I know is self taught using books, web and newsgroups etc.
    As I said above attitude is the most important thing. I knew I what I wanted to do, I knew what I needed to do, so I did it. Yes there were times when I thought "Why am I doing this?" but if you give up the first time it gets hard, then maybe this industry is not for you.
    If you do not enjoy the subject you are studying then you need to ask if that particular role is for you.
    I am sorry if this sounds harsh but I feel one of the biggest problems is people thinking that this industry is easy to get into. It takes hard work, dedication, and a bit of luck as well as 'grey matter'
    If you are serious about achieving any qualification then you can do it. It is up to you.
    Certifications: To many to list here, to few to matter
    WIP: None

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