MCSA- How long to get qualified?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Richardod, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. Richardod

    Richardod Bit Poster

    after much thought and reading these boards I have decided to do the MCSA course with the NITLC at a cost of £2850 now this is a big commitment for me but I have decided it is now or never as I am fast approaching 40.

    I met the course adviser the other night and he ran through it all with me and I must say he sold it very well.
    What worried me though is he said the course takes on average 14 months to complete is this about right ? I can put aside at least 10 hours per week for my studying is this enough ?.

    Finally my last point is that for an extra £1000 I could have gone for the MCSE and with it a very impressive collection of qualifications but I was worried that I might be biting off more than I can chew in one go my Idea being to try and get to MCSA level, gain employment in the industry and then in time get to MCSE level with hopefully my employer helping me with the cost,is this a realistic posibility to expect an employer to help or would I be on my own.

    I live in the London/Essex area and the course adviser said if I had the MCSA qualification I should find work with their help of course ,not too much of a problem (Typical starting salary of £25,000) as I live in an excellent area for IT work is this true or just a sales pitch ?
    All in all I am excited about starting the course but I just felt the above questions are very important and it would be very helpful if I could get some feedback from some informed people on here.
    Thanks in advance for any replies.
  2. Phil
    Honorary Member

    Phil Gigabyte Poster

    Hi Richardod

    to answer your first question about timescales, that is very much down to yourself, how committed you are and whether you take to your method of study. You should be able to achieve the MCSA in 14 months, some people would more than likely do it in a lot less. Like I said it all depends on you.

    It is realistic to hope an employer would pay for you to complete the MCSE, again depends on who employs you though :) A lot of good companies will be keen to see you progress and will be happy to help you do so.

    As far as the salary goes, it can be very regional. You don't say if you already work in the industry or not. If not then 25k for a newly qualified MCSA with little work experience seems high, you would be astoundingly lucky to find such a job in the North West however the South East will probably be completely different. Take a look at the job ads for your region and see what is being offered and what they are asking for to get a good idea.

    Certifications: MCSE:M & S MCSA:M CCNA CNA
    WIP: 2003 Upgrade, CCNA Upgrade
  3. Richardod

    Richardod Bit Poster

    no I am currently not in the industry,I am at a level where I could take a PC apart and put it back together and identify all the parts inside the case the course adviser assured me that many people start the course with no knowledge of IT whatsoever and pass the course in about 18 months but said I should get through in about 14 months it just seems a little quick to me.
  4. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    Hi Richardod,

    I would say you are right to be sceptical about the timescale for the MCSA, but as you have signed up for the course, I don't mean to put you off. All I'm saying is I was in the same position as yourself - pushing on in years, not in the industry, but capable of knocking around the insides of a few PCs.

    The work involved in the course is hard (at least it was to me) but as many of the Guys here will tell you, it is do-able. I'd take a pinch of salt on the 14 months to be honest, but if you feel you are committed to it (and you will enjoy it, despite some of the "darker" chapters"), then you have nothing to fear.

    You will now have 3 main allies in your studies - yourself, the excellent support available from Nitlc, and us lot in here. I guess by now you may have realised that many of us here have come throught Nitlc, and although we are in no way affiliated to them, a lot of us know the staff and their style. I for one hold them in high regard.

    With all that support behind you, you won't go wrong, mate :D

    Good luck and all the very best :thumbleft
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  5. AJ

    AJ 01000001 01100100 01101101 01101001 01101110 Administrator


    I too was with NITLC to do my MCSE. I have to admit that not being in the industry to start with, it took me some tme to get into the ins and outs of what the books were on about. It was very difficult to hold down a full time job (with extreamley anti-social hours), a house and family, all wanting big chunks of your time. It took me something like 2 years for the MCSA and a further 12 months to complete MCSE.

    Seems like a long time at the time but it really is worth while. as to the projected salary, A bit high IMHO, but stranger things have happened.
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Breathing in and out, but not out and in, that's just wrong
  6. Sandy

    Sandy Ex-Member

    Hi All

    I agree with a lot of what has been said above. However, I would dissagree about the salary expectation.

    There has been a major downturn in the IT world over the last few years salaries across the planet have not grown at the rate they did before Y2K and all of the hype there. Added to the fact they are a number of firms who are moving to India.

    From what I can pick up most new starters in IT are on about 15- 18 depending where you are located.

    Hope this is not the news you wanted to hear!
  7. Obi Wan Kebobi

    Obi Wan Kebobi New Member

    Hi Rich,

    I am studying the A+ and N+, however have numerous Sybex books for the core MCSA and MCSE , which i will be looking to take my exams soon.
    If you have looked at the MCSA it is literally an abreviated version of the mcse, Server , Prof and Network Inf + the MCSA elective - add the design elements of Net Inf and another elective plus design you will have the MCSE - so as for "biting off more than you can chew" you have in essence already started the MCSE!

    7 exams for the MCSE......but include the MCSA elective (70-218) and you can gain both in 7 exams.

    An Mcse will have a slightly higher earning potential - maybe add the CCNA to your cv and you'll have a good combo, allowing you salary to be of a higher expectation.

    The salary amounts mentioned in previous posts are about right but you can expect a big ramp up when you have 6 -12 months industry experience behind of luck and may the force be with you.

    Obi :D
  8. Kitkatninja
    Highly Decorated Member Award 500 Likes Award

    Kitkatninja aka me, myself & I Moderator

    This may be alittle irelevant, or not. I did the MCSA (with the rest of my former co-workers - 9 in total) in 9 months, this was 5 modules. However we were already working in the IT field. Speak to your local college about it. The MCSA that we did was 9 months, 2 evenings a week. You may be surprised at what evening classes teach, heck I was surprised to hear that our local college, apart from teaching the MCSA, is now teaching the MCDST, in September will be teaching the MCSA 2k3 along side with the MCSA 2k, then the following year will be doing the full blown MCSE. And because our local college is a part of iPRO (a Government funding thing) we get it discounted, yippee!!!
    Certifications: MSc, PGDip, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, MBCS CITP, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCE, A+, N+, S+, Server+
    WIP: MSc Cyber Security
  9. Jonesos

    Jonesos Bit Poster

    I would say that the MCSA is achievable within the time period you specified. I finished my MCSE in about 14 months of self-study whilst holding down a job in the IT field. Though I must admit that I had a good understanding of all the topics and real world solutions from work.
    As for the salary, I would seriously doubt you would get £25,000 with no experience especially in London. I have worked in the City and Canary Wharf for nearly four years now and you may find that you will have to a basic job first to build up the experience level before you can move up a pay grade. As a current IT manager there is no way I would pay that much for an inexperienced person. More like 18-20.
    I cant stress this point enough, you must have experience as well as certifications if you want to progress in this industry.
    If you have any questions about the London IT field just let me know.


    Certifications: MCSE(2K3, 2K),MCSA(2K3, 2K),MCP(NT4)

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