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Moral Dilemma?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Luddym, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

    This is going to sound a bit weird but....

    Having been in and around IT in the work place since 1999 (with a 3 year gap to explore other things) I consider myself to be a well rounded 1st/2nd line technician, with 6 months of proper 3rd to go along with that. (Server installs and rollout included, VM, GPO push outs etc etc etc).

    I'm 3 exams away from finishing my MCSE (70-293, 70-297 and the 70-620). As the 620 will be a rollover, that pretty much leaves me with 2 proper exams to finish.

    The issue is that I'm finding the 70-293 quite hard, and although I'm understanding it, I know that after I pass the exam I'm preety much not going to remember such things as which encrytion is best to use when, which protocols to use for VPN's, and most RRAS stuff.

    I know when embarking on the MCSE it is stated that the candidate should have 'X' ammount of years in a particular role, but as most of you will probably agree, just because you are in a certain role, it doesn't mean you will use everything that comes up on the certificaion. For instance, I've never used CA's, or RRAS, or Windows Backups, due to using 3rd party products so if it came to using them I would be very shakey for a while, even though I hold certifications that theoretically say I'm capable of knowing/using them.

    Sorry for the long diatribe, but what I'm asking is, is it morally right to study and learn something to pass an exam that you will only forget in 2 months time.
    Certifications: VCP,A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: Christmas Drunkard
  2. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    You are right, some job roles don’t require all aspects of the MCSE.

    Things change though, I remember after I completed the 70-293 I had to install a CA for a software development company. When I studied it I had never used one but it was lucky to have the knowledge when I needed it in the future. The same goes for the 70-297, the networks I had designed previously had been simple one site designs however I am working on larger projects now which have multiple domains etc and my studies for the 70-297 are helping.

    I guess what I’m saying is you may not need to know certain aspects of the MCSE cert now but you never know what projects you will be working on in the future. 8)
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Office 365, Server 2016, CEH
  3. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

    Totally Sparky,

    But I think what I'm asking is that if part of a Certification you get involves say, knowing the differences between encryption protocols and knowing whats best to use when, is it morally right to study like crazy to pass the Cert knowing that you won't remember/know how to use it if it came to it in the real world.
    Certifications: VCP,A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: Christmas Drunkard
  4. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    I don't see what morals have to do with it?

    Instead of seeing if its moral to do so, look at it if it is practical to do so.
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  5. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

    I suppose I thought it was a moral issue due to the possibility of holding a cert, part of which I'd theoretically not be capable of using from memory.

    I suppose if I looked at it from a practical level, it may or may not be so. I suppose it all boils down to whether or not i'd be in a situation where I'd be expected to use the knowledge I'd not probably remember.
    Certifications: VCP,A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: Christmas Drunkard
  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    To me it really depends how you see certs, I don't hold them in as high a regard as other people so I don't think that an MCSE automatically means they know everything M$ inside out, some MCSE's might, others won't.

    The larger cert tracks cover so much ground that its very probable that most people will have some weak areas.

    I'd simply ask yourself if you have to do the job could you do it ? If the answer is yes with a little research then you still deserve the cert. Having the cert doesn't mean you have to be the best person in the field, just good enough.

    If you'd need considerable help then yes you'd be kidding yourself and your employer.
  7. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    Whilst others have answered your question brilliantly I would also like to add that having the MCSE is not such a bad idea after all.

    Simply owing to the fact that you'd learn as you go along considering you're not just studying to pass a cert and hold the cert for its accolade.

    I personally have learnt a lot and am still learning and willing to learn and with the intension it would help boost my career in the long term. Best wishes and remember knowledge is power and very useful:)
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  8. grim

    grim Gigabyte Poster

    you may forget what you've learnt unless you're using the info everyday at work but it wont take much to refresh. i spent 3 years at uni and theres loads i dont remember and will probably never need again

    Certifications: Bsc, 70-270, 70-290, 70-291, 70-293, 70-294, 70-298, 70-299, 70-620, 70-649, 70-680
    WIP: 70-646, 70-640
  9. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

    An angle to look at your situation, if MS say you have to x months/years experience before becoming MCSA/MCSE certified, it doesn't mean that you'll cover everything either in your job, or that you need to in your exam - as already said by

    The rhetoric from this forum is normally self-study only-what-you-know-for-your-current-job-certificate, but unfortunately the world may not always work that way. Some use the certificates as a way to learn, a colleague of mine has, did his 70-290 a few months back, and he's damn good at what he does, maybe a unique case, but I doubt it.

    The moral standpoint, is either your own, or one from this forum perhaps, that is job before certs - I would do what you are honestly happy with, not with what others are happy with.

    The rest of the world isn't as black and white and I'd dare say most employers, or at least recruitment agents, don't have such a work, so how can we? So cert/job which comes first - I think its down to the individual.
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  10. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    If you've been administering Windows servers for a while, you're likely ready for the MCSE. When I recommend that people have experience before pursuing certifications, I don't mean that you have to have experience doing every... single... little... thing... that is covered under the exam objectives. You simply have to have enough real world experience so you've done SOME of them, and the other ones shouldn't completely take you blindsided.

    Sure, you may not have installed a CA (neither had I!). But you know what a CA does... and you may possibly know of companies that have implemented it, and why it's necessary. Those are great first steps towards gaining a better understanding of that particular concept.

    You may not have set up a VPN... but perhaps you've helped troubleshoot an existing one. Perhaps you haven't used Windows Backup... but perhaps you've used a third-party app that functions similarly. The experience you have built is likely up to the task!

    By now, you can probably guess what my advice is going to be: go ahead and finish up your MCSE. You're likely ready. :)
    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!
  11. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I think when I started on the MCSE track I envisioned it to be the be all and end all (which after over 2 years of study I realise it isn't) and now I'm coming to the end, I'm starting to realise it is just the beggining.

    MCSE, here I STILL come. :oops:
    Certifications: VCP,A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: Christmas Drunkard
  12. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    The more you know, the more you realize the sheer amount of stuff you DON'T know.
    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!
  13. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

    You couldn't be more right.

    I think the worrying (In a good way) thing is that after the MCSE, there's still an absolute HUGE ammount of stuff I want to learn. SMS, Exchange, Possibly Altiris, Server 2008 Inc Microsofts own Virtualistion Technology, Citrix.... the list goes on.
    Certifications: VCP,A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: Christmas Drunkard
  14. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    I totally agree with you, IT is a can of worms and the learning will never end. The stuff you learn studying for an MCSE is invaluable, though it really is just the tip of the IT iceburg. I doubt anyone could say they know it all but if a person can get through an MCSE, then they are probably capable of learning most things IT related. Remembering it all is another matter altogether. I dont remember every finite detail, i do remember quiet a lot though and it would only take me a few minutes to brush up on something, if i needed to impliment it.
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  15. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

    …and that’s the difference between a newbie ‘knowing’ he/she is qualified with a CCIE/MCSE… to handle a production network & servers and all; and a true seasoned veteran (Sr. whatever).

    The more one learns, the more the person knows there’s another page to turn elsewhere.

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