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Need som advice on first MS cert please

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by beaker, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. beaker

    beaker Bit Poster

    Hi everyone

    I've got my A+ and N+ and been working in the IT dept of a small-medium size business for a couple of years now so I'm at the point where i want to get MS certified. I've read around the forums a bit and the general opinion seems to be that the MCSA/MCSE route is still the way to go, rather than the new certs, as Server 2003 is still more abundant. Even though i'm not totally convinced that this is the right way to go, since Server2003 will be at least 7 or 8 years old when i finish, this would be fine with me because the servers on our network are 2003 so i'm pretty familiar with it.

    Anyway, taking this advice I googled round for MCSA courses (in Liverpool, not boot-camp) and came up with nothing - I assume there's not many people still providing instructor-led training for the old certs, or is it just me?

    So now I'm considering going the route of the new qualifications, since, there are a couple of local colleges that are doing MCDST and MCTS p/t evening courses. If i did go for one of these, is it recommended that you do MCDST before you do MCTS? or are they totally different?

    Also, i've heard people say i'd struggle with it because i've never used Server2008 but the course tutor i spoke to said its not that different to 2003...any opinion on this please?

    Thanks a lot for reading any advice is very much appreciated

    cheers! :blink
    Certifications: A+, N+, Linux+
  2. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Fear not: Server 2003 - and the demand for techs to administer it - will be around for years to come. Many companies still have scattered 2000 Server boxen, and I administered NT servers as recently as 3 years ago.

    There are... but why spend a boatload of money when you can self-study, particularly considering the sheer volume of (legit) resources out there?

    Well, they're different certifications for different tracks. The MCDST covers desktop administration on Windows XP, and the MCTS: Vista covers desktop administration on Vista. Both are useful; I'd recommend the XP track before taking the Vista track (for the same reasons I'd recommend 2003 before 2008).

    For the record, the MCTS is a generic designation for any of the newer lower-level Microsoft certifications.

    I dunno if you'd struggle with it, since server administration is server administration... you just have to figure out what makes 2008 different. Could you pass the Server 2008 exams without studying with only your Server 2003 experience to guide you? Probably not... but you could probably learn the 2008 stuff much quicker than someone with no server administration experience at all.

    Best of luck with whichever decision you make!
    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!
  3. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

    Much of Server 2008 would be familar if you have experience on 2003, but there is quite a bit of new stuff and some differences.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  4. beaker

    beaker Bit Poster

    thanks for the advice guys! 8)
    Certifications: A+, N+, Linux+
  5. JK2447
    Highly Decorated Member Award 500 Likes Award

    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator

    Hi Beaker, I'm from Liverpool too and there aren't many training companies around here. I've been on some good courses with Remarc and QA but they've all cost around 2 grand each and you'd need 6 or 7 courses to be classroom taught enough for your MCSE.

    As Mr Boson said, there are tons of legit training materials out there. Yeah you may spend a couple of hundred pounds on your books, exam simulators, CBT video's and booking your exams with Prometric but its nothing compared to what a company would charge you.

    I'm self taught mostly and I should have my MCSA: Security in 2 weeks hopefully and MCSE not long after that so there's something to be said for home study. I only started it all in Jan by the way.

    Best of luck lar!

    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
  6. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

    I'd just like to back this one up, the company I'm working for currently run the following:

    2 x Server 2000
    4 x Server 2003
    1 x Server 2008
    1 x Sco UNIX (but this ones going to be retired shortly thank christ!)

    Most organisations will have '03 servers around for a long while yet, particularly in these times of tighter IT budgets!

    I'd suggest getting your MCDST and then look at MCSA/MCSE. The MCDST will definitely not be a waste at the moment if these figures are anything to go by!

    And I'd always go for self study whenever possible, its a whole load cheaper for a start!
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10

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