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New member in need of advise

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by Evilkyote, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. Evilkyote

    Evilkyote New Member

    Hi All,

    First time posting here and need some advise on quallies and how to go about getting them.

    Firstly, I've been looking at training companies and so far had a somewhat unsure experience. I applied for UK IT training which i had done a little research into and passed the phone interview, went up there to go for a main interview and apptitude test which I passed fine and was about 24 hours from parting with the best part of £6k when I decided to do a more thorough check on and found some things which caused me concern, in fact enough concern to politly pull out and not persue it any further with them.

    I've also had a call from home learning college today and a chap is going to visit me tomorrow however I have taken the same approach and done some homework and so far what I've found is not too re-assuring so I don't think I will persue it any further than a discussion with the bloke.

    This has, unfortunatly knocked my confidence with these professional training companies, I really don't know if I can trust them to be a) fully supportive b) worth the (for me) massive expense and c) trustworthy. :ohmy

    So I am now considering completely self studying and taken the exams when i am ready however with little experience in professional qualifications I don't know how to or what companies to contact for the exams when I am ready so some advise there would be great.

    Now onto what to study for. To give you a little back ground, I've used computers since I was about 8, I'm 27 now, and I have a good knowledge of how they work, the last 8 years I have always built my PC's from scratch rather than buying a pre built one. Installed win2000 and xp countless times and so feel very comfortable playing with a PC's inards :biggrin

    Commercially, I have 3 years experience working for a website hosting company and a years experience working for a major UK ISP.

    I already have a NVQ2 in IT, A level computing, HNC computer platforms and computing solutions.

    For my career path I wish to follow the route of being a network admitistrator/designer etc and ultimatly gain a decent job with a decent wage.

    So what qualifications should I go for, as this is certainly where I would appreciate some input and advise. I have looked at alot and have made a basic ordered list of what I think would be route to follow:

    CompTIA A+
    CompTIA Network +
    CompTIA Security +
    MCSE windows 2000 & 2003
    MCSA windows 2000 & 2003

    I am note sure if this is the best order to do the qualifications or if it is important to go all the way to CCNE. I welcome your advice....

  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Since you've already got experience and quals I'd consider skipping the A+.

    I'd try to get advice from your boss and colleages, ask them if they'd pay for the odd book out of the training budget, ask them if they'd promote you or give you extra responsibilities if you knew certain stuff. Ask if you can help out next time a job comes in that involves configuring or rewiring etc.

    Looks like most people get their MCSA first as a stepping stone to MCSE. Otherwise I'd say your cert list was reasonable for a network designer. I'd try get either CCNA or MCSA as soon as you feel comfortable in order to improve your employment prospects.
  3. Evilkyote

    Evilkyote New Member

    Thanks for that, Althought I work for a major UK ISP i am actually employed by an outsource company who to be quite frank has an extremely high staff turnover and the work is not so much technical but more of customer relations (money is money after all), so a career here is out the window as far as where I want to go and training support is pretty much non existant. I pretty much have to do this off my own back. it's been a little while since I've played with networks commercially so think getting the A+, network+ and security + are a good way to revisit those area's and strengthen my knowledge and get some professional qualifications under my belt as opposed to the more academic ones I have so far.

    At the moment I feel the only person I can really rely on is myself, family and some from communities such as this.
  4. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

    The A+ & N+ I would very much recommend as good starting points for certification. They are good ones for the self study route as there is a real wealth of resources available to help you pass them. It would certainly be worth your while having a good look round some of the posts in this forum to get an idea of the study materials people are using and also trainers that people have used etc...

    It may be worth checking if any of your local college's offer certification training. You can usually save a massive amount over and above what the 'professional training' companies charge and in some cases get a better service. One of my local college's offers evening classes for a wide range of MS certs and also for the A+ & N+. I did a Network Infrastructure course there earlier in the year which cost about £300. That included the exam voucher to take the exam at their in house testing facility. Very good value really.

    I don't know how widespread that kind of thing is across the UK, but worth doing some checking on websites or some ringing around.

    As for Security+, I'm not sure it sounds that useful based on what a friend and colleague thought of it. He may jump in on this thread (WagnerK) and give you his thoughts.

    Definitely go for the N+ though before you tackle any of the MCSA MCP's (if you decide to go the MS route) as it's a great foundation for some of the more advanced networking topics you will come across.

    It may also be worth starting to get some experience playing around with Server 2003 if you intend to go down the MCSA/E route. Some of the MS Press books give you a 6month trial copy of Server 2003 (70-290 book I think does). You will end up re-installing it many times anyway, so 6months is really not a problem. Then get yourself a copy of Virtual PC (download for free from MS) and you are away. Create a virtual lab and start tinkering. Best way to learn if your day job doesn't involve using servers etc..

    If you are already familar with many of the tasks involved in administering and implementing Server 2003 (from your lab work) then you will find the concepts covered in the various 2K3 MCP's much easier to grasp.

    One thing to bear in mind though. Certs are meant to validate the experience you already have with using the various technologies discussed above. Many training providers simply bill them as a means to getting a job etc.. that's not what they are for and you shouldn't expect to get one just because you gain an MCP, CCNA etc...

    eg I believe MS's own recommended pre-requisit's for the MCSA 2003 are along the lines of 'Candidates for the MCSA should have 12months experience of administering and implementing a multi-site domain with at least 500 workstations' Or something like that anyway. :)

    Hope some of that helps and good luck with whatever path you decide to go down with the studying / training.


    Found it! Here is what MS recommend for the MCSA as an example.

    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Modey's advice is spot on.

    Also, be advised that the MCSA comes before the MCSE. There is no such certification as the CCNE.

    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!
  6. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    Hi there and welcome 8)
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  7. Evilkyote

    Evilkyote New Member

    Sorry I mistyped, I mean CCIE (Cisco Certified internetwork Expert). I'll edit my original post if i can. Is this one worth doing?

  8. Evilkyote

    Evilkyote New Member

    Well today I purchased the CompTIA A+ Certification all-in-one desk reference for dummies lol, I'm a little eager to start and that was the only A+ book instock at my local bookstore, I assure you i'm no dummy lol.

    Anyway, i've been reading it this afternoon and goto the end of 'book I', alot of it i already know through previous training and what I have tought myself in past but certainly help with the area's i'm a little rusty on, nothing wrong with refrshing myself a little, beside which I think I might as well do the A+ exam when i'm ready as it will give me an extra qualification to give me a little more leverage so to speak at interviews while i continue to study on towards the other qualifications I wish to obtain.
  9. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Premium Member

    I agree with what the guys said here. Welcome to the forums btw.
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
  10. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Hi welcome :D

    Get the A+ all in one exam guide 6th edition by Mike Meyers first and make sure its the 6th edition. This is the official A+ learning material.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  11. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    You're years and years away from doing that one. I've been messing with computers for 27 years, and in IT officially for 10, and I'm not even ready for the CCIE. :biggrin
    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!
  12. Evilkyote

    Evilkyote New Member

  13. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    I don't know, however you can download a trial of 2k3 directly from MS, see here. Use it in VPC or VMware on a month by month basis.

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: MSc in Tech Management
  14. Evilkyote

    Evilkyote New Member

    Ok Thanks, I'm looking a little ahead with that one as I am going to do the CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ out the way first.

    I'm looking at ordering the Network+ Certification: Exam Guide (All-in-one) - Michael Meyers; Hardcover for the Network+ but I'm a little unsure which to choose for the Security+ as there wasn't an all-in-one by mike meyers, it was a different author, see below:

    Security+ Certification All-In-One Exam Guide (Hardcover)
    by Gregory B. White


    Also found this one by mike meyers:
    Mike Meyers' Security+ Certification Passport (Mike Meyers' Certification Passport) (Paperback)


    Which one would you guys recommend?

    Well I'm pretty sorted as far as what I want for my career path to lead and I think I've decided on the right courses/qualifications to go for, but any comments again would be welcome.

    The path I am looking for is to become a network engineer/administrator/designer etc but I also have a strong interest in network security etc so possible a network security specialist could be part of my path.

    I've always been intestered in hacking, viruses and worms etc (Dont take that the wrong way I have never hacked anything or made a virus etc) but the idea's behind it and how it is done is something I've thought about but not really learned. I assume alot of you have seen the film Hackers, I think thats what made me interested, but for me, i'd be interested in defending against them and maybe even look at digital forensics and battling against them lol.

    I know what you might be thinking, crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run. but thats kinda the area i'd like to see myself in in say 10 years time.

    Can anyone recommend some good books for learning the techniques and tactics behind hacking etc and how to combat them and also track them down (computer forensics etc)

  15. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Greetings, EK. You've quite an ambitious path set before you. You might want to concentrate on one or two certifications at a time and let the future take care of itself.

    Get the Meyers A+ study guide and dive into that. It'll keep you busy. By the time to get to the Security+ cert, there could be a few more books published on the subject.

    Not sure why you are aiming at both 2000 and 2003 for your Microsoft certifications. If you get your MCSA/MCSE in 2003, you'll know what you need to know if you encounter a data center using mainly 2000 based servers. Also, be advised that to get your MCSE will require seven separate exams and it takes people anywhere from two to three years (or more) to successfully pass them all.

    The CCIE is extremely challenging and years down the road.

    I hope you've factored in job experience. You won't be able to pass all of the exams you've set before yourself without practical experience. Expect to start out at entry-level working a help desk or doing basic desktop support.

    BTW, welcome to CertForums. :)

    Certifications: A+ and Network+

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