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Starting Career as Data Analyst - Advice Needed

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by oliver27, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. oliver27

    oliver27 New Member

    Hi there,
    I am looking for a career change into data analysis/business intelligence. I understand I need to have experience with SQL and excel and Crystal Reports/MS Access.
    I have looked into the MTA and MSCA and indeed the MSCE. I understand that there are a lot of online training providers out there, but then I discovered a thread on this forum (albeit not related to these specific things) that self-learning could be an option (and would save me a lot of money also, as not got a lot of the stuff at the moment!)

    Can anyone provide any advice:
    - Do I need to pass the MTA (364) to start the MSCA?
    - Is the MSCE required for work as a data analyst?
    - Is self-learning an option for these courses?
    - If so, how long would this take on average?
    - Any recommended books?
    - Are online courses better/easier than self-learning? (any recommendations if so? I am UK based)
    - Can anyone just take the exam once they have self-learned/attended a course?
    - Any other general advice you can provide?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. oliver27

    oliver27 New Member

    Also - would using something like Treehouse be good for passing these exams? Or not in-depth enough?
  3. SimonD
    Honorary Member

    SimonD Terabyte Poster

    To answer some of your questions.

    No you don't need the MTA to start the MCSA.
    No you don't need the MCSE to start work as a data analyst, it should be pointed out at this stage that both the MCSA and MCSE require some previous experience with the products you're going to be tested against and as such aren't exams that should be your first port of call.
    They aren't entry level and I don't believe you have the requisite experience or exposure to the technologies to allow you to pass the exams without cheating your way through (as you mention at the start of your message, you want to move in to BI work which is why I say you don't have the skills).
    Yes self learning is definitely an option, going along side that I would say exposure to some hands on labs or even a home based one would benefit you as well.
    How long is a piece of string, no seriously.. how long would it take me to pass these exams? I have no idea, it's not something I am interested in, done or involved in now and as such I doubt I could ever pass the specific BI\SQL exams. How long would it take you? Only you can really answer that.
    Google or Amazon is your friend there I am afraid, read the reviews and see what's said about the various books (you have to do some of the research yourself, it's good for you and teaches you to look for answers).
    Again, courses can depend on you, I personally prefer to be in a classroom interacting with the tutor and the rest of the students, it's not to say that online training is good or bad, I just prefer the bums on seat approach.
    You can book and take any of the exams when you want, as far as I know with the MS exams there are no training pre-reqs, you pay your money, you sit the exam, you either pass or fail, it's as simple as that, if you fail you pay for another shot at the exam (assuming Second Shot isn't running) and go again.
    Experience and hands on (either hands on labs or home based lab).
    Never heard of treehouse so I can't offer advice on that.
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).

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