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Training Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by ipx, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. ipx

    ipx New Member

    I've recently been made redundant and have roughly 8 weeks and £2500 - £3500 to spend on training (see my REACT posting) .

    Under my belt I currently have an MCNE (hell I miss Netware), an expired CCNA, two of the seven MSCE 2003 exams and the studying done for a third. I've done a couple of classroom courses in the past but mostly taken the self-study route.

    I'm really unsure where my efforts and money would best be spent and I'd be really grateful for practical advice.

    My certification options are :-
    1. Microsoft MCSA \ MCSE (possibly) - Pros: I've done most of the studying already for the 291 exam Cons: (a) MCSE will be a challenge (b) 2003 certification track will be out of date soon, (c) Do employers care about MCSA?.
    2. Microsoft MCITP - Pros: (a) Futureproof (b) I have plenty of time Cons: (a) Starting from scratch (b) Never used 2008 Server
    3. CCNA Renewal - Pros : I've studied most of this before. Cons: I haven't used Cisco kit day to day for ages.
    4. CCNP - Impressive but in the unlikely event of passiing would probably be a paper cert.
    5. Something else

    The study mode options are :-

    1. Self Study (a shame this one as I have funding for classroom training)
    2. A couple of well targeted classroom courses
    3. Spending some of my own cash and going for a 14 day boot camp style course from Firebrand (opinions seem divided on this lot)

    Your advice and the benefit of your experience would be really helpful as I have limited time before the job centre sends me to find a McJob (god I hope not).

    Certifications: MCSE, CCNA, MCNE
  2. Tinus1959

    Tinus1959 Gigabyte Poster

    I do not believe the MCSA and MCSE track will be soon gone. Both windows XP and 2003 server will be around for at least 5 more years. Employers will still be asking for MCSA for some years to come. windows 2008 will have to proof itself before the majority will switch. Why not do them both? finish the MCSA track (at least) and then upgrade to 2008.

    CCNP exams will not get you certified unless you are a CCNA. If you want to go that direction, renewal off CCNA is mandatory.

    Self-study is fine as long as you can support it with real life experience.

    Certifications: See my signature
  3. ipx

    ipx New Member

    Thanks Tinus,

    Sounds like good advice. To summarise, how does this sound as a plan...?

    Step 1 : Complete the MCSA in Self Study Mode
    Step 2 : Update to current CCNA probably in a classroom
    Step 3 : Use a mixture of self study and classroom instruction to do something challenging. Probably choose one of the following:-
    • Convert the MCSA into MCITP
    • Convert MCSA in MCSE
    • Convert CCNA to CCNP
    I certainly have plenty of practical experience for 1 & 2, step 3 will be bit more of a challenge but I have plenty of study time at the moment.

    Incidentally someone called Commsupport Networks are running a 6 day CCNA course for £295, it sounds a bit too cheap to me. Any views?
    Certifications: MCSE, CCNA, MCNE
  4. Liqua

    Liqua Bit Poster

    In my experience no they don't and for that matter the same could be said for the other certs - For my current company it's mainly asked for by the recruitment department / departmental heads as they don't know any better and during the interview they tend to look more to your experience over any certifications you may hold. (Think of certs as opening the door to the interviewer and your experience as getting the job).

    That said you your plan looks sound - you need a way of complementing your experience to get the initial interview in the first place as a recruiter may be swamped with applications and they need some way of reducing the pile to something more manageable. If you don't have something they may (wrongly) overlook your application.

    Tinus hit the nail when he said: Self-study is fine as long as you can support it with real life experience.

    Good luck with your endevours.

    Certifications: CCNA, SND, ITIL Foundation
  5. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    Good luck with what you decide, CCNA is more than accomplishable via self study, but if you feel you need tutoring then comm support dont look too bad, although I personally have no experience of them.
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  6. ipx

    ipx New Member

    Great advice all round.

    It's been a long while since I was last job hunting but I reckon you are spot on Liqua. If the certification gets me an interview, then that is its job done. The rest is down to me and my experience\blagging at interview.

    I'm feeling a bit more relaxed now that a plan is starting to come together. MCSA in self study mode is my next goal. It's just a shame that Christmas will get in the way.

    Expect to see me soon asking more stupid questions on the studying forums (big fan of stupid questions).

    Certifications: MCSE, CCNA, MCNE
  7. Global Knowledge Ada

    Global Knowledge Ada New Member

    I would recommend ITIL for the something else category. I took my v2 foundation and have since taken the bridging course. ITIL is in high demand and there have been articles in IT training magazine show it's worth (in the pay packet and performance). You can self study the foundation and do the exam at a prometric centre but I believe a course would be better as there is a lot of info to learn. Depending on what role you enter into then you may want to look at further courses in ITIL.
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation
    WIP: CSE
  8. cisco lab rat

    cisco lab rat Megabyte Poster

    Hi IPX

    Joe from Commsupport here. Yes we are cheap, we don't want to rip anyone off like other TC's so we charge a fair price for the service we provide. If you have any doubts about us and think that our prices reflect our training why not come on to one of our free training days we hold on a regular basis and judge for your self if we are "cheap".

    Remember chaps, when you are on site trying to fix a fault no point in telling the customer it can't be fixed because your course cost £3000k !!!

    Many thanks
    Certifications: Yes I pretty much am!!
    WIP: Fizzicks Degree
  9. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

    Sounds like you have some pretty good experience under your belt too.

    I'd suggest talking to any local MS Gold Partners who have a training arm to see what they suggest - one of my local ones sometimes does a mixed course for people of ability to push them through a bit quicker, bit like a customised bootcamp.

    ITIL would be useful if you're looking to get into the service side and management - if that's of no interest then I'd say get the MCSE completed and then look at things like SQL and Sharepoint.
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  10. ipx

    ipx New Member

    Great thinking both, until 5 minutes ago I didn't realise there was so much call for ITIL. I've added add it to my list.

    Hi Joe,

    No need for that free training day, I booked anyway. I'm now two days into your 6 day CCNA course in Birmingham and needn't have worried. It's an excellent course for a very fair price. I would thoroughly recommend it.

    Certifications: MCSE, CCNA, MCNE
  11. pillychops

    pillychops New Member


    I'd like to do some kind of training course to work towards a CCNA so i'd like to know how your course went with commsupport if you've been on it yet and also is there anyone out there that has trained with 'ITNETAcademy' to let me know how good they are ???

    Phil Allen

    Openreach Linesman (for 20years and in need to move on)
    Certifications: CCNA
  12. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    It might be an idea to introduce yourself in the new members area :)

    Welcome to CF
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  13. ipx

    ipx New Member

    It's a bit late but yes I would absolutely recommend commsupport. See my PM for more info.
    Certifications: MCSE, CCNA, MCNE

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