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Microsoft Certifications

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Igniseus, 8 Dec 2009.

  1. Igniseus

    Igniseus What's a Dremel?

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    Hi all.

    I'm really confused about these, as I have never really known what they are all about. I'm trying to look into possibly getting one (or a few) while I'm applying for jobs (or whilst working) but not sure how to go about it. From what I figure so far, I must either self-teach or go for training, and then apply for the certificate which is just tests and no teaching?

    If anyone can help by providing links to training, resources, etc, how I may go about doing these certs, it would be much appreciated.


    Thanks! :)
     
  2. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Herein lies the problem - you can buy self study books for some, but others, you simply have to magically work out how to do it yourself on the job, and while reading Microsoft's whitepapers - then take the exam.

    No matter what you do in the IT industry - even programming - a sound understanding of networking principles is always useful. Juniper have free web based training which I've been recommended by a friend, and have recommended to people I work with, who have found it useful https://learningportal.juniper.net/juniper/user_fasttrack_home.aspx and should you be interested in it they also do training for free on their full qualifications.

    I'd recommend you take the Networking Fundamentals course that website offers, then look at some self study books on Amazon, if they are available, for your chosen area.

    I had a good experience with the ASP.Net 1.1 version of http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beginning-A...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260271974&sr=1-1 - assuming you're thinking of going for your programming related certs :)

    To answer your question about the taking of the exams - generally you study for it in X manner (where X is a -usually expensive- course, or a self study book), and then head to the pearsonvue or prometric website, and book the test out of your own pocket at your local testing centre :)
     
  3. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    The qualifications come from exams. You don't need to study to take them but if you don't then you probably won't pass.

    The self-study books are OK but it takes a while to understand the microsoft way of doing things.

    What exams/areas do you want to learn?
     
  4. Igniseus

    Igniseus What's a Dremel?

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    I'm looking at a future career as an ASP.NET developer (in C#) hopefully, but having no work experience, will more than likely be starting in more generic IT roles while I build my portfolio and gain work experience. So basically exams to cover those 2 bases, one for my primary area of interest, and the other to broaden my job opportunities in more general IT areas.

    Besides self-study what are my other options? On-line text and video tutorials? Are there short-courses around the country to teach you everything required?
     
  5. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    You could probably take evening classes at local adult education colleges - some of which you may even be eligible for free.

    As you're aiming at general IT employment to get yourself in, then I'd definitely recommend the first stop to be the Networking Fundamentals course which is free on that website I mentioned above :thumb:
     
  6. Igniseus

    Igniseus What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks Zoon. Had a quick sample and the video's look cool :) We did Cisco networking at Uni, but it was basically "here's hundreds of pages of text documentation" so it was very difficult to sit down and spend hours reading immensely boring documentation, which started very advanced too so much of it was way over our heads.
     
  7. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Yeah I've heard the same said before, by lots of uni students doing programming style courses. I think the biggest problem is that most people on that kinda course went to learn programming and didn't expect any networking, and equally, that they don't get someone who knows it properly to teach the stuff.

    Having said that, I can't argue that its not hard to ready the Cisco study materials - as I'm running through my CCNP at the moment having been a Cisco network engineer for 4 years now. My eyes are square and my head is wooly.
     
  8. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    I hate Vendor Certifications, but they do have effect on your recruitment chances.

    Effectively they testify that you have learn lots of unnecessary detail about a specific vendors technology usually with vendor-specific quirks built-in (particularly in the case of MS).

    But regardless of their real or perceived merits, they are useless when you are up against someone with experience, That said, they will often be the thing that differentiates between you and other candidates with similar experience - your Joker, perhaps.

    If you attempt certification without experience, you are almost certainly going to get less out of it.

    So if you want a development job (using MS technologies), you need to start firstly with some learning and then get some experience under your belt. Personally, I would find a scalable project that uses elements of as many key areas as possible (DBs, UI, web, security, etc), and use that as your learning vehicle. It's far easier to learn by doing, or at leastr having a specific objective in mind, rather than simple reading lots of generic examples.

    Apply for some entry-level jobs in the meantime. As you gain in experience and technical ability, then you can start considering certification... But walk before you can run...
     
  9. DarkLord7854

    DarkLord7854 What's a Dremel?

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    +1


    I wouldn't attempt the exam without actually working with the technology for a good 6 months or so and after having gotten comfortable with it.
     
  10. Igniseus

    Igniseus What's a Dremel?

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    Cheers all.

    I'm actually now looking at grabbing the Comptia A+ while applying for jobs. Based on what I've read, I should already know most of what's the in the tests, so a couple of books should fill any gaps.
     
  11. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    I'd recommend once you've done your A+, instead of considering at the N+, you do the Cisco CCENT, which covers the same kinds of material, but gives you cert with the largest market share vendor instead of a generic cert :)

    With the Cisco course materials you already received, assuming you can remember it, you should easily pass the CCENT on the Cisco Press book http://www.amazon.co.uk/CCENT-Offic...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260538613&sr=8-1
     
  12. simosaurus

    simosaurus What's a Dremel?

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    I passed my "Microsoft .NET Framework - Application Development Foundation (MCTS Exam 70-536)" Exam last week.

    You have to do this one before you can choose to narrow down to a specific web based ASP.NET one.

    This course has a self paced training guide that i used, which covered the contents fairly well, it was however a difficult exam. I would recommend you do this as it shows you a lot of what the framework has to offer.
     
  13. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth What's a Dremel?

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    Maybe you can also download or purchase some materials from sites like microsoft ebook or microsoft pdf or measureup.com which aims to provide Microsoft products. But however in my opinion the materials from the sites are not enough . A+ is probably the one cited most often as a starting point for careers in IT. I have the A+ and Net+… the net+ is easier than either part of the A+ exam. The two certifications may get you a low-end job, like a tech or helpdesk. Beyond that it depends on the areas you intend to target your learning and experience into. Look through the job listings for your dream job, and for what you're willing to do, and see what technical staffing team requires.
     
  14. fantastic dan

    fantastic dan Minimodder

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    First thing I'd ask is what do you want to specialize in? I'd say to stay away from comptia, I've yet to see a comptia cert that was respected and they're pretty expensive from what I can gather.

    If you want to be an admin then you want an MCSE or and MCITP. Just having one wont get you a decent role though, you need good experience to compliment the certs.

    If you want to be a DBA then I'd actually recommend that you get a bit of background with server OS stuff before working onto the DBA courses. Not every one but a lot of the DBAs I've known started off as windows admins and as they grew in stature they needed to incorporate database skills into their abilities as well. Also I don't know many DBAs that haven't been in IT for at least 5 years, it's really an experience role.

    You want to be a network admin then I'd say focus on the CCNA or Juniper Associate level certs. CCNA is instantly recognisable but Juniper are making inroads in the ISP and the Core. Someone told me that Juniper are nearing equal uptake to Cisco at ISPs. Can't confirm that though.

    I can't really help with what you'll need as a developer. I can get by with some small sharepoint stuff but I'm not very good at programming.


    Just studying isn't going to be enough to pass most of the exams. All cisco and at least 3 of the MCSE exams have sim components and there are a couple of Microsoft exams that are now virtual lab based. Get virtual machines going and if you're like me and you like visual cues then CBT nuggets are great if a little pricey.
     

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