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Certification Path Help RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,
    I want to know which certification path i take to be successful in my career.
    I work as a desktop support technician for the last 4 years. My main job duties are supporting users (less than 100) on a day to day technical issues like office application support, email support, printer support etc.. I also do some active directory changes like changing passwords, adding new users etc.. 
    I configure laptops and desktops with windows 7 and 8.1 with office suites, exchange mail setup, installing various applications. Recently, I started learning how to install windows 2008 r2 on a virtual server, migrating a standalone system / server to a virtual machine (VMware or Citrix). I also worked on sharepoint sites. I created a site and manage it on a day to day bases. 
    I have a bachelors in Computer Science & Engineering degree. I do not have any certifications as of now. 
    I want to be certified as MSCE one day. I have interests towards virtual servers, virtual Storage solutions, email servers. I also have little knowledge about SQL server. How to write a query or how to pull up information from a SQL database. 
    Now, I am stuck if I should do MTA certifications or MSCA certifications. And, I am not able to decide which career path I should take. Should I take Server infrastructure or Database. 
    Please advise which will be the best career path for me. 
    Thank you
    Kalyan
    Wednesday, April 9, 2014 2:29 PM

Answers

  • Hi, Kalyan.

    You are obviously a professional who has experience working with computers. The MTA exams are for folks who are just entering into the computer industry. I think you can skip those.

    Should you pursue Windows Server Infrastructure or SQL Server certifications? Your answer should be based on whichever technology you enjoyed working with! These two technologies are quite different and each will require dedicated studying, whichever you decide.

    For SQL Server MCSA and MCSE:

    It will require you to pass five (5) exams in total.

    NOTE: You should skip going for the MCSA: SQL Server 2008 because you must still upgrade to MCSA: SQL Server 2012 to earn your SQL Server MCSE!

    To earn your MCSA: SQL Server 2012, you will need to pass three exams (70-461, 70-462, 70-463). CAUTION: The 70-463 exam will require you to have skills in Microsoft Business intelligence tools including SSAS (SQL Server Analysis Services - cubes, data mining, etc.) and SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services - ETL service for moving data). Learn more about this MCSA here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/mcsa-sql-certification.aspx

    From here, you can pick one (1) of the two (2) SQL Server MCSE titles, MCSE: Data Platform or MCSE: Business Intelligence and pass its two (2) associated exams:
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/mcse-sql-data-platform.aspx
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/mcse-sql-business-intelligence.aspx

    For a Windows MCSA and MCSE:

    It will require you to pass five (5) exams in total.

    You must go for the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification by passing its three (3) required exams (70-410, 70-411, 70-412):
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/mcsa-windows-server-certification.aspx

    NOTE: Please do not go for any of the other MCSA certifications because they do not act as stepping stones to the big MCSE certifications.

    As well, to earn your MCSE, you must choose one (1) of the six (6) MCSE Windows certifications that require the MCSA mentioned above. Note that there are eight (8) MCSEs total but two (2) of them are unrelated because they are for SQL Server (as mentioned above).

    Here are the six (6) MCSE titles, each require you to pass two (2) exams:
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/mcse-certification.aspx

    Good luck!


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014 4:34 PM
    Answerer

All replies

  • Hi, Kalyan.

    You are obviously a professional who has experience working with computers. The MTA exams are for folks who are just entering into the computer industry. I think you can skip those.

    Should you pursue Windows Server Infrastructure or SQL Server certifications? Your answer should be based on whichever technology you enjoyed working with! These two technologies are quite different and each will require dedicated studying, whichever you decide.

    For SQL Server MCSA and MCSE:

    It will require you to pass five (5) exams in total.

    NOTE: You should skip going for the MCSA: SQL Server 2008 because you must still upgrade to MCSA: SQL Server 2012 to earn your SQL Server MCSE!

    To earn your MCSA: SQL Server 2012, you will need to pass three exams (70-461, 70-462, 70-463). CAUTION: The 70-463 exam will require you to have skills in Microsoft Business intelligence tools including SSAS (SQL Server Analysis Services - cubes, data mining, etc.) and SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services - ETL service for moving data). Learn more about this MCSA here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/mcsa-sql-certification.aspx

    From here, you can pick one (1) of the two (2) SQL Server MCSE titles, MCSE: Data Platform or MCSE: Business Intelligence and pass its two (2) associated exams:
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/mcse-sql-data-platform.aspx
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/mcse-sql-business-intelligence.aspx

    For a Windows MCSA and MCSE:

    It will require you to pass five (5) exams in total.

    You must go for the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification by passing its three (3) required exams (70-410, 70-411, 70-412):
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/mcsa-windows-server-certification.aspx

    NOTE: Please do not go for any of the other MCSA certifications because they do not act as stepping stones to the big MCSE certifications.

    As well, to earn your MCSE, you must choose one (1) of the six (6) MCSE Windows certifications that require the MCSA mentioned above. Note that there are eight (8) MCSEs total but two (2) of them are unrelated because they are for SQL Server (as mentioned above).

    Here are the six (6) MCSE titles, each require you to pass two (2) exams:
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/mcse-certification.aspx

    Good luck!


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014 4:34 PM
    Answerer
  • Thank you for your guidance. I will update as I progress in my certification path.. 


    Wednesday, April 9, 2014 4:38 PM
  • David, 

    Do you advise to take Windows Server 2008 or Windows server 2012. 

    My view is I work on Windows Server 2008 day to day. So, I may have a better understanding of it. 

    I do not know how different is windows server 2012 from 2008. 

    Please advise which will be a better way to go. 

    Thank you

    Kalyan

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014 5:53 PM
  • Hi, Kalyan.

    There is no MCSE certification for Windows Server 2008.

    Windows Server 2012 is a different operating system, appearing very much like Windows 8.x. The management screens appear differently as well.

    NOTE: All Server 2012 exams have been updated to Windows Server 2012 R2.

    If you go for the MCSA: Windows Server 2008, you will still need to take a difficult upgrade exam (70-417) to earn the MCSA: Windows Server 2012. My opinion: I consider 70-417 difficult because it contains content from three (3) separate exams (70-410, 70-411, 70-412). Instead of studying for one exam, you must study for all three (3) of them! Here it is:
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-70-417.aspx

    As I stated in my first response, if you want to get a Windows MCSE, there is only one MCSA certification that can be used to get you there. It is MCSA: Windows Server 2012.

    Study Materials

    Check out the free training on MVA here: http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/

    As well, be sure to check out the free TechNet Labs here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/virtuallabs/default

    Good luck!


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014 9:37 PM
    Answerer