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Need some advice on MCSA training RRS feed

  • Question

  • I wanted to work on getting my MCSA in Windows Server, but I wasn't sure if it made sense to get the 2008, then upgrade to 2012, or at this point just go straight to the 2012.  Honestly, I think I'd prefer to just move on to 2012, but I didn't know if having both would really increase my value?

    From that decision, I need to decide on a training resource.  I'm hoping to get my employer to pay for either CBT Nuggets, or Pluralsight. Obviously b/c of price Pluralsight is more attractive, but I like the idea that CBT Nuggets offers virtual labs. Are they worth the extra premium in price? I do have a pretty beefy work laptop with 16GB of memory, so I could probably setup the necessary labs myself if I went the Pluralsight route.  I might supplement with the Press Books as well, but is one video site better than the other for MCSA training?

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014 1:38 PM

Answers

  • That's hard to answer, lol.  It's about your preferences.

    Honestly, the MCSA 2008 will be lot easier to get.  The 640/642/and 646 are all pretty each.  There's no crazy new features in there.  Then you can focus on 2012's newer advanced features.

    The majority seem to think the 412 is the biggest hurdle to getting the 2012 MCSA.  If you get the 2008 cert, then take the 417, at least you'll have a smaller exposure factor to the Adv feature questions.  But then you have to take 4 exams instead of just three.

    CBT Nuggets are great, I personally like the virtual academy. But honestly, having the press books and following along in my own lab was the most beneficial.  I'm not a fan of classrooms because they usually dwell on entry level stuff and browse over more detailed difficult things.  Then where does that get you?  

    Anyway, like I said.  It's hard to answer.  Everyone studies different.

    If you find my post to be helpful, or the answer, please mark it appropriately.


    Chris Ream

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014 1:56 PM

All replies

  • That's hard to answer, lol.  It's about your preferences.

    Honestly, the MCSA 2008 will be lot easier to get.  The 640/642/and 646 are all pretty each.  There's no crazy new features in there.  Then you can focus on 2012's newer advanced features.

    The majority seem to think the 412 is the biggest hurdle to getting the 2012 MCSA.  If you get the 2008 cert, then take the 417, at least you'll have a smaller exposure factor to the Adv feature questions.  But then you have to take 4 exams instead of just three.

    CBT Nuggets are great, I personally like the virtual academy. But honestly, having the press books and following along in my own lab was the most beneficial.  I'm not a fan of classrooms because they usually dwell on entry level stuff and browse over more detailed difficult things.  Then where does that get you?  

    Anyway, like I said.  It's hard to answer.  Everyone studies different.

    If you find my post to be helpful, or the answer, please mark it appropriately.


    Chris Ream

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014 1:56 PM
  • That's hard to answer, lol.  It's about your preferences.

    Honestly, the MCSA 2008 will be lot easier to get.  The 640/642/and 646 are all pretty each.  There's no crazy new features in there.  Then you can focus on 2012's newer advanced features.

    The majority seem to think the 412 is the biggest hurdle to getting the 2012 MCSA.  If you get the 2008 cert, then take the 417, at least you'll have a smaller exposure factor to the Adv feature questions.  But then you have to take 4 exams instead of just three.

    CBT Nuggets are great, I personally like the virtual academy. But honestly, having the press books and following along in my own lab was the most beneficial.  I'm not a fan of classrooms because they usually dwell on entry level stuff and browse over more detailed difficult things.  Then where does that get you?  

    Anyway, like I said.  It's hard to answer.  Everyone studies different.

    If you find my post to be helpful, or the answer, please mark it appropriately.


    Chris Ream


    I appreciate the feedback on exam 412 being difficult, that's definitely something I'd like to consider. I get what you mean by setting up your own lab, which I can likely setup the necessary virtual machines on my laptop which makes something like the cheaper cost of Pluralsight more appealing. I'll check out the Virtual Academy as well.
    Wednesday, January 22, 2014 2:02 PM
  • Christopher, quick question.  Is the Virtual Academy sufficient to pass the exams if used as the primary training tool?
    Wednesday, January 22, 2014 2:09 PM
  • The virtual academy is like free CBT Nuggets.  They do a lot of highlighting of features and a few presentations.  I wouldn't say it's enough but it's a nice familiarization.  

    If you have never taken a MS exam before, they are multiple choice, so if you have briefly familiar with everything, you can usually work your way through the test.

    Chris Ream

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014 2:16 PM
  • Hi, stigs007.

    Here's my opinion.

    Just go for the MCSA Windows Server 2012 certification. With just three exams, you will have the latest server certification completed and then you can focus on other things. AS well, you will be only two exams away from MCSE, if you wish to pursue it.

    The Server 2008 exams are based on a product that is six (6) years old - well, six years old according to the year attached to them. They are actually based on the R2 edition of Server 2008. Nonetheless, where will you be with a Server 2008 certification two years from now? How much will it mean to your boss or a potential hiring manager to see on your transcript that you are certified in something eight (8) years old? (that's what they will think....

    As you may noticed by the sticky at the top of the forum, the Server 2012 exams are being updated on January 28th to Server 2012 R2. This also includes upgrade exams. Note that some book publishers will be releasing updated study guides February, March and April. Here are the books being released by MSPress:
    http://search.oreilly.com/?q=exam+2012+r2&x=0&y=0

    Please be aware that most training materials have not yet been updated to Windows Server 2012 R2 yet. They are based on Server 2012 RTM. That includes most books, videos, and practice exams. I suspect that this spring there will be more offerings.

    Good luck!


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014 3:01 PM
    Answerer
  • Hi, stigs007.

    Here's my opinion.

    Just go for the MCSA Windows Server 2012 certification. With just three exams, you will have the latest server certification completed and then you can focus on other things. AS well, you will be only two exams away from MCSE, if you wish to pursue it.

    The Server 2008 exams are based on a product that is six (6) years old - well, six years old according to the year attached to them. They are actually based on the R2 edition of Server 2008. Nonetheless, where will you be with a Server 2008 certification two years from now? How much will it mean to your boss or a potential hiring manager to see on your transcript that you are certified in something eight (8) years old? (that's what they will think....

    As you may noticed by the sticky at the top of the forum, the Server 2012 exams are being updated on January 28th to Server 2012 R2. This also includes upgrade exams. Note that some book publishers will be releasing updated study guides February, March and April. Here are the books being released by MSPress:
    http://search.oreilly.com/?q=exam+2012+r2&x=0&y=0

    Please be aware that most training materials have not yet been updated to Windows Server 2012 R2 yet. They are based on Server 2012 RTM. That includes most books, videos, and practice exams. I suspect that this spring there will be more offerings.

    Good luck!


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson


    I definitely understand the point you're making, but I know of places still utilizing Server 2003 to some degree, so it wouldn't surprise me a few years from to still see Server 2008 out there.  I guess in both cases I end up with a MCSA 2012, which is my main goal, but I have to decide which makes the most sense for me.  I appreciate the input though, and thank you for the link, I have been curious when new material was going to come out.
    Wednesday, January 22, 2014 8:54 PM