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Total noob needs help on which certifications to study. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I currently work in insurance (uggghh..) and want a career in IT. However, when I try to research online, my head just starts to swim and I quickly become disheartened as I just dont understand the concepts/terminology/technologies etc.

    Now I dont want just want to provide desktop assistance like the IT guys I call in work. I want to be creative and write/troubleshoot/maintain software and programmes or poss get into web design. I dont really see how I can decide which route I want to take when I know so little!!

    However, I keep getting the impression that whatever route I want to take, I should start off with something like the Comptia A+ and Network+ (or microsoft equivalent - what is this?) as these wil give me the basic understanding of concepts/technology that I currently lack. IS THIS CORRECT?

    Help and guidance will be greatly appreciated.

     

    Thursday, October 27, 2011 7:50 PM

Answers

  • There's no real short answer.  If you want to provide desktop/server support, and have almost no background or knowledge, then starting off with the CompTIA A+/Net+/Server+ would be a good idea.  From there, move on to some of the Microsoft Windows 7/Server 2008 certifications.

    Web design is a whole other story.  You can learn to code by hand using HTML 5, Flash, Perl, etc.  For that, either college courses or a specialty school are in order.

    I can understand your lack of joy in working in the insurance industry.  I finally escaped it (now working in risk management for a hospital system).

    • Marked as answer by Mr. Wharty Thursday, February 16, 2012 12:04 AM
    Thursday, October 27, 2011 8:23 PM
    Answerer
  • Hi,

     

    I am fairly new to this also and am currently studying Windows 7 Configuration 70-680 for MCTS. (Desktop Support Technician)

    I have worked with PC's before and have experience in Electronics though no formal qualification and am not looking to go down the hardware route just yet.

    My plan is to get qualified as a Desktop Technician so I can get a Junior position in IT where I hope to gain the "Hands On" experience where I can then progress to higher Microsoft certs and Comptia.

    If you are studying either of these, I have found a very good site with free online videos (http://www.professormesser.com/) which covers the Microsoft 70-680 and the CompTia training.

    Andrew Barnes (MCC,Partner)(aka Scriptimus Prime) has also been good enough to provide a site where all the "MCTS: 70-680 – Windows 7 Exam Study Video Links" have been posted in one easy place.

    (http://scriptimus.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/mcts-70-680-%e2%80%93-exam-study-video-links/)

    The whole course I am taking is for MCSE Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator, though the company through which I am training has very poor material and is taking longer than I anticipated, you get what you pay for!

    I strongly recommend you research the company or college where you intend to take your course, ensuring you will receive the correct course material and support required to pass your exams.

    You are investing in your future, so any monies and time spent should be well spent. Do not cut corners as you will only be cheating on yourself.

    Whatever you do, do not use "Brain Dumps". Microsoft do not like these and can revoke your certification if it is later found that these were used in order to gain your qualification.

    It might also be an idea to invest in a fairly powerful PC for all your technical work as you will be required to run scenarios.

    Use Virtual Machines and Microsoft Virtual Labs, you should be able to access them through your current login.

    If you find your head swimming, take a break then recap. Don't skip.

    Oh, and get a copies of the official Microsoft Books for the exams you aim to take, they are like bibles.

     

    Best of luck, and keep at it, with hard work and commitment, you will prevail.

    Jason :)



    • Edited by Jason Hotmail Sunday, October 30, 2011 10:13 AM
    • Marked as answer by Mr. Wharty Thursday, February 16, 2012 12:04 AM
    Sunday, October 30, 2011 10:11 AM

All replies

  • There's no real short answer.  If you want to provide desktop/server support, and have almost no background or knowledge, then starting off with the CompTIA A+/Net+/Server+ would be a good idea.  From there, move on to some of the Microsoft Windows 7/Server 2008 certifications.

    Web design is a whole other story.  You can learn to code by hand using HTML 5, Flash, Perl, etc.  For that, either college courses or a specialty school are in order.

    I can understand your lack of joy in working in the insurance industry.  I finally escaped it (now working in risk management for a hospital system).

    • Marked as answer by Mr. Wharty Thursday, February 16, 2012 12:04 AM
    Thursday, October 27, 2011 8:23 PM
    Answerer
  • Hi Charles thanks for your answer.

    Ha yes, Insurance certainly is mindless stuff!

    How about database work using something like SQL. Is that a feasible certification path for a beginner to embark on and if so, should I still do the A+/Network+ certs first?

    Friday, October 28, 2011 6:29 AM
  • Hi,

     

    I am fairly new to this also and am currently studying Windows 7 Configuration 70-680 for MCTS. (Desktop Support Technician)

    I have worked with PC's before and have experience in Electronics though no formal qualification and am not looking to go down the hardware route just yet.

    My plan is to get qualified as a Desktop Technician so I can get a Junior position in IT where I hope to gain the "Hands On" experience where I can then progress to higher Microsoft certs and Comptia.

    If you are studying either of these, I have found a very good site with free online videos (http://www.professormesser.com/) which covers the Microsoft 70-680 and the CompTia training.

    Andrew Barnes (MCC,Partner)(aka Scriptimus Prime) has also been good enough to provide a site where all the "MCTS: 70-680 – Windows 7 Exam Study Video Links" have been posted in one easy place.

    (http://scriptimus.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/mcts-70-680-%e2%80%93-exam-study-video-links/)

    The whole course I am taking is for MCSE Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator, though the company through which I am training has very poor material and is taking longer than I anticipated, you get what you pay for!

    I strongly recommend you research the company or college where you intend to take your course, ensuring you will receive the correct course material and support required to pass your exams.

    You are investing in your future, so any monies and time spent should be well spent. Do not cut corners as you will only be cheating on yourself.

    Whatever you do, do not use "Brain Dumps". Microsoft do not like these and can revoke your certification if it is later found that these were used in order to gain your qualification.

    It might also be an idea to invest in a fairly powerful PC for all your technical work as you will be required to run scenarios.

    Use Virtual Machines and Microsoft Virtual Labs, you should be able to access them through your current login.

    If you find your head swimming, take a break then recap. Don't skip.

    Oh, and get a copies of the official Microsoft Books for the exams you aim to take, they are like bibles.

     

    Best of luck, and keep at it, with hard work and commitment, you will prevail.

    Jason :)



    • Edited by Jason Hotmail Sunday, October 30, 2011 10:13 AM
    • Marked as answer by Mr. Wharty Thursday, February 16, 2012 12:04 AM
    Sunday, October 30, 2011 10:11 AM
  • There's no real short answer.  If you want to provide desktop/server support, and have almost no background or knowledge, then starting off with the CompTIA A+/Net+/Server+ would be a good idea.  From there, move on to some of the Microsoft Windows 7/Server 2008 certifications.

    Web design is a whole other story.  You can learn to code by hand using HTML 5, Flash, Perl, etc.  For that, either college courses or a specialty school are in order.

    I can understand your lack of joy in working in the insurance industry.  I finally escaped it (now working in risk management for a hospital system).


    Charles, please email me (edprice at microsoft). Your work here is impressive, and I have a question. Thanks!

    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)

    Monday, February 20, 2012 1:17 AM