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Need certification and career advice RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have been a Helpdesk/ Desktop support guy for 11 years now. Have my mcdst etc, but at 41 years old and with the job market it is time to make a change or I will be phazed out. What knowledge and certification should I pursue to become a Systems/ Network/ Server Admin (or whatever they are calling it today?).  I am going to have to do this out of pocket via books etc.  What are teh skillsets needed?  I see some want SQL knowledge etc.

    I am sorry if this isn't the correct forum or what not, but I know most of you are in positions I want to apire to get to so I was hoping to get some advice.

    Regards,

    Brian

    Sunday, November 7, 2010 8:22 PM

Answers

  • Hi Brian,

    Certifications show what knowledge you have. From your 11 years of experience, you should have worked with Windows Nt Workstation 4 and Windows 98 a lot. Now is Windows Vista as legacy and Window 7 as the last version. I believe that you have the most of the skill set needed.

    I suggest you to go for the MCITP Enterprise Administrator (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-windowsserver.aspx#tab3). This includes demanding knowledge on Windows 2008 server and Windows 7/Vista configuration. If you want to go for a Desktop certification only, there a MCITP: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-windowsclient.aspx#tab3).

    Use that certifications pages as a guide for the materials you need. I suggest as well to get a Intructor lead training on many CPLSs (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/training/cpls.aspx). They'll provide you with a strong starting on server operation. In the enterprise environment, Desktop administrators work with different responsibilities than Server Administrators. A failure in the operation on a server could affect many users and have a strong impact on the enterprise as well. I Agree a failure on an important desktop could do much harm as well.

    Regarding the age, forget about that. For me, I prefer all the time updated. I'm 49 and still working on certifications, such as A+. PMP, MCITP, ITIL and anything in the middle.

    Alfredo Arizaleta


    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no express or implied warranties or rights.
    Monday, November 8, 2010 1:48 AM
  • Hi Brian,

    What companies are looking for? A perfect guy that knows what it's being done, doing it quickly (of course, because you know how) and without mistakes (because you know how).

    I'm not an expert on SQL or Exchange, but you can do a search on Microsoft Press or in Amazon and you'll find interesting results.

    For SQL, as for Exchange you have to know how to install, administer and troubleshooting. For SQL, I recommend to understand T-SQL and Store Procedures. For Exchange, to manage the mail databases, Outlook and networking. For bith you have to work hard on high availability, disaster recovery and maintenance.

    As I mentioned before, use the exam guides of certification track as a learning guides. Concentrate in learning, not passing exams (it comes after). After that, you have to work on Best Practices, such as Microsoft Operations Framework. They guide you to Disaster recovery practices, Backup and restore and high availability. That's a long and winding road...

    Enjoy yourself,

    Alfredo Arizaleta


    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no express or implied warranties or rights.
    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 12:02 AM

All replies

  • Hi Brian,

    Certifications show what knowledge you have. From your 11 years of experience, you should have worked with Windows Nt Workstation 4 and Windows 98 a lot. Now is Windows Vista as legacy and Window 7 as the last version. I believe that you have the most of the skill set needed.

    I suggest you to go for the MCITP Enterprise Administrator (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-windowsserver.aspx#tab3). This includes demanding knowledge on Windows 2008 server and Windows 7/Vista configuration. If you want to go for a Desktop certification only, there a MCITP: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-windowsclient.aspx#tab3).

    Use that certifications pages as a guide for the materials you need. I suggest as well to get a Intructor lead training on many CPLSs (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/training/cpls.aspx). They'll provide you with a strong starting on server operation. In the enterprise environment, Desktop administrators work with different responsibilities than Server Administrators. A failure in the operation on a server could affect many users and have a strong impact on the enterprise as well. I Agree a failure on an important desktop could do much harm as well.

    Regarding the age, forget about that. For me, I prefer all the time updated. I'm 49 and still working on certifications, such as A+. PMP, MCITP, ITIL and anything in the middle.

    Alfredo Arizaleta


    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no express or implied warranties or rights.
    Monday, November 8, 2010 1:48 AM
  • I think I am going to bypass Working on my MCSA and just go for the MCITP certs.

    What else are companies looking for in an Administrator?  I see SQL, but I have no experience with it and need to learn how to administer it badly. Where do I start?  Also I presume work on Exchange for messaging. what other skill set do I need to add?

    Monday, November 8, 2010 1:13 PM
  • Hi Brian,

    What companies are looking for? A perfect guy that knows what it's being done, doing it quickly (of course, because you know how) and without mistakes (because you know how).

    I'm not an expert on SQL or Exchange, but you can do a search on Microsoft Press or in Amazon and you'll find interesting results.

    For SQL, as for Exchange you have to know how to install, administer and troubleshooting. For SQL, I recommend to understand T-SQL and Store Procedures. For Exchange, to manage the mail databases, Outlook and networking. For bith you have to work hard on high availability, disaster recovery and maintenance.

    As I mentioned before, use the exam guides of certification track as a learning guides. Concentrate in learning, not passing exams (it comes after). After that, you have to work on Best Practices, such as Microsoft Operations Framework. They guide you to Disaster recovery practices, Backup and restore and high availability. That's a long and winding road...

    Enjoy yourself,

    Alfredo Arizaleta


    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no express or implied warranties or rights.
    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 12:02 AM