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MCDST to MCSA RRS feed

  • Question

  • Just passed my 2nd MCDST exam yesterday. I have been in the field for about 5 years and knew a lot of the stuff but wanted to get MCDST just to brush up on the little details that are useful but obscure and the same time to get to experience MS exams in otherwise familiar waters. Well the MCDST was pretty easy for me to tackle and I knew a lot of the stuff but also did pick up a few small things that will be very useful. So now I am going to go for the MCSA but also wanted to get a couple opinions on it.

    Where I am at now I do both desktop and backside support (all MS environment: AD, Exchange, Office e.t.c.). I have to participate in cross company laptop and desktop deployments and have written a few scripts for the images that I am single handedly responsible for creating and maintaining (along with everyday Tier-3 support, reporting and maintenance functions).

    A little background: I just have about 6-7 years of experience and I am "electronically-inclined" - that is to say that a lot of stuff about about electronics (software included) and how it works seems natural to me (as in my own vision of how things should be) and I pick up a lot of that stuff on the fly. I don't have a degree.

    Is MCSA something fitting for becoming better at this function and advancing my career or is there something else that's more fitting out there?

    Also I think that my MCDST fulfills the requirement of the Elective for MCSA so I would only have to take 3 exams, is this true?

    Thanks in advance.

    P.S. I read that it is advised to take 70-621 after getting the MCDST because you get 2 certs by taking that one exam after the MCDST. I have very limited Vista (home) experience and almost none in an enterprise environment. Words of advice on this, anyone?
    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 3:23 PM

Answers

  • Hello,

    Congratulations on earning your MCDST.

    Well since you do both, desktop and server support it seems logical to go higher such as MCSA. I believe MCSA would be a good choice if you are using Server 2003 in your current job role and are very comfortable with it. If you plan on going to Server 2008 than it may be better to start on the new 2008 track. MCITP Server Administrator. This is similar to MCSA.

    You are correct, your MCDST should count as an elective, however it will not count if you decide to go for 2008. There also is an upgrade path from 2003 to 2008.

    Hope this helps.
    Eric
    • Proposed as answer by Eric Stauss Tuesday, September 1, 2009 3:36 PM
    • Marked as answer by Rubel Khan Friday, January 8, 2010 3:47 AM
    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 3:31 PM
  • Hi Xenger,

    All from Eric is correct and you can find more details here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcsa.aspx

    Congratulations: MCDST is a first and good step for IT Professional but you nedd (in my opinion) more Desktop Support experince and to be involved in Servers process and support.

    Microsoft recommends at least 1 year expierence with Server 2003. Which makes sens. When you start learning to 2003 exam you will find a lot of knowledge and details which you find from experince rather than books only. Either practice doesn't help sometimes. 

    What I recommend is: find and put together details about Server 2003 Administrating and try to find area to grab experince first. Install at least 2 Servers 2003 for practices and take to MSCA Course with Certified Trainer.

    Windows Vista is difficulty to support if you own knowledge to XP only but first install business or ultimate version and try to play with it. it is good find experince as well but don't worry, I found easy way to pass two Vista exam without previous experince.

    Good luck,
    bart 
    Bart Kurowski IT Suport Analyst MCP, MCST, MCITP, Getronics UK
    • Proposed as answer by BArt IT Tuesday, September 1, 2009 4:01 PM
    • Marked as answer by Rubel Khan Friday, January 8, 2010 3:47 AM
    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 4:01 PM

All replies

  • Hello,

    Congratulations on earning your MCDST.

    Well since you do both, desktop and server support it seems logical to go higher such as MCSA. I believe MCSA would be a good choice if you are using Server 2003 in your current job role and are very comfortable with it. If you plan on going to Server 2008 than it may be better to start on the new 2008 track. MCITP Server Administrator. This is similar to MCSA.

    You are correct, your MCDST should count as an elective, however it will not count if you decide to go for 2008. There also is an upgrade path from 2003 to 2008.

    Hope this helps.
    Eric
    • Proposed as answer by Eric Stauss Tuesday, September 1, 2009 3:36 PM
    • Marked as answer by Rubel Khan Friday, January 8, 2010 3:47 AM
    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 3:31 PM
  • Hi Xenger,

    All from Eric is correct and you can find more details here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcsa.aspx

    Congratulations: MCDST is a first and good step for IT Professional but you nedd (in my opinion) more Desktop Support experince and to be involved in Servers process and support.

    Microsoft recommends at least 1 year expierence with Server 2003. Which makes sens. When you start learning to 2003 exam you will find a lot of knowledge and details which you find from experince rather than books only. Either practice doesn't help sometimes. 

    What I recommend is: find and put together details about Server 2003 Administrating and try to find area to grab experince first. Install at least 2 Servers 2003 for practices and take to MSCA Course with Certified Trainer.

    Windows Vista is difficulty to support if you own knowledge to XP only but first install business or ultimate version and try to play with it. it is good find experince as well but don't worry, I found easy way to pass two Vista exam without previous experince.

    Good luck,
    bart 
    Bart Kurowski IT Suport Analyst MCP, MCST, MCITP, Getronics UK
    • Proposed as answer by BArt IT Tuesday, September 1, 2009 4:01 PM
    • Marked as answer by Rubel Khan Friday, January 8, 2010 3:47 AM
    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 4:01 PM
  • Hello,

    Congratulations on earning your MCDST.

    Well since you do both, desktop and server support it seems logical to go higher such as MCSA. I believe MCSA would be a good choice if you are using Server 2003 in your current job role and are very comfortable with it. If you plan on going to Server 2008 than it may be better to start on the new 2008 track. MCITP Server Administrator. This is similar to MCSA.

    You are correct, your MCDST should count as an elective, however it will not count if you decide to go for 2008. There also is an upgrade path from 2003 to 2008.

    Hope this helps.
    Eric
    There are no plans in my organization to upgrade to 2008, in fact we only went to AD from NT Domain in the end of 2005!!! That is the project I was originally contracted for and then ended up getting a longer contract and eventually employment. My current employer pays for all the MS exams I take as well as provide with training materials (Skillsoft courses, they are kind of weak but it's required of us) and books via books24x7, which is very helpful.
    In your personal opinion do you think it's better to go for 2008 right away or to get 2003 and then upgrade?
    Also I'd like to hear what you have to say about 70-621, thanks.
    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 4:43 PM
  • There are no plans in my organization to upgrade to 2008, in fact we only went to AD from NT Domain in the end of 2005!!! That is the project I was originally contracted for and then ended up getting a longer contract and eventually employment. My current employer pays for all the MS exams I take as well as provide with training materials (Skillsoft courses, they are kind of weak but it's required of us) and books via books24x7, which is very helpful.
    In your personal opinion do you think it's better to go for 2008 right away or to get 2003 and then upgrade?
    Also I'd like to hear what you have to say about 70-621, thanks.

    As there are no plans to upgrade (in the near future) to 2008 I would say go for the MCSA now then do the upgrades at the later date.  The MCSA will be more relevant to your job/work. 

    I did the 70-621 (well the 71-621 beta) exam and I found it ok, however I had been using the product since the early beta.  The MCTS exams, while still at the level technical level and sometimes even harder than the MCP track exams, are easier to understand "wording" wise.  You can read about my experience of it here: http://www.certforums.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=16260&highlight=71-621
    -Ken | http://ken.wagnerfamily.co.uk
    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 5:16 PM