none
Microsoft Certification - where to start? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I am interested in becoming Microsoft certified, and was after some advice on where to start.

    I work for a primarily Telecommunications company, but we also do some data networking work as well (only in terms of routing and switching, we do very little in the way of PCs or servers etc, but may be looking to grow into this area in the future).  I have just achieved my Cisco CCNA, as well as already holding CompTIA A+ and Avaya ACIS/ACSS certifications.  Becoming Microsoft certified seems to be the next logical step in my own career progression, to have an overall understanding of administering a data network.

    Since a previous engineer left the company I have assumed the role of looking after our internal network, due being the engineer with the most knowledge in this area, and when it comes to making changes on our servers I can just about find my way through, but have no real Windows expertise as such, only what I have taught myself and picked up from other people.  We have a Windows Server 2003 SBS as our main domain controller, and a Server 2008 SBS for various other applications.

    I previously planned to do the MCITP: Server Administrator path once I had completed my CCNA, which if I remember correctly included a Windows 7 exam.  It made sense to do a client OS exam because it doesnt make sense to me to become an expert on a Server OS without understanding the client that is accessing it.  Most of the machines in the company use Windows 7, so I was hoping that the knowledge that I gained on Windows 7 and Server 2008 would give me the essentials of what I need to know for XP and Server 2003, although there will obviously be differences.  However with Windows 8 and Server 2012 on the way soon, doing exams on Windows 7 and Server 2008 seems to be a bit of a waste of time as I will be behind on current technology before I've even started.  But the jump from Windows 7 and Server 2008 to Windows 8 and Server 2012 seems bigger than ever before, and I would assume make the skills less transferable to the older products?

    So, with the above in mind, do you think I need to do the Microsof Technology Associate course first, or with a CCNA and CompTIA A+ already could I go straight into the new MCSA?  Do you think that with an understanding of Windows 8 and Server 2012 I would be able to go back and work on Server 2008/2003 and Windows 7/XP, or is the jump to the new OS's too big? And is it possible to include a Windows 8 (or Windows 7) exam in the new MCSA: Windows Server 2012 (or 2008) certification path, or would I need to first do the MCSA: Windows 8 (or 7) certification path?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    Joe

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 7:56 AM

Answers

  • There is a large difference in both server and client systems with the transition to server 2012/8. However most companies won't be upgrading at release so there will still a few years where you will work with older server/client versions. With this in mind it might be best to do the 2008/7 exams and then do the single upgrade exam down the line.

    The upgrade system allows you to take a single exam in most cases to become qualified in the new O/S. Learning windows server 2008 will help more with 2003 than server 2012 would because of the huge differences.

    This would be the route i would take in your situation. I've only done the client exams for windows 7, but i have experience with server 2003/8 and server 2012.

    Just my thoughts, someone who has done the exams might be able to offer a bit more insight.


    The answers/solutions that I provide are from personal experience. They are as is and come with no warranty.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 10:31 AM
  • I thought I must have posted something without knowing it when I read this OP! It is basically my exact same situation. If my two cents are valued, I am going to be going the route of MCSA with 2008 server focus. The company I currently work for has a 2003 server and a 2008 server so I'm figuring I'll have plenty of hands-on training at my fingertips to make the 2008 server path seem more relevant to me.

    Good luck!

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 8:38 PM
  • Thats great, thank you.  What about the Microsoft Technology Associate exam, is that worth doing or is just basic generic IT stuff that I would have done before with CompTIA/Cisco?  Can you mix client and OS exams in one MCSA qualification, or do you have to do them separately?

    Thanks

    Joe

    MTA is an entry level program and is geared towards those new to the IT profession.  Given your current experience level, I would not recommend doing it.


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    • Marked as answer by JoeNewton Thursday, November 29, 2012 4:40 PM
    Thursday, September 27, 2012 12:28 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • There is a large difference in both server and client systems with the transition to server 2012/8. However most companies won't be upgrading at release so there will still a few years where you will work with older server/client versions. With this in mind it might be best to do the 2008/7 exams and then do the single upgrade exam down the line.

    The upgrade system allows you to take a single exam in most cases to become qualified in the new O/S. Learning windows server 2008 will help more with 2003 than server 2012 would because of the huge differences.

    This would be the route i would take in your situation. I've only done the client exams for windows 7, but i have experience with server 2003/8 and server 2012.

    Just my thoughts, someone who has done the exams might be able to offer a bit more insight.


    The answers/solutions that I provide are from personal experience. They are as is and come with no warranty.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 10:31 AM
  • I thought I must have posted something without knowing it when I read this OP! It is basically my exact same situation. If my two cents are valued, I am going to be going the route of MCSA with 2008 server focus. The company I currently work for has a 2003 server and a 2008 server so I'm figuring I'll have plenty of hands-on training at my fingertips to make the 2008 server path seem more relevant to me.

    Good luck!

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 8:38 PM
  • Thats great, thank you.  What about the Microsoft Technology Associate exam, is that worth doing or is just basic generic IT stuff that I would have done before with CompTIA/Cisco?  Can you mix client and OS exams in one MCSA qualification, or do you have to do them separately?

    Thanks

    Joe

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 2:17 PM
  • Thats great, thank you.  What about the Microsoft Technology Associate exam, is that worth doing or is just basic generic IT stuff that I would have done before with CompTIA/Cisco?  Can you mix client and OS exams in one MCSA qualification, or do you have to do them separately?

    Thanks

    Joe

    MTA is an entry level program and is geared towards those new to the IT profession.  Given your current experience level, I would not recommend doing it.


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    • Marked as answer by JoeNewton Thursday, November 29, 2012 4:40 PM
    Thursday, September 27, 2012 12:28 AM
    Moderator