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Is pursuing an MCSE without experience an exercise in futility? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've been in networking, and I'm really interested in switching and getting an MCSE, but I've heard that without administrative/Microsoft experience it's going to be very difficult to find a job. I don't want to have to start out as an assistant to the helpdesk janitor, either, in order to get my foot in the door, since my current job - though it isn't executive pay - isn't peanuts (about $40k/yr). I'd like to be able to make at least as much as what I'm making now with my CCNA and bachelor's degree, along with my bit of IT experience.

    Does anyone have some input? Thanks.
    Sunday, May 3, 2009 7:59 AM

Answers

  • Youngearth

    If you want yo get MCSE you will have to study and practice all content in the book. Its possible to get MCSE withouth experience and there are much people that do that using TESTKING, this way its not recommended by Microsoft.

     If you have time, get a book, create your lab, watch the videos the microsoft technet provide and always search for practice.

    You dont need to start all over as a Help Desk, but you probably will not get at first to manage lots of servers.

    My tip to you is :
     Focus on the Microsoft Press for MCSE
     Practice A LOT
     Dont use TESTKING for the study and Exams
     Any doubt you need, come to the forum and open a thread.

    Hope it Helps, Good Luck


    Thiago Pereira | http://thiagoinfrat.spaces.live.com | http://www.winsec.org
    Sunday, May 3, 2009 4:46 PM
  • Hi,

    Having an MCSE cert (or the "new-generation" MCITP:EA) in your resume will get you noticed more by the recruitment people but won't be a sure-fire pass to get you employed in an administrator role. If you are really keen on switching to a Microsoft infrastructure admin role, working experience on this technology is still a must, imho. Certifications (whether MCSE or any other IT-related certs, for that matter) are supposed to substantiate one's knowledge and skills in a particular subject matter; without the experience, the cert may not carry much weight.

    But then again, you can lay all your cards on the table and let your potential employers decide based on what you offer. If you show enough enthusiasm and promise, chances are they'll gamble on you.

    Simply put, if you have the time and resources, go for the MCSE cert as it may just prove useful and beneficial for you in the long run.

    Regards,

    Salvador Manaois III
    MCITP | Enterprise & Server Administrator
    MCSE MCSA MCTS(x5) CIWA C|EH
    My Blog: Bytes and Badz 
    My Passion: View My PhotoStream
    Monday, May 4, 2009 1:12 AM

All replies

  • Youngearth

    If you want yo get MCSE you will have to study and practice all content in the book. Its possible to get MCSE withouth experience and there are much people that do that using TESTKING, this way its not recommended by Microsoft.

     If you have time, get a book, create your lab, watch the videos the microsoft technet provide and always search for practice.

    You dont need to start all over as a Help Desk, but you probably will not get at first to manage lots of servers.

    My tip to you is :
     Focus on the Microsoft Press for MCSE
     Practice A LOT
     Dont use TESTKING for the study and Exams
     Any doubt you need, come to the forum and open a thread.

    Hope it Helps, Good Luck


    Thiago Pereira | http://thiagoinfrat.spaces.live.com | http://www.winsec.org
    Sunday, May 3, 2009 4:46 PM
  • Hi,

    Having an MCSE cert (or the "new-generation" MCITP:EA) in your resume will get you noticed more by the recruitment people but won't be a sure-fire pass to get you employed in an administrator role. If you are really keen on switching to a Microsoft infrastructure admin role, working experience on this technology is still a must, imho. Certifications (whether MCSE or any other IT-related certs, for that matter) are supposed to substantiate one's knowledge and skills in a particular subject matter; without the experience, the cert may not carry much weight.

    But then again, you can lay all your cards on the table and let your potential employers decide based on what you offer. If you show enough enthusiasm and promise, chances are they'll gamble on you.

    Simply put, if you have the time and resources, go for the MCSE cert as it may just prove useful and beneficial for you in the long run.

    Regards,

    Salvador Manaois III
    MCITP | Enterprise & Server Administrator
    MCSE MCSA MCTS(x5) CIWA C|EH
    My Blog: Bytes and Badz 
    My Passion: View My PhotoStream
    Monday, May 4, 2009 1:12 AM
  • I just talked with a friend who has his MCSE. He told me that the helpdesk people or those with an MCP would be the ones to do desktop support/assist those "on the floor" or within the company. Those with the MCSE would be behind-the-scenes, doing the server administration and would have little to no contact with the employees (generally speaking). Is this true? I had hoped that with an MCSE, it would enable me to have more contact with people than if I were in a pure Cisco NOC environment. It doesn't appear to be the case.

    Are you aware of any certification which would entail more interaction with people and which would pay better than a helpdesk job? I don't mind working my way up, but I'd like whatever I go into to pay ultimately at least the average American wage (around $47k/yr).
    Monday, May 4, 2009 7:16 AM
  • There aren't really any certifications that will teach you how ti interact with people.  That's more of a "real world" skill and not something that you'll get from earning any certifications. 

    The certifications will validate what you know and will help in getting a better paying job.  But...they're not a guarantee.  But, as noted, they will be of benefit.

    When you say you're in "networking", can you be more specific?  You indicated you have the CCNA, which indicates that you're involved in configuring Cisco switches and routers.  Obtaining one or more of the MS certifications would be of benefit.  Since you're not directly involved currently in adminstering servers, you might want to consider obtaining one or more of the Server 2008 certifications.  Networking and Infrastructure (70-642) would be a natural step from what you're currently doing.  The combination of your CCNA and any MS certification would definely give you an edge.
    Monday, May 4, 2009 1:02 PM
    Answerer
  • I just talked with a friend who has his MCSE. He told me that the helpdesk people or those with an MCP would be the ones to do desktop support/assist those "on the floor" or within the company. Those with the MCSE would be behind-the-scenes, doing the server administration and would have little to no contact with the employees (generally speaking). Is this true? I had hoped that with an MCSE, it would enable me to have more contact with people than if I were in a pure Cisco NOC environment. It doesn't appear to be the case.

    Are you aware of any certification which would entail more interaction with people and which would pay better than a helpdesk job? I don't mind working my way up, but I'd like whatever I go into to pay ultimately at least the average American wage (around $47k/yr).

    In most cases this is true, People with the MCDST Certs will work on the helpdesk dealing with the end users, and people with MCSE will work behind the scenes with little contact with the end users. I am sure there are companies out there were you could do both, how ever those would in most cases be the smaller compaines that can't afford two seperate teams so it may take you some time to get up to that $47k mark.

    Eric
    Monday, May 4, 2009 3:03 PM
  • Thanks for the responses.

    Since I actually enjoy doing the hands-on work more than the software configurations, the helpdesk jobs requiring an A+ (which I've studied, but not not passed) are more appealing to me. What is the furthest upward a person could go with this before he would be getting into MCSE stuff? However, I wouldn't want to stay at $14.00/hr. if it meant it's as far as I could go. Is getting an MCP a complement to the A+ in this respect? I definitely do not want to work "behind-the-scenes" if it means no more hands-on.

    Thanks.
    Tuesday, May 5, 2009 6:40 AM
  • Since you enjoy doing the hands on work more than the admin work the MCSE is probably not for you. As far as the furthest upward you could go, that is depending on the company you end up working for and how they title positions, but I would say it would be something along the lines of Help Desk Manager or Desktop Support Manager, something along those lines. Odds are you would not stay at $14.00/hr but you would probably not make as much as if you had your MCSE and were doing sysadmin work. I am sure in some cases you could, say if you were a manager, but you would have to work your way up too that point and that pay.

    Now when you say MCP keep in mind that you get this certification when ever you pass one of the old geneartion exams. This exam could even be one that is in the track to MCSE. What you would want to work towards is the MCDST (Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician) This consists of two older gen exams. Involving Windows XP
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcdst/requirements.mspx

    If you are interested in Vista than you would want to move on to the new generation equivalent: The MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) Consumer Support Technician (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/education/roadmap/desktop/MCTS-MCITP-consumer.mspx )
    Or the MCITP Enterprise Support Technician (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/education/roadmap/desktop/MCTS-MCITP-enterprise.mspx )

    Any one of these certs would complement the A+ cert nicely.

    Also, microsoft has a nice roadmap out that lists all of ther certifications. Here is a link to the PDF
    http://download.microsoft.com/download/a/0/6/a0675804-40a3-4f34-ac64-6de190da822d/ICT_Curriculum_Roadmap.pdf

    Hope this helps.


    Eric
    Tuesday, May 5, 2009 7:50 PM