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Courses and Training Thread, Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train in Training and Courses; As I have a reasonable amount of time to hand now and aware that the changes to the Microsoft partnership ...
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    Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train

    As I have a reasonable amount of time to hand now and aware that the changes to the Microsoft partnership agreement mean that I'll need to get some form of certification under my belt I'm looking at MCSE certs.

    I'm self employed and whilst I can pass on some of the costs to client schools I need to be sensible about not spending thousands on courses when I know I'm not particularly attentive in such scenarios. I figure a more self-taught approach would be more sensible.

    Can anyone recommend a good approach and/or supplier that has worked for them or that they'd recommend for someone in my situation?

    I do have the time to dedicate to book learning and a setup that would allow me to practice various server and OS related tasks without destroying anything important. What I lack is funding for offline seminars or training at training centers.

    Thanks in advance...

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    PEO
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    Re: Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train

    I've found the Microsoft Press books a good read. I also have the testout videos which goes through everything. also worth looking in the cheap book stores you can find plenty of good books in there. As i read and learn the material i make detailed study notes and try the examples for my self.

    I'm using a server with 2003 r2 and a pc with xp.

    I do practice exams and then book the main exam through PearsonVue

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    Re: Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train

    Quote Originally Posted by MrHappy
    I do practice exams and then book the main exam through PearsonVue
    Thanks for the rest of it... thought you should know about this on the pearsonvue site though:

    Microsoft Certification Testing

    As of 1 September, 2007, Pearson VUE will no longer be selling Microsoft exams; however, test takers holding prepaid vouchers can continue to register for exams that are taken through 31 December, 2007.

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    Re: Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train

    I'm 19 and doing the MCSE program was one of the best things I've ever done. Sure, people can go and do their computer science degress which don't get me wrong, are awsome for them. I have a few friends with computer science degrees in their late 20's, and it's an awsome thing to go get. But for me in the Network Administration and Security field, it's all about what certifications you have. Network Administration requires very different certification levels than most other jobs. Some people have asked me in the past "do you need a degree?" and honestly, you don't for what a lot of us here at the forums do. I read an article recently on TechRepublic about the top certifications that are most recognized worldwide, and MCSE was at the top next to some Cisco management certifications.

    I used to go through PearsonVue for my exams actually, but as you posted, it's true, they no longer offer it. It was nice where I was. My University campus had a Pearson testing center in our IT building. So to take an exam and book it, we walked about 10 feet outside our class and we were at the testing center.

    As for books, the Microsoft Press ones are excellent. I personally have the "Microsoft Official Academic Course" textbooks, slightly different from Microsoft Press covers. But they help a ton. Each book comes with an accompanying Lab Book. They all include copies of Evaluation versions of Windows Server 2003 Enterprise [180 Day] so you can complete the course and "play-a-long" MCSE style Really though, even after I was certified, where I learned most of what I know is always through practicing on an actual network and working on it day to day.

    Best of luck!

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    Re: Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train

    www.itidiots.com is a great resource for anyone interesting in knowing the type of content that is involved.

    Actual full on videos with commentary on how things things. Its great

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    Re: Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train

    Quote Originally Posted by contink
    Quote Originally Posted by MrHappy
    I do practice exams and then book the main exam through PearsonVue
    Thanks for the rest of it... thought you should know about this on the pearsonvue site though:

    Microsoft Certification Testing

    As of 1 September, 2007, Pearson VUE will no longer be selling Microsoft exams; however, test takers holding prepaid vouchers can continue to register for exams that are taken through 31 December, 2007.
    Thats stuck a spaner in the works. wonder where i can book them

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    Re: Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train

    But for me in the Network Administration and Security field, it's all about what certifications you have.
    I don't have any but have setup quite a few networks in my time and rolled out AV to thousands of PCs / Servers and Citrix farms.
    Just because you have a bit of paper, does not mean you can do the job - in fact I would say the complete opposite. I've worked with people who have loads of these bits of paper but when chucked in the deepend of a REAL problem / dilema they are as thick as sh1t.
    Anyone can learn stuff parrot fashion and produce bits of paper - at the end of the day I would like examples of what they have done out of the bits of paper aspect and in the real world. I want examples of large projects, completed by them with a break down of how they have achieved it, planning, implementation, changes etc.
    I've always suggested that if you really want to learn an IT subject, buy yourself a cheap second hand server and a few old PCs + switch. Set them up at home, break it and fix it. [ With the help from books and the huge collection of knowledge on the net ]
    If you tell that to a future possible employer it would hold better than just waving bits of paper in front of them....

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    Re: Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train

    I learned using the MS course. Then took lots of practice exams. There are firms out there who will sell you the actual exams and answers, which you can also download for free (this is cheating and is not the way to get your certification).

    The exams are dificult to start with, until you learn the way that they are structured. Then its a case of study hard and shell out the money for the exam. I took a month per exam working for 2 hours a day 4 days per week, slow but then again the knowledge has stuck. You can take the india route, but I cant see you retaining any knowledge after 7 weeks & 7 exams.

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    Re: Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train

    Quote Originally Posted by link470
    But for me in the Network Administration and Security field, it's all about what certifications you have.
    Quote Originally Posted by link470
    Really though, even after I was certified, where I learned most of what I know is always through practicing on an actual network and working on it day to day.
    So what your actually saying is - it's not the certification that is really valuable to the employer - it's your real world experience??



    Butuz

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    Re: Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train

    Ya both of you are right. Freakin english language lol, it can be looked at from two different ways almost always.

    What I meant was the certifications are what people look at instead of degrees usually in networking but yes, absolutely yes, it's all about the experience. I know a few MCSE's that were MCSE's in like...NT 4, and don't know a thing about how to implement a server 2003 network, they got jobs, and are having to learn along the way. Hands on experience is always going to be best. There's just too much to come across that schools can't teach you. These forums here? They're better than many text books out there. Talking to other techs is one of the number one ways to improve what you know. Being able to bounce an idea off of someone else who's in your field.

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    Re: Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train

    Quote Originally Posted by MrHappy
    Thats stuck a spaner in the works. wonder where i can book them
    Checked their FAQ which is thinly veiled "WTF?!" but it hinted that Prometric are the new contractees

    http://www.prometric.com/Microsoft/default.htm

  12. Thanks to contink from:

    PEO (2nd April 2008)

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    Re: Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train

    Quote Originally Posted by mattx
    Just because you have a bit of paper, does not mean you can do the job - in fact I would say the complete opposite. I've worked with people who have loads of these bits of paper but when chucked in the deepend of a REAL problem / dilema they are as thick as sh1t.
    I think anyone would agree that having a piece of paper basically says you can study, focus and learn. It doesn't mean others don't have those abilities but it helps when tick boxes are concerned.

    I've always suggested that if you really want to learn an IT subject, buy yourself a cheap second hand server and a few old PCs + switch. Set them up at home, break it and fix it. [ With the help from books and the huge collection of knowledge on the net ]
    If you tell that to a future possible employer it would hold better than just waving bits of paper in front of them....
    Absolutely... Thing is, I'm self employed so I'm not out to impress anyone who might want to employ me. I'm interested in getting my workforce (which would be me :P) up to speed on the things that breaking various networks, PCs, etc... hasn't provided me with in terms of experience and answers.

    The ITIdiots site is one I took a look at last night and I sat through one of their cramming sessions. What was painfully and immediately obvious to me was that I had holes in my knowledge and they need plugging.

    So, to that end I started this topic, not to get bits of paper (which quite frankly will be a useful fallback position), but instead to fill the gaps, and meet a criteria that has recently been put in place for anyone using Microsoft's Partner Programme. Along the way I would much rather actually learn some new things, consolidate my experience and skills to date and not just forget it all in a flurry.. Hence the request for decent training materials rather than training seminars

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    Re: Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train

    Quote Originally Posted by contink
    Quote Originally Posted by MrHappy
    Thats stuck a spaner in the works. wonder where i can book them
    Checked their FAQ which is thinly veiled "WTF?!" but it hinted that Prometric are the new contractees

    http://www.prometric.com/Microsoft/default.htm
    Yep found it this morning cheers for that

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    Re: Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train

    best thing to do is study study study !. find a book, use testout navigator, cbt nuggets and measureup.

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    Re: Thinking seriously about MCSE - but who/how to train

    Quote Originally Posted by strawberry
    best thing to do is study study study !. find a book, use testout navigator, cbt nuggets and measureup.
    OK... but small thing here... which books? There's rather a lot of them out there ya know

    Recommendations for quality authors, titles, etc... all very much welcome

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