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General Chat Thread, IT Tech: Qualifications? in General; Hi guys, I've been working in a secondary school as an IT Tech for nearly three years now, and I'm ...
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    vizubeat's Avatar
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    IT Tech: Qualifications?

    Hi guys,

    I've been working in a secondary school as an IT Tech for nearly three years now, and I'm looking at moving on, and wondering what kind of qualifications I need to gain in order to progress.

    I was very fortunate in joining a local secondary school as an IT Tech straight from Sixth Form. I left with an A-Level in ICT, English and French, plus my GCSEs, but I have no other formal qualifications. IT-tech wise, I'm relavitely competent in configuring switches, working with XP desktops, Active Directory, DNS + DHCP, IIS, Apache, Linux boxes, plus server and desktop hardware etc. So what I'm after is what you think would be sensible qualifications for me to look at taking. Something like CCNA, or would Microsoft qualifications be more recognised or indeed sought after when applying for another schools IT post?

    Also if I were to go with something like MS qualifications, does anyone have any general information about them? For example what's involved? Home study? Study at college Any recommendations of companies/organisations to study with? Study guides? Any information you've got would be much appreciated

    Thanks, in anticipation!
    Tom.

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    dezt's Avatar
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    I would say look at CCNA and MCITP, they seem to be the most recognised and from what job adverts i've seen employers tend to ask for those, or the MCSE.

    When I did my MCSA i just did loads of home study, i'm currently working towards the MCITP by home study using the Microsoft Press books, but i''m thinking of getting either CBTNuggets or the TestOut packages as well as I don't like reading books too much.

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    vizubeat (6th July 2010)

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    Certification forums UK computer A+ Network+ MCSE MCSA MCP CCNA discussions exams study guides for all your certification needs. MS quals here http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en...citp.aspx#tab2 I would look at some of the technician ones then the MCSA or N+ etc. As for study I would usually use the MS Press book and Mark Minasi's Mastering Server 2008 R2.
    There are plenty of training videos out there, paid for ones include CBT Nuggets and Trainsignal. Some free videos :Professor Messer
    Exam prep software: Transcender, Boson and others.
    I am currently studying for the MCITP: Server Administrator to "upgrade" my MCSA to 2008. It's been 7 years since I did my last exams so I am ready for some new ones . Do a qualification that is relative to your level as there's no point doing Enterprise Administrator when you don't have any experience on that scale. Some of the stuff is quite interesting on some of the certs involving WDS etc.

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    vizubeat (6th July 2010)

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    jsnetman's Avatar
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    Start with a client exam XP Vista or win7, and head for a MCDST (Microsoft Certified desktop Technician) I'm currently working towards the 70-680 Win7 client exam). Although I'm a network manager never did any quals and think it's about time I did with the current economic climate and all. Hoping to get MCITP eventually. Of course cisco is a well sought after qual as well. You can't really learn this stuff at a college or private learning provider, well you can but I guess it's very expensive, as said buy the books setup a virtual network to get some practice.

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    vizubeat (6th July 2010)

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    vizubeat's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments guys, much appreciated

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    Go into a Waterstones or other big book seller and have a look at the different books available from various publishers so you can get an idea of their style. I always preferred Sybex books but I know others who used Microsoft's official books, Wrox, etc.

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    Might just be me, but I've always seen a Cisco certification as something more relevant to a specific job (eg working in BT as a telecoms engineer) and MS certifications such as an MCSE or MCSA as more general IT qualifications that would look good for any sort of IT job.

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    I always say have a good think before jumping on the qualifications bandwagon and spending lots of money on a bit of paper, every company I have worked for and school dont seem bothered about how many M$ Certs you have. good luck

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    If you want to stay in schools FITS might be worth a look. If not then it's a bit of a chicken & egg thing with MCSA etc: you might need such a qualification to get into a company but the cost is prohibitive. However, once you start working for a decent company they'll pay for you to get the qualifications. Personally I wouldn't waste my own cash - many good companies will look at your experience as just as important as a piece of paper.

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    jsnetman's Avatar
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    Nailed the 70-680 today, for anyone studying towards it the questions are very similar to what you get on the MS practice exams that come with the MS press book.

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    Thanks everyone - some really handy stuff here

    I'm thinking about starting Cisco in September, as it's only (I mean only!) £250 for the 8 week course plus it appears to be kinda more relevant 'now' to what's going on in my current post.

    Now, a question: there's 4 sections mentioned in the course info, so am I right in thinking that as our local college offers 4 courses this academic year, I would pay to sit through one of those sections on each of the courses, with a Cisco exam at the end of each section? For example, in September I'd start "Exploration 1 - Network Fundamentals", in November I'd start "Exploration 2 - Routing Protocols and Concepts" and so on...or indeed sit through any of the sections I would find most interesting/relevant? And do you have to sit through each one in order, or can you do whichever one you want? Apologies for all the questions, I'm sure you can appreciate this is all new to me!

    Thanks guys

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    For the CCNA you either sit the full exam or you can do it in two parts: ICDN 1 and ICDN 2 if you pass one of these you get the CCENT qualification. When you pass the other you get the full CCNA. If you look up these you can see the requirements and how they will fit in with your course.

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    £1000 is a lot for a cert that you wont get that much use of day to day , unless you spend a majority of your time setting up switches, routers and network infrastructure. You really might be better of looking at the microsoft courses, Get a decent book (sybex or ms press) and find some training online (cbt nuggets and testout are both good) and crack your way through an ms exam. To start with xp (70-270) or windows 7 (70-680) are both great, the xp exam will likely cover what you do day to day. Once you have those out of the way you can then work towards an MCSA which is bascially a network manager.

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    Any cert that's just multiple choice questions on the exam is ripping you off, doesn't cost anything to mark that.

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    I Have CCNA by the ICND1+2 route, took a lot of study to pass them. I took the MS 70-640 exam last month with 3 weeks of study and passed easily. The content of the CCNA is a lot more difficult to master compared to the MS exam as the ICND2 is mostly troubleshooting.

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