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considering a MCSE..need feedback

By greenbeanx ·
I'm considering MCSE certification very shorty. My core knowledge is two years desktop support with a company on Active Directory network/Exchange 2000 combo.. Most of my time was spent dealing with users. Since the desktops were all Windows 2000 everything was fine..the network however...

I'm was deciding on getting my MCSE for a couple reasons: 1)community college/unversity is expensive/to long, 2) technical schools(devry, ITT) lock you in when you finance at a high rate over a number of years. 3) I've been told that I don't have enough experience and jobs are looking for certs.

My thinking from job hunting is that either jobs want mutiple talents(SQL, network admin, VB.NET, etc), high number of years experience, or certification.
Since my core knowledge is avandance desktop support and can't help with multiple talent, lack of expierence, but I can get some type of certification.

I do realize that a cert means less if you don't have some real word training.

I've selected between a cal state college offering a MCSE course for $5k and New Horizons Learning ( for $9k. As far as I know at this point the cal state only offers the MCSE certification, if they intern I don't know and the length..
New Horizons I believe offers internship, its a 27 week course, and job placement.
I'm leaning toward New Horizons because they offer internship, it may be more through, and job placement I think..

I would like some core feedback on anyones views about anything related to MCSE(tips, experience, pitfalls)

I want to make sure I do this right since life is always uncertain...

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by sleepsalot In reply to considering a MCSE..need ...

You should start with Comp TIA's A+ then maybe Comp TIA's NET+ both of these are eiaser to get than the MS certs and they will give you credit for a MS elective exam


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I will look into that

by greenbeanx In reply to

Thanks, I'll discuss it when I go to both ..I want to maximize my knowledge and job opprotunities

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Avoid New Horizons Like the Plague!

by Why Me Worry? In reply to I will look into that

I have taken courses there, at the expense of my company, so even though I didn't lose any money, I lost time and didn't get quite a good education there. New Horizons is a typical Paper Cert mill that rushes through the material and leaves the students not knowing anything. Yes, anyone can pass a test and get a pretty piece of paper with a golden seal on it, but it doesn't mean squat in the real world without real experience and knowledge to back it up with.

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Horizens that bad?

by greenbeanx In reply to Avoid New Horizons Like t ...

So a 27 week course is rushing things then? I understand boot camps but for a 27 week course I think I would get something.

I understand about needing realworld experience that is why I want some sort of internship included with the MCSE training..what would you recommend then in the way of training at a accredited school?

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Paper MCSE

by CG IT In reply to considering a MCSE..need ...

Why take classes that cost $5k and $9k respectively? Included in the cost is Microsoft Press self paced training books which you yourself can buy at for a 1/3rd of the price. You need only 3 comps to do the hands on configuation steps in those books.

Do it yourself.

The MCSE cert credibility and value took a beating over the years because of schools like NewHorizons or the boot camps that churn them out like a paper mill and those MCSEs really don't know anything. Redmond Mag just ran an article on paper MCSEs and the new Microsoft testing for Windows 2003 MCSE requirements which is supposed to once again add credibility to the certification

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My reason, any reponse?

by greenbeanx In reply to Paper MCSE

Why not takes classes? More through then just reading the book and taking the test right? Wouldn't I get trained by someone that is involved in teaching..Granted I've read that New Horizons is a waste but why? I need reasons. I need to know what to look out when I go there and to ask question to be through.

What experience would I get just reading books alone and taking the test? Everyone complains about paper certs but really does buying the books and learning the material and taking the test qualify as experience? What would seperate me from everyone else going that path? I can do it myself but I will get no real-world experience and what would I train on besides reading the book..?

MCSE took a beating thanks to paper certs offering accerated courses and no experience isn't just reading the book without experience or guidence and taking the test just a form of paper cert?
I will make sure that I do get some sort of real world experience through internship. I still have to go and check it out but I'm not obligated at all..if I feel they don't live up then I will find something else.

Thanks for the infomation..I find your POV helpful for when I go down and consider them..

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Your suggesting I take a paper cert?

by greenbeanx In reply to Paper MCSE

You say MS certs taken a beating from people taking bootcamps but what you re suggesting is a paper cert.

"Like all Microsoft certifications, the MCSA has been criticized as not adequately demonstrating a person's skill in the certified area. This is due to the growing number of "Paper MCSAs/MCSEs". This term describes people who achieve their certification solely by reading books and have no practical experience."

Its not just MS its everyone to I hear.

"This problem concerns almost all certifications, not just Microsoft's."


So I'm still taking a paper least Horizons is teaching in a class..weither or not I take it depends if I feel its through or not..and I will make sure to internship so I have a better chance.

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A+ is a waste of time if you know how to fix PCs'

by Why Me Worry? In reply to considering a MCSE..need ...

If you are familiar with PC architecture and know how to build, repair, and install Windows on a PC, then don't waste your time with this mundane and useless certification. Believe me, A+ won't teach you squat about server hardware or anything intricate about SCSI RAID systems or enterprise server motherboards. Go right into the MCSE program and don't bother with A+. A+ and all that CompTIA bullcrap is for PC techs who will remain PC techs. I certainly did not waste my time on A+ and went straight into getting my Novell CNE, which I have kept since 1998. I am now studying for Windows 2003 and Exchange, and although getting an MS cert is not as important to me, since I believe certs are overrated anyway, I am more concerned about getting the knowledge and experience than a piece of paper that I can brag about.

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makes sense..response?

by greenbeanx In reply to A+ is a waste of time if ...

Thank you. I do know advanced PC knowledge using all flavors of windows and building, installing, and maintaining hardware. People say watch out for bootcamps and paper certs. As I understand bootcamps don't teach you throughly enough just core knowledge and no realworld experience. Aren't reading the books and taking the test a form of paper cert..all you do is read the book without practicing in a network/admin environment, guidence, and without realworld experience then take the test..So what are my option if 1) Horizons sucks not through enough and no realworld experience (yet I think they offer internship). 2)bootcamps obviuosly suck 3)nothing seperating me from other people who purchase books and take the tests and without experience..

Where does that leave me..what is the best method that will maximize my knowledge/experince and allow me to distinguish myself from the pack?

The reason that I am thinking of taking the MCSE is because I see that 1)jobs ask for/require MCSE 2) I've been told that I don't have enough experience

I can't help with experience but obviously if jobs require/ask for MCSE I can persue that course. I've dealt with monster and IT agencies and both say that I lack enough years of experience and a certification.If MCSE has been damaged due to insuffient standards and bootcamps then why do jobs still want it..granted you have to weed out the people with incomplete knowledge/lack of experience. What else are my options to get into a fielt that is equavalient to a MCSE

Thanks for your will be helpful in forming a decision when I check out NH.

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Jobs don't require it..stupid HR fools and their need for "buzzwords" do

by Why Me Worry? In reply to makes sense..response?

Don't base your career goals on pathetic job descriptions on websites like Monster or Careerbuilder. Most of those ads are placed by non-technical recruiters (headhunters) or clueless morons in HR that have no idea as to what kind of person they are really looking for or what the job even entails. They hear all those buzzwords and acronyms and say to themselves "hmmm....I need to get me someone with an MCSE, A+, CCNA, CNE, DBA, etc etc etc". A classic example I will bring to your attention was when I stumbled across a job ad for a company that was looking for someone with 7+ years of experience and "required" an MCSE, MCNE, and CCNE. In other words, they wanted someone with about 7 years of experience who was a complete network genius in Microsoft, Novell, and Cisco. Out of curiosity, I called the recruiter as asked what this position was paying. The response I got shocked me because for these kind of skills, I was expecting them to pay way over $100K for this. The guy said the company can pay a max of $65K for this position, not more. I told him that this position was complete bullsh*t and that for that kind of salary, all they will get is a paper cert at best and someone who doesn't know squat. What is the point of them even advertising that they require all these certs and 7 years of experience if they are looking to pay a salary of most desktop technicians today? I bet some desparate H1-B visa Indian worker will go for this nonsense, because someone with 3 certs and real experience will not sell themselves short on such nonsense. Also, I bet this job would suck and this person would be a one man IT shop, getting called 24 hours a day for stupid things.

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