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  1. Junior Member Registered Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aberdeen
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    1

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    Prince 2
    #1

    Default MCSA 2012 advice

    Hi all,
    I am looking for some advice/experience on the MCSA course if possible. I have mainly a desktop support and project background in the Oil and Gas industry but due to the current climate, I am currently looking for work.

    Can anyone give recommendations on the best study options for this? I have potentially got the option of an intensive 1 week course - is this realistic or would it likely be a case of information overload and better to do it in more detail over a longer period of time?

    Also, those that have experience in Desktop Support, progressing to System Admin roles, did getting the MCSA improve your chances of new job opportunities and/or progression? I have done the Prince 2 and ITIL courses but feel I need to also improve my technical skills. Any info and advice would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks!
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  3. Senior Member Armor149's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    California
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    113

    Certifications
    A+, Net+, Sec+, MCDST, MCTS
    #2
    I don't find the week long intensive courses very useful for initial learning of a subject. These courses move at such a fast pace, it is really hard to let any of the information sink in. I did an Exchange 2010 course. I had spent very little hands on time with Exchange before the course. 2 weeks later I had forgotten half of what the material covered.

    I personally like video training as a means to get an overview of the subject matter. After that I usually go research what the best books are for the subject and read those. Supplementing the reading with Technet. Then take notes based upon the exam objectives. Then there is labbing. Lots of labbing.

    I can't really answer your last question as I am also desktop support, but I do a lot of systems admin work and fill in for the admin when they are out.
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  4. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Kansas City
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    249

    Certifications
    MCSA: Server 2012/2016, MCSE: CP&I
    #3
    First, I have never found in-class training to be enough even if it was amazing. Even training videos miss big chunks of what shows up on the test. If you are completely new to Servers, that intensive course may leave you a little confused. You should probably read one of the books first before sitting that course if you decide that route. It gives you a background and it allows you to focus on the parts you don't know very well.

    As far as my recommendations for general studying, get a lab. It doesn't have to be fancy but you need to look at this stuff yourself. You will be surprised how much you learn trying to duplicate the lab environment you get from a training class or from watching a training video. Those authors don't often show you the hours they put in making those technologies work for those labs. In addition to a lab, you need a good study resource, there are several books out there -- I'm a big fan of the Microsoft Official Course books and I know they are more expensive. Others have their recommendations. In reality something is better than nothing as long as you supplement it with labbing, technet and practice tests.

    To your last question - transitioning from desktop to systems. That is a tough transition to make. Some companies put a lot of value into certifications and certifications can help get you over. Other companies, don't care so much and need that experience. So its all kind of variable. My transition happened because I made it a point to learn about servers and took more and more responsibility over the few servers my desktop support group worked with until one day my manager said he wanted to put me up for a position with the Systems group. That won't happen for everyone but it worked for me.

    Try offering to take one or two of your system guys out to lunch from time to time: become their buddy. They will be able to give you tips as you start getting to know servers. They may even toss your name into the hat when an opening comes up if they believe you are interested enough.
    2017 Goals: MCSA : Server 2016; MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure BOTH COMPLETED!
    2018 Goals: Security+
    Completed: MCSA 2012 (01/2016), MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure (07/2017), MCSA 2017 (09/2017)
    Future Goals: CISSP, CCENT
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