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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Default Going from Support to System Administrator MCSA certs

    Hey guys

    I have been working in IT for about 8 years and I am currently studying for my MCSA Server 2012, I have passed the 70-410 already
    I am looking to get out of support and move into a System Administrator role, I have been working with servers in my job for years but not like as in-depth as a system administrator would have.

    My question is, will passing some or all the exams help me get a job as a System Administrator? As I have never been a system administrator so in an employers eyes I don't have the experience.

    Thanks
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    Guess it depends on the employment situation around your area. I personally know two persons who moved on to entry level sys admin roles despite a lack of experience mainly due to their MCSA certifications.
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  4. Junior Member
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    #3
    Hey Mike

    Thanks for the reply, when you say "MCSA Certifications" is that all three server 2012 exams or one of two of the exams?
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  5. Member
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    #4
    What does working with servers mean? I've worked with people who use AD on a server and think they are doing server work. What type of tasks are you doing?

    Best way I got more experience of working with servers was asking the 3rd line/Infrastructure bod to do their basic tasks, backup schedules, Patching, Group Policy, WDS images etc.
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    Full MCSA, i.e. all 3 certs.
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  7. Senior Member
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    #6
    A couple of stories about my experience.

    I went from support to systems a few years back. I was the new guy on the helpdesk team but I had done helpdesk for a number of years and after the initial spin up on that company's day-to-day, I quickly rose to the top with issue resolution times and number of tickets closed. I was also doing them so much quicker than my other team mates that I started having free time so I started studying for Microsoft exams. Eventually a project came along and they needed an extra set of hands to help build servers to go to some of our branch sites, guess who's name ended up on the short list. A few months later, my bosses asked if I wanted to transition to the systems team.

    Fast forward a couple of years, I'm at a different company now and had been "tricked" into doing more software support than systems support (I had thought I was applying for a server operations role). I busted my butt, did well, and eventually earned my MCSA along with all my other accomplishments. I applied for an internal transfer to the Active Directory architecture team and got it.

    If you look at my experience you see an ongoing theme: do the job you have and do it well first, then start figuring out how to bridge that gap. Ask your manager if there are any systems projects you could help out with as that where your career goals are. A good manager won't try to hold you back. They will try to encourage your growth. Sadly, there are a lot of crummy managers who have no business holding that title. Start taking the systems guys out to lunch and getting to know them. It may be possible that you may need to start looking towards a change if after awhile you don't see any progress.

    Good luck.
    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)
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  8. Questionably Benevolent Moderator Slowhand's Avatar
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    #7
    The jump you're talking about - going from desktop to server-side with little on-the-job experience with those servers - is doable, but it takes some luck and a lot of learning. The MCSA Windows Server 2012 path is a good one, keep going with the remaining exams, but be sure you lab out EVERYTHING and nail down the concepts in each section of each exam. You're not just studying to pass the tests, you're trying to gain enough knowledge to show you know this stuff, inside and out, when it comes time to talk to employers. Do yourself a favor and go the extra mile, make sure you've got that hands-on labbing going as you read and watch videos, and definitely go check out Microsoft's Virtual Academy and do extra reading on TechNet.

    Also, be prepared to continue your learning. As a server admin, there are things like networking, storage, virtualization, cloud technologies, scripting, and a whole lot of other topics that might pop up on your radar.

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  9. Senior Member AndersonSmith's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by poolmanjim View Post
    A couple of stories about my experience.

    I went from support to systems a few years back. I was the new guy on the helpdesk team but I had done helpdesk for a number of years and after the initial spin up on that company's day-to-day, I quickly rose to the top with issue resolution times and number of tickets closed. I was also doing them so much quicker than my other team mates that I started having free time so I started studying for Microsoft exams. Eventually a project came along and they needed an extra set of hands to help build servers to go to some of our branch sites, guess who's name ended up on the short list. A few months later, my bosses asked if I wanted to transition to the systems team.

    Fast forward a couple of years, I'm at a different company now and had been "tricked" into doing more software support than systems support (I had thought I was applying for a server operations role). I busted my butt, did well, and eventually earned my MCSA along with all my other accomplishments. I applied for an internal transfer to the Active Directory architecture team and got it.

    If you look at my experience you see an ongoing theme: do the job you have and do it well first, then start figuring out how to bridge that gap. Ask your manager if there are any systems projects you could help out with as that where your career goals are. A good manager won't try to hold you back. They will try to encourage your growth. Sadly, there are a lot of crummy managers who have no business holding that title. Start taking the systems guys out to lunch and getting to know them. It may be possible that you may need to start looking towards a change if after awhile you don't see any progress.

    Good luck.
    Poolmanjim I knew there was a reason I could relate so well your posts! I had a very similar experience! Although in my current job I'm doing system and network support rather than software support (thank goodness!). But yes, I agree with everything you said about doing the job you have well and then trying to bridge the gap.
    I'd also like to add in there that sometimes you have to take a small step back to take a giant leap forward. When I was working my full-time helpdesk job doing mostly phone support, I took a significant pay cut to start working a part-time desk side support job with the hopes that it would eventually lead me into something greater. It was a high risk but with the potential for high reward and it paid off and I was able to "work my way up the ladder" to the job I really wanted, which is the one I have now, in a relatively short amount of time. I realize not everyone is in the position where they can feasibly take a pay cut but it's just something to keep in mind that sometimes you have to lower yourself for a little while to make yourself higher in the end. Anyway, that's my, um, somewhat philosophical lesson for the day. Also, definitely pay attention and take heed to anything Poolmanjim says because his posts always seem to hit the nail on the head! Good luck to you!
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