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  1. Junior Member
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    Default Is this enough prep for MCITP SA/MCSA2008? no exp, or prior certs...

    Hi all, first post.
    Quick background: Doing a BSIT, knowledge from that is not really much, certainly wont be helpful with my cert endeavor. I have no prior certs. I wish to get my MCITP SA/MCSA 2008, I know I need 70-640, 642 and 646. Also no work exp in IT at all.

    1.) I plan on using testout for all three, along with MS Press books, I believe thats what their called, you know, the official study guides by microsoft. Will these two be enough? From the tons of research online ive done, its really mixed, some say yes, some say no, so idk. Like Ive seen some people study for few weeks - a month, but of course they have work exp. However, from what I gather, I feel if I use the testout and ms press books for each, that should work right?

    2.) How hard will it be to get a job as a MCITP? What is this position even called? I had wanted to get the MCITP EA and know they are network engineers/administrators, but since the exams for MCITP are expring in less then a year, I thought i would go with MCITP SA since that pays well as well, and its 3 exams vs EA's 5 exams. This person I know who runs a computer training program out of state says they get people jobs all the time that have no prior experience, and it pays in the 50k-60k pay range. I say this because I see lots of people on here say you got to start at the helpdesk making 10-15/hr first or something like that. Also, I will have a BS in about a year or so, I didnt learn much, but it helps on the resume and such obv. How much for starting salary can I expect? I really think 50-60k is possible, Ive heard this from lots of (trustworthy and credible) sources, and yes, for those with no work exp I mean. Also, will they provide me with some training? I know of course havign the certs mean I can do the job, of course I know that, what I mean is that is their gonna be a transition period provided, like they cant expect me to work like someone who has years of experience on my first day?

    3.) I know I should setup a VM and virtual network so I can practice the stuff in the books, and do some labbing, can anyone help me with this? I dont know how to do it, and want to order the books soon and start studying, but would really love to have all this ancillary stuff out of the way first, i.e. the setting up of the Vm and lab

    4.) I know with programming/programmers, after you have estabilshed you are experienced and knowledgeable, they let you telecommute easily. With MCITP SA, is that a possibility down the line? I would really love to telecommute after I work and get enough experience to be completely independent on my job.

    thank you all so much.
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  3. Mikrosoft professori jyrki.arpiainen's Avatar
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    #2
    IF you really learn everything in Testout material and in Press books you probably would pass the exams.

    But problem is if one without earlier certs and work experience could adopt that much information, in any time, especially if trying to achieve goal quickly.

    About schedule, i would rather expect one exam in every 4-5 months instead of weeks, if new to industry. That's if doing study work honestly.
    I think that most new comers who pass exams in few weeks study use illicit materials.

    I was beginner when i started to study certifications and it took 3-5 months per each exam. Except most easy ones (MCDST) which i passed with "just" one months study.
    For me getting MCSE took 4,5 years and upgrading it to MCITP: EA approx. 1,5 years -if i still remember times correctly.

    Currently i am unemployed, from 2009 forward. Before that i worked 1,5 years. Studying and working at the same time did not do any good for my performance at the work (it took too much time and energy) and because i have not got ANY job after that, certifications have not brought any good for me. Except those have kept me buzy and learning new stuff.

    3. About VM's and labs, if you don't know how use them your starting level seem to be pretty low, sorry. It really should be basic stuff and admins need to be very familiar with virtualization and even from multiple vendors.
    Most important of those in this case would be Hyper-V as it is part of the MCITP:EA certification with exam 70-643 (i dont remember how much MCITP: SA need to know about Hyper-V) but VMware is also vastly used out there...

    MS Press books have directions how to setup lab environment in the beginning.


    Expect to spend years with studying MCITP materials so that you really know those inside out and understand big picture, how all those details that are studied combines together. Then you can better manage with the admin jobs.

    Learning does not end to passing certifications, much of the stuff studied falls to background while situations in work force to study some already studied parts much deeper. There is always something that is not covered in those MS books, not to mention 3rd. party programs etc.

    Of course you will know better how deep understanding of study materials is needed to pass and how difficult exams are after you have sit at least one exam. Good luck!

    Let the force be with you.
    Last edited by jyrki.arpiainen; 09-10-2012 at 08:50 AM.
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  4. Junior Member
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    #3

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    thanks mate, but the thing is, you seem to give me a time frame thats rather long. I know I cant do it in 2-3 week, i know that. But 4-5 months seems way too long. Of course I know certs dont mean I am an expert, just enough to do the day to day, which is the job i want, then as time goes on I learn more and more.

    so you think like a 1-2 month time frame is unrealistic?

    Can you help me get the Vm's set up? Or does the book lay it out clearly and easily enough?Thanks.
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    First off, welcome to the forum.

    Do you have any experience in IT? Hobby stuff perhaps? The 640, 642, 646 exams are difficult, even for those with real-world experience. I spent about 6 months studying for the 640 alone. With no experience, doing all 3 exams in 4-5 will probably be stretching it. That said, getting the certs won't guarantee you an admin position, especially with no experience. It would, however, probably get you into Help Desk, which is where most people start off.

    1. TestOut is a good product, I've used it for the 640 exam. The MS press book are alright and they have labs you can follow along with. There are steps in the lessons for setting up the lab environment. I normally use Virtual Box (free) and the evaluation trials for labbing. I'd also recommend TechNet for filling in any gaps.

    2. MCITP: Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional. There are a whole series of certs under this. Check out Microsoft Learning for more information. Take those "training programs" with a grain of salt. Most companies aren't going to hire someone off the street to handle their production servers, who only has lab environment experience. A lot of those companies promised the "Get your MCSE and earn 6 figures!" etc.

    3. Why aren't you learning much from your B.S. in IT?

    4. Some companies allow telecommuting, some don't. Many like to have on-site staff to take care of any issues.

    5. You might also consider getting some CompTIA certs to help build a foundation. The A+ is a common requirement for Help Desk / Support positions.
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  6. Senior Member cyberguypr's Avatar
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    #5
    OP, I have two issues. One, your logic is flawed. Two, you have unrealistic expectations. To address the first point, you say "I know of course havign the certs mean I can do the job". Absolutely wrong! A cert means you can pass a test. That's it. Nothing else. As many here can attest there are many certified "professionals" that simply lack the technical knowledge and even common sense to perform as system administrators. Many employers understand this and will NEVER hire anyone certified without the required field experience. The gap between the books and the real world is wider than you think.

    Second, finishing one exam per month is technically not impossible, but highly unlikely. I am an experienced systems admin and took me 3 months average per test to complete my MCITP:EA. Time is the key element here. If you study 40-60 hours per weeks, it may be doable in a month. But still, that's pushing it. Based on your lack of knowledge I really don't see how you could move so quickly through tests. Your comments make me wonder if there's a specific reason why you are trying to rush.

    Regarding virtualization, there are literally hundreds of tutorials out there on how to do this. I strongly suggest spending some time getting ti know either vSphere or Hyper-V so you can successfully deploy your lab. We could tel you everything you need to know but that defeats the purpose of the whole experience which is learning while doing. Go search here and elsewhere on the web and then come back to us if you have any questions.

    I believe you are either underestimating the tests or overestimating your capability to understand and dominate the material. I also think that you have unrealistic expectations about the cert. it will not magically get you a job. It guarantees nothing. As someone involved in hiring techs 99% of the time I will choose an experienced admin over one with certs and no experience. There's just too much at stake to have someone in a critical position without having done this before.

    If I were you I would dedicate at least 3-4 months to deploy the lab and prepare for the first test and see how it goes. You will then be in a position to accurately estimate how long will take you to complete other exams. A key component to the cert game is being flexible and resilient. Life comes at you fast and plans have to change quickly.
    Last edited by cyberguypr; 09-10-2012 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Typos. Damn iPad!
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  7. Junior Member
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    #6

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    No, you took that out of context. I meant I know having a cert they will expect a certain amount of knowledge, not that I will have an amount of expertise magically.

    4-5 months for one exam? Are you certain, I dont have experience, but that seems like way too long imo tbh.

    If I were able to get the exams, with about 2 months dedicated to each, how much salary can I expect? And yes, I need the certs fast because I will be graduating in some time and need to get a job then. thanks.
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  8. Junior Member
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    #7
    Can someone help me get the lab set up? or give me easy to follow links with all the info please, thanks.
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  9. Senior Member
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    #8
    Usually the lab requirements are in the MS Press books. Setting up a lab in-and-of itself is a learning process, I would suggest experimenting with different hypervisors, configurations etc. If you had more specific questions I would be happy to give you my .02 cents.

    I'm currently studying for the MCITP:SA and have an IT education and some experience in the industry. I have given myself about 3 months per exam, with a month or two extra just in case.

    Do not sell yourself short and rush through the exams, a thorough understanding of the material is more important than being able to get that piece of paper.
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  10. Senior Member cyberguypr's Avatar
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    #9
    Ideas to get you going: What are good lab set up or test labs to pracice on 70-640, 70-642, and 70-643. There are many more lab threads here so search away.

    If you want to go with Hyper-V you can check these resources:

    - Hyper-V Getting Started Guide
    - Using Hyper V - Windows Server 2008 R2 - YouTube

    There's a plethora of tutorials out there. Look at a few and start creating VMs.
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  11. Junior Member
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    #10

    Default reply to Mutata

    Do you have work experience in the field? Some say the cert is useless w/o exp in the field, do you agree with that? I think 4-5 months is too much time, its a simple exam, I dont mean easy, I mean its only one exam. And of course I want to learn as I go along. What materials are u using for training?
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  12. Junior Member
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    #11
    how do you sent private messages to users?
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  13. Junior Member
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    #12

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    Is it okay to buy the MS press books used? Or will some of the things not work, like the practice exams? I dont care about the vouchers since I will be using the student exams anyway. the student exams are for all the 70 exams right? they have 72 equivalents?
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  14. Junior Member
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    @Cyberguy: Thanks. But isnt setting up Vm's easy? just to be clear, i want the labs so I can practice hands on experience, thats what your referring to also right? Cuz looked at the link you gave and it seemd a bit complex. And how is that a part of the actual job? I thought this was mimicing how it is to work in an actual environment? thanks.
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  15. Junior Member
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    #14

    Default technet

    what exactly is technet, whats it used for and is it free?
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  16. Senior Member
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    #15
    @Recktechie,

    I have about 2 years experience in the field, education in Computers System Technology. Personally, I think its a mixture of everything that makes one a viable candidate for a job. For entry level jobs, you obviously won't be expected to have several years of experience and I find its important to highlight to employers how you have gotten your hands dirty even if it might not be professional experience it's still exposure

    Certifications show that you have attained a certain level of knowledge. It does NOT show your level of common sense, critical thinking or problem solving. I think a 4-5 month estimate might be reasonable for someone with no experience or exposure to the technology although it would depend on how quickly you pick things up.

    Currently I use
    Microsoft Self Paced Training Kit R2 - (I have both the EA and SA tracks)
    Microsoft Server 2008 R2 Unleashed
    Technet Professional Subscription - Online Courses/Articles/Virtual Labs
    I also have two VMware Servers running ESXI 5.0

    Technet consists of a large base of free online articles as well as a paid subscription. The paid subscription provides you with access to Microsoft software for testing and learning purposes as well as one or two free support calls and E-Learning Libraries
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  17. Senior Member kriscamaro68's Avatar
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    #16
    From your posts here I thinking you are getting in over your head. I think you should maybe start with some entry level studies before you go jumping into these exams. If what cyberguy sent you is complex then you are in for a world of hurt when it comes to the exams. Also asking for a hand holding walk through from us isn't the best way to learn this stuff. You should be using the web/google/bing to help with this. One of the things that frustrate me the most is when someone comes and asks how do I do this and doesn't even try to find out for themselves first. This will be something that you will encounter when you get into the workforce. Search youtube for videos on how to setup a hyper-v lab or how to setup virtual box. There will be a ton of videos for that.

    Also asking how much you can expect to make with just a cert is not going to get you very far when it comes to real world numbers. A cert isn't going to get you any set pay range. I have seen people with the exact cert your looking at getting making $14 an hour. It will all depend on your experience, where you live, your attitude, and other factors. As of right now I think you need to be a little more open to what advice has already ben given to you from cyberguy. I would think he knows what to expect considering he has experience and has gone beyond the SA cert.

    Start using google a lot. Make it your best friend and as you go through your studies you can come here and post questions in areas you get stuck after trying to google it. Also don't try to rush it you won't learn anything that way.
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  18. Senior Member cyberguypr's Avatar
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    #17
    Funny, I was just typing a similar response. The power of the TE hive mind!

    OP, let me reiterate my earlier point: We could easily tell/show you everything you need to know but that defeats the purpose of the whole experience which is learning while doing. Go search here and elsewhere on the web and then come back to us if you have any questions.

    The whole lab thing is a perfect example of a relatively simple task that can be cleared by researching.

    Another thing, if you really need hand holding you should look into purchasing the Trainsignal materials. Their MCITP products are awesome.
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    #18

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    @Kris: Idk if thats fair. I am just getting started, onec I get my feet wet Im sure I will have a better understanding of things. Everything new is overwhelming at first as you dont know what to expect.

    @Cyberguy: I wasnt asking for someone to to walk me through it, but rather i was asking for a step by step guide, like a link. From what Ive read, the Press books provide this, so I will be fine since Im ordering them, thanks anyway for the links.

    So then it is possible I get a job paying around 50-60k entry level once I get my certs even with no exp? I just gotta do some research?

    And I have been googling tons, trust me. I see lots of contradicting information, thats what makes me so confused. I do think testout and the MS press books will allow me to pass the exams while learning enough to get my first job, and then learn a ton more otj.

    So trainsignal is really good? Will that alone be enough, or will I need the MS pressbooks or something else still? Do they give you the chance to get lab experience? thanks
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  20. Junior Member
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    #19
    and i heard trainsignal s not good for mcitp, have u tried it? is testout better?
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  21. Senior Member kriscamaro68's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by recktechie View Post
    @Kris: Idk if thats fair. I am just getting started, onec I get my feet wet Im sure I will have a better understanding of things. Everything new is overwhelming at first as you dont know what to expect.

    @Cyberguy: I wasnt asking for someone to to walk me through it, but rather i was asking for a step by step guide, like a link. From what Ive read, the Press books provide this, so I will be fine since Im ordering them, thanks anyway for the links.

    So then it is possible I get a job paying around 50-60k entry level once I get my certs even with no exp? I just gotta do some research?

    And I have been googling tons, trust me. I see lots of contradicting information, thats what makes me so confused. I do think testout and the MS press books will allow me to pass the exams while learning enough to get my first job, and then learn a ton more otj.

    So trainsignal is really good? Will that alone be enough, or will I need the MS pressbooks or something else still? Do they give you the chance to get lab experience? thanks
    If you are just getting started then I would say the a+ material might be a good place to start if you don't really have experience with computers in general. Like others have said you will have a hard time jumping straight into the server topics without a foundation of general computing/desktops/servers before hand.

    Here are some links to free video training that will give you a good idea what to expect.
    http://itfreetraining.com/ -I used this for other tests I have taken.
    http://www.professormesser.com/ -he doesn't have anything on the MCITP-SA but does have training for other entry level certs which will help.

    http://itdvds.com/ -is a paid site but allows you to do monthly subscriptions for pretty cheap and cancel anytime.

    http://safaribooksonline.com/ -has tons of it books like mspress, sybex, syngress, cisco press, and much more, also has training videos on something's as well. It has a month to month subscription of pay for a full year upfront. Check online for discount vouchers there is usually a discount that will help out with cost.

    http://cbtnuggets.com/ -has 24 hour training where you can purchase a 24 hour pass and watch as many/any videos as you like in 24 hours for $24.

    There is a I.T. training site coming called http://sabta.com/ -that says its $99 a month for training but it hasn't hit primetime yet.

    The rest are usually pretty expensive and I haven't used them so I can't speak for them.

    Good luck with the studies and let us know if you have any questions.
    Last edited by kriscamaro68; 09-10-2012 at 11:18 PM.
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    @Kris: Thanks for the links, I appreciate it. I see that others said as for the virtual lab the MS press books cover them and teach me how to set them up, so thats cool. But can I set it up on any comp, or do I need like a really expensive one? I have a regular dell desktop. If I need a special type or feature, how much would it cost to upgrade mine to that? Again, this is so I can have a virtual labs and machines, idk how many, as much as the MS press books require.
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    #22
    Also, say I do get the MCITP SA/ MCSA 2008, like what can I expect? I thought I could expect 50k-60k, but if not that much, then what can I most likely expect worst case scenario? Would that be help desk? how much do they make? And what work do they do, like will I use my MCITP SA in that position?

    Is using Testout and MS press books enough for me to learn the material and pass the exams?

    Also, how close are practice exams like from measureup, to the real thing? Like say I get 80% on the measure up, should I get a similar score on the real thing?
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  24. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #23
    When I studied for the MCSE 2003 and the upgrade for the MCITP EA I used a mixture of physical and virtual systems. You can use any x64 system with 2 GB RAM for a decent lab PC. Even putting two instances of the OS on it via Hyper-V. You don't need expensive systems but if you are using cheap ones you will need a couple. It might be easy to find a few junk PCs you can use to make a couple Franken-PCs for your lab.
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    #24

    Default @kaucher

    Do the Ms Press books teach me hwo to use Hyper-V? How do I know if my computer is "cheap"? where can I find the junk pc's from and how much are they typically around? Would it be easy to get the whole thing set up?

    How can I contact you for more questions? Idk how to message you. How do you PM ppl?

    Do you think I can find a job with just the MCITP SA and no work experience?

    Do you think testout and MS press books are enough to pass the examincations?

    thanks.
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by recktechie View Post
    Also, say I do get the MCITP SA/ MCSA 2008, like what can I expect? I thought I could expect 50k-60k, but if not that much, then what can I most likely expect worst case scenario? Would that be help desk? how much do they make? And what work do they do, like will I use my MCITP SA in that position?

    Is using Testout and MS press books enough for me to learn the material and pass the exams?

    Also, how close are practice exams like from measureup, to the real thing? Like say I get 80% on the measure up, should I get a similar score on the real thing?
    As I stated in a previous post, many companies won't hire someone without experience. That being said, you might be able to get a position as a junior admin or something similar. That would likely require you to "sell yourself" to them during the interview. Sometimes getting an IT position is not how much you, but who you know.

    With your B.S. in IT and some certs, you will be qualified for Help Desk and that's probably where you would start. I currently work as a tech and I use knowledge gained from my MCSE studies on a daily basis at work. Pay for Help Desk depends on where and who you work for. I've seen pay range from $10/hour to over $20/hour for Help Desk / Desktop support positions in my area (Seattle). As others have stated, you will probably be better off earning the A+ and maybe Network+ or Security+ certs to build a foundation. Speaking from experience, working on a B.S. in IT and doing cert studies is draining on you. The Server 2008 certs are no joke and you'll need to allow enough time to work on them.

    TestOut and the MS press books will give a good foundation of knowledge. I'd download the exam objectives for the exams you want to take. You'll want to do labs on those objectives. It's critical to be able to do what the objectives state to pass the exams.
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