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  1. Junior Member
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    Dec 2015
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    #1

    Default 70-346 or 70-410? Need some advice.

    Some background for me: I'm very newb in the IT world, but a little over a year ago I landed a job that is like a dream. I had no certs or qualifications or any real relevant experience (unless you count a call center job where I told people to reboot their modems over the phone 8 hours a day) but they gave me a chance anyways. They gave me access to CBT nuggets, they will buy whatever books I need to study, and they just want me to get certifications and they reimburse passes. Certs=raise period, and my boss really wants me to get MCSA. I initially bombed 70-410 over a year ago. I was kind of in over my head, I had never even heard of active directory. They kept me on anyways for some reason, and now a year later I have Security+ under my belt and way more experience in general, and now I'm ready to go for MCSA again.

    My boss bought some books and wants me to try for O365 instead of Server, and he seems to think it's easier. So this is where I need some advice. I can scarcely find any resources for this exam, in comparison. I am really bad at taking exams, and I found I need to just hammer information into my head from a variety of sources in order for it to stick. The CBT nuggets course is only 5 hours, and the book explicitly states in the beginning that the book alone is not going to be enough to pass and that you really just need experience.

    The Server route on the other hand seems like there's study resources all but raining from the sky. The CBT nuggets course is 4 times longer, the transcender question pool is way larger, and there's tons of books besides just Microsoft's, and there's tons of lab walkthroughs, other free video courses, just a wide variety of both free and paid resources.

    I'm thinking of trying to talk my boss into having me try the Server route again instead, so here's where I'd just like some advice. Who has passed O365 MCSA? Do you think it's reasonably doable for me, or do you think I should switch to 70-410? It's hard to get a good feel of just what the exam is going to be like, so maybe it's not as hard as I feel like it is. But I know exactly how hard Server is, having taken it and failed it twice before.
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  3. Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    CISSP, CCSP, eJPT, ITIL,PA ACE,Qualys Certified Specialist, A+
    #2
    Make an account here if you haven't done so already. https://mva.microsoft.com there are books out there for O365 I've seen them. I have been thinking about O365 certificate also but have some others before it that take a bit more priority. I'd go for O365, seems like a future type certification that will probably be in demand.
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  4. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Yorkshire, England
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    118

    Certifications
    MCSA Windows Server 2012 R2, MCSE Messaging
    #3
    I completed MCSA Server 2012 mid way through last year and it was really tough, especially the 3rd exam. Such a variety of topics are covered through the 3 exams. I would think that Office 365 won't be quite as varied as it is not an entire operating system.
    One reason that O365 one might be easier is the fact there are only 2 exams. Whether this makes it easier or just quicker to pass I'm not sure.
    I would personally go with what the company thinks is more relevant for you, if they are looking at moving to Office 365/already using it I would go for this one.
    Like the reply above says, Office 365 is definitely going to be big in the future so why not start preparing now?

    It also depends if you are planning to get the MCSE after. I think O365 only gives you 3 options (Lync, Exchange, SharePoint) whereas Server 2012 gives you these plus a couple more.

    Or, you could get both...

    You can do the 70-410 and 70-411, then you can substitute the 70-412 for the 70-346. This will give you the MCSA in server 2012, then you only have the 70-347 to get for the MCSA in O365. If you plan properly you can therefore take 4 exams instead of 5 and get 2 MCSA's (wish I had done this to be honest but I didn't realise it was possible until I was quite deep into the 70-412)
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  5. Junior Member
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    Dec 2015
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    8
    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by joeswfc View Post
    I completed MCSA Server 2012 mid way through last year and it was really tough, especially the 3rd exam. Such a variety of topics are covered through the 3 exams. I would think that Office 365 won't be quite as varied as it is not an entire operating system.
    One reason that O365 one might be easier is the fact there are only 2 exams. Whether this makes it easier or just quicker to pass I'm not sure.
    I would personally go with what the company thinks is more relevant for you, if they are looking at moving to Office 365/already using it I would go for this one.
    Like the reply above says, Office 365 is definitely going to be big in the future so why not start preparing now?

    It also depends if you are planning to get the MCSE after. I think O365 only gives you 3 options (Lync, Exchange, SharePoint) whereas Server 2012 gives you these plus a couple more.

    Or, you could get both...

    You can do the 70-410 and 70-411, then you can substitute the 70-412 for the 70-346. This will give you the MCSA in server 2012, then you only have the 70-347 to get for the MCSA in O365. If you plan properly you can therefore take 4 exams instead of 5 and get 2 MCSA's (wish I had done this to be honest but I didn't realise it was possible until I was quite deep into the 70-412)
    That is actually a really good idea, I didn't realize you could do that. Part of the reason I think server will be "easier" for me is that I've studied for it before so I wouldn't be going at it from complete scratch, and learning through labbing seems much more accessible. I like the idea of subbing 412 for 346, that's definitely something to consider.
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  6. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Yorkshire, England
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    118

    Certifications
    MCSA Windows Server 2012 R2, MCSE Messaging
    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon View Post
    That is actually a really good idea, I didn't realize you could do that. Part of the reason I think server will be "easier" for me is that I've studied for it before so I wouldn't be going at it from complete scratch, and learning through labbing seems much more accessible. I like the idea of subbing 412 for 346, that's definitely something to consider.
    I would probably say it would be easier for you to pass the O365 exams then if you already know some stuff about it. When I started studying for Windows server 2012 I had a basic knowledge of AD, DNS, DHCP but nothing else really, I had worked on first line for about 3 years.
    Either way, you might as well go for the 70-346 as you can go in either direction once you have that.

    If you haven't already, check out this page... https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/lear...ification.aspx
    If you want to clarify for yourself that you can sub 412 for 346 (instead of just trusting me!) it is within the server 2012 one and there is a section called additional options.

    Another reason you might want to sub 412 for 346 is that it took me 3 attempts to pass, its a really tough exam and talks about a lot of stuff that you will probably never use in your career!
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