Looking to become a System Administrator, where to next?

UltimasUltimas Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey everyone. I've been lurking on this forum for quite some time so I figured I might as well create an account :)

I will finish my A+ Exam Wednesday (I did really good on the first half, but my wife and I recently had a baby so I stopped studying) and feel like my next steps are MCSA Windows 7 by July, and upgrade to MCSA Windows 8 by August, and at least 2/3 of the exams required for MCSA Windows Server 2012 by December. I plan on doing everything self study, by either reading books or watching training videos. In 2015 I want to start working on MCSEs.

For my background, I have 3+ years of helpdesk experience.

I have too many questions but here they are:

Does 7 months sound like too short of a time period to study and pass six Microsoft Exams? (70-680/685/689 then 70-410/411/412)

Would I benefit more to upgrade to MCSA Windows Server 2012 from 2008 or is 2012 only okay?

Having only an A+ and the MCSAs, would that make me a viable candidate for a System Administrator or at least a Junior System Administrator? Am I hurting myself by not obtaining the entire CompTIA trio?

Comments

  • gbdavidxgbdavidx Member Posts: 840
    Definitely add ccna and Linux if you don't. You sually have to know a lot to be a systems admin
  • ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945
    @ Ultimas - If you are trying to get sys admin, I would skip the MCSA for Windows 7 / 8, and go to one of the server MCSAs.
    Andy

    2017 Goals: 1 of 5 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • joehalford01joehalford01 Member Posts: 364
    A+ and MCSAs would not limit you. If you skip straight ahead to the MCSA's, then the comptia trio really isn't worth it resume wise. You should read the security+ material, its good stuff. Network+ is iffy, the material helped me a lot but the certification value is not that high. The MCSA's are sufficient to land a system administrator job. Seven months is not enough time to take all of those tests though.
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Member Posts: 2,116 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Ultimas wrote: »
    Does 7 months sound like too short of a time period to study and pass six Microsoft Exams? (70-680/685/689 then 70-410/411/412)

    Would I benefit more to upgrade to MCSA Windows Server 2012 from 2008 or is 2012?

    Having only an A+ and the MCSAs, would that make me a viable candidate for a System Administrator or at least a Junior System Adminstrator? Am I hurting myself by not obtaining the entire CompTIA trio?
    Welcome!

    I would look at 9 to 12 months for the exams you are looking to do. Doing the client exams gives you a full picture of the client-server setup IMO.

    I would start with Server 2012 now that the books and all the video training is now out and being updated for R2. By the time you actually get to the Server 2012 exams, the Server 2008 exams might have a retirement date from Microsoft.

    I think you have passed the point of doing the CompTIA trio exams, it might be useful to read the book for Sec+ and maybe doing CCENT/CCNA would also be useful instead of Network+.
  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Member Posts: 1,539 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Asif Dasl wrote: »
    I think you have passed the point of doing the CompTIA trio exams, it might be useful to read the book for Sec+ and maybe doing CCENT/CCNA would also be useful instead of Network+.
    -Op is not past doing CompTIA, as op has not done it yet. (How you work help desk for three years and not pick these up is a little interesting)
    -Security+ is a barrier for government jobs per the 8570
    -Knowledge wise op, you might be passed the Network+, however not having any of these CompTIA still does not cement that you have the knowledge. If you have plenty of network knowledge, going with the CCENT > CCNA would be a better route. I would take a network+ practice exam because if you cannot pass that, no way you are going to come close on the CCENT or CCNA.
    -Last, it depends on what type of systems you want to administer. Windows and Linux are obviously the two types of environments but being prepped for one does not automatically qualify you for the other because they are different.
  • darkerosxxdarkerosxx Banned Posts: 1,343
    7 years experience sysadmin here with Linux, windows, Cisco, VMware, tons of stuff. Feel free to pm me along the way with any questions you may have.
  • UltimasUltimas Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    TechGuru80 wrote: »
    -Op is not past doing CompTIA, as op has not done it yet. (How you work help desk for three years and not pick these up is a little interesting)
    -Security+ is a barrier for government jobs per the 8570
    -Knowledge wise op, you might be passed the Network+, however not having any of these CompTIA still does not cement that you have the knowledge. If you have plenty of network knowledge, going with the CCENT > CCNA would be a better route. I would take a network+ practice exam because if you cannot pass that, no way you are going to come close on the CCENT or CCNA.
    -Last, it depends on what type of systems you want to administer. Windows and Linux are obviously the two types of environments but being prepped for one does not automatically qualify you for the other because they are different.
    To answer that question, those 3 years of helpdesk experience aren't consecutive. Between the military (I have a non-IT MOS) and my civilian jobs I've just been working in other industries.

    That is a good point about Security+. I am a veteran so it gives me a slight edge when applying for entry level positions, but I've never applied for a government IT job. It would definitely make sense to have that to open more doors.

    All in all, I'm still comfortable working on a helpdesk, but I'm looking for a more challenging/interesting role now. I'm sure I want to be a Windows System Administrator. I want to be a viable candidate for that position in a year, but from the other posts I'm thinking I need to extend my timeframe just a bit as well as look into certs from other vendors like Cisco.

    Definitely excited by all the feedback I've gotten so quickly. Thanks for all the replies everyone.
  • UltimasUltimas Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    @ajs1976 - Hey, thanks for the reply. Because my current employer is willing to pay for certs that are "in my job description" getting the MCSA for Windows 7+8 are definitely in my future. I will have less of an advantage to convince them, I feel, to pay for certs that do not impact my current role in any meaningful way (because I don't work with any Windows Server OS very often, and when I do it's mostly observation to learn).

    @joehalford01 - Thanks for the advice! TechGuru80's suggestion about Security+ and jobs in government IT makes me feel as if Security+ might be worthwhile to obtain.

    @darkerosxx - Thanks, I will take you up on that in the future :)
  • --chris----chris-- Member Posts: 1,516 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Asif Dasl wrote: »
    Welcome!

    I would look at 9 to 12 months for the exams you are looking to do. Doing the client exams gives you a full picture of the client-server setup IMO.

    I would start with Server 2012 now that the books and all the video training is now out and being updated for R2. By the time you actually get to the Server 2012 exams, the Server 2008 exams might have a retirement date from Microsoft.

    I think you have passed the point of doing the CompTIA trio exams, it might be useful to read the book for Sec+ and maybe doing CCENT/CCNA would also be useful instead of Network+.

    Systems admin =/= Server admin. I think many people use the two interchangeably, but the way I see it a System admin oversees everything from the the infrastructure (server-network-desktop) to the environment variables (power-cooling-cabling-etc) and whatever else might be deemed "IT" by upper management. Where as a server admin is just that, administering servers.

    With that out of the way, I think Asif Dasl has a great point. If you want to be a rock star sys admin you should know all aspects of the infrastructure. Desktop, server, network, etc...

    Just my $0.02


  • mokaibamokaiba Member Posts: 162 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I recently reuploaded my resume after getting my MCSA server 2012 and its already been looked at eight times (less than 24 hours) by employers. Now looks dont mean contacts, but considering it took a month to get eight views before the MCSA, id say MCSA made a difference in being noticed. A linux and CCNA cert couldnt hurt either.
  • UltimasUltimas Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    mokaiba wrote: »
    I recently reuploaded my resume after getting my MCSA server 2012 and its already been looked at eight times (less than 24 hours) by employers. Now looks dont mean contacts, but considering it took a month to get eight views before the MCSA, id say MCSA made a difference in being noticed. A linux and CCNA cert couldnt hurt either.
    That's awesome. I feel at least with "MCSA" somewhere on my resume will at least get me passed the automated scanners into the hands of some recruiter. Congrats on your MCSA btw, I just got my A+ cert today and I am going to get a book on 70-680 during lunch so I can start working on Windows 7 cert. 20 days or bust! icon_cool.gif
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