Certification Route MCSA or A+

wilsonjn01wilsonjn01 Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
--My name is Jerome and I sort of new to IT. I currently work for the City University of New York at a Help Desk or Service Desk assisting faculty, staff and student with numerous technical issues. This is "NOT" hands on and it is "NOT' really all that technical. It's just basic Help Desk dealing with educational systems, ticket escalation, phone support, etc. I currently do "NOT" have any tech certifications under my belt and I am looking to see specifically what certs will get me in the door with the more technical role that I want. I have my degree in CIS at SUNY BUffalo, and I have worked at the school doing Help Desk for about 1.5 years.

-- I am looking to get into more of a (Desktop Support/ Systems) position. I have been really confused on where to start, Comptia A+, MCSA 8.1 or MCSA Server. I am interested in all but I dont want to waste my time nor the money, so I am looking to see which of these will work for me. I need some input on what the right step would be here.


  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If you have the technical ability to jump right into a MCSA, by all means go for that. Either MCSA will be WAY better than an A+ and around the same cost (MSCA Windows 8 is actually cheaper I think). Reason people go with the A+ is because it's an easier certification and not everyone can take those mid-level certs.
  • wilsonjn01wilsonjn01 Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yeah I do have the ability to jump into the MCSA, not rushing, just taking my time. Plus I have relatives who work as a senior sys engineer in mahattan. I am looking to get into servers and I think it is interesting but I have no prior certs. This will be my first ever cert trying to obtain. I am trying to see if it is worth it to obtain an comptia A+ or MCSA 8.1 or jump to MCSA Server since its worth it. I have read many posts that said MCSA server is worth it, is it something someone can jump into if you have no prior server experience?
  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    As long as you have a lab, good learning resources, and good learning ability, yeah you can do it without any server experience.

    A+ by no means guarantees you a job and is just a resume builder to get your foot in the door. Wouldn't hurt to go through Professor Messer's videos to study for the A+, but I don't see any reason to take the exam if you're going into the MCSA. In fact, I'd start applying at jobs as soon as you pass one of the exams. That should be a nice feather in your cap.
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Member Posts: 973
    If you know pc troubleshoot, how to connect and troubleshoot network printers and basic networking, definitely go for MCSA.
  • jonny72jonny72 Member Posts: 68 ■■■□□□□□□□
    wilsonjn01 wrote: »
    I am trying to see if it is worth it to obtain an comptia A+ or MCSA 8.1 or jump to MCSA Server since its worth it. I have read many posts that said MCSA server is worth it, is it something someone can jump into if you have no prior server experience?

    I think you'd struggle to find a job with just the server MCSA and no actual work experience in IT support.

    I'd suggest going for the A+ and getting an entry level desktop support position. Then the desktop MCSA.

    But review once you've got a job and update your plan accordingly.
  • Params7Params7 Member Posts: 254
    A+ is also an excellent cert to round about your basic skills in tech, which is going to come in useful in hands-on helpdesk support.

    But I also think MCSA will help him out tons. For an MSP I worked for before, I know for a fact my boss would have hired a fresher with even 50% of MCSA skills. Though at Level 1 position, but with server responsibilities and that means probably faster climb inside the organization.

    If you can manage studying and actually learn the stuff in MCSA, go for it. Server 2008 or 2012 and MSP's will fight each other to keep you.
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,775 ■■■■■■■■□□
    A+ is a great knowledge set. If you don't have the knowledge it will benefit you to study for it. I usually consider the A+ as a tool to get your first help desk job.

    Since you are working at a help desk job even if it does not seem technical you can use that experience. Because of this I think you will get a better return on MCSA. Again assuming you know the basics of computer hardware and troubleshooting.

    Good Luck. If you have time there is nothing wrong with doing both but it cost money. Not very much money in the big picture but when we are starting out it feels like a lot.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I think the A+ would be a good one to go with. This alone with your experience could provide you enough to get into the role you desire. If you want to do certs just to do them, then by all means, but if you are looking to transition into the role you mentioned A+ should be enough (Along with your experience) Sorry said that twice. :)
  • shortygirlshortygirl Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    You're already working in IT, so the A+ will have limited benefit at this point. I'd say to get it in case you need to get another helpdesk job between now and obtaining your MCSA. And then go get your MCSA. :)
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  • MowMow Member Posts: 445 ■■■□□□□□□□
    You mention ticket escalation in your current job. I would say go the MCSA route, try to take on more responsibilities at your current job, that may get you some hands-on experience. After you prove yourself a couple of times, it will be easier to convince people to give you more work. If there's any Linux there, take the time to learn some of that, too. Milk your current opportunity for as much as you can, before you move on. You're already there, already collecting a paycheck, no sense in just coming in to the same grind every day if you can branch out a bit in your current role.
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