Which is easier MCSA Server 2012 or Cisco CCNA R/S ?

I want to hear from the people with experience completing both paths.


Which is easier Microsoft MCSA Windows Server 2012 or Cisco CCNA R/S?

Comments

  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
  • GreaterNinjaGreaterNinja Member Posts: 271
    Ccna r/s


    I need more input on this. MCSA Server 2012 to me seems easier than Cisco CCNA.
  • pjd007pjd007 Member Posts: 277 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I need more input on this. MCSA Server 2012 to me seems easier than Cisco CCNA.
    Obviously you can't say one is easier than the other until you've achieved both because just going by the exam criteria as a guide isn't very realistic IMO.
  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    CCNA R&S = 2 exams
    MSCA = 3 exams

    Based on that, I'd say CCNA is easier by default. As far as the material though...I'll tell you when I pass the MCSA.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Microsoft Tests are not easy... Not saying Cisco's are easy by any means, but I've taken a MCSA 2012 exam and a Cisco Test, I found Microsoft's harder. So to me CCNA is easier, everyone is different though and you might find it the other way around... Really depends on your interest.
  • techfiendtechfiend Member Posts: 1,481 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Agree on whatever interests you more will be easier because you'll enjoy it more. I work with microsoft every day but was really bored while studying for MCSA 2012. I've never worked on a production cisco device and love studying it. Even though I have a lot more to learn in cisco it will be easier for me.

    I think there's a lot more math and deep thinking in ccna vs mcsa.
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  • netsysllcnetsysllc Member Posts: 479 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have not taken the CCNA but would say the MCSA is likely harder because it covers a large range of technologies and the test questions are not always relevant to real life or what a systems admin would ever do. The CCNA is more applied knowledge and if you know it you know it
  • nsternster Member Posts: 231
    CCNA is so much easier to study for, the material of the exam is very well known and there are many great ressources provided by cisco themselves. I did the cisco academy thingy and that was so easy to follow, no guess work involved. You learn the curriculum and you pass the cert

    MCSA is NOT like this at all
  • Snow.brosSnow.bros Member Posts: 832 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have never written a CCNA exam but I have been going through the CCNA study material, so this is just my 2 cent opinion.

    I would say on a technical level CCNA is more difficult than the MCSA, it's just that there is so much put into an MCSA exam. Unlike Cisco, on a Microsoft exam you are not going to be tested on the content of the material you studied only, Microsoft exams test both your experience with the product and the content of your material, so it takes more preparation get ready for a Microsoft exam than a CCNA exam, I mean there is a psychologist planning the exam structure, but on a technical level what we learn on the MCSA material is not that challenging.

    So difficulty differs in the exam.
  • natelannatelan Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I am currently studying for both. In real life, I am a Jr. Sys Admin (Microsoft) with zero production Cisco IOS experience. I am a lot more scared of MCSA than I am Cisco because the Cisco exam seems like something you can basically just memorize a subnetting chart as well as some show commands and the differences between ospf vs eigrp, and you will pass. The MCSA on the other hand I think covers so much more conceptual knowledge (rather than applied knowledge a la CCNA) and so many more fields and theories.
  • jmasterj206jmasterj206 Member Posts: 471
    CCNA is easier based on the fact that Cisco study materials are far superior. Most of the MS press books are garbage. With the Cisco exam guidelines you pretty much know what to study. MS is pretty vague and you really have to have experience using Server products. MS has a tendency to test on things that you would never use in production like using a server as a router. I would say the MCSA falls somewhere in between the CCNA and the CCNP as far as difficulty.
    WGU grad
  • techfiendtechfiend Member Posts: 1,481 ■■■■□□□□□□
    After passing them both, whereas my previous post I was studying for ICND1 and hadn't done much beyond a few labs with MCSA. Overall I found the MCSA more difficult and would put the tests I took in this order from easiest to most difficult: ICND1, 74-409, 70-410, ICND2, 70-411 likely 70-412,

    ICND1 is much easier than the study material makes it out to be. ICND2 is more difficult than the study material makes it out to be and is really tight on time. 74-409 is tough to lab but it's a relatively easy test if you can grasp hyper-v and a little bit of system center. 70-410 is known to be a difficult test but I worked with 80% of the material on a regular basis which made it much easier. 70-411 and 70-412 has a lot of uncommon topics and expect to struggle with it unless you use them regularly. Microsoft likes to trick your mind on their tests which makes it a bit more difficult but there's no lengthy labs like cisco has.
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  • thatguy67thatguy67 Member Posts: 344 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I had a much harder time with the MCSA than the CCNA.
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  • actionhank1786actionhank1786 Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Based on the brief time I spent studying for the CCNA before I switched to the MCSA, I have to say I think the CCNA would be easier.

    There's obviously a lot of memorization in them both, but I think what makes the CCNA easier in my mind is that it's focused on one general topic. You're learning networking, and how to handle said networking with Cisco gear. On the MCSA you're going to be learning about networking (everything from DNS to subnetting) and then on top of that you're still learning about security permissions, GPO's, managing hard drives, installing servers from scratch, how to setup and configure the firewall...all just for the 70-410 exam.

    That said, I've definitely enjoyed the MCSA more. I didn't dislike the Cisco studying, but I've enjoyed servers more. It doesn't hurt that it's been far easier for me to get a little home lab up and running with 3 servers and 2 workstations, compared to the pain I went through trying to get VIRL working and GNS3 up and going. I never did manage to get those, but it ended up being a non-factor as I switched my focus to the MCSA since our servers needed far more love than anything else, and we only just recently switched to Cisco switches, which have pretty much taken care of themselves.
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    The short answer: The CCNA would be an easier path, it's 2 exams vs. Microsoft's 3.

    The long answer: It depends on you, really. If you have basic networking knowledge, say from taking Network+, then passing the exams for your CCNA R/S is going to be a natural evolution of what you already know. The same can be said for the Microsoft exams: if you already have experience with Windows, even if it's just the client-side OS (7/8/10), you're going to have a much easier time transitioning into the server-side concepts in Microsoft-land.

    The other side of the coin: if you have zero networking experience and wouldn't know a subnet mask from Subway sandwich, then the Cisco path is going to be a long, painful process. If you only have basic knowledge of Windows, or if you've literally never touched Windows Server, then the MCSA path is going to be your own, personal hell. Which one is harder? It all depends on which path you're more familiar with. (All exams are easy if you know the material, after all.)

    At the end of the day, I'd say you should start with what you're more comfortable with. If you have some Windows admin knowledge, go for the MCSA. If you know your networking fundamentals, go with the CCNA.

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  • alan2308alan2308 CISSP, MCSA 2008, MCSA 2012, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security Ann Arbor, MIMember Posts: 1,854 ■■■■■■■■□□
    With the CCNA, if you go in knowing the material, you'll pass the exam. Cisco may not be completely up front on what all is fair game for their exams, but I've never proceeded through a Cisco exam asking myself what are these questions even asking.

    With the MCSA, you first have to master Microsoft Exams. Microsoft gives you walls of text to weed through, looking for the one line that is actually relevant to what is being asked. Microsoft at times leaves you literally counting how many times not and isn't appears in the paragraph to establish if it's a positive or negative statement. And while I cannot confirm or deny this, I've heard that Microsoft hires psychologists to add to the confusion of their questions. I don't feel that the material itself is extremely difficult, its the asinine questions.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    MCSA probably has higher level of assumed knowledge. It is also 3 exams rather than 2, and covers a broader range.

    If I were going to quantify it, I'd say getting MCSA would take 2.5x longer than getting CCNA starting from, say, A+ level of knowledge.
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  • thatguy67thatguy67 Member Posts: 344 ■■■■□□□□□□
    alan2308 wrote: »
    With the CCNA, if you go in knowing the material, you'll pass the exam. Cisco may not be completely up front on what all is fair game for their exams, but I've never proceeded through a Cisco exam asking myself what are these questions even asking.

    With the MCSA, you first have to master Microsoft Exams. Microsoft gives you walls of text to weed through, looking for the one line that is actually relevant to what is being asked. Microsoft at times leaves you literally counting how many times not and isn't appears in the paragraph to establish if it's a positive or negative statement. And while I cannot confirm or deny this, I've heard that Microsoft hires psychologists to add to the confusion of their questions. I don't feel that the material itself is extremely difficult, its the asinine questions.

    That is so true. I caught one question that was quite simple, but the way it was worded was clearly intended to cause confusion. Especially for a test taker in a rushed/stressed context. I left a comment on that question after I completed the exam >:)
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  • alan2308alan2308 CISSP, MCSA 2008, MCSA 2012, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security Ann Arbor, MIMember Posts: 1,854 ■■■■■■■■□□
  • koz24koz24 Member Posts: 766 ■■■■□□□□□□
    For me personally, CCNA R&S is a lot easier. I originally was going to go for the MCSA Server 2012 after CCNA R&S but after starting 70-410 and realizing how much work it would require and seeing that I was interested in Cisco more, I just decided to go for CCNP R&S instead.
  • kengjameskengjames Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Interesting thread.

    I'm actually taking my 70-410 exam today. I already failed my first try last week. I'm actually intimidated with CCNA compared to MCSA since I have no experience with enterprise routers and switches. Though I failed, i'm actually enjoying it. After i'm done with MCSA, i'm planning on getting the Network+ then CCNA. This thread actually gave me the courage.
  • koz24koz24 Member Posts: 766 ■■■■□□□□□□
    kengjames wrote: »
    Interesting thread.

    I'm actually taking my 70-410 exam today. I already failed my first try last week. I'm actually intimidated with CCNA compared to MCSA since I have no experience with enterprise routers and switches. Though I failed, i'm actually enjoying it. After i'm done with MCSA, i'm planning on getting the Network+ then CCNA. This thread actually gave me the courage.


    The good news is there are quite a few good lab solutions for the CCNA so you should get comfortable real quick.
  • PrimalTechPrimalTech Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I passed CCNA last year , and 70-410 this month. Both are hard. Cisco has much better training material though. Packet tracer, cisco press = Awesome. CCNA is hard because it is more technical IMO. (more than just memorizing subnetting) Microsoft is hard because of the the LONG questions and the wording. They say they don't try and trick you but they obfuscate a whole lot! I was sure I had failed 70-410 until I saw the score. Onto 70-411.
  • Hawk321Hawk321 CCNA R+S, CCNA CyberOPS, LPIC-1, LPIC-2, UBRSS + UBRSA, Proxmox AdvancedAdmin+some other small certs Member Posts: 97 ■■■□□□□□□□
    CCNA is easier due to the fact of almost perfect books from Cisco and many great tutorials.
    MCSA2012 has poor books (I call it junk), bad tuts, bad videos and deprecated technologies...than...ridiculous exams with questions written my lunatics and out of the scope topics.
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  • v1ralv1ral Member Posts: 116 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Im actually studying for the MCSA Server 2012 now. From the looks of it it seems CCNA was easier, since it requires fewer exams and specific to networking. MCSA has a ton of different technologies to know. Im finding out now that Cisco's training material is far superior to microsoft's which is why I think the CCNA is easier. I also spent time in a NOC which drilled networking into my head.
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