Path to MCSA 2012 R2

MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 MCSA: Server 2012, MCITP: EDAKCMember Posts: 897 ■■■■■□□□□□
So I'm at a point where I can take a couple of different paths to my MCSA server 2012 R2 cert, and was looking for advice on what would be easier to get this certification. I do have the MCSA in windows 7 (MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Admin) so I could take the 70-417 all in one certification. Or, I could go and take all of the individual tests (410,411 +412 or another elective). I do work in Server 2012 R2, but not exactly very deep into it and it's not the focus of my position. I also will soon have access from work to Pluralsite, and also have picked up the all in one sybex book which I got yesterday.

Cost wise, I don't care, but I really don't want to fail a ton of times either so that is another thing that I'm thinking about as well. What did you do? If you were in my position which path would make more sense. I do have access to having VM's created for my testing here at work as well, so I do have that ability as well. I hear of people labbing, but how do you know exactly what to do and how to perform the tasks that will be addressed in the exam so I'm familiar with it? Is there a good site that really walks a person through labs and explains why you are doing certain things in the orders that they are done.

Thanks for any advice. :)

Comments

  • DojiscalperDojiscalper Member Posts: 266 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'd love to know how to study as well. I've been in hundreds of cert class rooms over my career, but never done the MS ones or many of the main IT certs and this MCSA is really annoying when it comes to what to study. I also work on servers at work, but not super deep most of the time. I'm a computer geek so at home I have the ability to lab very well and have installed/configured most roles both in the GUI and powershell. I think I'm nearly ready to try the 70-410 exam, but I'd feel much better if I could at least go back over and review everything from a checklist of the curriculum, but it doesn't seem to be the way MS does things.
  • techfiendtechfiend Member Posts: 1,481 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The biggest personal benefit is what you learn while studying. I would forget about trying to do it quick with the 70-417. I heard the test is very difficult, if you ace every section and fail one, you still fail.

    I'd suggest the 70-410 (mainly setting up and configuring) and 70-411 (digging into some of the more useful services) then you have to decide on the third test. There's a few ways to go, if you are passionate about security go 70-412, if you like virtualization 74-409, there's also exchange and O365 options.
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  • DojiscalperDojiscalper Member Posts: 266 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Oh I agree, I learn every time I do something new within the server OS, usually breaking it, finding out what went wrong, and getting it working again, but its all part of learning and good fun for me.

    Myself I was going to go with the 410,411,412 but with the other options also being very useful I'm having a second look as I continue to study.
  • MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 MCSA: Server 2012, MCITP: EDA KCMember Posts: 897 ■■■■■□□□□□
    techfiend wrote: »
    The biggest personal benefit is what you learn while studying. I would forget about trying to do it quick with the 70-417. I heard the test is very difficult, if you ace every section and fail one, you still fail.

    I'd suggest the 70-410 (mainly setting up and configuring) and 70-411 (digging into some of the more useful services) then you have to decide on the third test. There's a few ways to go, if you are passionate about security go 70-412, if you like virtualization 74-409, there's also exchange and O365 options.

    That's pretty much what I have heard is that even though 417 is the "short cut", it is more difficult when you look at the amount of information you have to know and retain for the test. It would be a different story if I were deeply involved daily into complex issues on server 2012 r2, but I'm not. I access it and do routine, basic stuff and it's not always every day. I'm looking more towards the VMware end game down the road as I can grow into that where I work at and they do value certs quite alot. To me, 409 makes more sense than the 412, which will probably be the section that would kill me in the all in one.

    Not to mention, this sybex book is pretty dang intimidating with how huge it is.
  • techfiendtechfiend Member Posts: 1,481 ■■■■□□□□□□
    VCP-DCV has been much more valuable than MCSA for me so far. Better supply/demand and it's much easier than MCSA mainly due to the low passing score. Too bad it has constraints in order to take it. I did mine with an edu voucher from wgu.

    The mcsa sybex book is poop, I wouldn't waste time with it. Tulloch's training guides and Poulton's 70-410 is what I'd suggest for books.
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  • MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 MCSA: Server 2012, MCITP: EDA KCMember Posts: 897 ■■■■■□□□□□
    techfiend wrote: »
    VCP-DCV has been much more valuable than MCSA for me so far. Better supply/demand and it's much easier than MCSA mainly due to the low passing score. Too bad it has constraints in order to take it. I did mine with an edu voucher from wgu.

    The mcsa sybex book is poop, I wouldn't waste time with it. Tulloch's training guides and Poulton's 70-410 is what I'd suggest for books.

    Well, I already have the sybex book, so I'll probably stick with that. I'll also be using pluralsite (trainsignal) for additional instruction as well, which my work is springing for and should have that access by the end of the week, if not sooner.
  • joeswfcjoeswfc Member Posts: 118 ■■■□□□□□□□
    CBT nuggets worked well for me, I have used this for all my Microsoft exams (410, 411, 412 and 341) and they are really good to follow in your lab.

    Regarding which elective to take... You said server 2012 r2 isn't the focus of your position, what is? Personally I wish I had done the office 365 one, because then I could have done 2 windows server exams and 2 office 365 exams and had 2 MCSA's, that might be worth looking at.
    I would also say it depends if you will be doing MCSE after, if you are which one? If the server infrastructure one go for the 412 as this MCSE is just basically a follow on from 412. If exchange, Lync or SharePoint the Office 365 one might be better as these MCSE's also include some Office 365 content.
  • MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 MCSA: Server 2012, MCITP: EDA KCMember Posts: 897 ■■■■■□□□□□
    joeswfc wrote: »
    CBT nuggets worked well for me, I have used this for all my Microsoft exams (410, 411, 412 and 341) and they are really good to follow in your lab.

    Regarding which elective to take... You said server 2012 r2 isn't the focus of your position, what is? Personally I wish I had done the office 365 one, because then I could have done 2 windows server exams and 2 office 365 exams and had 2 MCSA's, that might be worth looking at.
    I would also say it depends if you will be doing MCSE after, if you are which one? If the server infrastructure one go for the 412 as this MCSE is just basically a follow on from 412. If exchange, Lync or SharePoint the Office 365 one might be better as these MCSE's also include some Office 365 content.

    More in line with SQL, but growth patterns can really go any direction I want to take, either network/sys admin/security focus. I'm debating on going that route, or the virtualization path, although vmware is the choice product.
  • joeswfcjoeswfc Member Posts: 118 ■■■□□□□□□□
    More in line with SQL, but growth patterns can really go any direction I want to take, either network/sys admin/security focus. I'm debating on going that route, or the virtualization path, although vmware is the choice product.

    So another one of the electives is one of the SQL ones (forgot which one), would that be useful?

    But I guess if you can choose which direction you want, choose the one that will get you more money and/or you will enjoy the most.
  • MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 MCSA: Server 2012, MCITP: EDA KCMember Posts: 897 ■■■■■□□□□□
    joeswfc wrote: »
    So another one of the electives is one of the SQL ones (forgot which one), would that be useful?

    But I guess if you can choose which direction you want, choose the one that will get you more money and/or you will enjoy the most.
    The SQL elective would definitely be more useful for my current role. I don't plan on getting a MCSE anytime soon, if ever. After I get this MCSA wrapped up I'll debate on whether I want to mess with the CCNA as well. Figure a good sys admin should understand networking.
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