Want to dive into Microsoft

monorionmonorion Member Posts: 90 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hello all,

Sorry if this post already exists but, I am thinking about jumping into MCSA 2012, mostly what I want to know is, after achieving this will it give me a boost as far as moving up? currently I am doing helpdesk/desktop support and have been for about 3-4 years now with very little exposure to servers and other IT infrastructure. will going after this cart track help me make that next jump to an admin level position?

Also what type of study material is out there? can i just pass by reading and watching videos? I would prefer videos as they tend to be a bit more interactive but open to anything.

Thank you!

Comments

  • LexluetharLexluethar Member Posts: 516
    Yes an MCSA will definitely help you land a system admin job. IMO reading alone will not get you to pass, these exams (there are three) are pretty difficult and unless you know the material inside and out can give people issues.

    My suggestion for passing these exams:
    1. Pickup a book on each exam and read it inside and out. MS Publishing has decent material - although very dry and can put you to sleep pretty quickly.
    2. Build a lab, MS expects people that pass these exams to have a few years experience as a system admin so getting your hands on the technology is key. You don't need a ton of equipment and if your desktop is powerful enough everything can be done using virtual box or some other free virtualization tool. Create a domain, add server roles, add accounts to the domain, add desktops, ect. This is key to understanding the technology.
    3. In your free time watch either youtube videos (free) on the topics on the exam or purchase one through pluralsite or some other website. Just like the books though, the videos alone will not cover everything.
    4. Go to the MS website that outlines the exam topic and ensure you thoroughly understand every single topic covered because i promise you they will ask you the topic or section you skimmed over.

    Good luck, they are not easy exams to pass IMO but well worth the time investment (i personally didn't spend much money, i have a virtual home lab and just bought an MS publishing book).
  • monorionmonorion Member Posts: 90 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Awesome! thank you for this detail response. only question i have is for Labbing, where does one get his hands on server 2012 R2?
  • LexluetharLexluethar Member Posts: 516
    MS will give you a free trial for 30 or 60 days. You just have to register an email address. Alternatively Microsoft did have a free lab environment online that would walk you through step by step processes for setting up things like Branch cache and a few other things. Trick to those lab environments was they were completely open, you could do whatever you wanted. So I would use them just to study anything i wanted, not just what the lab outlined. Two downsides to it was how slow it was and they reset after like 60 minutes. I tried my old link but it's dead - do some googling and you might find it.

    It used to kick butt, but they switched providers and the connections became almost unusable and would timeout all the time.
  • PJ_SneakersPJ_Sneakers CompTIA, EC-Council, ISACA, Microsoft USAMember Posts: 884 ■■■■■■□□□□
    If you need labs (and you do) subscribe to ITPro.tv. Google for discount codes, there are many out there. They have videos, labs, and Transcender exams. The price is very reasonable after a discount code is used.
  • AndersonSmithAndersonSmith Member Posts: 471 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Yes, the MCSA certification is designed for "higher-level" admin type positions. Although, that's still kind of a broad category, but I think I understand what you mean. Lex's post is spot on for what you should do to prepare. The only thing I would add to it is that it would be beneficial if you can afford it to purchase some decent practice exams. For the 410, the Transcender exams were excellent, but for the 411 I found them to be lacking. The MeasureUp ones are OK and are closer to what you'll see on the actual exam as far as how the questions are structured. Honestly, if you can afford both go for it. A lot of people like the Boson as well, although I personally didn't. Either way, they're extremely beneficial to helping you prepare for the exams... I started studying for the first exam (410) Jan 1 of this year and took the last exam in the middle of July, so it took me about 6 and a half months total. I spent nearly every day with several hours of studying/labbing each day to prepare for each exam. I also have several years of experience as a SysAdmin and like you, I started out as help desk years ago. Good luck to you!
    All the best,
    Anderson

    "Everything that has a beginning has an end"
  • kiki162kiki162 Member Posts: 635
    Word to the wise, they will start to retire the 2012 track here shortly, as MCSA 2016 has been released. It looks like if you obtain your MCSA 2012 before the end of March, you can work on your MCSA 2016 and move into MCSE. Right now, there's not much in the way of material on 2016 on amazon that you can get. Seems like a lot of the 2016 books will be out after the 1st of the year.

    If you want to get a taste for MS exams, start with the Windows 10 exam, which I think is 70-697. Just a heads up, the MCSE 2012 track will get into System Center a bit, especially SCVMM.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-2012-r2
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/mcsa-certification.aspx

    You can pass these exams with some time, labbing, and effort. Some people with time and money also go the bootcamp route, however I can tell you from experience, it's really not needed.
  • nisti2nisti2 Member Posts: 502 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm looking forward to MCSA also...

    I hope this may help 90 Days to MCSA (A MS OneNote day to day) - http://bit.ly/2cff4Xj

    Good Luck!
    2020 Year goals:
    Already passed: Oracle Cloud, AZ-900
    Taking AZ-104 in December.

    "Certs... is all about IT certs!"
  • LexluetharLexluethar Member Posts: 516
    I disagree with the retiring of 2012 track. You can still take 2008 exams and still obtain your 2008 MCSA. That probably won't go away for another year and i cannot see them retiring 2012 until 2016 exams have been out and available for at least 3 years (that's been their status quo the past 10 years).
  • GSXR750K2GSXR750K2 Member Posts: 325 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The MCSA 2012 is perfectly safe. It is now one of four tracks to reach the MCSE Cloud Platform & Infrastructure, so the MCSE Server Infrastructure (the MCSE for 2012 specifically) has been deemed no longer necessary.

    From the link in kiki's other post talking about the streamlining of certifications, these MCSE/MCSD certs will be phased out at the end of March:

    As the final part of the transition process, all existing MCSE and MCSD certifications (listed below) will be retired on March 31, 2017:

    MCSE: Server Infrastructure
    MCSE: Private Cloud
    MCSE: Data Platform
    MCSE: Business Intelligence
    MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps
    MCSE: SharePoint
    MCSE: Communication
    MCSE: Messaging
    MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management
    MCSD: Universal Windows Platform
    MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect
    MCSD: Web Applications
    MCSD: SharePoint Applications

    After that date, these certifications will no longer be attainable but, if already earned, will remain on your transcript in either Active or Inactive state until retirement of the corresponding technologies, at which point the certifications will be moved to the Legacy section of your transcript.
  • monorionmonorion Member Posts: 90 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Wow! thank you everyone for your very detailed replies, everyone has really good opinions here, never disappointed. I appreciate all the help and your time.

    Thank you!!
  • kosta-kkosta-k Member Posts: 32 ■■■□□□□□□□
    As the final part of the transition process, all existing MCSE and MCSD certifications (listed below) will be retired on March 31, 2017:

    MCSE: Server Infrastructure
    MCSE: Private Cloud
    MCSE: Data Platform
    MCSE: Business Intelligence
    MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps
    MCSE: SharePoint
    MCSE: Communication
    MCSE: Messaging
    MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management
    MCSD: Universal Windows Platform
    MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect
    MCSD: Web Applications
    MCSD: SharePoint Applications

    After that date, these certifications will no longer be attainable but, if already earned, will remain on your transcript in either Active or Inactive state until retirement of the corresponding technologies, at which point the certifications will be moved to the Legacy section of your transcript.


    IS THIS INFO TRUE???
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