Microsoft Certification...

TeslTesl Member Posts: 87 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hey Guys,

My situation here is actually a little odd, although my question is actually fairly simple.

Right now I'm working at a consultancy doing a variety of different things, ranging from software development (Java/C++) to Unix administration (Have been configuring systems running Gentoo/Debian/Suse/Fedora and OpenWRT) and also I've been working on projects related to infrastructure (specifically using Cisco hardware).

I guess that makes me a bit of a jack of all trades, but right now I have close to zero Windows skills. Literally none. Nowt. Nothing. I haven't even been running Windows in my own house for years, simply because I don't enjoy using it. I dislike administering them even more.

With the current market as it is today my boss *really* wants me to pickup some windows qualifications so that I can be more useful right now for a few different projects. All the projects I worked on have now been completed, and I'm spending most of my time playing around with a few servers and practicing writing exploit code (I love the game that is Internet security, and like spending my time honing my skills)

So my question is this. I'm looking to get something next to my name that starts with the letter M, and I don't really know where to go. I guess learning more about Active Directory and Exchange could be fun. Maybe something related to Windows Security if thats possible. I don't want to be spending too much of my time studying though, and since it isn't a long term career move of mine I don't want to have to sit half a dozen exams. I'm looking for something fairly easy, that I can quickly learn in my spare time.

I've heard that the MCP is only a single exam, but a (very) quick scan online didn't bring up too much detailed information. Is taking something like that my best choice? Is there much involved? Or it there another route I should probably be taking?

Any advice on the current state of MS certifications would be most appreciated. We have a couple of virtual Windows 2003 Servers running Exchange here, so I have the software needed to play around on.

Thanks a lot for any help. Apologies to any Microsoft professionals here if I said anything to offend. I've plenty of respect for decent windows administrators, I just personally hate having to touch that OS for anything :)

Comments

  • seuss_ssuesseuss_ssues Member Posts: 629
    mcp = 1
    mcsa = 4
    mcse = 6

    if i remember correctly

    Just google MCSA or MCSE and you should pop up on MS site and see all the requirements including whats needed for the MCSA/MCSE security
  • NinjaBoyNinjaBoy Member Posts: 968
    Yep, do one MS exam and you'll become an MCP (there are 2 exams that aren't included in this exam).

    The best bet especially if you do not have any Windows experience is to do the MCDST, this is 2 exams (the 70-271 & the 70-272). These 2 are by far the "easiest" of the MS exams. The good thing about this is that you'll get 2 microsoft certs/status: the MCP & the MCDST.

    After the, when you get more MS experience, you can go for the MCSA (total of 4 or 5 exams depending on the route you take). If you already have the MCDST, then it's only an extra 3 exams (this would be the core exams, so it's 3 exams that's set by MS).

    Hope this helps

    -Ken
  • SieSie Member Posts: 1,195
    I think i recall someone mentioning that the MCDST cannot be used as elective for MCSE though.....

    Can someone confirm i'll see if i can check this morning.
    Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Tesl wrote:
    Apologies to any Microsoft professionals here if I said anything to offend. I've plenty of respect for decent windows administrators, I just personally hate having to touch that OS for anything :)

    Coming from a long time MS addict and administrator, I can say "no offence taken at all". You seem to be one of the few *nix guys who doesn't spend his time on forums bashing MS. If it's been a while since you touched the MS OS (like more than 6 years) the MS you used to know is very different. They have come a long way since the NT4 and Win98 days.

    While the MCDST might be an okay route, your situation and job may not have much use for a "support the XP desktop" type role. I would recommend getting the 70-270 first to get a good administrative understanding of XP, then do the 70-290 to better understand the server side from an admin's viewpoint. I realize you won't get the most bang for your buck (certification-wise) but for the learning and addition to your curent skill set I think it would be the best match.

    Good luck, and let us know what you decide! icon_cool.gif
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • kujayhawk93kujayhawk93 Member Posts: 355
    Sie wrote:
    I think i recall someone mentioning that the MCDST cannot be used as elective for MCSE though.....

    Can someone confirm i'll see if i can check this morning.
    This is correct. The MCDST (70-271 and 70-272) satisfy the elective requirement for MCSA, but do not count at all towards MCSE.
  • iDShaDoWiDShaDoW Member Posts: 67 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Sorry to thread hijack... but I'm curious... is there any point in doing the MCDST if I already have the A+ and Net+ that would count for the MCSA elective?

    I'm currently studying for the CCNA but was thinking about doing the 70-270, 70-290 & 70-291? for the MCSA.

    I'm more interested in going the Cisco route but was thinking that since most companies use Microsoft products having an MCP and MCSA would be useful in showing I have knowledge of the Microsoft environment as well.

    I'd go for the CCNP after the MCSA of course, don't think I'd be interested in pursuing the MCSE. Or should I go for the CCNP right after the CCNA and then get the MCSA before going for the CCIE?
  • sthomassthomas Member Posts: 1,240 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Sorry to thread hijack... but I'm curious... is there any point in doing the MCDST if I already have the A+ and Net+ that would count for the MCSA elective?

    In my opinion If you are going to have to support Windows XP then I think it is good to have.
    Working on: MCSA 2012 R2
  • iDShaDoWiDShaDoW Member Posts: 67 ■■□□□□□□□□
    So what's the difference between the MCDST and the 70-270 exam?

    Since the 70-270 is an XP exam, wouldn't what you learn and prove to know by passing that exam be enough to show that you'd be able to support Windows XP? Or does the 70-270 cover administering XP?
  • TregTreg Member Posts: 79 ■■□□□□□□□□
    MCDST: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcdst/default.mspx

    - Troubleshooting XP and Desktop applications

    If your gonna head down the MCSA > MCSE path, I wouldent bother with MCDST in my opinion, unless your starting fresh to look for an entry level Helpdesk / Desktop position which MCDST will assist.
  • TeslTesl Member Posts: 87 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the information there. I've decided on which certifications I'm going to go after now. And they are.....

    The CCNP and RHCE =)

    Hehe. I took a look at one of the exams and realised that I was wasting my time. At the end of the day, all I'm learning is how to point and click my way around an interface (since I already understand the underlying theory) and that just isn't interesting to me. If it's not interesting to me, I'm not going to be able to enjoy it nor remember it.

    I'm also living in a foreign country right now, and honestly trying to learn the language here takes an even higher priority over IT exams right now. There are too many things I want, and the Microsoft track will probably only frustrate me, without really benefiting my career (I want to be working with *nix longterm, so why study MS?)

    So a big thanks to everyone here, but MS certification just isn't even going to happen for me. All I need to decide now is whether I should bother quickly picking up the L+ and LPI or RHCT before trying to take the RHCE....

    =)
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