At the starting line...

Morning Guys,

I've just passed my CCNA last week and I think I'm going to be making a start on the MCSE within the next few weeks.

I know very little about the MCSE. I know that it's split into a number of area's, within which there's a number of topics of which one you must choose. Basically the truth of the matter is I don't know where to start. How to do the MCSE. How to structure my studies. How to take examinations. Where to find the best and most "to the point" learning materials.

Basically I'm completely bloody clueless. icon_lol.gif

Any help, advice, links to good sites and web-pages would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, and Hello! I'm Matt... you'll probably hear a lot more from me over the coming year or two! icon_wink.gif

Ta

Matt
Matt of England

Comments

  • Nishesh.PrasadNishesh.Prasad Member Posts: 185
    Hey Matt .... all the info u need in the world can be found here >

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/default.mspx

    gud luck :D
    MCITP: EA 2008| VCP4| MCSE 2003 | CCNA | MCSA 2003: Security | MCDST | Security+ | ITILV3
  • mattiplermattipler Member Posts: 175
    Yeah just been having a read through that! icon_lol.gif

    In terms of difficulty (I know this is a hard question to answer as they're completely different) how do the CCNA and MCSE qualifications compare to one another?

    Also, Are the MCP, MCSA and MCSE 3 separate qualifications all together? With the MCP being the easiest, then the MCSA and then the MCSE the most difficult? Do you have to do the MCP and MCSA before you can do the MCSE? All seems so complicated! LOL! icon_lol.gif
    Matt of England
  • ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945
    I haven't taken the CCNA, so I can't really compare the individual exams. From what I have read, it seems like the CCNA is harder then the individual MS exams. Since the MCSE is 7 exams compared to 1 or 2 for the CCNA, the MCSE as a whole may be the harder of the two to obtain.

    The first step for the MCSE is to pick a track. Currently, there are two tracks Windows 2000 and Windows 2003. Since the Windows 2000 exams and the upgrade exams are retiring in March, it is probably a good idea to go with the MSCE on Windows 2003.

    The next step is to pick your first exam. Most people will start with the client exam. People with a lot of server experience may start with the server exam, 70-290. There are three client exam options: Windows 2000 Pro (going to retire in March), Windows XP, and Windows Vista. Generally the suggestion would be to take the Windows XP exam, 70-270 because it is the most common client OS right now. It really depends on your experience, what you are supporting at work, is your company going to upgrade soon, etc. One benefit of the XP exam, is it looks like there will be a lot of overlap between that exam and the server exam. A benefit of the Vista exam is that it can count as the client exam for the MCITP:Enterprise Administrator which will be the replacement for the MCSE.

    The is no required order to the exams, but usually the client and 290 are the first two exams people take. After that some people go in numerial order for the rest of the core, others try to put off 291 (aka the beast) as long as possible. You may want to look at the objectives for 70=291. You should see a lot of familiar topics, Basic networking, TCP/IP, OSI, Subnetting, Routing, etc. Becareful with this exam, it can be a rather rude first experience with doing things the Microsoft way.

    After picking an exam read through the corresponding area here to get suggestions on which books and other resources to use.

    Good luck.
    Andy

    2017 Goals: 1 of 5 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945
    mattipler wrote:

    Also, Are the MCP, MCSA and MCSE 3 separate qualifications all together? With the MCP being the easiest, then the MCSA and then the MCSE the most difficult? Do you have to do the MCP and MCSA before you can do the MCSE? All seems so complicated! LOL! icon_lol.gif

    It sounds complicated, but it really isn't. If you pass one exam you will get the MCP. (i'm ignoring the MCTS with Vista for now)

    The MCSA requires 4 exams. The client and two core exams (70-290 and 70-291) are also the client and two of the four core exams for the MCSE. The elective exam for the MCSA can also be your elective for the MCSE.
    Andy

    2017 Goals: 1 of 5 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • mattiplermattipler Member Posts: 175
    ajs1976 beer tokens are on there way in the post!!! That was a brilliant response and has seriously made things a lot clearer for me! Right... I think I'll have a look into buying the Microsoft MSCE training book set. Looks good and gets good write ups. Are there any good simulators I should look into buying? When I did my CCNA I used Boson Netsim that was very limited but was better than nothing. Obviously nothing beats hands on experience... but are there any good MCSE based simulators out there? :)

    Also you wrote

    You may want to look at the objectives for 70=291. You should see a lot of familiar topics, Basic networking, TCP/IP, OSI, Subnetting, Routing, etc. Becareful with this exam, it can be a rather rude first experience with doing things the Microsoft way.

    Surely this will be covered by my CCNA skills?

    Cheers ajs1976.
    Matt of England
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Welcome to the MS forums Matt. I've seen your input on the CCNA forums and you're definately a good asset to the boards here.

    I didn't think the CCNA was any harder than the various MS exams. However, being a Cisco Academy grad myself (like you) I will say that the several months of structured study may have had something to do with it. Most MS training is in the form of 1-2 week boot camps for people already fairly experienced with MS. So finding a good way to focus and remain disciplined in your studies without that Academy environment may be the hardest part.

    My study methods are probably a bit different than many. I do like to grab a couple of books, CBT's of some sort and maybe even a practice exam, but I mostly rely on my hands-on experience. I just don't retain information from reading like some do, and I can't study for more than about 30-45 minutes at one sitting without getting distracted.

    Anyway, I know you will excel and do well in whatever you pursue. Good luck! icon_cool.gif
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • BeaverC32BeaverC32 Member Posts: 671
    Matt, welcome to the world of Microsoft!

    In terms of difficulty, I found the 70-291 and 70-297 exams more difficult than CCNA (especially the 70-297...that one was a bear). I self-studied for all exams, and passed them all my first attempt.

    The key to success for these exams is hands-on use; get a small lab set up through VMWare or Virtual PC, and practice everything that is covered in the objectives.

    Study as hard as you did for CCNA, and you will do fine :D
    MCSE 2003, MCSA 2003, LPIC-1, MCP, MCTS: Vista Config, MCTS: SQL Server 2005, CCNA, A+, Network+, Server+, Security+, Linux+, BSCS (Information Systems)
  • ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945
    Surely this will be covered by my CCNA skills?

    Yes ,those topics are covered on the CCNA, but not from the Microsoft point of view. ex. You don't need an expensive router, when a Windows server can be used as a router.
    Andy

    2017 Goals: 1 of 5 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
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