Trying to decide on a certification path...

no limitno limit Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
I'm already studying up on A+ and going to take that in a couple of weeks. I'm trying to decide whether to go the MCDST -> MCSA -> then finally MCSE. I figure the Network+ and A+ will take care of the elective. I just don't have enough time to dedicate solely for MCSE studying so I thought about going that path so my resume would say that I'm "MCP". Just trying to break in with desktop support and move on to network admin stuff.


  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Remember that the A+/Network+ combo and the MCDST will only count as an elective for your MCSA, not your MCSE.

    I'm not sure how much the MCDST is worth. I'd be curious to hear some feedback from others here.

    If you get your A+ and Network+ (which gives you a good foundation -- I encourage you to do that) you will need three more exams to get an MCSA. If you take the two XP exams for the MCDST, you will still need 3 more exams for the MCSA, including another client exam for 2000, XP, or Vista. If you did 270 and 290 instead of the MCDST, you'd only need 291 for that MCSA. Going straight for the MCSA seems to be the best use of your time and money.

    It depends on your goals, experience and time line though. If you find the MCSA material a bit intimidating and would rather just get a job ASAP, maybe the MCDST is the best route to go. There isn't a "right" way to go about this. Do what interests you. Good luck!
  • brad-brad- Member Posts: 1,218
    I was in your spot about 3 months ago. I did a+/n+, then did MCDST for resume building because i knew I could knock it out in about 3 weeks...and I wasnt sure I'd have the time to learn the MCSA stuff.

    Now I have time to work on MCSA, but I dont consider it a waste b/c it was a good introduction to MCP and MS testing.

    If anything was a waste of time/money, it was the A+. Since you already have N+, I would go straight for MCDST or MCSA, depending on your time allowed to study. If not alot of time, DST...if you have time, SA.

    My .02
  • Daniel333Daniel333 Member Posts: 2,077 ■■■■■■□□□□
    no limit,

    If you are really that close to finishing your A+ exam, finish it. Good job, A+ and Net+ are very esotric tests and tougher than CCNA if you ask me.

    Your next step should be based on your desires. Where exactly are you heading in life? Still picking up a degree? Did you "just want to work on computers"?

    Generally if you want to work on computer client/server etc... MCSE is a good destination but very time consuming. Hybrid of course are the future, you are going to need to mix Windows and Linux together as Windows continues to loose market share. So in the end, Linux+ might be a good idea.

    Let us know where you are headed and we'll give you our $.02.
  • no limitno limit Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Daniel333 wrote:
    no limit,

    If you are really that close to finishing your A+ exam, finish it. Good job, A+ and Net+ are very esotric tests and tougher than CCNA if you ask me.

    Interesting you mention that. I also want to take CCNA sometime in the future too and I had a friend that just took it. He mentioned that Cisco has made it harder now compared to previous versions. Anyway I currently have a job doing call center tech support stuff. I thought it would be good as a stepping stone, but now I just want to get into entry-level IT stuff. I notice that some job postings require at least an A+ even though I have a 4-year university degree in MIS. You would think that's enough, right? Other job postings mention that "an ideal candidate" would be Microsoft certified. I think I'll just go for the MCSA. The exams don't seem daunting, but I'm even struggling to find time after work to study for the A+ exam. What more for MCSA.
  • brad-brad- Member Posts: 1,218
    I got CBT nuggets for MCSA because I've never done any server work before about 3 months ago. Its been a great way to study along with the Sybex book...however it is time consuming because its all new material to me.
  • Daniel333Daniel333 Member Posts: 2,077 ■■■■■■□□□□
    no limit,

    The CCNA did get much harder a few years ago, too many paper cert floating around there. CCNA used to be much more like the Net+. I've had the Net+ described as the CCNA half way point.

    So entry level IT? Entry level DBA? Network admin? desktop support? Application support? Programmer? you're going to need to specialize.

    What was your degree in?

    I'll share my path and goals with you
    Goal: System Administration for a city
    Cert goals for 2008
    MCSE (SQL Server elective)

    And if I jump on every chance to work on SQL and SQL Server issues I might be able to snag some DBA experience.
  • no limitno limit Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I did have an interest in databases, but I had a db teacher at school who basically didn't know how to teach and turned me off databases. I basically want to be a network/systems administrator.

    Degrees/Certs I have:

    A.S. in Computer Information Systems
    B.S. in Management Information Systems
    CompTIA Network+

    I hope to be A+ certified sometime next month and then start preparing for MCSA or MCDST after that. I was thinking about CCNA and bought a Cisco 2600 series router off of ebay, but the time factor is what gets me.

    I could get into web programming too as I know a good amount of HTML, Javascript, and PHP, but I'd rather stick with something like help desk to systems admin.
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