I am so confuuuuuuuused... where is the path.

ChilleeBChilleeB Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey guys,
I, probably like so many of you, want to pursue my MCSA/MCSE in the most expedient and productive way. In my area, people are looking for MCSA/MCSE certified employees. They also want CCNA and Exchange experience in many cases.

I have been in the field for about 7 years and am only now pursuing my certs. I have XP Pro under my belt (passed a few weeks ago), and have taken the 70-290 and 70-291 courses. I am studying for those 2 certs as I write this.

My dilemma: I do not have Exchange experience. I need to take an elective for MCSA and would like it to be the Exchange course, but the professors warn me against it without first taking the Active Directory courses. Yet, on the Microsoft site, they list the Exchange 2003 course as an elective for MCSA.

What gives? Professors say one thing, Microsoft doesn't make it clear one way or another.

Again, I need an elective and want to be efficient and expedient.

Any advice?



  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,352 ■■■■□□□□□□
    What I did:


    Why in this order?
    70-290 - Basic server experience
    70-291 - DNS, Routing, IP Addressing, etc. all of which Exchange is built on top of
    70-293 - Certificates, PKI, NLB, and Clustering a lot of which certain Exchange functions are built on
    70-294 - Active Directory which Exchange is built on top of
    70-297 - Active Directory design which Exchange is built on top of. Knowing how to effectively design AD will help tremendously when building Exchange on top of it
    70-284 - After learning the above, you are now ready to take on the task to effectively learn how to build an Exchange environment on top of an existing Windows Domain Environment platform

    I highly recommend doing it in this order due to the above. Yes, the 70-285 is more Exchange design, but still, knowing how to configure Exchange will require some Exchange design knowledge which the 70-284 still goes into.

    If you are only going for MCSA, then just do 70-284 after your 291. Just keep in mind though, you won't nearly benefit from it as much as you would if you were to complete the rest of the MCSE exams first.

    Hope that helps.
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • ChilleeBChilleeB Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for your response.

    Your path makes total sense to me.

    I am planning on pursuing MCSE. Although, I would like to have MCSA status in the interim.

    If I were to follow your path, would 70-293 count as an elective after taking the 70-270, 70-290, and 70-291 courses fulfilling MCSA requirements? It doesn't appear that it would to me, unless I am not reading something correctly.

    Thanks again.
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,352 ■■■■□□□□□□
    With my method, you'll get all 3 certifications at once when you finish 70-284. You just have to think to yourself, what's better for you. Short term gain of having the MCSA status and MCSA:M status even though you're still going to hold the MCSE status in the long run, or long term gain where you'll have a better understanding of the product.
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • Go BucksGo Bucks Member Posts: 152
    The other option would be to grab the A+/Net+, A+/Server+, or Security+ and you would be an MCSA after completing the 70-291. Then you could continue on the MCSE and Exchange path.

    If you've been in the field for 7 years and know the components of a PC and have dealt with the major Windows operating systems, the A+ shouldn't be that difficult to obtain. Probably the biggest thing is memorizing IRQ's and memory addresses for the test. As far as the Network+ exam, if you have a solid networking background and understand the OSI model and what all the layers do, it's not that difficult of an exam either.

    With that said, most people usually start out with the A+ and Network+ and then dive into the Microsoft track. Since you're already in it AND they have the free retakes until at least June, you might want to follow royal's advice since he's already been there and done that.
    "Me fail English? That's unpossible."
  • ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945 ■■■■□□□□□□

    What type of experience do you have already? If you have some experience and a good understanding of AD, you can take the Exchange exam before the AD exam.

    2020 Goals: 0 of 2 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • G1LL1USG1LL1US Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I didn't really look at the date of this but decided to post, Easiest route you're looking for is to just go after the Sec+ by itself and it counts as an elective on it's own versus Net+/A+ combo or Net+/Server+ combo. We can't forget CompTia tests range in the $250s so choose to spend $250 vs $500 unless your company pays for it.
  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    Just to follow up on that the Security+ is the only CompTIA cert that would count towards an elective for the MCSE. The A+/Network+/Server+ combinations only work towards the MCSA.
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon -- http://www.jefferyland.com/
  • colebertcolebert Member Posts: 79 ■■□□□□□□□□
    My recommendation:

    (exchange stuff)

    I would also get in and setup an exchange server --in a NON-production environment-- as soon as possible. I was managing an exchange server before I ever passed my 290. In small organizations (under 50 people) they're not so hard to handle. So don't be scared of them.

    I would avoid A+/N+ altogether. They are low-level and (IMHO) a MCP ranks higher than A+. A+ is well known and some idiotic employers (CompUSA) want you to have it sometimes. But for the most part A+ wasn't very useful to me, especially considering I started piling on MS certs right afterwards.
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