Contemplating my career/cert path

BigToneBigTone Member Posts: 283
I'm currently in a helpdesk position, working with around 500 users in a local and a dozen remote offices in the US. We are working on an active directory migration at the moment and one of our offices is under the new DC.

I'm currently an MCP with the XP exam, and I'm planning on scheduling the 290 soon and getting my MCSA before June (with the 291 and my Comptia certs).

I'm trying to look long term and I know I want to do system administration and/or security. Consulting also sounds very appealing to me (not having to do the same thing every day)

My current plan was to finish my MCSA and then get CCNA and then finish my MCSE.

Do you think it would be best from a market view to do that or go through straight to my MCSE?

My main problem I guess is I want to learn everything, I'm dabbling with linux at home and really enjoying it and it looks like there is a decent market out for linux admins too, so part of me would like to get the linux+ eventually. I could make an argument for the sec+ for my MCSE.

I guess I basically just wish I had 6 hands and 4 eyes and two heads so I could do alot of this stuff at once.



Anyone want to give me any suggestions and/or steer me on a certain path? icon_lol.gif

Comments

  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    BigTone wrote:
    I'm currently in a helpdesk position, working with around 500 users in a local and a dozen remote offices in the US. We are working on an active directory migration at the moment and one of our offices is under the new DC.

    I'm currently an MCP with the XP exam, and I'm planning on scheduling the 290 soon and getting my MCSA before June (with the 291 and my Comptia certs).

    I'm trying to look long term and I know I want to do system administration and/or security. Consulting also sounds very appealing to me (not having to do the same thing every day)

    My current plan was to finish my MCSA and then get CCNA and then finish my MCSE.

    Do you think it would be best from a market view to do that or go through straight to my MCSE?

    My main problem I guess is I want to learn everything, I'm dabbling with linux at home and really enjoying it and it looks like there is a decent market out for linux admins too, so part of me would like to get the linux+ eventually. I could make an argument for the sec+ for my MCSE.

    I guess I basically just wish I had 6 hands and 4 eyes and two heads so I could do alot of this stuff at once.



    Anyone want to give me any suggestions and/or steer me on a certain path? icon_lol.gif

    I think I would prefer to have 70-620 vs. 70-270, because ultimately 70-620 will apply towards bridging your MCSE to the MCITP. But since you already have 270, you have to work with what you have.

    290 and 291 in a two month period sounds aggressive to me, but it also sounds like you have the experience and knowledge to accomplish it. I guess it depends on your experience, workload, etc... I took 290 last May....having a home lab and eval copies of Server 2003 were indispensible. I became too busy with other things to do 291 properly, so all I've really done is read the Microsoft Press book. My understanding from reading this board is that 291 is significantly harder than 290.

    Rather than breaking off and doing the CCNA following the MCSA, I would be likely to continue with the MCSE and wrap it up. You're only 4 exams away at that point, and you will already be in a MCSE/Microsoft frame of mind, with a configured lab that you can use to wrap things up. Additionally, it will position you very well to bridge to MCITP: Enterprise Administrator.

    MS
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'd encourage you to go on to 293 after 291 if you're going to go for the MCSE because there is significant overlap between the two. If you want to take a break from MS and do the CCNA, that would be a good time because a lot of the networking concepts will be fresh in your mind. If you want to work on the Linux+ and/or Security+, go for it. If you just squeeze in 5-10 pages a day when taking a break from your other studies, you'll be through it before you know it. Just go with what interests you. I'm alternating between about six different certifications right now. It just depends on what I'm in the mood for. When I burn out on MS, I do some Cisco, etc.
  • BigToneBigTone Member Posts: 283
    Rather than breaking off and doing the CCNA following the MCSA, I would be likely to continue with the MCSE and wrap it up. You're only 4 exams away at that point, and you will already be in a MCSE/Microsoft frame of mind, with a configured lab that you can use to wrap things up. Additionally, it will position you very well to bridge to MCITP: Enterprise Administrator.

    MS

    Like I said I'm pretty much ready for the 290, and since we have the ability to use the second shot If I'm going to need it I feel like I might as well use it for the beast.

    This ^ is what I was pondering last night. I'm such a geek though, I'd rather go home and watch CBT nuggets or read through a book rather than turn on the Xbox...


    ...Well I do turn on the Xbox occasionally.
  • MishraMishra Member Posts: 2,468 ■■■■□□□□□□
    BigTone wrote:
    Rather than breaking off and doing the CCNA following the MCSA, I would be likely to continue with the MCSE and wrap it up. You're only 4 exams away at that point, and you will already be in a MCSE/Microsoft frame of mind, with a configured lab that you can use to wrap things up. Additionally, it will position you very well to bridge to MCITP: Enterprise Administrator.

    MS

    Like I said I'm pretty much ready for the 290, and since we have the ability to use the second shot If I'm going to need it I feel like I might as well use it for the beast.

    This ^ is what I was pondering last night. I'm such a geek though, I'd rather go home and watch CBT Nuggets or read through a book rather than turn on the Xbox...


    ...Well I do turn on the Xbox occasionally.

    I'm pretty sure you can use the second shot on every MS exam you take until June 30th.
    My blog http://www.calegp.com

    You may learn something!
  • BigToneBigTone Member Posts: 283
    Right..I'm just saying, if there's one I'll need it for it sounds like its the 291 and I might as well give it a shot if I can before the date.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Register for the Microsoft Second Shot offer and take your first exam no later than May 31, 2008. If you do not pass on your first try, receive a free Second Shot at passing the exam through June 30, 2008.

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/offers/secondshot/details/popup.html

    Please don't mention Xboxes. I just RRoD'd for the second time icon_cry.gif
  • cacharocacharo Member Posts: 361
    dynamik wrote:
    Please don't mention Xboxes. I just RRoD'd for the second time icon_cry.gif

    I guess we will expect 6 "Passed" threads from you shortly...
    Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of being.
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    This discussion brings up something I had been thinking about the 2nd shot:

    Does the 2nd shot encourage people who are not properly experienced/prepared to take whatever exam it is anyway? (BigTone, in no way am I implying this is what you're doing)

    It seems to make sense to me that if you felt like your chances were borderline of passing with minimal study/preparation, that you would schedule the exam just to see how you would do...if you fail then you can go back and study/prepare with the knowledge of having taken the exam and probably pass...if you pass then you've just short-circuited your path to certification.

    I know this is not likely their intent. In fact, I suspect that the intent of 2nd shot is to keep those people motivated that fail their 1st or 2nd exam, or those that come close to passing any exam. After all, Microsoft and Prometric make moeny when people enroll in training, buy books, and take exams. Furthermore, Microsoft has an interest in certifying people as ultimately this impacts their revenue stream for new products and software licenses.

    Don't mean to hijack this thread...just curious if anyone has considered what are the intended and actual consequences of 2nd shot?

    MS
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think it allows people to take the test when their knowledge is border-line instead of closer to mastery. I do see a lot of people saying that it's not a big deal if they fail because they have the second shot.

    I'm busy, and I usually have to take off work to take my exams. Plus I think failing an exam would kind of mess with me. I'd rather just wait until I'm ready. I think I have four MS exams currently scheduled, and two of them have the second shot on them. I really don't even remember which ones because I've been pushing some of these back for awhile. I'm not going to worry about it because I'm just going to pass the first time :D

    I disagree with the part regarding their revenue stream though. I don't think certifying people who are unable to perform the tasks is beneficial for them. If they wanted to do that, they could just lower the pass-rate to 500 or 600. On top of that, someone also has to cover the cost of the free re-take.
  • MishraMishra Member Posts: 2,468 ■■■■□□□□□□
    eMeS wrote:
    This discussion brings up something I had been thinking about the 2nd shot:

    Does the 2nd shot encourage people who are not properly experienced/prepared to take whatever exam it is anyway? (BigTone, in no way am I implying this is what you're doing)

    It seems to make sense to me that if you felt like your chances were borderline of passing with minimal study/preparation, that you would schedule the exam just to see how you would do...if you fail then you can go back and study/prepare with the knowledge of having taken the exam and probably pass...if you pass then you've just short-circuited your path to certification.

    I know this is not likely their intent. In fact, I suspect that the intent of 2nd shot is to keep those people motivated that fail their 1st or 2nd exam, or those that come close to passing any exam. After all, Microsoft and Prometric make moeny when people enroll in training, buy books, and take exams. Furthermore, Microsoft has an interest in certifying people as ultimately this impacts their revenue stream for new products and software licenses.

    Don't mean to hijack this thread...just curious if anyone has considered what are the intended and actual consequences of 2nd shot?

    MS

    Yeah I know what you are saying as I have the exact same feeling for the 70-291. I feel like I'm prepared for the 70-291 but I really have no idea until I actually take the exam. I'm always prepared for the "if I fail" and the second shot just gives me more confidence to test my skills without worrying about financial obligations.

    It is a balancing act IMO with no real happy medium. With second shot you probably have more people just giving it a go but that makes people sign up for the exam and it give MS more money. You also have the people who are scared to sign up because of the possibility they could FAIL. With second shot it makes them sign up, they may get a 950, and move on to other subjects instead of over studying.

    But take just the opposite, what if they made it 600 dollars to retake the exam. Well you would certainly study the material a lot closer but nobody is perfect. What happens if the guy who really knows his stuff fails. Now he has to pay more because he isn't a good test taker?

    I can see positive and negatives things for every option. Personally I can benefit from the second shot knowing I'm not robbing myself of knowledge.
    My blog http://www.calegp.com

    You may learn something!
  • snadamsnadam Member Posts: 2,234 ■■■■□□□□□□
    dynamik wrote:


    Please don't mention Xboxes. I just RRoD'd for the second time icon_cry.gif



    wow, Ive had it once...2nd one is holding up good! I use it way more often too. Got to love those extended warranty's :)
    **** ARE FOR CHUMPS! Don't be a chump! Validate your material with certguard.com search engine

    :study: Current 2015 Goals: JNCIP-SEC JNCIS-ENT CCNA-Security
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    snadam wrote:
    dynamik wrote:


    Please don't mention Xboxes. I just RRoD'd for the second time icon_cry.gif



    wow, Ive had it once...2nd one is holding up good! I use it way more often too. Got to love those extended warranty's :)


    Mine is solid as a rock i am glad to say icon_cool.gif well touch wood anyway because its just out of warranty last xmas! icon_eek.gif
    Xbox Live: Bring It On

    Bsc (hons) Network Computing - 1st Class
    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    They upped the warranty to three years because of all the problems. You're fine.

    To the OP: Sorry this thread got so off-topic icon_redface.gif
  • snadamsnadam Member Posts: 2,234 ■■■■□□□□□□
    dynamik wrote:

    To the OP: Sorry this thread got so off-topic icon_redface.gif

    yes very sorry.

    back to the original topic. Id guess its a 'do what you feel like doing' situation. You have the right mindset, its just a matter of what direction you want to go. Tough call.
    **** ARE FOR CHUMPS! Don't be a chump! Validate your material with certguard.com search engine

    :study: Current 2015 Goals: JNCIP-SEC JNCIS-ENT CCNA-Security
  • BigToneBigTone Member Posts: 283
    haha, no problem. Its more fun this way :P
  • Daniel333Daniel333 Member Posts: 2,077 ■■■■■■□□□□
    BigTone,

    System admin, engineer, consultant or network security... every last one of those benefits greatly from the MCSE. I would start with that. You can take Security+ as your option and follow it with Linux+ and you'd have the grouding you are looking for. Unless you see yourself working with Cisco equipment real soon, I would skip it for now.
    -Daniel
  • BigToneBigTone Member Posts: 283
    Daniel333 wrote:
    BigTone,

    Unless you see yourself working with Cisco equipment real soon, I would skip it for now.

    I don't... at least in my current position. For the time being I'm going to grind out that MCSE and then maybe a linux cert, and then go for Cisco.


    Thanks guys.
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