MCSE?

FluxCapacitorFluxCapacitor Posts: 40Member ■■□□□□□□□□
I am currently a senior in high school and I am going to take the 70-291 exam in a couple weeks and I will have my MCSA. I have no work experience in IT. I was wondering if I should continue on to my MCSE or if I should stop with Microsoft and focus on another cert like CCENT or Linux+? I'm afraid that if I graduate from High School with an MCSE, companies will think I'm a joke because I have no experience other than the classroom. When I graduate from High School I'm going to pursue a bachelors degree in Network Security. What should I do?

Comments

  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    What makes you think they will not think you are a joke with any certs and no experience?

    I'd suggest you move forward with your education and try to get some experience under your belt. If you do earn all the certs nothing says you have to list them on your resume if you think they will harm you, but I think the certs should compliment experience not substitute. How can you be a MCSE or MCSA if you have never administrated or engineered a Windows environment???

    Just my $.02

    Good luck in what ever path you choose. You sound like you have a good plan moving forward with your education.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • ULWizULWiz Posts: 722Member
    I would still continue your pursuit for your MCSE since Your most likely going to start in Helpdesk either way. Keep working at your certs and try and get into the field once out of HS.


    Keep up the good work and good luck on the 291 exam
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  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    Instead of an MCSE, have you thought about the MCDST? It's only two exams and might help you get your foot in the door for a help desk job where you can start gaining experience and pursuing more advanced certs.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    It's not likely that you'd get a sysadmin job right out of high school for a good sized company. It's not just the lack of experience, it's going to be the (perceived) lack of LIFE experience in your case. Maturity. In some ways that's not fair, but then again maybe it is.

    That doesn't mean don't find work in IT. There's lots of things you can start doing right now to pick up experience working with computers and networking in general. Find a helpdesk job, call center, get your A+ and become a bench tech at a computer shop, find an unpaid internship.... anything to get documented experience. And keep going with your education.

    You'll be fine. :)
    IT guy since 12/00

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  • Daniel333Daniel333 Posts: 2,077Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Given your network plus and you have tought yourself subnetting, then you should be good for the 70-291. But you are still going to need Cisco knowledge. Think you can do both?
    -Daniel
  • dtlokeedtlokee Posts: 2,381Member
    Just go for your CCIE and skip all those lower level certs, that should land you a Level 4 Network Engineering or Senior Network Architect job right out of high school.


    Happy Opposite Day!

    No matter what certifications you will pursue there is the possibility that an employer won't consider your for a position due to lack of experience. You may find that with the MCSE you will get less interest instead of more because many employers will think you are short time and once you gain some experience you will leave. Like dynamik said, you may want to consider certifications that are in line with entry level positions.
    The only easy day was yesterday!
  • sambuca69sambuca69 Posts: 262Member
    dtlokee wrote: »
    Just go for your CCIE and skip all those lower level certs, that should land you a Level 4 Network Engineering or Senior Network Architect job right out of high school.

    Happy Opposite Day!

    lol.. so mean.
  • sambuca69sambuca69 Posts: 262Member
    I am currently a senior in high school and I am going to take the 70-291 exam in a couple weeks and I will have my MCSA. I have no work experience in IT. I was wondering if I should continue on to my MCSE or if I should stop with Microsoft and focus on another cert like CCENT or Linux+? I'm afraid that if I graduate from High School with an MCSE, companies will think I'm a joke because I have no experience other than the classroom. When I graduate from High School I'm going to pursue a bachelors degree in Network Security. What should I do?

    IMO...

    Like Dynamik said, you should probably focus more on the entry-level stuff to get your foot in the door somewhere. To be honest, your chances of doing 'MCSE/MCSA type work' right out of school with no real experience are slim to none. Think about it from an employers point of view.
  • FluxCapacitorFluxCapacitor Posts: 40Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    So I should continue studying 70-291 and get my MCSA but after that I should focus on entry level certs like, CCENT, MCDST, and CompTIA certs. Is there any other entry level certs I should pursue? I am a student in the Cisco Networking Academy so I'm almost ready to take my CCENT here pretty soon.
  • azjagazjag Posts: 579Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    I agree with Dynamik and focus on getting your foot in the door somewhere and cut your teeth on the help desk to field tech position. Search out your local Contracting agency and do some short term work, which will give you experience and exposure to different equipment and environments.

    Another option is joining the Military. They will train you for 9mo to a year, depending on the job you sign up for, and then put you right into a position doing that. My brother does satellite communications for the Army and is one test away from his CCNP with the military paying for it. Still a few months away though. Just a thought.
    Good luck
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  • famosbrownfamosbrown Posts: 637Member
    Well...everyone has their own opinions, but I do not see anything wrong with pursuing your certifications while still in high school. That shows me that you have drive and not all about games like a lot of students are...both high school and college. You also plan on going to college after you graduate, so the stuff you attain through certification might help you with some of courses in Network Security.

    Never settle and apply for any job you feel confident in or a job you know you could pick it up quick by learning. We all did not have to start working for a HelpDesk, and if you earn your MCSE or other certifications honestly, you will feel bored out of your mind on a help desk. There are HelpDesk and Desktop Support positions asking for MCSE and CCNA, but just don't limit yourself because you do not have work experience yet. Many companies and/or government agencies will look at you as someone with a good foundation, cheap since you lack experience, and someone with a lot of drive to learn and achieve certification. Many organizations and agencies are requiring certification so you would be even more attractive since they wouldn't have to pay for your training and tests.

    Good luck with your final months of high school and continued success throughout your information technology career. Who knows...you might find something else in I.T. that interest you in I.T. that don't coincide with Microsoft or Cisco stuff icon_biggrin.gif.
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  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Posts: 4,050Mod Mod
    It's really good that you started serious studying at this age, I wish I did the same.

    But as other members said, you need experience, it's a must.

    my recommendations:

    1. Get part time job. Never quit school, and pursue college degree, this is your priority, if you have time get part time job in IT. Anything, even simple PC repair.


    2. Certification wise, i recommend:

    CCENT, Linux+, Server+.

    this will give you very solid and strong foundation, and they are not easy and will take a lot of time and effort from you to really pass AND understand the material. Linux+ will need a lot of serious practice from your side.


    I also recommend you learn C++ as a programming language, it will help you trust me.


    I suggest you don't complete MCSE right now because IMHO it will be useless without experience (I've seen ALOT MCSEs without experience that's why I say this).


    In the future, get a job, then move forward in higher level certs. If you get a job with Microsoft servers, then pursue MCSE. If you get a network support, then Cisco is your best friend. If you get a job in Linux/UNIX, then there are other set of certs to pursue.

    you might also get a job in programming which is very rewarding.

    Good luck
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  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Most of the guidance on this thread is spot-on from many different perspectives and personal experiences. After reading it all again, here's what I think you should take away from it, to get the biggest impact as soon as possible -

    1. Finish your current certification work in progress. Go ahead and finish the MCSA for sure, you're so close. While some HR morons will put MCSE as an entry level requirement for some jobs, someone at your progression into IT is not going to get as much benefit RIGHT NOW. You certainly won't retain the majority of the stuff past MCSA level knowledge if you don't use it regularly, and you very likely wouldn't on the job anytime soon. Maybe look at it in the not-too-distant future.

    You're already in the Cisco classes, so CCENT and CCNA would certainly be appropriate for you to finish up.

    2. Find work. Any work is better than no work, but try to get the "best" or "most interesting" type of work that you can get, even if it is short-term, part-time, internship/apprenticeship, or off-peak hours. Call center/helpdesk is better than nothing, even if you end up falling there you can still continually look for something else. Don't worry too much about pay/bennies/"stable company" or any of that. Hopefully you are OK enough financially that at this point in your life (being in high school still) you're not tied down to having to keep the same 40-hour a week job. Find your local yokel computer shop and see if you can help out. When you are inquiring around about work, even if the company doesn't have anything, see if you can find out what they would look for when hiring an entry level tech/admin/whatever and make note.

    Anything that doesn't tie back to IT in some way should not be considered by you at this point.

    3. Keep learning. You should learn a lot on the job, when you get a job. Also the networking academy you're in is a good place to get fundamental TCP/IP understanding. Go get your degree. Any is better than none, 4 year better than 2 year.

    4. Network, Network, Network! Get to know as many people as you can, and don't burn any bridges when you leave a job, school, or anyone else that you come in contact with. Often who you know is more important than what you know.

    Before you know it, you'll be a great candidate for jr. network/system admin somewhere and then the sky is the limit.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
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    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • brad-brad- Posts: 1,218Member
    blargoe wrote: »
    It's not likely that you'd get a sysadmin job right out of high school for a good sized company. It's not just the lack of experience, it's going to be the (perceived) lack of LIFE experience in your case. Maturity. In some ways that's not fair, but then again maybe it is.
    +1

    If you can get on somewhere as a low man on the totem pole, and prove your maturity, then your certs might help you out. Until you prove yourself a competent worker though (the intangibles), you'll probably suffer from your age.
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Posts: 2,687Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I agree with Dynamik. I would hit the MCDST as XP is not going anywhere soon..at least until we see if Windows 7 will be another Vista bomb. You could also get the 70-620 cert for Vista...very easy.
    I have the MCSA:Security with MCDST and at my job, they complement each other well. I don't do any network designs, just work within the current AD environment.
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,162Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    First, let me just say that I wish I did it the way you are doing it. I'd agree finish the MCSA since you just about done and then look at the CCENT. For work, my high school use to hire some guys to work after school setting up computers and doing a little troubleshooting. Great experience and when they graduated some were given just about fulltime hours to continue the job. If that isn't an option then I would look at being on a helpdesk with an ISP like Comcast. It sucks, but after 6 months they will let you apply anywhere in the company and I've known people who have moved quickly with little experience. Plus they train you (a monkey could pass the training) and the benefits are great (free tv, internet, cheap phone, and decent pay).

    The other thing I would suggest/agree with is to look at the military. That is another option that I should have pursued. College is expensive and if nothing else you will get money for school to use while your in or when you get out. Also, with a clean background, you could get a security clearance and basically write your own ticket after 6 years. But get your degree while you are in because a lot of guys I have talked to who have gotten out have found that even for contract work there are only so many who will just take the experience you have.

    If you go the military route and want to do network security look into the Navy CTN. One of the few jobs in the military with a direct network security role. You'll need a Top Secret clearance, but you could end up working at a certain agency, which isn't suppose to exist (no opsec here as if you search Google and other forums you will see the some CTN's do get posted there). I agree that the military trains you and puts you in a job right away. Like I said if I could go back it would have been into the military for at least 6 years.

    Good luck!
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  • petedudepetedude Posts: 1,510Member
    I say: whittle away at a formal education while working on the certifications. You might find an MCITP will be more useful than an MCSE in a few years, as well.

    If the thought of taking formal college classes is daunting, look into taking some of your general ed courses through CLEP or DSST exams. These credits may be good for 20 years once earned, and will save you the time/expense of sitting in class. Additionally, you may find getting college credit by examination will be more accessible due to the similar study habits you've already acquired.
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  • Megadeth4168Megadeth4168 Posts: 2,157Member
    Being that I am from Michigan, I can tell you from experience in this area that employers want Cisco certs more than they want MS certs. I can't tell you how many times I've been told that they want a CCNA before they will even give an interview. It's just something to think about.
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