MCDST(and other MS certs)?

some guysome guy Posts: 28Member ■□□□□□□□□□
If you don't have any actual IT job experience, would a certification like the MCDST show that you have some "how to" knowledge at least, and not just "what is/does what" knowledge? I ask, because I have two CompTIA certifications(A+ & Network+), and hopefully Security+ soon, but the CompTIA exams seem to show mostly "what is" type questions, rather than "how to" ones. I suppose it's because they're vendor-neutral. Would having an MS cert improve chances of getting into IT, than just CompTIA ones?

I have highly considered getting the MCDST after Security+, but am not positive on what kind of questions are on MS exams and what they may show about a person from an employer's view, who has earned one. In other words, would it help me get my foot in the door quicker?
A+ ~ Feb 2010
Network+ ~ Jun 2010
Security+ ~ April 2011

Up next: ???

Comments

  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Posts: 4,212Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Certifications are often used as leverage to get some job experience. Plus, the knowledge you gain from studying for them should allow you to do a better job.

    Microsoft questions are a whole new ball game. CompTIA asks questions like what port uses this. Good general knowledge, but often things that are easily googleable. MS exams give you a 3 paragraph story describing your enviornment. Then they give you an issue, and then annswers for what to do. So your first task with a MS question is to determine what they are asking you, and then pull the information that you need out of the question, since most of it is just useless garbage meant to throw you off.

    Short story: Yes, it should help you get that foot in the door.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • AshenweltAshenwelt Posts: 260Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    When looking at a resume, I have always glossed over any comptia outside Security and Project. But for a helpdesk job, it depends: is it networking or windows or other? If networking, a cisco or juniper cert is better. If desktop... I WANT people to have an MCDST.
    Ashenwelt
    -Always working on something...
    -The RepAdmin Active Directory Blog
  • some guysome guy Posts: 28Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    So, it sounds worth it for me to get it. I would like to help validate the "what is" knowledge I got from CompTIA exams in some way, since I don't have job experience. I wanted to make sure an MS cert would show some know-how skills. As for desktop vs networking, I think I'll start out in desktops, then work my way into networking with a Cisco cert or two.

    Any other opinions on the MCDST?
    A+ ~ Feb 2010
    Network+ ~ Jun 2010
    Security+ ~ April 2011

    Up next: ???
  • Michael.J.PalmerMichael.J.Palmer Posts: 407Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Personally the MCDST didn't do much for me besides just give me a cert to throw on my resume. I didn't get any real notice from employers until after I got my A+, which you already have.

    It doesn't hurt to get it if you want to show off some XP knowledge, but I'd probably suggest getting the Windows 7 equivs by taking the 680 and 685 exams for the MCITP there.
    -Michael Palmer
    WGU Networks BS in IT - Design & Managment (2nd Term)
    Transfer: BAC1,BBC1,CLC1,LAE1,INC1,LAT1,AXV1,TTV1,LUT1,INT1,SSC1,SST1,TNV1,QLT1,ABV1,AHV1,AIV1,BHV1,BIV1
    Required Courses: EWB2, WFV1, BOV1, ORC1, LET1, GAC1, HHT1, TSV1, IWC1, IWT1, MGC1, TPV1, TWA1, CPW3.
    Key: Completed, WIP, Still to come
  • some guysome guy Posts: 28Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Personally the MCDST didn't do much for me besides just give me a cert to throw on my resume. I didn't get any real notice from employers until after I got my A+, which you already have.

    It doesn't hurt to get it if you want to show off some XP knowledge, but I'd probably suggest getting the Windows 7 equivs by taking the 680 and 685 exams for the MCITP there.

    There is a place around here locally, which had a technician job open, and they specifically wanted a MS certification. I called the place, and it was literally the very first thing they asked, when I asked about the position--"Okay; do you have a Microsoft certification?" was the exact words. That's another reason I wondered about getting the MCDST. So, I was thinking that having the Sec+(saw a couple local jobs open -requiring- it) and the MCDST.

    I may pursue the Vista/7 exams later though, like you said.
    A+ ~ Feb 2010
    Network+ ~ Jun 2010
    Security+ ~ April 2011

    Up next: ???
  • AshenweltAshenwelt Posts: 260Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Personally the MCDST didn't do much for me besides just give me a cert to throw on my resume. I didn't get any real notice from employers until after I got my A+, which you already have.

    It doesn't hurt to get it if you want to show off some XP knowledge, but I'd probably suggest getting the Windows 7 equivs by taking the 680 and 685 exams for the MCITP there.

    The only thing a Cert ever does is really go on a resume. It goes on it to draw the eye and get a hiring manager to LOOK at it. Then, it often gets sent up the line to actual techs to review.

    At the low end, for hardware A+ means something. But not one company I have ever worked for, or ran or owned ever really gave Comptia A+ or N+ even a glance if there was no coresponding vendor cert.

    Comptia certs are vendor neutral. The enterprise is not. In the end, you have to have that vendor cert to really get looked at for most jobs. Oh, and you would not believe how many jobs just require you to be an MCP. Big shocker... you have to take an old test for that... you don't get it on the new ones.

    As an example: I have been asked if I am an MCP. Three MCITPs and 19 years of experience didn't count to HR. And I had to get through HR. And yes, I am... but I just listed "and various older certifications". Wow, did I ever change my resume.

    Its kind of odd, but at least three of my clients have staff with an MCP cert hanging on their walls. And it is next two in two cases, a BS in IT. This is taken seriously, as it should be.
    Ashenwelt
    -Always working on something...
    -The RepAdmin Active Directory Blog
  • Michael.J.PalmerMichael.J.Palmer Posts: 407Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Ashenwelt wrote: »
    The only thing a Cert ever does is really go on a resume. It goes on it to draw the eye and get a hiring manager to LOOK at it. Then, it often gets sent up the line to actual techs to review.

    At the low end, for hardware A+ means something. But not one company I have ever worked for, or ran or owned ever really gave Comptia A+ or N+ even a glance if there was no coresponding vendor cert.

    Comptia certs are vendor neutral. The enterprise is not. In the end, you have to have that vendor cert to really get looked at for most jobs. Oh, and you would not believe how many jobs just require you to be an MCP. Big shocker... you have to take an old test for that... you don't get it on the new ones.

    As an example: I have been asked if I am an MCP. Three MCITPs and 19 years of experience didn't count to HR. And I had to get through HR. And yes, I am... but I just listed "and various older certifications". Wow, did I ever change my resume.

    Its kind of odd, but at least three of my clients have staff with an MCP cert hanging on their walls. And it is next two in two cases, a BS in IT. This is taken seriously, as it should be.

    I agree with ya, my experience was just me personally and doesn't reflect anything on the certification itself or how it may be viewed in other regions around the country. To clarify more, most job descriptions around here are pretty vague as far as certs go. What I mean is most will list that they prefer someone with their A+ but no mention of vendor specific certs in sight.

    To make matters even stranger, I've seen tier 1 help desk jobs list CCNA as a requirement. So job descriptions are probably more based on the local area and region (just like HR managers who are looking for specific candidates may differ in preference). All of those factors make for different job searching experiences and as I said, I didn't really get a lot of call backs regarding my resume until after I had the A+ and I had my other three certs before the A+.
    -Michael Palmer
    WGU Networks BS in IT - Design & Managment (2nd Term)
    Transfer: BAC1,BBC1,CLC1,LAE1,INC1,LAT1,AXV1,TTV1,LUT1,INT1,SSC1,SST1,TNV1,QLT1,ABV1,AHV1,AIV1,BHV1,BIV1
    Required Courses: EWB2, WFV1, BOV1, ORC1, LET1, GAC1, HHT1, TSV1, IWC1, IWT1, MGC1, TPV1, TWA1, CPW3.
    Key: Completed, WIP, Still to come
  • AshenweltAshenwelt Posts: 260Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    To make matters even stranger, I've seen tier 1 help desk jobs list CCNA as a requirement. So job descriptions are probably more based on the local area and region (just like HR managers who are looking for specific candidates may differ in preference). All of those factors make for different job searching experiences and as I said, I didn't really get a lot of call backs regarding my resume until after I had the A+ and I had my other three certs before the A+.


    The first part there drives me crazy. I mean seriously, how many help desk jobs USE a CCNA. But someone ussually, knowing nothing about what a CCNA is, put it on the list. But, these days, its all about keyword searches.

    The second part shows the value of having the right certs for the right key word search.

    You know, when I started, they didn't even have keyword searches for IT jobs. Certs were unheard of. And people got a job on skillset alone. Those days are dead and gone. icon_cry.gif
    Ashenwelt
    -Always working on something...
    -The RepAdmin Active Directory Blog
  • Michael.J.PalmerMichael.J.Palmer Posts: 407Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Ashenwelt wrote: »
    The first part there drives me crazy. I mean seriously, how many help desk jobs USE a CCNA. But someone ussually, knowing nothing about what a CCNA is, put it on the list. But, these days, its all about keyword searches.

    The second part shows the value of having the right certs for the right key word search.

    You know, when I started, they didn't even have keyword searches for IT jobs. Certs were unheard of. And people got a job on skillset alone. Those days are dead and gone. icon_cry.gif

    That reminds me, when I got my MCDST I actually did keyword searches for MCDST to see if anything came up and there were absolutely no jobs within 50 miles of where I live (that's including the Raleigh area) that listed MCDST in their job description. It was hard enough to find some that listed MCP as well and those that did list MCP were System Admin jobs that also listed MCSA.

    *Sigh*
    -Michael Palmer
    WGU Networks BS in IT - Design & Managment (2nd Term)
    Transfer: BAC1,BBC1,CLC1,LAE1,INC1,LAT1,AXV1,TTV1,LUT1,INT1,SSC1,SST1,TNV1,QLT1,ABV1,AHV1,AIV1,BHV1,BIV1
    Required Courses: EWB2, WFV1, BOV1, ORC1, LET1, GAC1, HHT1, TSV1, IWC1, IWT1, MGC1, TPV1, TWA1, CPW3.
    Key: Completed, WIP, Still to come
  • GeeLoGeeLo Posts: 109Member
    Ashenwelt wrote: »
    You know, when I started, they didn't even have keyword searches for IT jobs. Certs were unheard of. And people got a job on skillset alone. Those days are dead and gone. icon_cry.gif

    That part is true.. and it's definitely not right the way things are.. Along the same lines, there is a great number of people in IT, that have this cert or that cert, yet do not know "jack" about anything! Getting MCDST, wouldn't hurt.. but does having an MS cert improve chances of getting into IT, than just CompTIA certifications? Depends on what the job entails and your real world experience. I would rather hire a CompTIA A+ tech that had some years installing and troubleshooting hardware and software than someone who had an MCSE cert, in regards to help desk. (Either remote or live.)
    Vendor Neutral Certified in IT Project Management, Security, Servers, Workstations, Software, Networking, Windows, Unix and Linux and.. Cloud. :-)
  • some guysome guy Posts: 28Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    GeeLo wrote: »
    ... Depends on what the job entails and your real world experience. I would rather hire a CompTIA A+ tech that had some years installing and troubleshooting hardware and software than someone who had an MCSE cert, in regards to help desk. (Either remote or live.)
    Well yes, of course. I would rather hire the one with experience too, but I was asking more so, if having the MCDST would look better to an employer than A+, for someone with no experience.
    A+ ~ Feb 2010
    Network+ ~ Jun 2010
    Security+ ~ April 2011

    Up next: ???
  • someuser23someuser23 Posts: 103Member
    The certs I see listed on job descriptions are usually

    A+, MSCE, CCNA, MCP

    Those are the main ones, I never seen MCSE listed anywhere at all.

    For entry level the A+ got me a little bit of experience but that was it.
    Ribs still touching....
  • QordQord Senior Member Posts: 629Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Ashenwelt wrote: »
    The first part there drives me crazy. I mean seriously, how many help desk jobs USE a CCNA. But someone ussually, knowing nothing about what a CCNA is, put it on the list. But, these days, its all about keyword searches.

    I can answer to that. It's not always about having CCNA level knowledge. CCNA studies *usually* contain a lot of applied knowledge, and a good troubleshooting mindset. This shows employers that you have the cognitive ability to actually think about the problem at hand, and have the know-how to troubleshoot and fix it in the most efficient way possible. Anyone can fix any problem with googles help, but having a solid foundation in the troubleshooting process makes one person stand out a lot more than someone who doesn't.
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