Help understanding certifications and what to do.

JustinRJustinR Registered Users Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello,

So I am going for my B.A. in Information Systems and know that obtaining certifications will help you through the weeding process. I work full time as a sub-contractor for ADT and have extra time now in the summer since there is no school. I want to start off small, pretty much the first step, but need some guidance. It seems that Microsoft won't be issuing the MCP cert anymore since they will be expiring the exams needed to take it. I am looking into getting the 70-680 cert, ( is this an actual cert. or just a test? ). It seems to be the easiest next to the MCP. I am quite confused on how these things work. Do I need several passed exams to get the MCTS or just the 70-680? Also, how much time is needed to study for this exam? I know computers quite well, run three different OS's at any given time, but definitely know that Microsoft certs are necessities in the IT world. So, can anyone help me out with my questions? I would also love some suggestions as well, thanks for your time!

Justin

Comments

  • pzeropzero Member Posts: 192
    JustinR wrote: »
    Hello,

    So I am going for my B.A. in Information Systems and know that obtaining certifications will help you through the weeding process. I work full time as a sub-contractor for ADT and have extra time now in the summer since there is no school. I want to start off small, pretty much the first step, but need some guidance. It seems that Microsoft won't be issuing the MCP cert anymore since they will be expiring the exams needed to take it. I am looking into getting the 70-680 cert, ( is this an actual cert. or just a test? ). It seems to be the easiest next to the MCP. I am quite confused on how these things work. Do I need several passed exams to get the MCTS or just the 70-680? Also, how much time is needed to study for this exam? I know computers quite well, run three different OS's at any given time, but definitely know that Microsoft certs are necessities in the IT world. So, can anyone help me out with my questions? I would also love some suggestions as well, thanks for your time!

    Justin


    Hi Justin, Welcome!

    The new round of MS certs are MCTS's (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) and MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Pro).

    The 70-680 is an exam that once passed gives you the MCTS title. If your looking at 'going the extra step' for the MCITP on Windows 7 you will need to pass an additional exam (70-685 or 70-686).

    Saying that because its a "Client OS certification" that its going to be easy could not be further from the truth. Have a look thru the forums on this topic, you will see that this exam is no walk in the park. It is strongly suggested that you take the SERVER exams first before taking the 70-680 as there are a lot of topics covered in those exams which you need to be aware of.

    As far as the amount of time to put into it, that depends on how well you can pick things up, how dedicated you are to it and how well you know the product. Personally ive been working with Win7 for a long time, went to a number of training courses, spent about a hundred hours labbing over everything that I could as well as reading as many books as I could find, on top of my every day job which co-incidently is a desktop development job.

    I hope that this has not put you off, but know that this exam is a beast and I dont think that you could ever over prepare for it.

    I hope this helps and good luck if you decide to start with this one!
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Member Posts: 2,687 ■■■■■■■■■□
    JustinR wrote: »
    Hello,

    So I am going for my B.A. in Information Systems and know that obtaining certifications will help you through the weeding process. I work full time as a sub-contractor for ADT and have extra time now in the summer since there is no school. I want to start off small, pretty much the first step, but need some guidance. It seems that Microsoft won't be issuing the MCP cert anymore since they will be expiring the exams needed to take it. I am looking into getting the 70-680 cert, ( is this an actual cert. or just a test? ). It seems to be the easiest next to the MCP. I am quite confused on how these things work. Do I need several passed exams to get the MCTS or just the 70-680? Also, how much time is needed to study for this exam? I know computers quite well, run three different OS's at any given time, but definitely know that Microsoft certs are necessities in the IT world. So, can anyone help me out with my questions? I would also love some suggestions as well, thanks for your time!

    Justin

    Welcome to the forum!

    If you want to get your MCP, you can still take the 70-270 exam, which is for XP client OS. I suspect this exam will be retired within the next year, so you may still have time for it.
    How much experience in hardware and networking do you have? Depending on what you have, you may want to start with the A+ or Network+ certs. These will give you some foundational knowledge, as well as they can be used as electives for MS certs.
    Check out these links. They describe some of the resources that MS has and the other lists the retired exams.
    I would also check out Technet and time permitting, read through some of the posts in the forum here to see what catches your interest.

    Certification Courses | Certification Training | Microsoft Certification

    Microsoft Certification Exam Development l New Certification Exams l Discontinued IT Exams
  • JustinRJustinR Registered Users Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Weakness information guys, I truly appreciate the help. So you would suggest to first get a server cert? Are you talking about Server 2008, because I heard the R2 books aren't out yet and that's what they are including in the tests. Also, what exam numbers would you suggest first, and what about testing materials. I read a lot about Ms Press, is that only in class studies or do they provide online materials too? thanks!
  • JustinRJustinR Registered Users Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Awsome*(auto correct android keyboard) information guys, I truly appreciate the help. So you would suggest to first get a server cert? Are you talking about Server 2008, because I heard the R2 books aren't out yet and that's what they are including in the tests. Also, what exam numbers would you suggest first, and what about testing materials. I read a lot about Ms Press, is that only in class studies or do they provide online materials too? thanks!
  • Lord NikonLord Nikon Member Posts: 115
    JustinR wrote: »
    Awsome*(auto correct android keyboard) information guys, I truly appreciate the help. So you would suggest to first get a server cert? Are you talking about Server 2008, because I heard the R2 books aren't out yet and that's what they are including in the tests. Also, what exam numbers would you suggest first, and what about testing materials. I read a lot about Ms Press, is that only in class studies or do they provide online materials too? thanks!


    Well the 642 R2 is out. I have that book.

    There is also Amazon.com: MCTS: Windows Server 2008 R2 Complete Study Guide (Exams 70-640, 70-642 and 70-643) (9780470948460): William Panek: Books

    Which is 100% valid. I'd look into those.
    "This is our world now. The world of the electron and the switch; the beauty of the baud. We exist without nationality, skin color, or religious bias. You wage wars, murder, ****, lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals. Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop me, but you can't stop us all.."
    _______________________
    Exams scheduled: 9L0-412

  • pzeropzero Member Posts: 192
    Lord Nikon wrote: »
    Well the 642 R2 is out. I have that book.

    There is also Amazon.com: MCTS: Windows Server 2008 R2 Complete Study Guide (Exams 70-640, 70-642 and 70-643) (9780470948460): William Panek: Books

    Which is 100% valid. I'd look into those.

    Ive read the 70-640 MS Press book and am supplimenting it with the Panek book. The MS Press book goes a lot deeper in certain parts (like LDS, RMS, FS, CS) whereas the Panek book doesnt dedicate as much space too it.

    There is stuff on Group Policy in Paneks book which would assist with the 70-680 stuff.
  • Lord NikonLord Nikon Member Posts: 115
    pzero wrote: »
    Ive read the 70-640 MS Press book and am supplimenting it with the Panek book. The MS Press book goes a lot deeper in certain parts (like LDS, RMS, FS, CS) whereas the Panek book doesnt dedicate as much space too it.

    There is stuff on Group Policy in Paneks book which would assist with the 70-680 stuff.


    Well I can see why, as he crammed three books into one.

    But thanks for the heads up.
    "This is our world now. The world of the electron and the switch; the beauty of the baud. We exist without nationality, skin color, or religious bias. You wage wars, murder, ****, lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals. Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop me, but you can't stop us all.."
    _______________________
    Exams scheduled: 9L0-412

  • pzeropzero Member Posts: 192
    People have said that the book is a little "light on the ground" I tend to agree, but its def a good suppliment, with content that isnt covered by the MS Press stuff. I would not use it as the only source tho.
  • JustinRJustinR Registered Users Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Great! You guys are definitely giving me the information I need to get started. I know I have to stay committed if I go through with this, especially when investing money. I am hoping to complete one of these exams by the middle of August. Is this something that is possible and realistic? Depending on the amount of time spent studying? Or should I be expecting to take a little while longer?

    How long did it take you guys to study, depending on experience as well?
  • pzeropzero Member Posts: 192
    JustinR wrote: »
    How long did it take you guys to study, depending on experience as well?

    Ive got 10+ years in IT with a background of server admin, desktop admin. I think I studied for around 2.5 - 3 months on this. Aprox 15-20 hrs a week.
  • JustinRJustinR Registered Users Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    pzero wrote: »
    Ive read the 70-640 MS Press book and am supplimenting it with the Panek book. The MS Press book goes a lot deeper in certain parts (like LDS, RMS, FS, CS) whereas the Panek book doesnt dedicate as much space too it.

    There is stuff on Group Policy in Paneks book which would assist with the 70-680 stuff.

    The 70-640 from MS Press isn't the R2 version though is it? All I can find was the regular 2008.
  • jyrki.arpiainenjyrki.arpiainen Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    pzero wrote: »
    Ive got 10+ years in IT with a background of server admin, desktop admin. I think I studied for around 2.5 - 3 months on this. Aprox 15-20 hrs a week.

    Yeah,sounds similar to my experiences. I have had couple exceptions which were MCDST tests 271 and 272 which took about 4-5 weeks per exam.

    Just about every other test took approximately 4 months (+-one month). I studied security test 70-299 one whole year (took so long because i was working at the same time) and i clearly remember how 70-293 & 70-274 took 5 months each.
    I'm not native English speaker and at the beginning of this certification studies, they were also English lessons for me.. i had to use dictionary a lot with my first MS Press books. :D

    So my reading speed isn't that good as most of you here, i guess... and i always use all the time given in exams.
    That 30 min extra time which is given for non english speakers really comes in to use. That was especially needed when i took designing AD test, 70-297. Man that one had lot of stuff to read!
    Needed my second shot to pass that one.. . .

    I've seen that many here say that 70-680 is tough exam and recommend taking server exams first.
    That's exactly what i am doing. I got my MCSE completed year ago, then i sit 70-647 because many of it's topics were overlapping with some MCSE exams i had already done.. and after that i did upgrade test from MCSE to MCITP: EA, 70-649.
    That took over half year because it contained so much stuff that i already started to forget first things i studied before i got all through. =/

    Now it's time for me to complete MCITP: EA with 70-680. I hope that those server exams really help me to pass this exam.

    BTW. If 70-680 is tough one when took as first exam -that same can be said about 70-270.
    I remember when i took that one in summer of 2006, it was my first certification test ever and i remember that it was not easy. Some class mates with decent work experience failed it.
  • MokilokMokilok Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi,

    70-680 isn't too tough aslong as you study more than one resource. It would also be benificial if you have working experience with Windows 7 and don't rely on microsofts training for the subnetting as I haven't found a good resource for that section from microsoft or in the William Paneck book I was reading to prepare. The best way to prepare for that section is CBT nuggets CCNA subnetting video's and some practice.
  • LAN_GuruLAN_Guru Member Posts: 119
    Yeah,sounds similar to my experiences. I have had couple exceptions which were MCDST tests 271 and 272 which took about 4-5 weeks per exam.

    Just about every other test took 4 months or more. I studied security test 70-299 whole year (i was working at the same time) and 70-293 & 70-274 took 5 months each.
    I'm not native english speaker and at the beginning this certification studies were also english lessons for me.. i had to use dictionary a lot with my first MS Press books. :D

    So my read speed ain't that good as most of you here, i guess... . and i always use all the time that they give in exams.
    So that 30 min extra which is given for non english speakers really comes in to use. That was especially needed when i took 70-297. Man that test had lots of stuff to read!
    Needed my second shot to pass that one.. . .

    I've seen that many here say that 70-680 is tough exam and recommend taking server exams first.
    That's exactly what i am doing. I got my MCSE completed year ago, then i sit 70-647 because many of it's topics were overlapping with some MCSE exams i had already done.. and after that i did upgrade test from MCSE to MCITP: EA, 70-649.
    That took over half year because it contained so much stuff that i already started to forget first things i studied before i got all through. =/

    Now it's time for me to complete MCITP: EA with 70-680. I hope that those server exams really help me to pass this exam.

    BTW. If 70-680 is tough one when took as first exam -that same can be said about 70-270.
    I remember when i took that one in summer of 2006, it was my first certification test ever and i remember that it was not easy. Some class mates with decent work experience failed it.

    I admire you. You really want to learn this stuff and do whatever it takes to do so, including using books that are not in your native language and using a translation dictionary to study...amazing! Your determination and dedication will take you far...

    "Whatever IT takes"
    9/1 - Citrix A18 :study:
    9/20 - Citrix A19, 10/4 - Citrix A24, 10/18 - Citrix A08, 11/1 - Citrix A15, 11/17 - Cisco 640-802, 12/1 - Cisco 642-813, 12/15 - Cisco 642-902, 12/30 - Cisco 642-832
  • LAN_GuruLAN_Guru Member Posts: 119
    JustinR wrote: »
    The 70-640 from MS Press isn't the R2 version though is it? All I can find was the regular 2008.

    All of the 2nd Editions for the MCITP-EA exams (excluding 70-680) are now available.

    While it alone may not land you an IT job, 70-640 would be an excellent place to start. It will get you used to the Microsoft way of doing things and all the other exams involve Active Directory. The MS Press 2nd Edition book is 919 pages excluding forward, table of contents, answers, index, etc. so there is a lot of material there. A foundational understanding of AD is crucial to success as a Windows Server admin or engineer.
    9/1 - Citrix A18 :study:
    9/20 - Citrix A19, 10/4 - Citrix A24, 10/18 - Citrix A08, 11/1 - Citrix A15, 11/17 - Cisco 640-802, 12/1 - Cisco 642-813, 12/15 - Cisco 642-902, 12/30 - Cisco 642-832
  • jyrki.arpiainenjyrki.arpiainen Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    LAN_Guru wrote: »
    I admire you. You really want to learn this stuff and do whatever it takes to do so, including using books that are not in your native language and using a translation dictionary to study...amazing! Your determination and dedication will take you far...

    "Whatever IT takes"

    Thanks!

    I got that 70-680 passed back then (19.09.2011), and with best or second best score that i have ever had. So i think that some ppl. were just scaring others here.. test was quite easy. :)

    Pretty short questions so i had enough time to recheck questions.
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