Entry Microsoft Certification

albangaalbanga Member Posts: 164
Hi All,

I would like to seek some advice on Microsoft certification to help the career progression of our companies new support technician.

He has been with the company for around 6 months and came to us fresh our of completing a diploma in computer systems. He is quite young but very enthusiastic and when i recently mentioned i would like him to start studying for a certification he was very keen.

We sat down and talked about what he was interested in and a Microsoft certification appealed to him most. This is also great for the company as we are windows based.

I have however been out of the MS certification game for a while so im not quite sure what is the best option. I myself have completed half of my MCSA (270, 290) but as i said this is quite an old certification and i believe there is newer MS certifications available.

So my question to you all is what is the best MS exam for a beginner with no current certifications. 5 years ago i would have told him to start by acquiring his MCP in XP and work from there. Is there an updated cert for this whereby he can sit an exam on windows7 and become Microsoft certified?

Pardon my ignorance on all this. I did look at the MS sites but found them somewhat confusing with endless exam options.

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    There isnt an entry-level MS cert really. Beware of the Win7 cert, there's a lot to it and not easy. If the guy was keen, I'd get him started on the 70-640 cert, which would hit him with stuff on AD. If he's worked on AD a little bit, this cert is the one.

    What kind of work does the guy do? And what does he want to do?
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  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Member Posts: 2,687 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I would consider some of the CompTIA certs or perhaps the CIW:Foundations cert. This would help build his foundation.
    If you are still using XP, the 270 exam will still give the MCP certification.
    If you are on Win7, then the 685 exam might be a good place to start.
    The choice of exams, would of course, be dictated by what job roles he will have and education.
  • albangaalbanga Member Posts: 164
    Thanks for the speedy reply guys!
    To give you some more background he is working on the helpdesk supporting around 120 users. We run terminal services on 2003 with XP as our local clients and run exchange 2003 for mail.

    As he is very new to the industry he is just developing his skills so is not sure where he sees himself. From my observations i can tell he has a passion for systems admin but as you all probably know as you spend more time working in IT the more your career path changes. But seeing as this is what interests him now i thought I might be of benefit to get him started on a MS cert.

    Im not very familiar with the new MS certs that are available MCTS, MCITP.etc. Are any of these similar to the MCP where you only need to sit one to obtain certification or do they require you to sit multiple exams like the MCSA?
  • PishofPishof Member Posts: 193
    albanga wrote: »
    Thanks for the speedy reply guys!
    To give you some more background he is working on the helpdesk supporting around 120 users. We run terminal services on 2003 with XP as our local clients and run exchange 2003 for mail.

    As he is very new to the industry he is just developing his skills so is not sure where he sees himself. From my observations i can tell he has a passion for systems admin but as you all probably know as you spend more time working in IT the more your career path changes. But seeing as this is what interests him now i thought I might be of benefit to get him started on a MS cert.

    Im not very familiar with the new MS certs that are available MCTS, MCITP.etc. Are any of these similar to the MCP where you only need to sit one to obtain certification or do they require you to sit multiple exams like the MCSA?


    Sounds like he has a good opportunity with you. Foot in the door and support in further training.

    If he already has a related diploma I see no need for CIW and with a job already I'd recommend him starting with a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS).

    It's only one exam and a prerequisite to the MCITP for when he wishes to go further. I believe that would give him his choice of microsoft server exams to take but I'd recommend the 70-640 which is the first AD focused exam.
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  • NinjaBoyNinjaBoy Member Posts: 968
    Entry level Microsoft certification: Microsoft Technology Associate

    As this person is doing support, I'd recommend the Client OS fundamentals, Server Fundamentals, Networking Fundamentals and the Security fundamentals.

    Then start looking at the MCTS/MCITP route, but this is just my opinion.

    -Ken
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher A cornfield in OhioMember Posts: 4,299 ■■■■■■■■■■
    NinjaBoy wrote: »
    Entry level Microsoft certification: Microsoft Technology Associate

    As this person is doing support, I'd recommend the Client OS fundamentals, Server Fundamentals, Networking Fundamentals and the Security fundamentals.

    Then start looking at the MCTS/MCITP route, but this is just my opinion.

    -Ken

    These are academic only.
    MTA exams are only available at academic institutions that have purchased an MTA Campus License or MTA vouchers. Contact your school administrator to find out if your school is an approved MTA testing center.
  • Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    The MCDST material was the best entry level exam/material. The 70-680/685 takes over now but the 680 can be pretty challenging.
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher A cornfield in OhioMember Posts: 4,299 ■■■■■■■■■■
    albanga wrote: »
    ...

    I have however been out of the MS certification game for a while so im not quite sure what is the best option. I myself have completed half of my MCSA (270, 290) but as i said this is quite an old certification and i believe there is newer MS certifications available.

    Finish your MCSA. My suggestion is you start with the 70-680 to get back in the game and then the 70-291. Then you have only 2 exams to upgrade to the MCITP: Server Admin on Server 2008. If you do the MCITP: Server Admin from scratch it would be 3 exams and you get only the MCITP.

    I know you are looking for "entry level" but I see no value in wasting your past efforts on the 270/290 exams.

    Edit: I see I did not read your original post well. SORRY! Disregard.
  • albangaalbanga Member Posts: 164
    So many replies! Thanks so much everyone this site never lets me down :)

    I have sat down with him and he loves the idea of the MCTS. I'm going to leave it up to him whether he wants to study server or client. Both will be beneficial for his time here and also when he decides to fly the coop.

    Cheers again everyone!
  • pzeropzero Member Posts: 192
    albanga wrote: »
    Hi All,

    I would like to seek some advice on Microsoft certification to help the career progression of our companies new support technician.

    He has been with the company for around 6 months and came to us fresh our of completing a diploma in computer systems. He is quite young but very enthusiastic and when i recently mentioned i would like him to start studying for a certification he was very keen.

    We sat down and talked about what he was interested in and a Microsoft certification appealed to him most. This is also great for the company as we are windows based.

    icon_thumright.gif - I know past companies ive worked for have seen certification as a threat for various reasons. Good on you for wanting to get your team skilled up! The company will benefit from having a higher baseline of skill.
  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    pzero wrote: »
    icon_thumright.gif - I know past companies ive worked for have seen certification as a threat for various reasons. Good on you for wanting to get your team skilled up! The company will benefit from having a higher baseline of skill.

    I fail to understand how studying for a cert makes a company feel threatened. I can only imagine the mindset of those goons that run such companies!
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  • pzeropzero Member Posts: 192
    Places I have worked have flat out refused paying for training towards certs. They see it as either:
    • this person is qualified and ill have to pay them more --OR--
    • they are going to complete the training then resign, leaving the company out of pocket
    Granted point #2 happens, but seriously write in a contract stating that you have to stay at the company for x period of time after sitting the course.

    Needless to say, I was quick to move on and pursure my cert goals in any case.
  • instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    Essendon wrote:
    I fail to understand how studying for a cert makes a company feel threatened. I can only imagine the mindset of those goons that run such companies!

    pzero wrote:
    Places I have worked have flat out refused paying for training towards certs. They see it as either:
    • this person is qualified and ill have to pay them more --OR--
    • they are going to complete the training then resign, leaving the company out of pocket
    Granted point #2 happens, but seriously write in a contract stating that you have to stay at the company for x period of time after sitting the course.

    Needless to say, I was quick to move on and pursure my cert goals in any case.

    pzero sums up how it is.

    I would sign the agreement, if it allows for proration of the amount I should pay back the company, based upon how long I stay on after the course, dividing the course value by 365, and making each day I work at the company worth that much. If I leave short of the 365 anniversary of completing the course/certificate, then I just pay what I haven't paid back yet. However, being liable for the full amount, if I leave after 180 days is terrible, and not how I like doing business. For this reason, if I ever get into a tuition reimbursement situation again, I'll make sure to petition the company policy for proration of the amount.

    EDIT: Let me be clear (Obama-style) I've been employed by companies that offered tuition reimbursement, but not taken it, due to disagreement with company policy. I would at least consider tuition reimbursement, if the payback amount was prorated.
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  • Jay The HackerJay The Hacker Registered Users Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    how about 70-685 then Security+ & 70-680 ?
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Essendon wrote: »
    I fail to understand how studying for a cert makes a company feel threatened. I can only imagine the mindset of those goons that run such companies!

    From what I've seen it's not that companies don't want you to get certs. They just don't want to pay for them. That's just an extra cost that can take away from the revenue. I am not one of those managers. I encourage the guys to get relevant certifications. Right now the guys are taking the lenovo certifications free of charge. 3 of the techs are studying 70-680 as well.

    I don't want them to spread themselves to thin, but 1-2 certs a year is great.
  • pzeropzero Member Posts: 192
    N2IT wrote: »
    From what I've seen it's not that companies don't want you to get certs. They just don't want to pay for them. That's just an extra cost that can take away from the revenue. I am not one of those managers. I encourage the guys to get relevant certifications. Right now the guys are taking the lenovo certifications free of charge. 3 of the techs are studying 70-680 as well.

    I don't want them to spread themselves to thin, but 1-2 certs a year is great.

    I think thats probably more to the point that they dont want to pay for them due to the lost man hours and lack of budgets to accomodate.

    In March I decided to get my butt into line and study again now that im working on contract. By the end of the year im hoping to have 6 certs under the belt. But I think that 1-2 certs a year paid for by the company isnt unreasonable and would go a long way to staff retention. (I know that if I was offered something like that I would have prob stuck around at some jobs)
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