MCITP:SA: MCITP:EA /MCSE 2003 all retiring 31st July 2013

MrSharpMrSharp Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Greetings people, looking for some advice/thoughts on what to focus on out of these expiring certs..

Background: the certs MCSA, MCSE 2003, MCITP:SA and MCITP:EA certifications are all being retired this year on 31st July 2013.

I have an MCSA 2003 (with Security+ as my elective) at the moment. I have several years of experience working in server support and know Server 2003 pretty well and have had some exposure to 2008.
My original plan was to get both the MCITP:SA and the MCITP:EA before they expired - I need 2 more exams to get the SA and another 3 to get the EA

However, looking at a few of the threads on here I'm beginning to question whether it is worthwhile getting the EA. From what I've read it, MS make no distinction between a MCITP:SA and a MCITP:EA in terms of upgrading certs to 2012.

What would be the advantage of having the EA cert in addition to the SA? I'm not sure employers will fully recognise the differences between the MCITP certs.
I'm wondering whether my time (limited and precious before the expiration date) would be better spent on some of the other exams/certs that are expiring; like the MCSE 2003 and maybe also the MCSA/E: Security specialisation.

For the same number of exams it would be
MCSA 2003, MCITP:SA, MCITP:EA v MCSA 2003, MCSE 2003, MCITP:SA
Which is better?

Any thoughts/comments much appreciated. Thanks :)

Comments

  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member
    Some employers and other professionals will recognize the difference. However, most won't, and the EA is a lot more work than the SA, and it's a big risk that you might not be able to pass 647 and 643 before they retire. The 646 exam is not retiring at all (just the MCITP title is going away).

    Trying to pass either the remaining MCSE exams or MCITP:EA exams in less than five months while possibly doable, is quite risky IMO. My advice is to get your 70-648 and 70-646 out of the way and move on. Few employers will care much about EA over SA (which is sad, the latter shows a lot more), and the risk of the retiring exams is too great IMO.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • MrSharpMrSharp Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for sharing your view, ptilsen.
    I hear what you say about the real difference between the SA and the EA. From what I've seen, the SA seems to a little bit more advanced than a MCSA 2003 and suppose that EA is similar to the MCSE.
    Looking at the content in the 646 and 647 exams, 646 looks really easy while 647 is a lot more indepth.

    I realise I am being quite ambitious trying to complete the EA before 31 July, I really should have got these done sooner!
    Have made a few deadline spreadsheets and basically for the original plan of 5 more exams before 31 July I have 30 days for each exam (assuming that I pass them first time).
    Suppose I should just get the MCITP:SA out of the way asap and then re-assess the situation.
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Posts: 2,116Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Remember MCITP never happened!

    Personally I would skip 2008 at this stage and do 70-410 before R2 comes out. The exams get more difficult when R2 comes out cause you can be asked questions with and without R2.

    So you could do 70-410 now - the book and CBT Nuggets/Train Signal videos are all out. The new books are half the size also. The next one after that is 70-411 but the MS Press book isn't out until September. Alternatively go do VMware VCP first then 70-410 -> 70-411 -> 70-412.

    No point adding 2008 exams when 2012 exams are already out IMO and virtualization is big too - so I'd go the alternative route before VCP 6 comes out and then you'd have to wait for a book and training to come out for that... wasting more time..
  • MrSharpMrSharp Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Asif Dasl wrote: »
    Remember MCITP never happened!

    Haha. Certainly seems that way!
    One of the things that made me think twice about aiming for the MCITP:EA. If MS is taking their approach of "forgeting" about those certs, what;s the point of getting the more difficult EA version?
    Asif Dasl wrote: »
    Personally I would skip 2008 at this stage and do 70-410 before R2 comes out. The exams get more difficult when R2 comes out cause you can be asked questions with and without R2.


    So you could do 70-410 now - the book and CBT Nuggets/Train Signal videos are all out. The new books are half the size also. The next one after that is 70-411 but the MS Press book isn't out until September. Alternatively go do VMware VCP first then 70-410 -> 70-411 -> 70-412.

    No point adding 2008 exams when 2012 exams are already out IMO and virtualization is big too - so I'd go the alternative route before VCP 6 comes out and then you'd have to wait for a book and training to come out for that... wasting more time..

    Interesting view. Problem for me taking the 2012 exams is that I have zero experience of windows 2012.
    My main drive (kick up the backside!) for getting the 2k3/2k8 exams done is the fact that they are retiring.

    What you say about taking exams before R2 updates is thought provoking though...
    I am studying for the MCSA-MCITP upgrade exam 648 using the MS press book for it. It actally covers both upgrades exams 648/649, however it doesn;t include R2 updates. I don't think there is an updated version so was just planning on using technet to go over the r2 updates.
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Posts: 2,116Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    MrSharp wrote: »
    what;s the point of getting the more difficult EA version?
    None, the SA equals what the EA gives you for the upgrade to 2012 if you went that route.
    MrSharp wrote: »
    Interesting view. Problem for me taking the 2012 exams is that I have zero experience of windows 2012.
    My main drive (kick up the backside!) for getting the 2k3/2k8 exams done is the fact that they are retiring.
    You have previous server experience which should count for something when you get started with 2012. The 2008 exams will be marked as legacy in about a years time so you end up chasing 2012 exams to stay current, no point to me, just go with 2012 now.
    MrSharp wrote: »
    What you say about taking exams before R2 updates is thought provoking though...
    I am studying for the MCSA-MCITP upgrade exam 648 using the MS press book for it. It actally covers both upgrades exams 648/649, however it doesn;t include R2 updates. I don't think there is an updated version so was just planning on using technet to go over the r2 updates.
    The upgrade books never got updated for R2 so you are going to have to brush up on R2 specifically to pass. 2012 is the easier route IMO.
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member
    I wouldn't skip the 2008 path entirely, just because you only need two exams to get a distinct cert (MCSA 200icon_cool.gif, then one more to upgrade. It's high incremental value IMO (one three-test Associate-level cert) for low incremental work (effectively one more exam than it would be to skip and get MCSA 2012). But, as Asif and I are pointing out, EA is a lot more work for relatively little added value. I honestly think MCIPT prevalence will decline in job ads/searches over the next few years, even as its relevant tech (2008 R2) becomes more relevant (orgs migrate from 2003 to 2008 R2, which will be the bulk of what happens).

    Don't just compare 646 to 647, by the way. Remember 643 (and also 680, though it has substantial self-value), which is actually quite extensive and comparable in difficulty to 647 by many accounts.

    As far as the upgrade exam (64icon_cool.gif, you can use the individual updated 640 and 642 books. However, if you have a lot of hands-on experience, the upgrade exam shouldn't be too difficult. I actually used the outdated 648 book and some brief studies with a free "What's new in R2" PDF from MS to complete my 648, and I passed on the first try. I had significant hands-on experience with about 60% of the tested topics, however, so I had a big advantage in recognize what areas were outdated.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • MrSharpMrSharp Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks Asif/ptilsen for sharing ur views again and all the advice.
    Asif Dasl wrote: »
    The 2008 exams will be marked as legacy in about a years time so you end up chasing 2012 exams to stay current, no point to me, just go with 2012 now.
    2008 exams being retired already next year? Scarily quick retirement by MS imo.
    I know a lot of clients that still haven;t moved on from 2003 yet!
    ptilsen wrote: »
    Don't just compare 646 to 647, by the way. Remember 643 (and also 680, though it has substantial self-value), which is actually quite extensive and comparable in difficulty to 647 by many accounts.
    643 looks quite straightforward to me, (and I am studying using the upgrade book which covers 643 too). I was more concerned about the time needed to get up to speed with the 680 and 647, if I went the MCITP:EA route
    ptilsen wrote: »
    I wouldn't skip the 2008 path entirely, just because you only need two exams to get a distinct cert (MCSA 200icon_cool.gif, then one more to upgrade. It's high incremental value IMO (one three-test Associate-level cert) for low incremental work (effectively one more exam than it would be to skip and get MCSA 2012).
    I won't be skipping the 2k8. Already done a fair amount of study for the MCITP:SA at present. Expect to have it done by the end of this month

    I'm pretty convinced by your arguments that I shouldn;t bother with the MCITP:EA.
    What are your thoughts of getting the MCSA 2003:Security afterwards? Would be only 1 more exam (299)

    Also really tempted to go for the MCSE 2003 afterwards too. Agree it's risky with the time left - need to be able to pass most if not all of the exams first time. Even thinking about it now makes me slightly nervous but
    Surely it can;t be that difficult. Just did 291 earlier this year so that should stand me in good stead for 293?

    I guess I would just really fancy having the MCSE title against my name even if just to prove myself/experience with windows 2k3. A matter of pride/greed? Bragging rights?icon_wink.gif
  • MrSharpMrSharp Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    My first ever upgrade exam and a bit of an odd experience in all honesty...

    With life being ultra hectic lately, I did not the chance to cover all the material for the exam.
    When I travelled down for the test I had a nasty feeling like this was going to be an early spanner in the works of my exam ambitions (with me living a few hrs away from the testing centre).

    The exam itself was rather strange. Split into 2 sections (you had to complete 1 before starting the other, any remaining time you have for that section does not carry over into the next and you cannot go back to a completed section). There were not a single simulation question.
    Also the areas covered was not very broad at all, it seemed a few topics were tested in depth (not sure if I;m allowed to share which?!) and many others were just left out (i.e. not a single question on dns in either question) Thankfully no questions related to ipv6 either (as I hadn;t really studied that).

    Was hoping for more detail on the how I did on the various objectives (like u get with the individual exams) but my result sheet just showed that I just passed both sections, the 640 and the 642.
    I wonder what would happen if I aced one section and just failed the other. (i.e. 970 on one, and 550 on the other - Would i still pass then?

    Anyways a sigh of relief at passing. icon_cheers.gif
    Now onwards to 70-646!
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Posts: 2,116Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Congrats! If you fail one of the two exams then you fail the entire upgrade exam. I hope you have better luck with 647 than I did, I failed that test 4 times - they kept changing the format then R2 came out and other stuff was going on too so maybe I was just unlucky. Congrats again!
  • MrSharpMrSharp Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks Asif. :)
    I'm going for 646 next not 647 (Sorry in my last post 647 was a typo)
    Was going to say 646 looked pretty straightforward so was surprised you failed it 4 times - then I saw the typo.
  • tbgree00tbgree00 Posts: 553Member
    For what it's worth if you get the MCITP:EA you also get the MCSA: 2008 according to the ms learning guy I chatted with. That's my current goal. I am taking the 647 on Tuesday and hope to do okay. I failed the same type of test for 2003 twice before finally getting it.

    I'm doing 647 and then trying to get the 2012 MCSA before the end of the year. I won some vouchers from MS or I would put off 2012 until I get some practical experience (which is the reason I put off the MCITP:EA)
    I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com
  • MrSharpMrSharp Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    tbgree00 wrote: »
    For what it's worth if you get the MCITP:EA you also get the MCSA: 2008 according to the ms learning guy I chatted with. That's my current goal. I am taking the 647 on Tuesday and hope to do okay. I failed the same type of test for 2003 twice before finally getting it.

    Yeah, that;s right. If you have a MCITP:SA or a MCITP:EA you will get the MCSA:2008.
    Is the 647, the last exam you need to get your MCITP:EA?
    Good luck on Tuesday!
    tbgree00 wrote: »
    I'm doing 647 and then trying to get the 2012 MCSA before the end of the year. I won some vouchers from MS or I would put off 2012 until I get some practical experience (which is the reason I put off the MCITP:EA)
    Nice. How did you win the vouchers from MS?
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member
    EA does get you MCSA 2008, but for two more tests, both of which retire in four months and are harder than the rest combined. Just going for SA is the better choice for most people at this point IMO.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • tbgree00tbgree00 Posts: 553Member
    MrSharp wrote: »
    Yeah, that;s right. If you have a MCITP:SA or a MCITP:EA you will get the MCSA:2008.
    Is the 647, the last exam you need to get your MCITP:EA?
    Good luck on Tuesday!


    Nice. How did you win the vouchers from MS?

    Yes the 647 is my last exam for the MCITP: EA

    I won the vouchers from the Microsoft Early Experts program. They had a contest where you sat through 15ish hours of training with exams and then set up a lab. When you had that set up you posted on Twitter and then had a chance to win. I think if you go to TechNet Blogs you can get the training.
    I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com
  • rockstar81rockstar81 Posts: 151Member
    Is July 31st definitely the last date you can earn a mctip sa? I thought I read somewhere that it was march 31st. I am hoping to sit 642 and 646 soon. Thanks
  • MrSharpMrSharp Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    tbgree00, gratz on winning the vouchers, thanks for the link for early experts 2012 stuff
    Best of luck becoming a MCITP:EA on Tues!
  • MrSharpMrSharp Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    rockstar81 wrote: »
    Is July 31st definitely the last date you can earn a mctip sa? I thought I read somewhere that it was march 31st. I am hoping to sit 642 and 646 soon. Thanks

    According to the link
    Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
    The certs MCITP: Server Administrator on Windows Server 2008* retires on July 31, 2013.

    The exams needed (640, 642, 646) are not being retired yet and after July 31, 2013 you can still take them to get the MCSA:2008.

    Where are you getting the March 31st date from?
  • rockstar81rockstar81 Posts: 151Member
    I thought I had read it somewhere, my mistake thank u for the info
  • MrSharpMrSharp Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Alas I failed 70-646 with a score of 658I have a few gripes about the exam but overall it looks like I just underestimated its difficulty and wasn't really prepared enough for it


    Despite being forewarned about the "testlets".on these forums, was not prepared for the format of the exam -
    Did not realise they would split the exam into sections (1 section for all the multiple choice questions and a section for each testlet)


    The thing was with having it in this format. Once you complete a section, you cannot go back to review/change your answers later.
    Since you're not able to see the content of future sections, I found it hard to judge how much time I should be spending on each section, and think I rushed through them.
    Why don;t they just allow you to see all the questions and testlets as opposed to having them split off into sections?!


    Apart from that a major gripe I had was with one of the testlet questions, it asked me to recommend something to fit in with the company's security auditing requirements.
    Straightforward enough, however there was no security requirements stated either in the question or in the scenario.


    I detailed this omission/error thoroughly in the comments section. Does anyone know if MS/Prometric actually respond to the comments or are they there simply for completeness?
    Even had I got this question right, I don;t think I would have passed but just wanted to know if anyone had any experience of them actioning comments.

    Apart from the things highlighted above, I think I got caught out with the questions asking for the best answer (when it seemed only 2 choices would possibly achieve the objective and neither were best) and also not knowing about the differences between different editions of w2k8 server.

    Oh well, small spanner thrown into my plans but on the plus side I survived sitting the 70-293 exam just after the failed attempt on 646.
    So now just 2 away from MCSE and still 1 away from MCITP: SA.
  • MrSharpMrSharp Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Had an opportunity to sneak in a retake of 70-646 so I took it.

    The testing s/w crashed just as the screen popped up with "congratulations". There was an error with the unified testing driver which obscured the actual score. Dragging the error dialog box caused ghosting and rather stupidly I ended up obscuring the congratulations message too before I notified the administrator.

    A print out of the report wasn;t sent to the printer and I was really worried I'd lose my pass.

    After clicking through all the error messages, the testing s/w reverted back to the screen where u are asked to start the exam/tutorial.
    I found that clicking on this took me to the congratulations screen which stated I passed with a score of 700, but with no option to print or to continue, only to exit.

    Spent ~ 30 anxious minutes hanging around waiting for the results of the test administrator liaising with Prometric technical support.

    Eventually was given a US number for Prometruc to call 72 hours later to find out my result, and was told i would be sent my result by post anyway (despite never having had this since my very first MS exam)
    Was a bit uneasy about this and wanted to take "photographic evidence" of the congratulations screen showing on the monitor.
    Fortunately test admin agreed to let me do this

    It was then that I noticed the timer was still running and clinging to this last straw of hope, I decided to hang around and wait for the timer to run out completely.
    Thank God when the time did run out, the test report was sent to the printer, and the testing s/w moved through to the survey.
    Woot I got my pass and my MCITP:SA icon_cheers.gif

    So that;s my 2008 goals achieved.
    Now onto my 2003 goals - 2 more exams away from MCSE, 3 away from MCSE:Security
  • kingrobkingrob Posts: 13Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I would definitely do the Server 2008 MCITP:EA exams.

    If you've been working for a while in the industry, you'll know that companies absolutely HATE it to upgrade their servers & will not do it if there's not a compelling reason.

    Right now, the company I worked for, still uses Server 2003 primarily, whilst deploying Server 2008 R2 for all new servers. There is no way they will touch Server 2012 for the forseeable future, as all their desktop/notebook pcs are standardized on Windows XP/7.

    I reckon if you have the Server 2008 MCITP:EA qualification, you're good to go for a lot of years.
  • MrSharpMrSharp Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Yep, the majority of the infrastructure I support is on server 2003.

    I understand the value of having an MCITP:EA but since it appears that MS are dropping it (by not changing it to a MCSA 2008 - which you can get with a MCITP:SA) it has lost a lot of value in my eyes.
    I would need 3 more exams (70-643, 70-680, and 70-647) and I really don;t see much point in busting my gut in order to try and get it before the July 31 deadline.
    The deadline is fast approaching and getting these done in time is a risk... the 680 exam worries me slightly with the 647 being a major concern considering my small struggle with the 646.

    My current goal is the MCSE 2003:Security which is 3 more 2k3 exams (2 more for MCSE, and another to get the security specialisation).
    I perceive this as being a lot easier to achieve as I have plenty of 2003 experience.
    Having looked over the exam content I;m pretty confident I can get these done fairly easily.
    I have had my eyes set on the MCSE 2003:Security title and finally getting it would be pretty rewarding/ proving that I can achieve the goal I set myself.
  • kingrobkingrob Posts: 13Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm gonna go for the MCITP:EA certification. icon_study.gif

    Don't ask me why, but it's the goal I have set myself and I want to achieve it.
  • lsud00dlsud00d Posts: 1,571Member
    I have 2 left for the 2008 MCITP:EA so I plan on knocking that out before 7/31 which shouldn't be very difficult. I have a lot of incentives to finish it so I plan on knocking it out before it retires.

    Good luck to all on this rat race icon_cheers.gif
  • MrSharpMrSharp Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    The MCITP:EA is a prestigious certification - if that's your goal then don't be swayed and focus on achieving it icon_thumright.gif
    For my individual circumstance, I just weighed things out and decided to aim for the MCSE 2k3 instead.

    Best of luck to all those going for the MCITP:EA.
    Remember second shot is still available 'til end the of May.
  • kingrobkingrob Posts: 13Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks MrSharp, good luck with your MCSE 2k3 exams!

    Stay sharp. :p
  • thronetmthronetm Posts: 87Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm currently 80% through my studying for the 70-643, hoping to pass this within the next 2-3 weeks then on tothe 70-647

    I can't wait to just have 1 more exam to concentrate on, it will give me extra incentive as once I pass that it will all be over :)
  • zalvajezalvaje Posts: 1Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    hi there .. have you hear bout buying certificate online? Would it be beneficial for those who chasing exam before it will expire?
  • joehalford01joehalford01 Posts: 364Member
    I'm going for the MCITP:EA via WGU right now, doing the 647 next, then the 680. So....close......Hoping to have the 647 knocked out by the 25th this month.
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