Microsoft or any Certification advice for University student

mishymishy Member Posts: 209 ■■■□□□□□□□
I am starting university at 33 in October and I will be doing a degree in Computer Information Technology. There will be a bit of Java, Database programming and website designing but I gather from my age when I finish it will be hard for me to enter in those positions as a junior (Java or Website Developer).

I have been working in IT for 4 years now mainly doing IT support (1st and 2nd) and I have A+, Net+ and some Microsoft Support Certs like Vista, XP and Server, I had been aiming to complete my MCSA 2003 but I failed twice on the last exam and I dont have time to revise before they retire next week.

Since I am not really keen or sure I will be a able to do a junior position at 37 when I finish my studies I was hoping to be a Business Intelligence or Analyst when I finish I need to know what certs I can do to help improve my chances of being employed. I had hope I could do an MCSA 2012 in Server Infrastructure and then finish MCSE with a Database path but unfortunately no path like that exist.

I need some certs that will allow me to use my experience in Support along with the Degree I will hopefully complete which will be database and Java orientated. I hope you can understand what I have tried to explain without being to bored.

Here is path of me so far IT Support(4years with Microsoft and Comptia Certs) -> currently studying CIT Degree -> I need to plan to do some certs along my degree.

Also how can I retain my experience whilst I am doing my degree because I do not want to start from the bottom again? Any advice on how I can safely do that without jeopardising my studies?


  • NinjaBoyNinjaBoy Member Posts: 968
    Hi mate,

    Are you doing your degree full time, part-time or distance learning?

    I ask this as if you're doing your degree full time, I would say that unless you can claim credit for them at Uni, forget about them until you're close to finishing. Mainly due to the following...

    Microsoft certs - The MTA have a life of 5 years, before they "retire" or become legacy. And the MCSE's have to be renewed every 2-3 years. You do have the MCSA route which is higher than the MTA but lower than the MCSE - but with your degree looming, I would concentrate on that. And while you're a student you can get discounted exams (hence why the last year of your degree)

    Comptia certs - The A+, Network+ and Security+ have to be renewed every 3 years (unless you gained then pre the ISO program, then they are for life), so it's going to be an extra cost whether you re-do the exams or pay for the continuing development program thing.

    The bonus for you is that you already have experience in IT and when you graduate you'll have the opportunity to go for "graduate" training programs as well as the standard vacancies that you normally see.

    Apart from that, if you really want to get some certs and not 100% on what IT path you'll be entering, why not check out certs like the:

    ITIL Foundation offered by either ISEB or EXIN in the UK.
    Project+ from Comptia or Prince2 Foundation

    They don't expire or need renewing and they are general enough to be applied (directly or indirectly) to any branch of IT.
  • mishymishy Member Posts: 209 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks Ninjaboy. I had not considered the ITIL Foundation but looking at most of the interviews I have attended they have touched on some the areas that ITIL covers but MS or Comptia do not touch. Your point of the MS exams needing refreshers is a very good point for anyone in my situation to consider because if I start now and then 3 years later when I finish my degree and realise I need to go in a different field that my degree has covered then I will have lost time and money.

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