70-680 70-685 & helpdesk?

basslinebassline Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
Not sure if this query would be better suited to the IT jobs forum but here is goes anyway:

I'm looking for a bit of advice and guidance on the best certs I can equip myself with for an entry level helpdesk role.

Bit of background - I've 6 years of working in Insurance under my belt but was made redundant recently. I've a degree and masters in politics already and would be very reluctant to go back to university. I did comptia A+ on my own, I genuinely enjoyed doing it and kind of blindly started doing N+ as a follow up. N+ is interesting so far but My inclination right now is that my time might be better spent pursuing the Microsoft 70-680 & 70-685 certs.

I've been having a lot of difficulty trying get good reliable, up to date info on the MS certification process but this site has been a good resource so far. Some specific questions I'd like to ask are:

* Are the certs well regarded/relevant for helpdesk type roles?

* If I was to complete one cert, would I be able to start applying for jobs and note on the CV that I'm pursuing the other one or am I better off getting them both done before I start applying?

* Am I on the right path at all!??

I live in Ireland right now but I hope to relocate to the UK

Advice appreciated



  • MSP-ITMSP-IT Member Posts: 752 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Yes, but you would only have until the end of January to finish them. They'll be phased out after that. It's been hard to find job postings that list these certs specifically as of the past few months. I would work on finding some infrastructure MCSA in Windows Server 2012/2008.
  • IvanjamIvanjam Member Posts: 978 ■■■■□□□□□□
    MSP-IT wrote: »
    Yes, but you would only have until the end of January to finish them. They'll be phased out after that.

    Can you provide a link showing that? I certainly don't see that information here: Retired exams
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  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I think at one time over the summer, the Win 7 and Server 2008 exams were slated for retirement in January. But they since changes that.
    I'm thinking the exams might have been labeled as up for retirement in error.
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  • basslinebassline Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the replies so far guys. My own understanding was the the MCITP accreditation itself is being retired but that a lot of the exams, including the 70-680 & 70-685 will remain in place:

    Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) (click the + by 'windows client')

    Am I reading this right??
  • CleverclogsCleverclogs Member Posts: 95 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I think DoubleNNs has it. I'm sure I saw that the 70-680 was being retired, but now I can't find that info anywhere. Better for me, as I don't have to get my qualification in Windows 8.
  • basslinebassline Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    MSP-IT wrote: »
    Yes, but you would only have until the end of January to finish them. They'll be phased out after that. It's been hard to find job postings that list these certs specifically as of the past few months. I would work on finding some infrastructure MCSA in Windows Server 2012/2008.

    Thanks for the replies so far everyone

    I will admit that I am a bit confused regarding how server certification comes in to all of this (bear in mind a lot of this is new to me so be prepared for some stupid questions). Let me elaborate on this point for one moment: 70-680 and 70-685 don't seem to cover any material directly relating to servers. Taking the name of 70-685 first, 'Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician' and look at the content on the MS website I would conclude that it's geared towards understanding W7 Enterprise (!). Now Enterprise is always going to operate in a domain environment. I've had a look at the content for the server exams (like 70-410) and obviously that's where they cover servers! What I'd like to ask essentially is: Would having the 70-680 and 70-685 alone be of any use to be in an organisation that has a W7 Enterprise/domain set-up? Would I be expected to have knowledge of servers, active directory etc. at entry level?

    My main exposure to helpdesks would be from being the guy who rings them. I might give out my VNC number and they might poke around on my client for a bit etc. etc. What I'm seeing when they take over is essentially configuration of a local machine. I don't know what, if any actual server work these guys are doing on a day to day basis or how their work is demarcated and divided between server and local tasks.

    Can anyone shed a bit of light on this for me??

    Much appreciated
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    In response to your question, bassline, you're absolutely right. The Windows 7 exams don't cover server functions in-depth. They assume you have a familiarity with how a domain works on the most fundamental level, then show you how to work with Windows 7 in the enterprise from a desktop-perspective. You'll learn about user and computer accounts, common security issues, etc., but you won't be touching on how Windows Server actually works and what you need to learn in order to work on the server-side.

    To that end, you'd be looking at the server-focused certifications. Right now, the path Microsoft recommends for those starting out is the MCSA. You've got a couple of options there: MCSA Windows Server 2008 or MCSA Windows Server 2012. Both operating systems are still supported, it's just a matter of where you want to focus. There are also MCSA certifications for Windows 7 and Windows 8, which are going to be replacing the MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician certification.

    The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certifications are set to replace the older Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional (MCITP) certifications. While many exams, like the 70-680 and 70-685, are going to remain active, a lot of others are being retired along with the MCITP titles. You'll have to check the Retired Certification page to see what exams and certification titles are going away in January.

    The tl;dr version: The 70-680/70-685 exams will give you knowledge about the client-side of a Windows network, (along with earning you the title of MCSA Windows 7,) and the MCSA certifications on Windows Server 2008 or 2012 will give you the knowledge you need to tackle the server-side.

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  • basslinebassline Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    That is a very helpful and wonderfully concise summary - thanks for that.

    I just want to determine the most appropriate certification path for me to take for the stage that I am at right now. Having done a bit more reading, my understanding is that a lot of larger organisations would have separate desktop/application support teams who would do little enough server work. Would the w7 certs alone be sufficient to break into that kind of role? Would it make sense to wait till I've built up an experience base with working in such an environment before attempting the server certs?

    I'd be particularly interested to hear from anyone based in the UK, which is where I expect to be basing myself. I live in Ireland right now and the job market is still in dire straights - any vacancies you see tend be on the development side. I see plenty of suitable roles advertised in the UK but I'd like to know what, in practice, employers are looking for at entry level? Given the youth employment epidemic am I going to be pitting myself against a huge pool of IT graduates?

    Any insights greatly appreciated.
  • $TR1K3R$TR1K3R Member Posts: 30 ■■□□□□□□□□
    70-680 + 686 + 417 = both client side and server side certifications. I think this is the shortest path to gain both of them. I don't see 685 as useful as 686 is. Anyway only MCSA win 7 still is a good title
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