MCSA Desktop or server?

SteveFerSteveFer Posts: 69Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi Guys,

I have an A+ and N+ and have about 2 years experience in a helpdesk role and 2 years in a desktop role, with very little server/ networking experience. I would like to get more day to day server work,and have decided to take a bit of time off to study for some MS certs, I had intended to do the 2 Win 7 certs to get the MCSA and hopefully enough time do one of the server exams(I probably wouldn't have enough time them all to get a server MCSA aswell as W7 but thought One server exam would help me) .
Even though I want to get more server work I was thinking of doing Win 7 first as it seemed like the natural progression and that I should have a Win 7 MCSA first to build on before doing a server MCSA, now I'm re-considering and thinking of just going straight into the server MCSA to make the most of my time. My questions are,

Would it be possible to pass the server exam without any server experience? Is there much difference in difficulty between Win 7 MCSA and Server 2012 MCSA?

Would it be possible to get a back end job having a server MCSA without any day to day server experience, or say a role that involves customer facing and back end, without any server experience, I realize MCSA is the most basic but I'm not sure how basic it is?

Basically would I be better of doing the Win 7 exams and building up from scratch, / would the Win 7 exams benefit me that much, or would they be that important in what I want to do , I know I wont be going straight into a full on server role and will still be working with W7 alot either way.

Thanks

Comments

  • Theegg911Theegg911 Posts: 124Member
    If you feel you want to be in a job where you support desktop workstations then a Windows 7 MCSA would be helpful to show the employer you have the knowledge to at least know how to manage the OS. I would recommend the Windows 8 MCSA however. I work for a consulting company and we have already upgraded 2 of our Customer's companies to Windows 8. It is a newer technology, therefore the cert will be good for a longer duration than the Windows 7 cert. Keep in mind that a desktop tech has a cap in pay. Which is around 45k-55k. If you want to land a job that banks then a server role will be where it is at. As these guys make 50k-75k entry and experienced Server admins can get in the 6 figure range.

    From a person who has passed a couple of the new exams, I can tell you that reading a book and setting up VMs for 8 and 2012 can get you past the first exams for both OSs (70-687 and 70-410). Some of the questions are common sense.

    I Can tell you I only have experience in a little networking, AD, and Exchange, but I still passed the 70-410. Which should be encouragement for you. Also, my job rolls into a Network Admin where we also manage servers. I landed this role with only A+, Sec+, and Windows 7 certs. So it is possible to get a server role without server certs. You just need to have a reliable work history and show that you have the passion to learn. Employers like to hear that you already have goals set for yourself. Such as obtaining certain certs in a time period and getting to a certain job role (That isn't impossible) within the given time.

    If you were to weigh the Server certs/exams to the Windows 7/8 certs/exams, the employer would take the Server certs hands down. As most employers like to be Microsoft certified partner, the Server exams fulfill more competencies then the desktop certs.

    Now ALSO keep in mind that if you pass the first exams for both Win8 and Server2012 that it fulfills certain competencies for Silver Partner Status. So if all you have done is passed those 2 exams but do not have the MCSA yet, some companies will accept this as it still helps them out.
    Next Goal: Office 365 70-346 (Scheduled for 9/25)
  • SteveFerSteveFer Posts: 69Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for your awesome response,

    I would like to move onto more server focused work, but I suppose I'm just feel like I'm skipping some parts as I haven't fully mastered the desktop side.

    So are you saying that generally someone with no server experience can generally pass the 410 but the next 2 might be a bit of a push?

    Thanks again
  • Theegg911Theegg911 Posts: 124Member
    Yea. I did not have much server experience when I took my 410 exam and passed. I told myself the same thing you are saying. However, some server admins never touch a desktop. So it is entirely possible to get a server role and not have much desktop experience.
    Next Goal: Office 365 70-346 (Scheduled for 9/25)
  • SteveFerSteveFer Posts: 69Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Theegg911 wrote: »
    Now ALSO keep in mind that if you pass the first exams for both Win8 and Server2012 that it fulfills certain competencies for Silver Partner Status. So if all you have done is passed those 2 exams but do not have the MCSA yet, some companies will accept this as it still helps them out.

    Could you expand slightly on this?

    Am I right i thinking that a company who takes on someone with those 2 exams will receive the benefits listed under silver in the link?

    https://mspartner.microsoft.com/en/us/Pages/Membership/core-benefits.aspx
  • mikejwhatmikejwhat Posts: 18Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    If you have 4 years experience in IT you could probably get away with skipping the Win 7 / Win 8 Certs. I would imagine an employer would presume you are competent in Client OS's already if you hold a Server Cert.

    If you are determined, theres alot of mileage you can get out of youtube videos / internet research and practicing at home with Servers. I used this series when I first started: Server Basics (1) | Setup a Domain Controller | Windows Server 2008 R2 - YouTube

    There is always the risk you may hit sticking points not working with Servers and having colleagues to show you stuff I suppose (but even one passed exam would look good.) I got a Server Admin role with just CompTIA and Windows 7 certs. Do everything you can to get Server exposure at work or elsewhere. I personally took a paycut to move jobs to get better experience.

    You can ALWAYS find answers online to bits you're stuck on when studying if you try hard enough I've found so doing MCSA on your own isn't out of the realms of possibility.
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