MCSE 2012 or MCSE 2008 track

LittleBITLittleBIT Member Posts: 320 ■■■■□□□□□□
Hello all,

I am deciding which track to pursue. I have probably novice at best experience using server 2008 (AD/Exchange, Domain setup, and minor helpdesk tasks).

Although a lot of this will be done through labbing and reading/watching videos, whats your opinion on pursing either track? Whether its desktop infra or server infra. I do have the MCITP: EDA, which I read can be used to upgrade to the MCSE track after completing 70-413/414 and 70-417. Obviously, I'd be lying to myself by doing that because I dont know jack squat about Server 2008/2012 aside from just installation.

Now here comes a question that I hope will generate conversation.

Does an MCSE with prior hands on/OJT experience, garner, for a lack of a better term, more respect vs an MCSE that earned his/her MCSE through school/self-study with little to no actual on the job experience?

I'm really at a fork in my next move. I never knew I could achieve so much, and get so far, in so little time. I'm really motivated to keep going, I have 3 more months before my sabbatical (sort of) is over and I will have to return to the real world and probably will not get the time to myself for studying as I do now.

Any comments are appreciated. ^^
Kindly doing the needful


  • MSSoftieMSSoftie Member Posts: 190 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I think that any cert above the entry level certs (A+, Net+, MCP in Win7 or Winicon_cool.gif without on the job experience is suspect. Paper Tiger was a term used for people that had all certs and no experience and truthfully they deservedly gave certs a bad name for quite some time. Microsoft and the others have tried to overcome that stigma. You don't need 10 years experience to be an engineer but you should be able to show you worked on desktops in a work environment before you show off your MSCA in Server tech and have some time actually working on servers before you show off your MSCE in my opinion. I don't think the OS itself is as important. If you have worked on Server 2008 and go for Server 2012 certs, I think that is reasonable. The new technology builds on the old and you will find that many things haven't changed too much (other than the interface which is much different). DHCP still works like DHCP and DNS still works like DNS. Some capability has changed but the theory is still as it has been.

    Honestly, not quite sure why people don't go for the newer certs. I understand that Server 2008 is alive and well and will be for quite some time. I grant that the OS has a bigger current representation in the real world. However, I also believe that IT managers respect the new certs more and will assume that if you understand 2012 you can handle 2008.

    Just my opinion.
  • LittleBITLittleBIT Member Posts: 320 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Ahh, I see.

    At my current job, I dive in an around Server stuff. But I've never actually been given an assignment like 'Here's a ticket, build a server for a company with a fileshare, AD, install exchange, build a domain, migrate files, setup disaster recovery" and so on.

    I just don't want to sell myself (or a future / current employer) short because I have a certification and little to no experience actually deploying or utilizing said cert. You made a good point though, that I think I should consider 2012 over 2008, just because it is the newest certification.

    Thanks for the input ^^
    Kindly doing the needful
  • unfbilly11unfbilly11 Member Posts: 100 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thinking about the future, after MCSA comes MCSE. If you get your MCSA in Server 2008, you have to take the upgrade exam to 2012 before you can start your MCSE. This is what I was told by a Microsoft rep. If you're going to have to take another exam, you might as well just go straight for 2012. Also, going forward, the 2012 will probably be easier to upgrade to 2016 or whatever the next version is.
  • powerfoolpowerfool Member Posts: 1,658 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Yep, I have to agree... it is like the AT&T commercial: who wants "Or" when you can have "And"?

    For on your MCSA 2008 and then do your single upgrade exam (417) to upgrade to MCSA 2012. Then maybe hang out there until you get a bit more experience. It will take a you a bit to work through all of that, anyhow, that's what, four exams in total? For an experienced person, they could probably knock all of that out pretty quickly. However, even with an excellent lab setup and dedication (and time), I don't see someone w/o experience going any faster than a month per exam, and that is given the absolute best conditions.
    2021 Goals: [X] Terraform Associate [X] AZ-204 [X] AZ-400 [X] AWS Cloud Practitioner [X] Terraform CHiP
  • LittleBITLittleBIT Member Posts: 320 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Well I decided to pursue my MCSA/MCSE Serv 2012. I am planning on doing a virtual machine with Server 2012 on my macbook pro using VMWARE. I have fast internet, and the such for only a week...

    What tools, items, programs, etc, should I download? What roles/services should I give my server? Any recommendations? Appreciate everyones input :)
    Kindly doing the needful
  • tprice5tprice5 Member Posts: 770
    Unless your Macbook pro has 32gb of ram, which I doubt, you're going to need more muscle. To build out an enterprise environment you're going to want to look at building a dedicated lab that lives on it's own. For example I just set up my WSUS to sync with ConfigMgr 2012 every 12 hours. If I had a laptop then I would need to..
    A) Have my laptop powered on and open.
    B) Have VMware open and all my VMs powered on
    Otherwise a bunch of stuff just wouldn't work.

    These scenarios aren't very likely if you are still planning to use your laptop for personal things.

    So look into building out a server. I built mine out from HERE (theHomeServerBlog).
    Certification To-Do: CEH [ ], CHFI [ ], NCSA [ ], E10-001 [ ], 70-413 [ ], 70-414 [ ]
    Start Date: 10/01/2014 | Complete Date: ASAP
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  • powerfoolpowerfool Member Posts: 1,658 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I have to concur. I had a fairly beefy laptop with a Core i7 and 16GB of RAM and it isn't enough for me to more than a very basic lab setup that only works when I can dedicate the resources to it (perhaps one DC, and one of Exchange versions for a test migration sceanario: perhaps one 2007 and one 2013, or one 2010 and one 2013). Ideally, a system that will match your laptop software and a place to share/copy VMs between them may be a good idea. This way, you could take a couple of VMs with you if you really need them, but you can always remote back home to your dedicated box.
    2021 Goals: [X] Terraform Associate [X] AZ-204 [X] AZ-400 [X] AWS Cloud Practitioner [X] Terraform CHiP
  • MSSoftieMSSoftie Member Posts: 190 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I agree that a good lab is important for the 413 and 414, I don't think it is critical at the 410-412 levels. It isn't until the more complicated scenarios of the more advanced exams that it is really important to see all the interactions. For the more basic exams, I think a couple of medium or even low powered vms will do the trick. You are basically looking at single commands and such. Just my opinion.
  • LittleBITLittleBIT Member Posts: 320 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thank you all for your replies.

    Would you say that the 70-410/411/412 are all book knowledge type exams? (Obviously they will have troubleshooting scenarios) Do I really need a lab for them? Or will a single VM do the trick?

    I hear you can build VM Labs with Microsoft for some cash, but at the moment, my internet won't allow me to support any decent Teamviewer remote session without massive lag.
    Kindly doing the needful
  • MSSoftieMSSoftie Member Posts: 190 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I really think you can do the 410-412 exams without a full lab. A single machine should do it for you for the exams. You will need to know where to find the tools and the menus. You can make a single server go from GUI to core and back. You can set up DHCP and DNS on a single machine even thought it won't actually do anything. It is enough to run through the process. That is my opinion but others may disagree
  • LittleBITLittleBIT Member Posts: 320 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm having trouble finding actual resources for this stuff, like books and exam references.

    Is there any books you would recommend? I know most people say 'tech net' but that isn't good enough. I need a book lol.

    Appreciate the help
    Kindly doing the needful
  • MSSoftieMSSoftie Member Posts: 190 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Using the Microsoft Press Exam Ref AND the Training Guide worked for me. I really liked having both. One covers the theory better and the other gives you practical labbing that is pertinent to the exam. I did not like the Sybex book. It was not well organized for the individual exams though it did have good information.

    My opinions - your mileage may vary.
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