Is this enough prep for MCITP SA/MCSA2008? no exp, or prior certs...

recktechierecktechie Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi all, first post.
Quick background: Doing a BSIT, knowledge from that is not really much, certainly wont be helpful with my cert endeavor. I have no prior certs. I wish to get my MCITP SA/MCSA 2008, I know I need 70-640, 642 and 646. Also no work exp in IT at all.

1.) I plan on using testout for all three, along with MS Press books, I believe thats what their called, you know, the official study guides by microsoft. Will these two be enough? From the tons of research online ive done, its really mixed, some say yes, some say no, so idk. Like Ive seen some people study for few weeks - a month, but of course they have work exp. However, from what I gather, I feel if I use the testout and ms press books for each, that should work right?

2.) How hard will it be to get a job as a MCITP? What is this position even called? I had wanted to get the MCITP EA and know they are network engineers/administrators, but since the exams for MCITP are expring in less then a year, I thought i would go with MCITP SA since that pays well as well, and its 3 exams vs EA's 5 exams. This person I know who runs a computer training program out of state says they get people jobs all the time that have no prior experience, and it pays in the 50k-60k pay range. I say this because I see lots of people on here say you got to start at the helpdesk making 10-15/hr first or something like that. Also, I will have a BS in about a year or so, I didnt learn much, but it helps on the resume and such obv. How much for starting salary can I expect? I really think 50-60k is possible, Ive heard this from lots of (trustworthy and credible) sources, and yes, for those with no work exp I mean. Also, will they provide me with some training? I know of course havign the certs mean I can do the job, of course I know that, what I mean is that is their gonna be a transition period provided, like they cant expect me to work like someone who has years of experience on my first day?

3.) I know I should setup a VM and virtual network so I can practice the stuff in the books, and do some labbing, can anyone help me with this? I dont know how to do it, and want to order the books soon and start studying, but would really love to have all this ancillary stuff out of the way first, i.e. the setting up of the Vm and lab

4.) I know with programming/programmers, after you have estabilshed you are experienced and knowledgeable, they let you telecommute easily. With MCITP SA, is that a possibility down the line? I would really love to telecommute after I work and get enough experience to be completely independent on my job.

thank you all so much.
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Comments

  • jyrki.arpiainenjyrki.arpiainen Posts: 32Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    IF you really learn everything in Testout material and in Press books you probably would pass the exams.

    But problem is if one without earlier certs and work experience could adopt that much information, in any time, especially if trying to achieve goal quickly.

    About schedule, i would rather expect one exam in every 4-5 months instead of weeks, if new to industry. That's if doing study work honestly.
    I think that most new comers who pass exams in few weeks study use illicit materials.

    I was beginner when i started to study certifications and it took 3-5 months per each exam. Except most easy ones (MCDST) which i passed with "just" one months study.
    For me getting MCSE took 4,5 years and upgrading it to MCITP: EA approx. 1,5 years -if i still remember times correctly.

    Currently i am unemployed, from 2009 forward. Before that i worked 1,5 years. Studying and working at the same time did not do any good for my performance at the work (it took too much time and energy) and because i have not got ANY job after that, certifications have not brought any good for me. Except those have kept me buzy and learning new stuff.

    3. About VM's and labs, if you don't know how use them your starting level seem to be pretty low, sorry. It really should be basic stuff and admins need to be very familiar with virtualization and even from multiple vendors.
    Most important of those in this case would be Hyper-V as it is part of the MCITP:EA certification with exam 70-643 (i dont remember how much MCITP: SA need to know about Hyper-V) but VMware is also vastly used out there...

    MS Press books have directions how to setup lab environment in the beginning.


    Expect to spend years with studying MCITP materials so that you really know those inside out and understand big picture, how all those details that are studied combines together. Then you can better manage with the admin jobs.

    Learning does not end to passing certifications, much of the stuff studied falls to background while situations in work force to study some already studied parts much deeper. There is always something that is not covered in those MS books, not to mention 3rd. party programs etc.

    Of course you will know better how deep understanding of study materials is needed to pass and how difficult exams are after you have sit at least one exam. Good luck!

    Let the force be with you.
  • recktechierecktechie Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    thanks mate, but the thing is, you seem to give me a time frame thats rather long. I know I cant do it in 2-3 week, i know that. But 4-5 months seems way too long. Of course I know certs dont mean I am an expert, just enough to do the day to day, which is the job i want, then as time goes on I learn more and more.

    so you think like a 1-2 month time frame is unrealistic?

    Can you help me get the Vm's set up? Or does the book lay it out clearly and easily enough?Thanks.
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Posts: 2,687Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    First off, welcome to the forum.

    Do you have any experience in IT? Hobby stuff perhaps? The 640, 642, 646 exams are difficult, even for those with real-world experience. I spent about 6 months studying for the 640 alone. With no experience, doing all 3 exams in 4-5 will probably be stretching it. That said, getting the certs won't guarantee you an admin position, especially with no experience. It would, however, probably get you into Help Desk, which is where most people start off.

    1. TestOut is a good product, I've used it for the 640 exam. The MS press book are alright and they have labs you can follow along with. There are steps in the lessons for setting up the lab environment. I normally use Virtual Box (free) and the evaluation trials for labbing. I'd also recommend TechNet for filling in any gaps.

    2. MCITP: Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional. There are a whole series of certs under this. Check out Microsoft Learning for more information. Take those "training programs" with a grain of salt. Most companies aren't going to hire someone off the street to handle their production servers, who only has lab environment experience. A lot of those companies promised the "Get your MCSE and earn 6 figures!" etc.

    3. Why aren't you learning much from your B.S. in IT?

    4. Some companies allow telecommuting, some don't. Many like to have on-site staff to take care of any issues.

    5. You might also consider getting some CompTIA certs to help build a foundation. The A+ is a common requirement for Help Desk / Support positions.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,841Mod Mod
    OP, I have two issues. One, your logic is flawed. Two, you have unrealistic expectations. To address the first point, you say "I know of course havign the certs mean I can do the job". Absolutely wrong! A cert means you can pass a test. That's it. Nothing else. As many here can attest there are many certified "professionals" that simply lack the technical knowledge and even common sense to perform as system administrators. Many employers understand this and will NEVER hire anyone certified without the required field experience. The gap between the books and the real world is wider than you think.

    Second, finishing one exam per month is technically not impossible, but highly unlikely. I am an experienced systems admin and took me 3 months average per test to complete my MCITP:EA. Time is the key element here. If you study 40-60 hours per weeks, it may be doable in a month. But still, that's pushing it. Based on your lack of knowledge I really don't see how you could move so quickly through tests. Your comments make me wonder if there's a specific reason why you are trying to rush.

    Regarding virtualization, there are literally hundreds of tutorials out there on how to do this. I strongly suggest spending some time getting ti know either vSphere or Hyper-V so you can successfully deploy your lab. We could tel you everything you need to know but that defeats the purpose of the whole experience which is learning while doing. Go search here and elsewhere on the web and then come back to us if you have any questions.

    I believe you are either underestimating the tests or overestimating your capability to understand and dominate the material. I also think that you have unrealistic expectations about the cert. it will not magically get you a job. It guarantees nothing. As someone involved in hiring techs 99% of the time I will choose an experienced admin over one with certs and no experience. There's just too much at stake to have someone in a critical position without having done this before.

    If I were you I would dedicate at least 3-4 months to deploy the lab and prepare for the first test and see how it goes. You will then be in a position to accurately estimate how long will take you to complete other exams. A key component to the cert game is being flexible and resilient. Life comes at you fast and plans have to change quickly.
  • recktechierecktechie Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    No, you took that out of context. I meant I know having a cert they will expect a certain amount of knowledge, not that I will have an amount of expertise magically.

    4-5 months for one exam? Are you certain, I dont have experience, but that seems like way too long imo tbh.

    If I were able to get the exams, with about 2 months dedicated to each, how much salary can I expect? And yes, I need the certs fast because I will be graduating in some time and need to get a job then. thanks.
  • recktechierecktechie Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Can someone help me get the lab set up? or give me easy to follow links with all the info please, thanks.
  • MutataMutata Posts: 176Member
    Usually the lab requirements are in the MS Press books. Setting up a lab in-and-of itself is a learning process, I would suggest experimenting with different hypervisors, configurations etc. If you had more specific questions I would be happy to give you my .02 cents.

    I'm currently studying for the MCITP:SA and have an IT education and some experience in the industry. I have given myself about 3 months per exam, with a month or two extra just in case.

    Do not sell yourself short and rush through the exams, a thorough understanding of the material is more important than being able to get that piece of paper.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,841Mod Mod
    Ideas to get you going: http://www.techexams.net/forums/mcts-mcitp-windows-2008-general/76934-what-good-lab-set-up-test-labs-pracice-70-640-70-642-70-643-a.html There are many more lab threads here so search away.

    If you want to go with Hyper-V you can check these resources:

    - Hyper-V Getting Started Guide
    - Using Hyper V - Windows Server 2008 R2 - YouTube

    There's a plethora of tutorials out there. Look at a few and start creating VMs.
  • recktechierecktechie Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Do you have work experience in the field? Some say the cert is useless w/o exp in the field, do you agree with that? I think 4-5 months is too much time, its a simple exam, I dont mean easy, I mean its only one exam. And of course I want to learn as I go along. What materials are u using for training?
  • recktechierecktechie Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    how do you sent private messages to users?
  • recktechierecktechie Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Is it okay to buy the MS press books used? Or will some of the things not work, like the practice exams? I dont care about the vouchers since I will be using the student exams anyway. the student exams are for all the 70 exams right? they have 72 equivalents?
  • recktechierecktechie Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    @Cyberguy: Thanks. But isnt setting up Vm's easy? just to be clear, i want the labs so I can practice hands on experience, thats what your referring to also right? Cuz looked at the link you gave and it seemd a bit complex. And how is that a part of the actual job? I thought this was mimicing how it is to work in an actual environment? thanks.
  • recktechierecktechie Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    what exactly is technet, whats it used for and is it free?
  • MutataMutata Posts: 176Member
    @Recktechie,

    I have about 2 years experience in the field, education in Computers System Technology. Personally, I think its a mixture of everything that makes one a viable candidate for a job. For entry level jobs, you obviously won't be expected to have several years of experience and I find its important to highlight to employers how you have gotten your hands dirty even if it might not be professional experience it's still exposure

    Certifications show that you have attained a certain level of knowledge. It does NOT show your level of common sense, critical thinking or problem solving. I think a 4-5 month estimate might be reasonable for someone with no experience or exposure to the technology although it would depend on how quickly you pick things up.

    Currently I use
    Microsoft Self Paced Training Kit R2 - (I have both the EA and SA tracks)
    Microsoft Server 2008 R2 Unleashed
    Technet Professional Subscription - Online Courses/Articles/Virtual Labs
    I also have two VMware Servers running ESXI 5.0

    Technet consists of a large base of free online articles as well as a paid subscription. The paid subscription provides you with access to Microsoft software for testing and learning purposes as well as one or two free support calls and E-Learning Libraries
  • kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 A+, Net+, Server+, Security+, Win7 MCP, Server 2012 Virtualization Specialist, MCSA 2012 Posts: 1,186Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    From your posts here I thinking you are getting in over your head. I think you should maybe start with some entry level studies before you go jumping into these exams. If what cyberguy sent you is complex then you are in for a world of hurt when it comes to the exams. Also asking for a hand holding walk through from us isn't the best way to learn this stuff. You should be using the web/google/bing to help with this. One of the things that frustrate me the most is when someone comes and asks how do I do this and doesn't even try to find out for themselves first. This will be something that you will encounter when you get into the workforce. Search youtube for videos on how to setup a hyper-v lab or how to setup virtual box. There will be a ton of videos for that.

    Also asking how much you can expect to make with just a cert is not going to get you very far when it comes to real world numbers. A cert isn't going to get you any set pay range. I have seen people with the exact cert your looking at getting making $14 an hour. It will all depend on your experience, where you live, your attitude, and other factors. As of right now I think you need to be a little more open to what advice has already ben given to you from cyberguy. I would think he knows what to expect considering he has experience and has gone beyond the SA cert.

    Start using google a lot. Make it your best friend and as you go through your studies you can come here and post questions in areas you get stuck after trying to google it. ;) Also don't try to rush it you won't learn anything that way.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,841Mod Mod
    Funny, I was just typing a similar response. The power of the TE hive mind!

    OP, let me reiterate my earlier point: We could easily tell/show you everything you need to know but that defeats the purpose of the whole experience which is learning while doing. Go search here and elsewhere on the web and then come back to us if you have any questions.

    The whole lab thing is a perfect example of a relatively simple task that can be cleared by researching.

    Another thing, if you really need hand holding you should look into purchasing the Trainsignal materials. Their MCITP products are awesome.
  • recktechierecktechie Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    @Kris: Idk if thats fair. I am just getting started, onec I get my feet wet Im sure I will have a better understanding of things. Everything new is overwhelming at first as you dont know what to expect.

    @Cyberguy: I wasnt asking for someone to to walk me through it, but rather i was asking for a step by step guide, like a link. From what Ive read, the Press books provide this, so I will be fine since Im ordering them, thanks anyway for the links.

    So then it is possible I get a job paying around 50-60k entry level once I get my certs even with no exp? I just gotta do some research?

    And I have been googling tons, trust me. I see lots of contradicting information, thats what makes me so confused. I do think testout and the MS press books will allow me to pass the exams while learning enough to get my first job, and then learn a ton more otj.

    So trainsignal is really good? Will that alone be enough, or will I need the MS pressbooks or something else still? Do they give you the chance to get lab experience? thanks
  • recktechierecktechie Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    and i heard trainsignal s not good for mcitp, have u tried it? is testout better?
  • kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 A+, Net+, Server+, Security+, Win7 MCP, Server 2012 Virtualization Specialist, MCSA 2012 Posts: 1,186Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    recktechie wrote: »
    @Kris: Idk if thats fair. I am just getting started, onec I get my feet wet Im sure I will have a better understanding of things. Everything new is overwhelming at first as you dont know what to expect.

    @Cyberguy: I wasnt asking for someone to to walk me through it, but rather i was asking for a step by step guide, like a link. From what Ive read, the Press books provide this, so I will be fine since Im ordering them, thanks anyway for the links.

    So then it is possible I get a job paying around 50-60k entry level once I get my certs even with no exp? I just gotta do some research?

    And I have been googling tons, trust me. I see lots of contradicting information, thats what makes me so confused. I do think testout and the MS press books will allow me to pass the exams while learning enough to get my first job, and then learn a ton more otj.

    So trainsignal is really good? Will that alone be enough, or will I need the MS pressbooks or something else still? Do they give you the chance to get lab experience? thanks

    If you are just getting started then I would say the a+ material might be a good place to start if you don't really have experience with computers in general. Like others have said you will have a hard time jumping straight into the server topics without a foundation of general computing/desktops/servers before hand.

    Here are some links to free video training that will give you a good idea what to expect.
    http://itfreetraining.com/ -I used this for other tests I have taken.
    http://www.professormesser.com/ -he doesn't have anything on the MCITP-SA but does have training for other entry level certs which will help.

    http://itdvds.com/ -is a paid site but allows you to do monthly subscriptions for pretty cheap and cancel anytime.

    http://safaribooksonline.com/ -has tons of it books like mspress, sybex, syngress, cisco press, and much more, also has training videos on something's as well. It has a month to month subscription of pay for a full year upfront. Check online for discount vouchers there is usually a discount that will help out with cost.

    http://cbtnuggets.com/ -has 24 hour training where you can purchase a 24 hour pass and watch as many/any videos as you like in 24 hours for $24.

    There is a I.T. training site coming called http://sabta.com/ -that says its $99 a month for training but it hasn't hit primetime yet.

    The rest are usually pretty expensive and I haven't used them so I can't speak for them.

    Good luck with the studies and let us know if you have any questions.
  • recktechierecktechie Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    @Kris: Thanks for the links, I appreciate it. I see that others said as for the virtual lab the MS press books cover them and teach me how to set them up, so thats cool. But can I set it up on any comp, or do I need like a really expensive one? I have a regular dell desktop. If I need a special type or feature, how much would it cost to upgrade mine to that? Again, this is so I can have a virtual labs and machines, idk how many, as much as the MS press books require.
  • recktechierecktechie Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Also, say I do get the MCITP SA/ MCSA 2008, like what can I expect? I thought I could expect 50k-60k, but if not that much, then what can I most likely expect worst case scenario? Would that be help desk? how much do they make? And what work do they do, like will I use my MCITP SA in that position?

    Is using Testout and MS press books enough for me to learn the material and pass the exams?

    Also, how close are practice exams like from measureup, to the real thing? Like say I get 80% on the measure up, should I get a similar score on the real thing?
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Posts: 4,298Member
    When I studied for the MCSE 2003 and the upgrade for the MCITP EA I used a mixture of physical and virtual systems. You can use any x64 system with 2 GB RAM for a decent lab PC. Even putting two instances of the OS on it via Hyper-V. You don't need expensive systems but if you are using cheap ones you will need a couple. It might be easy to find a few junk PCs you can use to make a couple Franken-PCs for your lab.
  • recktechierecktechie Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Do the Ms Press books teach me hwo to use Hyper-V? How do I know if my computer is "cheap"? where can I find the junk pc's from and how much are they typically around? Would it be easy to get the whole thing set up?

    How can I contact you for more questions? Idk how to message you. How do you PM ppl?

    Do you think I can find a job with just the MCITP SA and no work experience?

    Do you think testout and MS press books are enough to pass the examincations?

    thanks.
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Posts: 2,687Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    recktechie wrote: »
    Also, say I do get the MCITP SA/ MCSA 2008, like what can I expect? I thought I could expect 50k-60k, but if not that much, then what can I most likely expect worst case scenario? Would that be help desk? how much do they make? And what work do they do, like will I use my MCITP SA in that position?

    Is using Testout and MS press books enough for me to learn the material and pass the exams?

    Also, how close are practice exams like from measureup, to the real thing? Like say I get 80% on the measure up, should I get a similar score on the real thing?

    As I stated in a previous post, many companies won't hire someone without experience. That being said, you might be able to get a position as a junior admin or something similar. That would likely require you to "sell yourself" to them during the interview. Sometimes getting an IT position is not how much you, but who you know.

    With your B.S. in IT and some certs, you will be qualified for Help Desk and that's probably where you would start. I currently work as a tech and I use knowledge gained from my MCSE studies on a daily basis at work. Pay for Help Desk depends on where and who you work for. I've seen pay range from $10/hour to over $20/hour for Help Desk / Desktop support positions in my area (Seattle). As others have stated, you will probably be better off earning the A+ and maybe Network+ or Security+ certs to build a foundation. Speaking from experience, working on a B.S. in IT and doing cert studies is draining on you. The Server 2008 certs are no joke and you'll need to allow enough time to work on them.

    TestOut and the MS press books will give a good foundation of knowledge. I'd download the exam objectives for the exams you want to take. You'll want to do labs on those objectives. It's critical to be able to do what the objectives state to pass the exams.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,841Mod Mod
    Wow! Any Friends fans here? This line comes to mind: "The sheer volume, it was like flying with the Riddler!"

    Just wow!
  • MutataMutata Posts: 176Member
    To be fair to the OP I had a ton of questions when I decided to go into I.T professionally.

    Recktechie, you need to understand that most people on this forum are experienced professionals. One valuable thing to learn is that when you are in the presence of others who know a great deal more than you...less is more. You may think some of the responses are harsh here, but a lot of the questions you are asking are readily available through Google, and a lot of these folks time is valuable and they take issue with being bombarded with questions Google can solve. People here are more than happy to answer questions, or provide their input granted they think you've spend enough time researching on your own and not just come here to get ALL of your answers.

    I think considering the challenge setting up your lab environment is presenting you, it might be worth considering the A+ / Net + as your first set of Industry certifications. This is not an insult, but for many a right of passage. The Microsoft Certifications are not easy, I've seen many experienced IT professionals take a couple attempts to get these done. I would hate to see you waste your money, get frustrated and eventually turned off from the IT field because you tried to take exams that were not right for you.

    I understand finances are a concern, and I find entry-level jobs in IT to be VASTLY ranging in salary but I'm not sure for someone who has passion and drive to be in IT this is what most of them look at. For me personally , I was more of the thought of "what can I get my hands on". As I've stated previously, job qualification is a mix of Education, Work Experience, Certification and Attitude.

    To Elaborate on my own Set-up, hopefully providing you with some guidance. I built 2 machines in college for VMware servers. Both of them run desktop hardware and were quite reasonable to put together. Both Boxes run AMD Phenoms II's x4 , 8GB/16GB RAM respectively, one has HDD and one is SSD and I have a NAS sharing NFS for ISO Datastore. These we're invaluable tools for me and just building them was a great learning experience.

    If you have any questions, feel free to PM me I will certainly try to help.
  • recktechierecktechie Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    @mutata: Thats not fair, you act like I put a gun to the peopls head and forced them to answer my question. I appreciate everyone who took a moment to answer my question, but I never forced anyone to do so, so they have no right whatsoever to get angry, its not my problem. As i mentioned many times, I tried google, did tons of searches and read tons of links, i get completely contradicting info, some say u can make 50k entrylevel, no work exp, others say u will make min wage, others say u should not even put the MCITP on ur resume if u have no work exp to back it up, so you can understand why I am so confused.
  • MutataMutata Posts: 176Member
    I completely understand why you are confused.

    But the "How much am I going to make" or "Is MCITP Good" questions are entirely subjective, as highly opinionated questions that take more into account just whether or not you have an MCITP you will get a multitude of varying responses. Literally there are hundreds of variables in this equation.

    As for objectives, they are set out on the Microsoft website under each exam (exam blueprint). While Many of these certification books are geared toward the exam they don't always cover ALL of the objectives adequately. It's your responsibility to confirm with the official blueprint that you know the material.

    I never meant to imply you forcing people to answer any questions, just trying to shed some light as to why you may be getting some of the responses you are.
  • DarrilDarril Posts: 1,588Member
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    Wow! Any Friends fans here? This line comes to mind: "The sheer volume, it was like flying with the Riddler!"

    Just wow!

    Grin...

    @recktechie, In response to your private message....

    First, I applaud your enthusiasm. I hope you're able to keep up this level of energy as you actually pursue the certification.

    You're getting a lot of good feedback right here and I think this is the best place for me to respond.

    I do have a question. Where are you starting? What will you do first? When you started your BS in IT, there were many unknowns but you had to start with one class and then another, and so on. Assuming you plan on pursuing MCITP:SA, what are going to do first?

    Many of your questions are about money. Technicians without in-depth knowledge might not have an IT job at all or have jobs earning $30K or less. Many outstanding administrators with good communication and interpersonal skills have six figure careers. They usually aren't focused on money though - instead, they're doing what they love, are very good at it, and get compensated admirably for their expertise.

    Let's assume you decide that you want to become an oustanding administrator earning a salary over $100K by September 11, 2014 after you complete the MCITP:SA certification. That's an admirable goal and I strongly believe in the value of goals.

    If that's a goal you want to pursue, it's time to identify specific action steps.

    What will you do first?
  • crrussell3crrussell3 Posts: 561Member
    @recktechie

    I think the big picture answer you need to understand on "how much will I make" is this: Degrees and certifications aren't a golden ticket that say just because you hold one or many of these you are guaranteed to make a specific amount of money. Most likely you are seeing that sort of information coming from "Boot Camps" and certification training companies who want you to spend your money with them on their empty promises.

    If you want to know how much you can expect to make, understand this: You will start at the bottom. This means 99% of the time, it's a Helpdesk type role. I would suggest you go online and search your local job market for IT Openings for Helpdesk and Network/Systems Admin jobs. Take an honest look at what the different types of positions are asking for qualifications, experience and education. This will tell you what you "can" earn once you get your foot in the door and have a few years experience under your belt. Make sure you pay attention to the ones that say "entry level helpdesk" as those will tell you what you can expect to make once you get a job in IT.

    I am sure everyone here will agree, that no matter what degree you hold or what certifications you have earned, they will mean nothing in the end as no company will trust someone without actual experience to manage their critical servers. Experience is the key to earning the high end salaries and that is going to take a few years minimum working your way from the bottom up. As long as you keep the enthusiasm you seem to have right now and keep learning (in IT you can NEVER stop learning), you will gain the experience which in turn will gain you the paycheck you seem to be after (instead of the career).

    Please understand that we are all here to help, but self help is the first step. If you have researched something and still don't understand, ask. Lay out the steps you understand about something in detail, then ask for help on the steps you don't understand. Just asking "how do I create a vm" is too broad of a step that you should be able to do. Heck just search YouTube and you will have thousand's of hits showing you how to setup and create a vm in [insert your hypervisor name here].
    MCTS: Windows Vista, Configuration
    MCTS: Windows WS08 Active Directory, Configuration
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