Student from Seattle has some career questions for a Network Professional [Pt.2]

Thanks to everyone that replied to my first post.  If you can help me with anything, please email me at

Before I fire away at asking my questions, I got a question about how to use EE.  After i post my question, how do i post a reply to one of the comments made? goes....

I'm currently not studing anything related to IT.  I have a GED and attend a community college working on a general AA degree.  I've decided to start an IT career because I have somewhat, a passion for technology and I'm very good with computers considering the amount of computer training I've had (which is none).  I troubleshoot well, build computers, fix friends computer problems, etc.  Small potatoes, but I believe it's a good base for me.

I'm considering starting this Computer/Network training course.  I just want some pros opinions.  This is it:


Course -  First Quarter -  Clock Hours
101  Computer Hardware I  45
102  Network Fundamentals ( Cisco Networking )  45
111  Client Operating Systems ( Win 2000 Pro. )  45
161  Network Lab I ( All Hands-On )  90
  Second Quarter  
103  Managing Microsoft Networks  45
121  Server Operating Systems I ( Windows 2000 Server )  45
141  Intro to Network Security  45
162  Networking Lab II  90
  Third Quarter  
131  Network Infrastructures ( TCP/IP )  45
142  Windows Network Security  45
122  Server Operating Systems II ( Windows NT 4.0 )  45
163  Networking Lab III  90
  Fourth Quarter  
132  Network Directory Services ( Active Directory )  45
133  E-Mail Server Basics ( Exchange Server )  45
134  Internet Connection Servers ( ISA Server )  45
164  Networking Lab IV  90

The course is a total of 900 hands-on training hours.  Some of the certifications I would earn along the way include: A+, Net+, MCP?, MCSE -or- MCSA.  

Can anyone give me more info on MCSA and MCSE? Which certification is preferred?  Which is generally more useful and sought after in today's IT field?  Basically, I'm trying to find out which certification would be best.  Also, do you feel that I can earn certifications and get right into the IT field without a 2-year or 4-year college degree?

Seeing the type of training I would receieve from this course, do you think it's likely I can land an IT job right out of school?

Finally, anyone know any people that can help me with a computer related part time job or internship in the Seattle area???   =D

Thanks !!!
Who is Participating?
The MCSA is geared more towards someone who will be doing the day to day admnistration of a network.  For instance someone who creates users, manages the sharing of files, and basically keeps the network running smoothly.  The MCSE is more for someone who wants to design and build networks.  It deals more with how to design a network to work properly, make things interact correctly,etc.  Both are good, just depends on the area you want to get into.  The MCSE is probably more sought after today simply because it's been around longer and more hiring managers know what it is.  I think as the MCSA becomes more widely known about then managers will start differentiating between the two for their positions.  As far as getting a job with just certifications, sure you can.  I don't know you personally of course, but if you can interview well and prove that you know what you're talking about then you'll land a job just based on certs somewhere.  Where the degrees come in is when you are looking at advancing in your career.   Someone with a BS is more likely to be promoted or offered higher paying positions that someone without one.  But that's the same in almost any profession.  The main thing that you should look at is how the job market is for technical jobs in Seattle.  Look at the newspaper, job boards, etc.  Also talk to those that are in the profession and find out how the outlook is.  I'm sure there are some people from Seattle on here that can give you a better idea than I can considering I'm in Arizona.  The one tip I can give you is work on your people skills.  That's a skill that many technical people lack.  Good luck.
Oh yeah.. people skills are a must.  
I currently work for a small/medium company that does data collection/research, and talking to people effectively is one of the major points of the job.

make sure to add in a few courses related to public speaking, and communication (public speaking should be one of your required courses for the general AA i think.)

If you can, find a job as an entry level tech at a small company around your area.  Sometimes they will pay for the testing for certifications (though usually not the classes.)
I managed to grab a nice job as a helpdesk/IT technican without any certifications as
And believe me, as an entry level tech they'll be helping you along as much as they can.  Don't feel bad if you don't understand what they're talking about because most of the stuff in your classes you'll pick up and use in your job.   Easiest way to learn and apply.

oh yeah......prowl these boards and memorize as many answers as you can.  This place is like the holy book of high tech.
(i know im not a wanted to let you know a good way to go along.)

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