Have to get certified to keep my job - questions

Posted on 2011-10-06
Last Modified: 2012-06-08
I've stubbornly (or stupidly) dodged the IT certification "bullit" for years - having managed to stay gainfully employed over the past 20 years as well but those chickens have come home to roost as I now find myself in a position of being forced to get certified by my current employer in something related to my job (a Windows Systems Administrator).  I realize the importance and the personal benefits so no admonishments please.  I'm reaching out to the community because at my age (53) burning mid-night oil isn't as easy as it used to be.  So I'd like to ask for advice pertaining to the best, reference materials (for near dummies) - and study/preparation methods if you have them for the Network+ and MCITP.  By the way, I'm being asked to start on this at the same time I'm implementing a Dell KACE implementation, facing a coporate move in about six months, implementing a 1st time VOIP phone system and migrating our entire server infrastructure over to VM's.  Not ashamed to admit I am no Einstein - just a very good generalist who knows enough about a lot to manage.  I'll award points in as fair a manner as I can.  Your help is greatly appreciated.  Thanks.
Question by:LTWadmin
    LVL 13

    Accepted Solution

    I actually am in the process of working on my MCITP.  I used the MCITP self paced books by microsoft but recently was turned on to ExamCram books and practice tests.  The material in the ExamCram books seems to be laid out in a way that allows you to absorb more relavent information without as much fluff which I like.

    If you have no certifications I suggest starting out on the 70-680 Windows 7 test as this is required for the MCITP and is a good stepping stone to get a feel for the materials and how the tests relate to your prep materials.
    LVL 9

    Assisted Solution

    I agree with the ExamCram, however there's also a lot of free study material and practice exams if you don't like paying ExamCram prices.

    As for the Net+ exam, it's not near as bad as the series of MCITP exams..  I took my about 5 years ago (it's probably changed some) but most all CompTIA exams are fairly general in knowledge required.  But there's plenty of study material and practice exams available for it too.

    I don't know if you're interested in other CompTIA exams such as A+ or Server+ but those were fairly easy exams also..  Good luck!


    Author Comment

    ks_admin: to confirm, you feel that the CompTIA exams were easier in general?
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Good luck, starting out with the 680 is a great idea!!  I wouldn't worry about it, if you are familiar with the technology then the tests wont be difficult.  I have used the Microsoft Self-Paced books for all my tests, I don't mind the fluff and just take my time to go through the books.  Being a active IT Consultant, often I have hands experience with the software already so the books help to fill in gaps and complete my understanding enough to pass the tests.

    The Microsoft tests are straight forward, I have not come across any trick questions.  They are Microsoft centric so often times you have to answer the questions as if you were in a Microsoft bubble.  For an active consultant working with different technologies there could be a simpler more effective solution out there but you have to pretend those are not options.

    Author Comment

    Thank you all!  Great feedback so far. It seems the requirement has changed from MCITP (for now) to "Server+" for completion within four months.  Seems they've agreed to spoon (force) feed...

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