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New Horizons - Computer Learning Center, MCSA 2012: Windows Server.

Posted on 2016-07-22
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Last Modified: 2016-07-26
I am considering taking the following classes at New Horizons Learning Center. 70-410, 70-411,70-412. Here is their Link: http://www.newhorizons.com/courses-and-certifications/microsoft-technical/windows-server

This is for the Windows 2012 Track. The cost of the 3 classes is $7800.00. Pretty spendy if you ask me. what I want to know if is if anyone here has taken these classes at NH and what your experience was like? Were the classes informative? after the classes were done, did you feel as though you had mastered the material ?

were you able to pass the certification tests after you took the classes etc?

I don't have a problem spending money, but I want to make sure I get real value and not crappy web  based cheesy videos that don't actually educate me.

Thanks,

Robert
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Question by:castellansolutions
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by:Adam Brown
ID: 41725473
Personally, I would avoid taking those kinds of classes, as they do not provide the type of return on investment that justifies the price. Getting an MCSA is probably not going to get your income increased beyond the 7800 dollars you spend on the course, and it's unlikely to be any better than setting up your own test environment with cheap consumer hardware and Server 2012 evaluation installs on Hyper-V, coupled with cheesy web video training. After all, the classroom version is basically the same thing, you just have the opportunity to ask the teacher questions, which may or may not be a good thing (depending on the teacher). Ultimately, most of the NH teachers are not IT professionals. They're full-time teachers (for the most part). So they probably won't be able to answer many questions beyond what is in the course work.

This, of course, is all my opinion as a completely self-taught IT guy with a couple dozen certs, so you are more than welcome to ignore me :D
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41725478
That is an exceedingly expensive course. You can purchase your own server, modest training materials and learn real world skills for less money.
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by:castellansolutions
ID: 41725479
Thanks for the input. I have a pretty complex exchange lab setup for Exchange 2007, 2010 and 2013 (and of course office 365). I used to work for Microsoft as an Exchange PFE (Exchange 2010).

I have several certifications myself: MCSA Windows 2003, MCTS: Exchange 2007, MCITP: Exchange 2010. However I got all of those certifications when I was working as a full time consultant, and all of those certifications were self-study.

I am not so much concerned about making more money as I am in gaining more knowledge (certifications). In an effort to revamp my career.

I don't want to waste my money, but I do want to get these certifications.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41725483
You might wish to take a deep breath and consider if that course will give you skills worth the money considering the cost. You already have good skills.

Where do you see yourself?  Small, medium businesses do have servers, but often do not have Exchange (they buy hosted Exchange).

Large Companies may have both. They also often use colocation for servers.

Cloud computing still has a way to go (too slow for huge volumes of data including huge backups).
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by:Eric C
ID: 41725497
If it were me,  I would first buy the 70-410 book, self-study and then buy the practice test from MeasureUp.
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by:castellansolutions
ID: 41725901
Yeah. I have the self study book. However it seems to take me a ridiculously long amount of time to read through the book and then pass the test. I do all my work in a lab environment so that I at least have some experience with the technology.

I am looking for a quicker solution, that still provides me with a good basic mastery of the technology.
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Eric C earned 250 total points
ID: 41725940
If you already have experience with Microsoft then the MOAC (Microsoft Official Academic Course) books from Wiley are for you. No fluff.

There are 2 books per track - one is the course material (the green book), and the other (blue book) is the Lab. If you have the ability to set up Virtual Machines on your computer, then you can breeze through these books. I do 4 chapters per week (they are not long) and unlike the other course books, this course from Wiley gets to the point and therefore the chapters are a lot shorter.

Here's a link to the 70-410 book:
https://www.amazon.com/Installing-Configuring-Microsoft-Official-Academic/dp/1118882318/ref=sr_1_1

You can even "rent" the books on amazon as you would with college books.

To supplement this, pick up the practice tests and/or labs from MeasureUp, and you'll have everything you need to pass the exams.

MeasureUp currently has a promotion - if you buy any 2 courses you get the third one for free. And to save even more money, you can opt for the online access for about $99 vs more money for the downloadable tests. MeasureUp is the only testing website endorsed by Microsoft (for what it's worth)

On another note - if you (like me) have better luck in an actual classroom vs self-study, then have you looked to see if there are other schools besides NewHorizons?  I took the Project Management course at New Horizons but the ONLY reason I did it was because I had a friend there who got me a significant discount. Most of these schools tend to have really high prices. I guess corporations can afford to send employees to these classes, but for someone trying to learn on their own, it's too expensive.

Another option may be a community college in your area? The college by me offers continuing education classes. Remember these classes (even New Horizons) are NOT for certification. They are only meant to help you learn the material. Whether you opt to take the exam (and whether or not you pass the exam) is irrelevant to them. So at the end of the day it doesn't really matter where you take the class -  as long as you feel you are getting your money's worth.
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by:castellansolutions
ID: 41725943
Ok I will check those links out, I like that you can rent the books (or at least one of them). It seems like NH is just a certification clearing house. Based on the reviews I have seen from several sources, it looks like the billing department at NH works great, but the delivery of the material is just not there.

I think EE, TechExams, ripoff report etc may have saved me $7800.00
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 41726048
The things we have suggested above will save you money for sure.
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by:castellansolutions
ID: 41729891
Thanks for all the input. I am going to continue with my Security+ Exam and then proceed forward with either another security exam (to start building a security resume) or start on the MCSA Windows 2012 Track.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41729902
You are very welcome and I was happy to help.
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by:Adam Brown
ID: 41729937
Look at the CISSP. It's a high-demand, high level cert, and learning it will give you a lot of good security knowledge. Sec+ is a good stepping stone to taking it, but doesn't cover nearly as much.
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by:castellansolutions
ID: 41729972
ac... right. but if I am not mistaken the CISSP requires that you have 5+ Years of paid professional full time security experience to gain the credential. So a very long term goal for me.
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by:Adam Brown
ID: 41730007
You would be surprised at what counts for that. The specific requirement is that you have 5 years of direct experience in 2 of the 8 domains of the CISSP CBK (Or 4 years and a bachelor's degree). Almost every IT job out there involves direct experience in at least 1 of the domains. I seriously doubt there are *any* MS Server admins whose job description doesn't involve regular management of access controls, user accounts, authentication, authorization, and the like, so that covers the Identity and Access Management Domain (1 of 2 required). If you've every had to deal with regulatory compliance systems like HIPAA and SOX as part of your job, you probably have experience in the Asset Security domain. If you've been responsible for managing a Highly Available Exchange server, you probably have experience in Security and Risk Management. If you've been in charge of hardening servers, you've got experience in the Security Engineering domain.
https://www.isc2.org/cissp-domains/default.aspx has a full description of the types of things that fall under each domain. You'll note that there is *something* in each domain that will fall under the purview of just about any IT job aside from general desktop support.

If you have 5 years of experience working on MS Servers, Exchange servers, and the like, you absolutely have the experience required for the CISSP. You just have to write the resume you use for getting accredited with a focus on security, and get another CISSP to sign off on it. Studying for the CISSP will actually help you examine your work history for the justification you need to meet the experience requirement. The only person I've ever met that didn't qualify on work experience was an 18 year old co-worker. Since he passed the CISSP qualification test, but didn't have the experience, he was awarded the Associate of (ISC)2 certification, so even if you can't somehow finagle your experience to meet the demands, you can still carry a certification that would help you get work in the security field.
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