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Decision on a course

By Stavros Clarke ยท 7 replies
Aug 11, 2012
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  1. I'm a techie who's struggling to get into a role and prove my worth. I've recently got the opportunity to have an online course with the local learn direct centre paid and set up for me.
    So I was wondering which course was the best one to go for and which one is more desirable to employers. I already have the CompTIA A+
    I was looking at either the:
    • Cisco CCNA 640-802
    • Windows Server 2003 Administration MCSA/MCSE 70-290
    • Windows XP Professional MCSE 70-270
    If you could choose one of these, what would you go for if you were in my situation? I know it wouldn't be a full MCSE but I always believed it was good to have at least one exam on your CV....or am I being delusional?

    The CompTIA Network+ 2009 is also available, but I didn't consider this at first as I always thought the Cisco and MCSEs were more desired. If anyone think this is better and why, I'll also consider this.

  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    >Server 2003 Administration MCSA/MCSE 70-290 would take you a long way . . .
  3. Stavros Clarke

    Stavros Clarke TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for that. Can I just ask why you say that please? What makes that the better choice? Have you done these courses?
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    VERY GOOD question :) Truth is, NO. I started in computers long before there were such courses and
    it was all OJT (On the Job Training) - - school of hard knocks. I recommend the ADMIN course as there are
    lots of good concepts and 'best practices' that can be applied to other jobs. With newer methodologies
    and technologies, you will acquire a good background and tons of specific skills.

  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    answering from my own personal point-of-view....

    In April, 2014 Microsoft stops all support for XP. I'd expect any companies still using it to migrate away by end 2013. So I think the XP course is of little value

    In July, 2015 MS stops all support for Windows Server 2003. Tho I think this situation is somewhat different then XP
    > There's still 3 years (an extra year's usefulness over XP)
    > I think having some knowledge of Sever 2003 would help in later learning Windows Server 2008. (fyi.. Windows Server 8 yet to be released but I think will be within a year)
    So IMO I think this course would still be helpful

    I don't really know anything about Cisco Networks to compare to Server 2003 but my gut feel is that Server 2003 would probably provide info that covers a wider user base and would probably be more helpful. But that's only my guess, can't say for certain
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    If you're taking these courses for instructions on HOW-TO, then imo, you might as well get pickup some books and save
    all the class time. Taking that approach will have you looking for classes on Win/7, Win/8, .... Win/N.
    The big return on ANY class is in the concepts and those are applicable to every release of anything.

    For example, the concepts of Backup&Restore have technology components and storage+documentation components.
    This quickly raises the ideal of having Off-Site storage, which raises the question, Should we implement Remote Backups off site?

    How about the principles of Fault Tolerance(FT) -- what's required? Is FT a sufficient solution for Disaster Recovery?
  7. Zoltan Head

    Zoltan Head TS Booster Posts: 247   +27

    I totally agree, Windows Server 2003 Administration MCSA/MCSE 70-290 is best added value out of your shortlist, but perhaps also consider COMPTIA Linux+, to show an excellent grounding in all distros incl. servers (more OS versatility!) :)
  8. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +48

    I would like to second what Zoltan has said, and that might be for you to go for Windows Server 2003 Administration MCSA/MCSE! It is the best value of the options that you have presented and will give you the building blocks to take you far. I know back in 2001/2002 when I got my Server 2000 Administration MCSE, it pretty much immediately opened some doors for me in the computer world. So if Server 2000 was one of the corner stones to my success, I can only imagine the success you will see with the Server 2003 stuff!

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