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Thread: Mcse?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2003

    Lightbulb Mcse?

    I am A+ certified and needless to say it was easy to obtain. I am currently reaching out for MCSE and want to know if anybody else is MCSE and what is there take on that particular certification? Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    AO Veteran NeuTron's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
    MCSE is a great cert to have but is far more intensive than your A+. The 200 version is 7 test long and I here the 2003 will be 9 tests long. These tests require practical knowledge and can be very tricky. If you try and regurgetate practice questions off the internet, you will probably get tripped up and fail. I know from experience because I failed the Network Infrastructure test my first time. Also don't just read the cram guides becuase they often aren't good enough. Good Luck : )

  3. #3
    Master-Jedi-Pimps0r & Moderator thehorse13's Avatar
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    Dec 2002
    Washington D.C. area
    OK, I have two spins on this for you.

    The exams themselves break down to 4 core courses and 3 electives. This of course is the MCSE for NT4/W2K. The exam does deal with advanced topics but like many exams, their examples must have been developed in a vacuum. At any rate, if you read and take practice exams from any MS certified book you *should* do fine.

    Remember those commercials that said that MCSEs are earning 100k a year? Well *many* shady operations (I refer to them as road side kindergartens) started pumping students full of visions of wealth and they promised that if these poor suckers took their courses they would pass the exam for sure. Well the market became flooded with MCSEs that had less knowledge than a first year CIS student. I know this because I have interviewed these "MCSEs" and even more awful, I ended up working with them.

    Advice time
    If you want an MCSE that is fine. However, don't expect that it will open doors for you. Right now the CISSP and CCSE are getting a lot of attention in the industry. You might want to try for one of these in addition to an MCSE cert. I have all three and I have to tell you, the Cisco cert and the CISSP cert grab attention. The MCSE is like having a 1988 Iroc camaro. I was nice at one time but today a toyota camry has more horsepower.

    Our scars have the power to remind us that our past was real. -- Hannibal Lecter.
    Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. -- John Wooden

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2002
    Snohomish WA
    I've had no formal schooling in the computer field.
    I really enjoy playing with mine, and am often asked to help acquaintances and friends with various computer problems...which has allowed me to learn a little bit about a wide variety of things. (yet, not alot about any one area).
    I don't have the finances (or the stability to only work part time) to go to school just yet.
    I was wondering if, for a person of my experience, certification courses would be a viable (and affordable) option.
    I've been reading a microsoft press MCSE book, so far I understand it....would reading texts/tutorials/practice questions, and setting up a two computer network at home to practice the topics on be enough to get me through a certification?
    Is there a certification, other than MCSE, that would make more sense for me to work on as a foundation?
    Just wondering.

    If you want to make God laugh....make plans.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002


    well guys i'm studying "computer science" in greece.but i want to extend my knowledge.and if something like that would help my salary's increase,why not?so i need some help.do you think that the CISSP and CCSE would be good for somebody who doesn't have any other degrees in computer science?or should i start with something much more easier such as ECDL?

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2003

    MCSE used to mean something.

    I remember in the good old days of NT4 the mcse used to mean something.

    Over here in scotland they seem to be more or less giving them away in newspapers.

    I think these boot camp places give you a pass even if you fail to keep yopur pass rate up.

    Hey, just to prove this im going to send my gran for her 2k mcse.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2003

    I am 5 weeks from finishing my CCNA. I would recommend it to everyone wanting to start into networking etc. I started home studying for my A+ but got bored as its seemed to be basic general knowledge of computer systems with a bit history thrown in. Lookin to do an MCSE very soon as I think it would compliment the CCNA well.
    All alone, No-one around, and all I can hear is that f*#!ed up sound!

  8. #8
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
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    Aug 2002
    I would tend to agree with thehorse13 (seems to be happening a lot lately ).

    I have an A+, CISSP and an MCSE2k.

    A+ is great for getting a relatively easy certification under your belt that may open some entry-level doors for you.

    The MCSE has a lot less glory and earning power than it once did, but I think many companies still look for it on resumes. Microsoft has tried to raise the bar so there would be fewer MCSE's with no real-world knowledge or experience. I think it worked some, but they still have a way to go.

    CISSP and the GIAC certs from Sans are a little hotter right now because security is a hot topic, but with the IT industry where it is right now even those don't guarantee you employment.

    If you are looking at whether or not to go to school, I personally feel that a couple certifications and getting in the door to earn some experience are more valuable than a college degree. I am almost done with my Bachelors in IT now, but I didn't even start working on it until after I got to a plateau and now the degree seems to be a missing link to open doors to more executive-level positions like CTO or CISO.

    If you have no certifications I might recommend going for the A+ first- or something that doesn't require 7 - 9 separate tests and almost $1000 in exam fees. That will at least get you going. Beyond that, you can also pursue the MCSA as an interim solution. If you take the MCSE exams in the right order you knock out the MCSA when you're about halfway through the MCSE exams and then just finish testing toward the MCSE. I got my MCSA and MCSE simultaneously based on the electives I chose.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2003
    i have heard of several people that would just read through the books, set up small networks in their houses, and who got through the exam. One thing i recommend is a study partner. They will be able to ask you questions to quiz you, probe your mind for answers that they come up with, etc.

    One piece of advice = set up a small, yet ISOLATED network. While studying for certs many people make silly mistakes, and end up having to reformat, etc., or end up having security issues. Don't put your main box up there, just buy a few 500 mhz machines and go at it.
    i\'m starting to think that i\'m bound to always be the first guy on the second page of the thread.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2003
    central il
    I worked as an IT trainer for about a year so I'm surprised that companies look favorably at an MCSE at all most people just memorized brain dumps and didn't know much at all.

    If you are relatively young my best advice would be to stay in school and get a degree in something along with the cirts at least until the job market picks up. There are a lot of MCSE wit years of experience out of work some one with no work experience will have a very hard time getting work. Heck it took over a year for one friend of min to find a job after getting laid off and hes a CCIE.

    While you are working towards your MCSE I would recommend getting Server, this will let you get an MCSA on your way to the full MCSE, and any security certs in there will help also.

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