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Help Whith MCP Exam

1275 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Chris Freeland
I have taken courses at my local Community College to prepare for MCSE and the colleges in house Network Management Certificate. I have currently taken all but the last couple of classes and have completed training for Win2000 Professional and Server. I am hopping to make a career change to the IT field and I am currently in the process of studying for the MCP in WIN 2000 Professional. The problem I have is that I do not have any real world experience in IT and need some advice on both passing the MCP exam and how to gain that real world experience that I need, and money is tight. Can anyone help!
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Gaining the real world experience is really the hardest part. Many places will take advantage of you My Cousin tried to leave his line of business and got his MCSE, but he would have to take a 50% cut in salary for the first year or two to make the jump.

If you are willing to Tighten the belt (don't know what you are earning now) you may have to take a very entry level salary job for a year or two just to get it on your resume.

I officially gave up my Microsoft Certified Trainer status as of new years because I hated seeing people in class who had been lied to by the sales people. THe sales reps will tell you that you can earn $75K a year if you get your MCSE, but they leave out that the salary implies that you have 5+ years experience and are working for a consulting company where you are earning bonuses based on billable hours, etc. They leave out the 1-2 years of low salary just to get in the door.

What type of work do you specifically do prior to your IT changeover. If you were lets say a book-keeper, you could get a job in a big company accounting department as the "Intermediary" between the IT department and the Accting department. Since you would in this example speak both IT and ACCT. This way would give you hands on support of the accounting dept and interaction with the IT department.

I current co-worker who is responsible for the Migration of all NT workstations to Win2K Pro started out as owning the house that the IT director was renting. The guy lost his job in a high tech manufacturing plant and he made a deal with the IT director to work as an UNPAID intern for 3 months at the company and then they hired him on fulltime at an OK salary. We are hiring a new entry level person at my company and we decided to go with a guy working as a current sales assistant. He was going for his MCP, but the deciding factor was that they could probably get him cheap, he already understands the organization and by having worked with the sales staff he has an understanding of their problems that an outside hire might not know.

Best thing to do is keep your eyes and ears out for anything that you can use as a way in. And be careful of anyone who says something positive to you about these classes when they have financial gain from you taking the class.

A last piece of advice. I found that having 2 test machines networked together in a personal Lab environment was indispensible in learning this stuff. And with the lab, if you messed something up, no big deal just rebuild everything. Any PC you can buy today with any CPU over 500MHz, 128MB RAM (256 -512MB better), a bootable CD-Rom, 10GB drive and Network card will make a great learning machine. If you have a friend who is in the same situation you can split the equipment cost and have the lab at one persons house for 2 weeks and then 2 weeks at the other house. Or just one house if one wife is against the idea.

The sad part about all this is you have to invest money to make the money witch is a Catch-22 for many.

Good Luck

A former Microsoft Certified Trainer
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Thanks, I do not mind taking any kind of low paying job to gain some experience. My wife is a RN instructor at a local Christian University here in TN and I am currently only working part time in an non IT job, things are tight but we can live mostly off her salary until I can get established in IT. I realize even after I get my MCP I will need to start out in entry level job, I am not under the allusion of making $75 Grand a year for a long time, especially here in SE TN/NW GA area. Any tips on passing WIN 2000 Professional exam?
Can't think of anything special to pass the exams. One thing I always believe in is use of "Exam Cram" type books (there is of course ExamCram, there are other brand books by Sybex and others), once you have the knowledge, those "Exam Cram" type books help you concentrate on what is important. But check out the reviews at the web sites as not every book is a good one, and one brand may be better per test. Here is amazon's page on Examcram for 2000 Pro http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1576107124

As for web sites, try visiting some of the "Brain Dump" web sites where people will get out of the test and post the questions that they remember, and you see a pattern forming when looking at those things posted. Heven't used these personally


But each person learns differently, so study hints may not be valid for different people.

One thing to be weary of is that many IT managers have been burned by people who claim to be experienced MCSEs but have no real life experience. So if you have "Analyitical Skills", you may want to push that more than previous experience. if you were a mechanic or any other type repair person (or say installed statellite dishes) if you could use that as proof that you can look at a problem and narrow it down or determine what is working, then that may be all they need from an entry level person, and it can be fowarded to Level 2 or Level 3 support.

Another thing that might be of value is learning the systems of those in your area. You said NW Georgia. That is alot of manufacturing, especially Carpets in Dalton, etc. Many manufacturing companies are very tied to True-Blue IBM and will have AS/400s and use Lotus Notes for e-mail and groupware. So anything you can pick up on AS/400 or Lotus Notes might be helpful. AS/400 is hard to learn, but you can download a 30 day trial of Lotus Notes that will run even on Windows 95/98/ME/XP Home as well as NT Wkstn/NT Svr/2000 Pro/2000 Svr/XP Pro. Here is a link to the beta trials sw http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/notes6

Do you have any hardware experience? A+ type certfication or equivlant knowledge may be helpful as the entry level positions I mentioned.
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