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Where Do I Start?

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  • Where Do I Start?

    I want to get my MCSE, but I don't know where to start. I have no other certifications or experiene with networking. All I have is book knowledge of the different internet protocols and devices.

    Can anyone give me any suggestions? Should I start with another certification first? (some sites that I've looked at suggest this) or just go for the MCSE?

  • #2
    Re: Where Do I Start?

    IMHO, I would start by gaining practical experience rather than book learning. If you wish to go down the Microsoft route, you could consider taking MCDST as an entry level qualification (and as the elective to your MCSE) then work with Windows networks for a while. Do not be tempted to become a "paper MCSE" where you have the qualifications without the experience of using the skills in the real world!

    After that, start with the client and server OS exams (currently 70-270 and 70-290) then move on to the networking, active directory and design exams.

    Of course, server 2008 and a new set of exams is coming out real soon now....

    Good Luck!

    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **


    • #3
      Re: Where Do I Start?

      I agree with what Ossian said. You may also want to look into the Comptia A+ and Net+ exams. Both are very entry level exams and will provide a good foundation for beginning your quest for a MCSE. I personally took this route while completing my MCSA.

      If you pass both Comptia exams mentioned above, you will be able to use those exams as one of your elective credits towards your MCSE....correct me if I am wrong.
      MCITP:SA, MCSA 2003, MCP, CCNA, A+, Net+, Security+


      • #4
        Re: Where Do I Start?

        Thanks for the advise.

        As far as the practical experiece goes, my boss is going to let me play around with Server 2003 and the company has me doing some simple troubleshooting. It's a small company and they encourage growth and support you with learning new things. If they know how to do something that you don't and you want to learn they'll at least give you some idea of how to do it.

        Also do you know of any good free books or training material? Right now I'm not making enough to pay for an expensive training course.


        • #5
          Re: Where Do I Start?

          I would suggest downloading Virtual Server R2 SP1 (Free - just google it) and also 180 day Eval version of Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition (Also free (Fro 180 days)). You can then mess around with Windows 2003 and break / fix it.

          Also, ask your company if they will purchase the Windows 2003 Core Exam books (
          It's worth a shot

          Good luck

          Michael Armstrong

          MCITP: EA, MCTS, MCSE 2003, MCSA 2003: Messaging, CCA, VCP 3.5, 4, 5, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, ITIL, MCP, PGP Certified Technician

          ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **


          • #6
            Re: Where Do I Start?

            Thanks. I will do that.