Wednesday, May 6, 2009

MCSA Training UK (230409)

By Jason Kendall

If you're looking to gain accredited qualifications at the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) level of study, some of the best training tools on sale are for computer based interactive, hands-on study. So if you are a professional but are looking to gain acknowledged certifications, or are new to network support, you'll discover technologically advanced MCSA courses to fit your requirements. Each scenario needs a different type of course, so pay attention to check you're on the right one prior to getting going. Look for a training provider that talks with you so they learn what you hope to do, and will give you direction on how it will all work, well before they start talking about courses.

How are we supposed to arrive at an educated choice then? With all these possibilities, it's essential to be guided as to where to dig - and what to be digging for.

If an advisor doesn't ask many questions - the likelihood is they're really a salesperson. If they're pushing towards a particular product before understanding your background and current experience level, then it's very likely to be the case. An important point to note is that, if you've got any work-experience or certification, then you will often be able to start at a different point than a trainee with no history to speak of. Always consider starting with some basic Microsoft package and Windows skills first. This can set the scene for your on-going studies and make the learning curve a a little easier.

Ensure all your qualifications are current and what employers are looking for - don't even consider studies which provide certificates that are worthless because they're 'in-house'. If your certification doesn't come from a company like Microsoft, Adobe, CompTIA or Cisco, then chances are it won't be commercially viable - as no-one will have heard of it.

The classroom style of learning we remember from school, with books and manuals, is usually pretty hard going. If all this is ringing some familiar bells, look for learning programmes which feature interactive and multimedia modules. Where we can get all of our senses involved in our learning, then we normally see dramatically better results.

Study programs now come on CD and DVD discs, so everything is learned directly from your own PC. Through video streaming, you can watch instructors demonstrating how something is done, with some practice time to follow - via the interactive virtual lab's. Make sure to obtain a look at some courseware examples from the school that you're considering. The materials should incorporate slide-shows, instructor-led videos and interactive labs where you get to practice.

Often, companies will only use purely on-line training; and although this is okay the majority of the time, imagine the problems if your access to the internet is broken or you get slow speeds and down-time etc. It is usually safer to have actual CD or DVD ROMs which removes the issue entirely.

The way in which your courseware is broken down for you isn't always given the appropriate level of importance. How is the courseware broken down? What is the specific order and how fast does each element come? Drop-shipping your training elements one piece at a time, according to your own speed is how things will normally arrive. This sounds logical, but you should take these factors into account: Many students find that the trainer's usual training route is not what they would prefer. Sometimes, a different order of study is more expedient. Perhaps you don't make it within their exact timetable?

An ideal situation would be to have all the training materials packed off to your home before you even start; the entire thing! Thus avoiding any future problems that could impede your capacity to get everything done.

It's so important to understand this key point: Always get full 24x7 instructor and mentor support. We can tell you that you'll strongly regret it if you don't. Many only provide email support (too slow), and phone support is often to a call-centre who will make some notes and then email an advisor - who will call back over the next day or so (assuming you're there), when it suits them. This is no use if you're sitting there confused over an issue and only have certain times available in which to do your studies.

Be on the lookout for providers that incorporate three or four individual support centres active in different time-zones. Each one should be integrated to offer a simple interface as well as access round-the-clock, when you need it, with the minimum of hassle. Don't compromise where support is concerned. Many IT hopefuls that fall by the wayside, are in that situation because of support (or the lack of).

A sneaky way that training providers make more money is via an 'exam inclusive' package and presenting it as a guarantee for your exams. It looks like a good deal, but let's just examine it more closely:

Certainly it's not free - you're still paying for it - it's just been wrapped up in the price of the package. Qualifying on the first 'go' is what everyone wants to do. Progressively working through your exams one by one and paying as you go makes it far more likely you'll pass first time - you revise thoroughly and are mindful of the investment you've made.

Shouldn't you be looking to find the best exam deal or offer when you take the exam, rather than coughing up months or even a year or two in advance to a college, and to do it in a local testing office - rather than in some remote centre? What's the point in paying early for examination fees when you don't need to? Big margins are made by companies charging upfront for all their exams - and hoping either that you won't take them, or it will be a long time before you do. Re-takes of previously unsuccessful exams with companies who offer an 'Exam Guarantee' are tightly controlled. They will insist that you take pre-tests first until you've proven that you're likely to pass.

With the average price of Pro-metric and VUE tests in the United Kingdom costing around 112 pounds, the most cost-effective way to cover the cost is by paying when you need them. Not to fork out thousands extra in up-front costs. Consistent and systematic learning, coupled with quality exam simulation software is what will really see you through.

Let's admit it: There's very little evidence of personal job security available anymore; there's really only industry and business security - companies can just fire a solitary member of staff if it meets the business' business requirements. Wherever we find growing skills deficits coupled with escalating demand though, we almost always discover a new kind of security in the marketplace; as fuelled by a continual growth, organisations struggle to find enough staff.

The computer industry skills shortfall in the UK currently stands at approx 26 percent, as reported by the latest e-Skills analysis. To put it another way, this shows that Great Britain only has three properly accredited workers for every four jobs that exist currently. This fundamental notion reveals the requirement for more properly trained IT professionals throughout the country. Surely, it really is a fabulous time to join the IT industry.

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1 comment:

Rooman Tech said...

Nice blog, keep on posting. Regards, MCITP Training bangalore