Sunday, January 17, 2010

Microsoft MCSA-MCSE Training Providers - Insights

By Jason Kendall

Are you toying with the idea of doing an MCSE? It's very possible then that it's likely you'll come into one of two categories: You're currently an IT professional and you'd like to gain accreditation with the Microsoft qualification. Alternatively you might be just about to enter the IT environment, and you've found that there are many opportunities for certified networking professionals.

When looking into training companies, make sure you steer clear of those who cut costs by failing to use the most up-to-date Microsoft version. Such institutions will hold back the student as they will have been learning from the wrong MCSE version which doesn't match the present exams, so it could be impossible for them to pass.

Avoid businesses who're just out to sell you anything. You should be given detailed advice to ensure you are on the right course for you. Don't allow yourself to be sold some generic product by some pushy sales person.

A study programme really needs to work up to a nationally (or globally) recognised certification as an end-result - definitely not some 'in-house' plaque for your wall.

From a commercial standpoint, only the big-boys like Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco or CompTIA (for instance) will get you into the interview seat. Nothing else makes the grade.

A service that many training companies provide is job placement assistance. This is to assist your search for your first position. The need for this feature can be bigged up out of proportion though - it's quite easy for eager sales people to overplay it. The fact of the matter is, the still growing need for IT personnel in the UK is why employers will be interested in you.

Help with your CV and interview techniques may be available (if not, see one of our sites for help). Make sure you work on your old CV today - don't wait until you've finished your exams!

It can happen that you haven't even passed your first exam when you will get your initial junior support role; yet this is not possible unless you've posted your CV on job sites.

If you'd like to keep travelling time and costs to a minimum, then it's quite likely that an independent and specialised local employment service may be more appropriate than some national concern, for they're going to be familiar with the jobs that are going locally.

To bottom line it, if you put the same amount of effort into securing your first job as into training, you won't find it too challenging. Some people bizarrely spend hundreds of hours on their training and studies and do nothing more once they've passed their exams and seem to expect employers to find them.

We're often asked why traditional degrees are less in demand than the more commercial qualifications?

With the costs of academic degree's becoming a tall order for many, and the IT sector's increasing awareness that corporate based study is often far more commercially relevant, there's been a dramatic increase in Microsoft, CompTIA, CISCO and Adobe accredited training programmes that create knowledgeable employees for considerably less.

University courses, for instance, can often get caught up in a lot of loosely associated study - and much too wide a syllabus. Students are then prevented from learning the core essentials in sufficient depth.

Assuming a company is aware what they're looking for, then all it takes is an advert for the particular skill-set required. The syllabuses are set to exacting standards and can't change from one establishment to the next (as academic syllabuses often do).

One thing you must always insist on is 24x7 round-the-clock support via professional mentors and instructors. So many companies we come across will only offer a basic 9am till 6pm support period (maybe later on certain days) with very little availability over the weekend.

Find a good quality service with help available at any time of the day or night (no matter if it's in the middle of the night on a weekend!) Make sure it's always 24x7 direct access to mentors and instructors, and not access to a call-in service which takes messages - so you're parked in a queue of others waiting to be called back during office hours.

We recommend that you search for training programs that have multiple support offices around the globe in several time-zones. These should be integrated to offer a simple interface as well as 24x7 access, when it's convenient for you, with no hassle.

Don't accept second best when you're looking for the right support service. Most IT hopefuls who throw in the towel, are in that situation because of support (or the lack of).

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