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Please Help - Training Required

This is a discussion on Please Help - Training Required within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have been in the IT Industry for 7 years. My first 2 years were tough and got only basic


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Old 09-23-2014, 12:00 PM   #1
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I have been in the IT Industry for 7 years.

My first 2 years were tough and got only basic 1st line (log and remote support of desktop's).
The last 5 years have been in desktop support/2nd line with Windows and I want to take that step into 3rd line Server/Visualisation.

I have been trying with a my last few roles to progress within the role however the companies I have worked for don't allow or encourage strong knowledge shares from 3rd to 2nd line.

What would be the best way forward for me in terms of training courses?

I was thinking an MCSA in windows 2012 to get me a better understanding of servers and then follow it up with a VCP....

Any advise on the best route forward would be really appreciated.
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:50 PM   #2
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If you don't already have experience with servers or virtualization I wouldn't start with paid training. There is tons of free training available to get you started.
MCSA 2012 and VCP are not simple exams. You really have to have a good deal of experience to pass and understand the material.

For Microsoft, start here:
Microsoft Virtual Academy – Free IT Training, Online Learning of Microsoft Technologies

For VMware:
vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) - VMware Education Services
vSphere [V5.1] - VMware Education Services

I would also suggest setting up a home lab or getting access to a virtual lab. You can get trial copies or Server 2012 and free versions of VMware ESXi.

I would also suggest looking around for a company that will cross-train and has room for progression. I've seen plenty of people spends years at a company only to find they have no room for advancement.
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:19 PM   #3
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Thank you for your response.

The reason why I am specifically asking for classroom based training is because I would find it very difficult to self study from home due to many personal distractions.

The only qualification I have is in an IT Degree however I know if I paid for a course and was committed to attending , I would learn much better through this method.
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris1011 View Post
I have been trying with a my last few roles to progress within the role however the companies I have worked for don't allow or encourage strong knowledge shares from 3rd to 2nd line.

What would be the best way forward for me in terms of training courses?
The best way forward isn't by doing training courses... the best way forward is a step sideways - to a different company, where you can learn from and assist the 3rd-line techs.
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:28 PM   #5
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In the last 3 years I have worked for 4 companies - 2 contracts which had no progression and 2 perm.
1st perm - Was a major global company, spoke highly of progression, paid well, great benefits but in 6months I had no progression (even though I was promised plenty when I joined).

2nd perm - Is my current company. I joined 2months ago with the aim again to get involved in more server work and so far the amount I have learnt with regards to new skills, I could of picked up in a day course....
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Old 09-23-2014, 07:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by chris1011 View Post
In the last 3 years I have worked for 4 companies - 2 contracts which had no progression and 2 perm.
1st perm - Was a major global company, spoke highly of progression, paid well, great benefits but in 6months I had no progression (even though I was promised plenty when I joined).

2nd perm - Is my current company. I joined 2months ago with the aim again to get involved in more server work and so far the amount I have learnt with regards to new skills, I could of picked up in a day course....
Although it might seem like it, courses aren't a good substitute for real-world experience. Few if any lab setups can mimic what you encounter with real users on real servers with real data, while your real boss hovers over your shoulder as you fix a real problem as the company loses real money while the server is unavailable.

Said differently, a course shows an employer that you can attend class, listen, take notes, and pass a test. Real-world experience shows an employer that you've actually done the job.

I understand that you haven't had advancement opportunities in your last few jobs. But that doesn't mean ALL jobs will be that way. Consider dating: would you just give up dating if the past four women over the course of three years haven't been compatible with you? Of course not.
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Old 09-24-2014, 12:44 PM   #7
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Thanks again for your response.

The bigger issue I now have is that my last 2 roles were contracts and therefore most perm employers would be discouraged from a contracting background, so my chances are limited and mostly inclined to contracts.

The option of courses although may not be the best current option, would at least show imitative to any prospective employers.

If I did do some self study or home courses, would you recommend I start off from a COMPtia N+ and Server+ then once completed into an MCSA or MCITP and finally Virtualisation - VM and Citrix?
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:16 PM   #8
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...and therefore most perm employers would be discouraged from a contracting background
Why would you think that? An employer doesn't care whether your last (or current) job is a contracted one; an employer cares only whether you can do the advertised job for a fair wage and bring value to the company.

Sure, an employer could possibly question whether you are a flight risk; after all, four employers in three years is not a good track record. They could possibly question whether your short employment stints are because you're being fired from jobs ("Is he incompetent? Is he hard to get along with? Is he punctual?"), but since you're currently IN a job, you have some leverage there (meaning, you're the one leaving; you're not getting fired).

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris1011 View Post
The option of courses although may not be the best current option, would at least show imitative to any prospective employers.
I'll give you some insight from the other side of the interview table: employers couldn't care less if you're taking courses. Anyone can take a course - all you need is money and time. And prospective employees who are taking courses (and not yet finished them) are a dime a dozen.

For what it's worth, I give an edge not to prospective employees who take courses, but to those who can learn things on their own. Consider, if you were the employer, who would you hire: someone who needs to take a week off for an (employer-paid) expensive training course every time some new software or hardware comes out, or someone who can pick up the knowledge on their own?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris1011 View Post
If I did do some self study or home courses, would you recommend I start off from a COMPtia N+ and Server+ then once completed into an MCSA or MCITP and finally Virtualisation - VM and Citrix?
With the exception of entry-level certifications (like the A+, Network+, and Windows client exams) that you can take even when you're starting out in IT, I always recommend that you certify on what you have experience doing (NOT what you WANT to be doing). If you have server administration experience, get your MCSE certification; if you don't, then I (and Microsoft) recommend waiting until you do have that experience. Same with Citrix, same with Cisco, same with virtualization technologies.
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