Confusion about MCDST resources?

Discussion in 'MCDST' started by lifeisinmotion, May 25, 2008.

  1. Hi all , i am 27 year old just about to enter the IT industry. At home and
    with friends' systems, I am a Windows expert (self-taught) so I thought by
    obtaining my MCDST I would be proving to employers my skills.
    I attended the instructor-led 2261 at DDLS in South Melbourne, Victoria and
    was given the Microsoft Official Course book. Unfortunately, the
    instructor-led course was a ridiculous situation for a newbie like me but I
    won't divulge. I would only recommend using this company if you are
    previously experienced in IT and if not have studied the course well already.
    It was not a place for beginners.
    Having done the course I have returned home to study for a week before my
    exam. These are some things I feel I should impart:
    - The official course book from the instructor-led 2261 course is not
    complete. In fact it omits pages and pages of material that is available in
    the 70-271 Self-Paced Training Kit. You can see from looking at it that it is
    under half the size of the training kit.
    - This book is relatively useless outside of the instructor-led course as
    all the labs/practices are to be executed across three virtual XP machines
    that are provided at the course. If at home you have three XP machines and a
    domain controller you might be fine.
    - Measure-Up Practice Test software is great, but sometimes it includes
    terminology and scenarios that are not discussed in the text books. A good
    test I guess!

    From my experience the Self-Paced Training Kit (800+ pages, AU$100 retail)
    is THE resource to rely on. Like i said above, the Official Course Book
    (provided with the course) is useless at home. I used it to study hard on
    Basic/Dynamic Drives and then failed a question on the practice exam that I
    was 100% on. When I then referred to the same chapter in the Self-Paced
    Training Kit I found ONE EXTRA SENTENCE which was a sentence I had never read
    before and the one piece of info I needed for this question. A small example
    but this is common throughout the whole book. Rightfully frustrating.

    So I guess I ask the question to any MCDSTs, to properly prepare for the
    MCDST (if you are not already employed in IT) do you essentially need:
    Attend the instructor led course
    Official course book
    Self-Paced Training Kit
    TEchNEt
    Microsoft Learning
    Micorsoft ECourse 2263 - (this proved more confusing than useful to me)

    Because if that is the case there is plenty of room to streamline Micosoft
    courses for beginners. If not we should also receive some kind of
    investigative cert as well, as only a thorough researcher would source all of
    this stuff and like me, have to filter through what we "really" need and what
    Microsoft say we need. I mean, when you spend the $2500 and are told you will
    receive the relevant text books, that is not really true, is it?
    lifeisinmotion, May 25, 2008
    #1
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  2. lifeisinmotion

    catwalker63 Guest

    =?Utf-8?B?bGlmZWlzaW5tb3Rpb24=?=
    <> prattled ceaselessly in
    news::

    > Hi all , i am 27 year old just about to enter the IT industry. At home
    > and with friends' systems, I am a Windows expert (self-taught) so I
    > thought by obtaining my MCDST I would be proving to employers my
    > skills. I attended the instructor-led 2261 at DDLS in South Melbourne,
    > Victoria and was given the Microsoft Official Course book.
    > Unfortunately, the instructor-led course was a ridiculous situation
    > for a newbie like me but I won't divulge. I would only recommend using
    > this company if you are previously experienced in IT and if not have
    > studied the course well already. It was not a place for beginners.

    <snip>
    > Because if that is the case there is plenty of room to streamline
    > Micosoft courses for beginners. If not we should also receive some
    > kind of investigative cert as well, as only a thorough researcher
    > would source all of this stuff and like me, have to filter through
    > what we "really" need and what Microsoft say we need. I mean, when you
    > spend the $2500 and are told you will receive the relevant text books,
    > that is not really true, is it?
    >


    Did you even read the information on the MS site about these exams? They
    are not for beginners and never have been. Beginners need not apply.
    That is not the audience. MS also has a very clear set of objectives for
    the exam and a cursory examination of the thousands of newsgroup posts,
    forums and articles on the subject would indicate that one source for all
    the information is inadequate.

    The course is to prepare you for the exam and if you want to shell out
    $2500 for something a good study plan, a couple computers, and a few
    books would give you, that's your lookout. The course is not for
    teaching you how to support MS products -- you should already have
    experience when you come to this point. The exam is only to prove what
    you already know, not to teach you what you don't and all the course is
    for is to prep you for the exam.

    --
    Catwalker
    MCNGP #43
    www.mcngp.com
    "Definitely not wearing any underwear."
    catwalker63, May 25, 2008
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. > Did you even read the information on the MS site about these exams? They
    > are not for beginners and never have been. Beginners need not apply.
    > That is not the audience. MS also has a very clear set of objectives for
    > the exam and a cursory examination of the thousands of newsgroup posts,
    > forums and articles on the subject would indicate that one source for all
    > the information is inadequate.
    >
    > The course is to prepare you for the exam and if you want to shell out
    > $2500 for something a good study plan, a couple computers, and a few
    > books would give you, that's your lookout. The course is not for
    > teaching you how to support MS products -- you should already have
    > experience when you come to this point. The exam is only to prove what
    > you already know, not to teach you what you don't and all the course is
    > for is to prep you for the exam.
    >
    > --
    > Catwalker
    > MCNGP #43
    > www.mcngp.com
    > "Definitely not wearing any underwear."
    >


    Thanks for your reply CW, I do appreciate another perspective. As you can
    see from my situation once I left the course it has been me, my dog and the
    tumbleweeds. I have no contacts in the industry and no one to bounce ideas
    off.

    I have read dozens and dozens of pages on the MS site and one of the first
    things I read was this;

    Course 2261C: Three days; Instructor-Led
    Audience
    This course is intended for people who have little or no job experience in
    the IT industry. They will have experience working with Windows desktop
    systems and will be A+ certified, or have equivalent knowledge. The target
    audience will typically be:
    • New entrants to the IT field
    • Career changers entering the IT field
    • Academic students
    When students complete the course, they will typically enter their career
    in the IT industry performing in two different capacities. They will support
    end users who run Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional in a
    corporate environment, or will support end users who run Windows XP Home
    Edition in a home environment. They will provide computer owners with
    over-the-telephone support or support the end user when they bring their
    computer to a computer shop for support.

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/syllabi/2261cfinal.mspx

    This was taken from the outline of the instructor-led 2261 course on the MS
    site.
    I see the page you refer to where it suggests the audience for this course
    must have corporate experience and a solid undertanding of Active Directory
    and already in an IT position. THIS is my isssue. Which page to believe? Yet
    another example of contradictions in the resources.

    Yes, you are exactly right, the course is to teach you what you already
    know. Everyone else in the class was dead silent and bored, i was asking
    questions every minute and i imagine getting on their nerves. I did not feel
    guilty though, as that was not the environment suggested to me by the
    salesperson who sold me the course.
    It sounds like I'm trying to find a scapegoat but I'm not. I will be fine
    with the exams (especially with the second-chance offer) but as one of the
    few newbies doing this course I feel it could be better designed. If I had
    have taken a job in IT before doing this course that would have seemed more
    silly. I wanted to be prepared and have been treated with disdain from IT
    people as they think I am naive! Oh well, thanks again for your pespective
    CW! I did just need to vent a little -exam's tomorrow - wish me luck!

    lifeisinmotion

    D
    lifeisinmotion, May 26, 2008
    #3
  4. lifeisinmotion

    John Guest

    There is so much talk about the MCDST and experience blah blah blah.....I
    came into the industry knowing little. Deciding on a career change, i took
    upon a CBT course with manuals and resources given. Time and motivation is a
    major issue here unless you're a single unemployed person!!
    I haven't yet joined the ranks of IT personnel because no one will give me a
    job but still i persist. The point is i started at the start and got the
    CompTIA A+ and then moved on to the MCDST/MCP with a long way to go to the
    MCSE. Through practice at home and sheer grit and determination i have just
    passed my MCDST without work experience, just study and home practice..it can
    be done!! Hopefully this will help me get that golden first rung and continue
    my career with study and experience.
    "lifeisinmotion" wrote:

    > > Did you even read the information on the MS site about these exams? They
    > > are not for beginners and never have been. Beginners need not apply.
    > > That is not the audience. MS also has a very clear set of objectives for
    > > the exam and a cursory examination of the thousands of newsgroup posts,
    > > forums and articles on the subject would indicate that one source for all
    > > the information is inadequate.
    > >
    > > The course is to prepare you for the exam and if you want to shell out
    > > $2500 for something a good study plan, a couple computers, and a few
    > > books would give you, that's your lookout. The course is not for
    > > teaching you how to support MS products -- you should already have
    > > experience when you come to this point. The exam is only to prove what
    > > you already know, not to teach you what you don't and all the course is
    > > for is to prep you for the exam.
    > >
    > > --
    > > Catwalker
    > > MCNGP #43
    > > www.mcngp.com
    > > "Definitely not wearing any underwear."
    > >

    >
    > Thanks for your reply CW, I do appreciate another perspective. As you can
    > see from my situation once I left the course it has been me, my dog and the
    > tumbleweeds. I have no contacts in the industry and no one to bounce ideas
    > off.
    >
    > I have read dozens and dozens of pages on the MS site and one of the first
    > things I read was this;
    >
    > Course 2261C: Three days; Instructor-Led
    > Audience
    > This course is intended for people who have little or no job experience in
    > the IT industry. They will have experience working with Windows desktop
    > systems and will be A+ certified, or have equivalent knowledge. The target
    > audience will typically be:
    > • New entrants to the IT field
    > • Career changers entering the IT field
    > • Academic students
    > When students complete the course, they will typically enter their career
    > in the IT industry performing in two different capacities. They will support
    > end users who run Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional in a
    > corporate environment, or will support end users who run Windows XP Home
    > Edition in a home environment. They will provide computer owners with
    > over-the-telephone support or support the end user when they bring their
    > computer to a computer shop for support.
    >
    > http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/syllabi/2261cfinal.mspx
    >
    > This was taken from the outline of the instructor-led 2261 course on the MS
    > site.
    > I see the page you refer to where it suggests the audience for this course
    > must have corporate experience and a solid undertanding of Active Directory
    > and already in an IT position. THIS is my isssue. Which page to believe? Yet
    > another example of contradictions in the resources.
    >
    > Yes, you are exactly right, the course is to teach you what you already
    > know. Everyone else in the class was dead silent and bored, i was asking
    > questions every minute and i imagine getting on their nerves. I did not feel
    > guilty though, as that was not the environment suggested to me by the
    > salesperson who sold me the course.
    > It sounds like I'm trying to find a scapegoat but I'm not. I will be fine
    > with the exams (especially with the second-chance offer) but as one of the
    > few newbies doing this course I feel it could be better designed. If I had
    > have taken a job in IT before doing this course that would have seemed more
    > silly. I wanted to be prepared and have been treated with disdain from IT
    > people as they think I am naive! Oh well, thanks again for your pespective
    > CW! I did just need to vent a little -exam's tomorrow - wish me luck!
    >
    > lifeisinmotion
    >
    > D
    John, Jul 9, 2008
    #4
  5. "John" <> wrote in message
    news::

    > There is so much talk about the MCDST and experience blah blah blah.....I
    > came into the industry knowing little. Deciding on a career change, i took
    > upon a CBT course with manuals and resources given. Time and motivation is a
    > major issue here unless you're a single unemployed person!!
    > I haven't yet joined the ranks of IT personnel because no one will give me a
    > job but still i persist. The point is i started at the start and got the
    > CompTIA A+ and then moved on to the MCDST/MCP with a long way to go to the
    > MCSE. Through practice at home and sheer grit and determination i have just
    > passed my MCDST without work experience, just study and home practice..it can
    > be done!! Hopefully this will help me get that golden first rung and continue
    > my career with study and experience.
    > "lifeisinmotion" wrote:
    >


    No offense, but the probable reason you have not been hired is because
    that experience blah blah blah stuff actually means something. Without
    knowing it, you have just illustrated my point on the importance of
    proficiency and the definition of paper certifications.

    --
    Michael D. Alligood, MCITP, MCTS, MCSA, MCDST, A+
    The I.T. Classroom Blog - http://www.theitclassroom.com
    Michael D. Alligood, Jul 10, 2008
    #5
  6. lifeisinmotion

    John Guest

    Fair point Michael and i totally agree with you. Thats the reason i raised
    the point. There seems so much emphasis on the 'experience' and 'cert' issues
    as to where us new guys fit into this industry?!!?! I have no experience but
    am getting certs, i do have the knowledge. Perhaps that is why the MS Press
    books give you a Real Life scenario, eh! It does hurt someone telling you why
    you're not getting hired, believe me..but where do we start, no matter how
    good or bad we are? Who gives us the chance?
    "Michael D. Alligood" wrote:

    > "John" <> wrote in message
    > news::
    >
    > > There is so much talk about the MCDST and experience blah blah blah.....I
    > > came into the industry knowing little. Deciding on a career change, i took
    > > upon a CBT course with manuals and resources given. Time and motivation is a
    > > major issue here unless you're a single unemployed person!!
    > > I haven't yet joined the ranks of IT personnel because no one will give me a
    > > job but still i persist. The point is i started at the start and got the
    > > CompTIA A+ and then moved on to the MCDST/MCP with a long way to go to the
    > > MCSE. Through practice at home and sheer grit and determination i have just
    > > passed my MCDST without work experience, just study and home practice..it can
    > > be done!! Hopefully this will help me get that golden first rung and continue
    > > my career with study and experience.
    > > "lifeisinmotion" wrote:
    > >

    >
    > No offense, but the probable reason you have not been hired is because
    > that experience blah blah blah stuff actually means something. Without
    > knowing it, you have just illustrated my point on the importance of
    > proficiency and the definition of paper certifications.
    >
    > --
    > Michael D. Alligood, MCITP, MCTS, MCSA, MCDST, A+
    > The I.T. Classroom Blog - http://www.theitclassroom.com
    >
    >
    >
    John, Jul 10, 2008
    #6
  7. lifeisinmotion

    John R Guest

    "John" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > Fair point Michael and i totally agree with you. Thats the reason i raised
    > the point. There seems so much emphasis on the 'experience' and 'cert'
    > issues
    > as to where us new guys fit into this industry?!!?! I have no experience
    > but
    > am getting certs, i do have the knowledge. Perhaps that is why the MS
    > Press
    > books give you a Real Life scenario, eh! It does hurt someone telling you
    > why
    > you're not getting hired, believe me..but where do we start, no matter how
    > good or bad we are? Who gives us the chance?
    > "Michael D. Alligood" wrote:
    >


    John,

    Let me first say, Congrats on both the A+ and the MCDST. That could not
    have been easy.

    The MS Press books give you real life scenario's as defined by Microsoft.
    Case in point. Let's say you have a client computer that cannot bring up a
    website.

    Microsoft "real life" scenario... Ping 127.0.0.1 to see if tcp/ip is even
    running. Ping the local IP port to see if IP is properly installed. Ping
    the gateway to see if there is a problem with it. Then, and only then, ping
    the website (which BTW won't work with many websites as they are configured
    to not respond to ICMP requests).

    Real world "real life" scenario... If it is an existing client that you
    know has worked in the past, ping the website, ping another website, maybe
    ping the router only if you've had complaints from more than one person on
    the subnet. If it is a new client that may never have actually talked to
    the Internet, ping a known website, ping the router, check Internet
    connection settings. If the first two pings fail, check the LAN cable.

    One thing you must keep in mind, that Microsoft certifications are about
    Microsoft products on Microsoft operating systems handled in the Microsoft
    way. When (I won't say "if") you get into the real world, you will find
    that almost no company uses Microsoft backup for enterprise backups, almost
    nobody uses RRAS for VPN, most enterprises use managed switches, and of
    those that don't, nobody will isolate that one secretary and her network
    printer that runs 24x7 behind a router until the network traffic gets
    unbearable.

    I remember on a practice test getting a question about a VP that updated his
    mouse driver and now his mouse won't work and he has 10 minutes before an
    important presentation. What should you do? And, the Microsoft answer was
    right click on my computer, click on properties, click on hardware ... In
    "real life" if the mouse wasn't working, wouldn't that be a little
    difficult? The Microsoft answer said nothing about booting into safe mode
    first.

    I think it's great that you are showing effort and applying yourself. But,
    my advise is unless you wear Drew Carey glasses, think "hard drive vrs
    floppy" jokes are funny, and can count on one hand how many times you've
    been out drinking with friends in the last 6 months on one hand, you should
    run. Run as fast as you can, don't look back. :)

    Congrats again (seriously)

    John R
    John R, Jul 10, 2008
    #7
  8. "John" <> wrote in message
    news::

    > Fair point Michael and i totally agree with you. Thats the reason i raised
    > the point. There seems so much emphasis on the 'experience' and 'cert' issues
    > as to where us new guys fit into this industry?!!?! I have no experience but
    > am getting certs, i do have the knowledge. Perhaps that is why the MS Press
    > books give you a Real Life scenario, eh! It does hurt someone telling you why
    > you're not getting hired, believe me..but where do we start, no matter how
    > good or bad we are? Who gives us the chance?


    10 years ago, sadly even less, you could have received employment with
    those certifications. Employers didn't pay attention to work experience
    and solely relied on the value of the certification alone. In essence,
    they were hiring what they thought was a Systems Engineer, but mistaking
    hired a person who merely passed the exams. Thus, employers stated pay
    attention. I am going to start speaking in general terms now, so do not
    take offense. We as Americans want to be paid for working. This is a
    common misconception. We do not get paid to work. We get paid for
    results. Employees are an expense on a business. Employers need to make
    sure that expense is return; hence ROI. If the investment does not pay
    off, businesses have to cut their losses. This normally means a
    termination for the employee. My point being, it's not enough to know.
    You have to provide results. Results build experience. Combine that with
    knowledge and you have proficiency. And proficiency is what the
    certification program is built on. So when one reads a book, takes some
    practice exams, and passes a test; are they really proficient? Are they
    really a I.T. Professional? Not anymore.

    Chances are not normally given. They are taken. Don't wait for anyone to
    give you a chance - take it. Experience comes in many forms. Many of
    which we do not pursue because we incorrectly believe we are better or
    are worth more than that task. Sometimes volunteering may be the only
    option. Internships, etc.. Anything to gain what is needed: Experience.

    People new to the field hear the glamour of certification and
    immediately, and incorrectly, believe that sheet of paper will guarantee
    (no, entitle) them to a position making nice cash. This could not be
    further from the truth.

    --
    Michael D. Alligood, MCITP, MCTS, MCSA, MCDST, A+
    The I.T. Classroom Blog - http://www.theitclassroom.com
    Michael D. Alligood, Jul 10, 2008
    #8
  9. lifeisinmotion

    John Guest

    Thanks for all the advice, as in any industry its dog eat dog and make
    money. We do get rose tinted glasses when embarking upon a new and exciting
    career. There's nothing wrong with determination and ambition.
    Experience will be gained and chances will be taken, i assure you.
    Onwards and upwards, my friend and again Thank You.
    "Michael D. Alligood" wrote:

    > "John" <> wrote in message
    > news::
    >
    > > Fair point Michael and i totally agree with you. Thats the reason i raised
    > > the point. There seems so much emphasis on the 'experience' and 'cert' issues
    > > as to where us new guys fit into this industry?!!?! I have no experience but
    > > am getting certs, i do have the knowledge. Perhaps that is why the MS Press
    > > books give you a Real Life scenario, eh! It does hurt someone telling you why
    > > you're not getting hired, believe me..but where do we start, no matter how
    > > good or bad we are? Who gives us the chance?

    >
    > 10 years ago, sadly even less, you could have received employment with
    > those certifications. Employers didn't pay attention to work experience
    > and solely relied on the value of the certification alone. In essence,
    > they were hiring what they thought was a Systems Engineer, but mistaking
    > hired a person who merely passed the exams. Thus, employers stated pay
    > attention. I am going to start speaking in general terms now, so do not
    > take offense. We as Americans want to be paid for working. This is a
    > common misconception. We do not get paid to work. We get paid for
    > results. Employees are an expense on a business. Employers need to make
    > sure that expense is return; hence ROI. If the investment does not pay
    > off, businesses have to cut their losses. This normally means a
    > termination for the employee. My point being, it's not enough to know.
    > You have to provide results. Results build experience. Combine that with
    > knowledge and you have proficiency. And proficiency is what the
    > certification program is built on. So when one reads a book, takes some
    > practice exams, and passes a test; are they really proficient? Are they
    > really a I.T. Professional? Not anymore.
    >
    > Chances are not normally given. They are taken. Don't wait for anyone to
    > give you a chance - take it. Experience comes in many forms. Many of
    > which we do not pursue because we incorrectly believe we are better or
    > are worth more than that task. Sometimes volunteering may be the only
    > option. Internships, etc.. Anything to gain what is needed: Experience.
    >
    > People new to the field hear the glamour of certification and
    > immediately, and incorrectly, believe that sheet of paper will guarantee
    > (no, entitle) them to a position making nice cash. This could not be
    > further from the truth.
    >
    > --
    > Michael D. Alligood, MCITP, MCTS, MCSA, MCDST, A+
    > The I.T. Classroom Blog - http://www.theitclassroom.com
    >
    >
    >
    John, Jul 10, 2008
    #9
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