If you’re going through this material it’s probable that you’d like to enter the world of computers and you’ve heard good things about MCSE’s, or you’re currently an IT professional and you’re aware that the next stage is the MCSE accreditation.
When researching MCSE’s, you will notice companies that reduce their costs by failing to provide the current Microsoft version. Don’t use these companies as you will face problems in the exam. If you are studying an old version, it is going to be hugely difficult to get qualified.
Don’t be pushed into a training program before you feel comfortable. Take time to discover a computer training company that will put effort into advising you on the best course for your needs.
OK, why should we consider commercial qualifications instead of traditional academic qualifications taught at schools and Further Education colleges?
Vendor-based training (as it’s known in the industry) is more effective in the commercial field. The IT sector is aware that specialisation is necessary to service the demands of a technically advancing marketplace. Microsoft, CISCO, Adobe and CompTIA dominate in this arena.
Higher education courses, for instance, can often get caught up in a great deal of background study – with a syllabus that’s far too wide. Students are then held back from understanding the specific essentials in enough depth.
The bottom line is: Authorised IT qualifications give employers exactly what they’re looking for – it says what you do in the title: for example, I am a ‘Microsoft Certified Professional’ in ‘Planning and Maintaining a Windows 2003 Infrastructure’. Consequently companies can look at the particular needs they have and which qualifications are required to perform the job.
Each programme of learning must provide a nationally (or globally) recognised accreditation as an end-goal – not some little ‘in-house’ piece of paper.
Only properly recognised examinations from the top companies like Microsoft, CompTIA, Adobe and Cisco will mean anything to employers.
You should remember: the training program or an accreditation is not what you’re looking for; the particular job you’re training for is. Many trainers unfortunately completely prioritise the actual accreditation.
It’s possible, for example, to thoroughly enjoy one year of training and then spend 20 miserable years in a tiresome job role, entirely because you stumbled into it without some quality research at the beginning.
Be honest with yourself about what you want to earn and the level of your ambition. Sometimes, this affects what particular exams will be required and what industry will expect from you in return.
All students are advised to speak with an experienced industry advisor before they embark on a study program. This is essential to ensure it contains the relevant skills for the chosen career.
The somewhat scary thought of securing your first IT job can be relieved because some trainers offer a Job Placement Assistance programme. Don’t get overly impressed with this service – it’s 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 the reason you’ll find a job.
Help with your CV and interview techniques might be provided (if not, see one of our sites for help). It’s essential that you bring your CV right up to date straight away – not when you’re ready to start work!
You’ll often find that you will get your initial job while you’re still a student (occasionally right at the beginning). If you haven’t updated your CV to say what you’re studying – or it’s not getting in front of interviewers, then you won’t even be considered!
If it’s important to you to find work near your home, then you’ll often find that a specialist independent regional recruitment consultant or service could work much better for you than the trainer’s recruitment division, as they’re far more likely to have insider knowledge of the jobs that are going locally.
Do ensure you don’t spend hundreds of hours on your training and studies, only to stop and leave it in the hands of the gods to secure your first position. Stand up for yourself and get out there. Channel the same time and energy into securing your new role as it took to pass the exams.