Thinking about doing an MCSE, any advice?

  gcook 14:01 13 Jan 03
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  gcook 14:01 13 Jan 03

Im thinking about doing an MCSE course. Does anyone know if its worthwhile? Is it a qualification employers look out for and are there jobs available? Where could I get independant advice? All the companies trying to sell you a course say how great it is and you can easily get a job but is this the case with the downturn in the IT industry? I know this isnt the best place to ask but if anyone could point me in the right direction to ask or if anyone has the qualification it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  GANDALF <|:-)> 16:18 13 Jan 03

ANY qualification is another arrow in the quiver and is therefore useful.

However, you will be at the bottom of the IT pile and in the section whose jobs are disappearing to India and all points East at a rapid rate. There are many people who are getting IT qualifications with fewer jobs on the market so you have to be excellent. BA recently relocated its IT centre to India with the loss of 300 jobs and I would imagine that many other companies are planning the same. As in all industries if you are at the top you are in great demand…if you are a Sun Systems engineer you will be travelling the world on mega-cash but these guys are extraordinarily good and get paid correspondingly.

Do a bit of research and see how many jobs are advertised for people with little experience but with an MCSE and then work out how many people will apply for the jobs and if they will be over-qualified. There is no harm in phoning companies to politely ask what their recruiting parameters are and o ask if an MCSE will help or whether higher qualifications are de rigueur.

This year is going to be grim for the job market and there are many people out there with computer qualifications. If you can afford it (time and money) then do the qualification as it will not harm your CV but be realistic about the chances of getting a job. I would be wary of the adverts for courses that ‘guarantee’ jobs.

Bonne chance.

G

  Mysticnas 16:52 13 Jan 03

from experience, that a lot of employers look for experience as well. I know a lot of people out of uni, even though they have masters, they still find it hard as they might not have any experience.

What sector of IT are you moving towards? Media, software engineering, business? those are the typical pathways. With these 3 pathways there are many many different sub pathways.

Java programmers are getting paid quite a lot at the moment. I assume thats becuase there's not that many around, they are in high demand and the few good java programmers are in a situation where they really set the earning boundaries.

Saying that, most people now are doing java, so probably by the time they get round to getting a job there'll be more programmers out there than the demand.

It's a vicious circle i think. You see whats the in thing now, so you go and do a course on it, and by the time you've got your qualification it's too late and you thing is yesterday's tech.

What is your current situation? are you working? are you in IT already? are you BSc graduate? a mature student?

The best advice i can give you is to find out more about larger companies like IBM. When i was looking for work about a year or 2 ago i came across a scheme they did where you work for them and do a course at a uni they specify. For example work a 3/4 days a week and do a course at the uni they specify 1 or 2 days a week. That way you'll get experience as well as a qualification. They'll pay all your fee's and costs too i believe.
The only reason i went back to uni full time was that no-one did the course i'm doing now in a scheme as i described above. I did computer science BSc (software engineering) all that Java coding, but by the time i got to the final year i lost interest. However i wasn't going to waste 2yrs, so i completed the course got my 2.1 and now i'm going into more of Media side of IT, 3D modeling, special effects etc...

I strongly advise you go to the IBM website and enquire. They have an information pack they can send you. This contains general info. If you have awkward situation or something they don't cover, i find it's best to email them and describe you'r situation to see if they have anything thats fits your bill.

Good Luck!

click here

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Ps. don't just leave it at IBM, look at other big companies. If you're serious about then don't be put off by the big companies. They'll more than likely offer a something to cater for your needs. They'll train you propperly as you're an investment!

  Mysticnas 16:57 13 Jan 03

"y didn't i go into the Java industry, i would be getting paid loads now!!!?"

Although the money is very tempting, actualy i do sometimes kickmyslef for not doing it as some people i know fresh out of uni are getting around £25/30K a few even £40K! but they are exceptional programmers!

The truth is although i may have been good at it, my heart wasn't init! I dream of working at Lucas Arts and Industrial Light & Magic!

  gcook 22:09 13 Jan 03

Thanks for the advice. Ive got a BSc in Engineering and live in Aberdeen but Im finding that due to the way oil companies are going (blaming the government for raising tax 10% and paying people off) there are fewer jobs up here. Im currently employed in the engineering sector. Ive always had an interest in computers and it seemed logical to look into an MCSE. I was thinking about getting into the networking/hardware side and having "another arrow in the quiver" as gandalf rightly put it. On the grand scheme of things its only about £1000 and could progress my career and boost my salary by a lot more than that in the long run. The only thing was i didnt see many jobs advertised through the agencies or local press.

Ill look into it further anyway and phone round some companies to find out the chance of getting a job. Thanks gandalf and mysticnas for your thoughts. Much appreciated

  Elrond 22:28 13 Jan 03

I have had a look round jobs websites and not many jobs specify things like the MCSE which i am interested in also. I found one that said the A+ certification would be useful, but most want experience. You can't win, a lot of people go on about getting a degree and stuff(i'm doing mine now) but it really isn't the be all and end all. Most of the jobs i saw wanted experience at no mention of degree study. Its silly cos where do you get the experience if everybody wants it as a pre-requisite. I think in the end i'll just apply to jobs that ask for experience and hope i can demonstrate enough skills to warrant that, of course not applying to jobs that ask for a good few years.That is experience.


All the best

  gcook 22:45 13 Jan 03

Its a never ending circle. You cant get experience unless you get the job. To get the job you need the experience. It seems to me that the market for MCSEs are saturated at the moment, certainly in Scotland and most companies are cutting back on their IT finances. There are trends such as Java being very popular but then everyone gets trained up expecting to earn a fortune and there will be no jobs left unless you are fast as explained earlier by mysticnas.

If you miss the boat as maybe has happened here with MCSEs. Wait for the next fad and jump on the bandwagon early. Just my opinion, im certainly no expert on the subject. ill do more research before i make my decision on doing an MCSE or not.

Good luck whatever you decide.

  simmo 23:57 13 Jan 03

Investigate thoroughly what you are going to get for your £1000, I suspect an armful of books and cd's to study in your own time and some exam vouchers. MCSE is a great qualification to have however a couple of points to note are that you will still have a gap in your hardware knowledge, which is vital to start support at a low level and I have heard some potential employers aren't too keen on "boot-camp" type graduates, i.e. all your exams within a few weeks of each other. If you decide against it but still want to get into IT this company click here
are worth a look. I used them as a springboard into the business 4 years ago and although I am not setting the world on fire I am comfortable and in a fairly secure job.

Whatever you do Good Luck

  Gandalph 00:24 14 Jan 03

Elrond is right. A Friend of mine came out of Uni with a PhD in electronics three years ago. He has never worked at it as everyone he applied to wanted someone with three to four years experience. Again the question arises, how the hell do you get the experience if you cant get a job. My Friend is currently working at a Building Society as a counter clerk. He applied for jobs in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, France and God knows where else and they all more or less said the same thing.

  Old PC man 11:54 14 Jan 03

It's a sign of the times chaps. The government wants everyone to go to university so that the jobless figures don't look so bad, but employers want someone with practical experience and would rather poach someone "oven ready" from another employer than start from scratch with a raw recruit.

As there is a slowdown in virtually all UK job sectors, some redundant staff will be of a higher calibre in the experience field, and available, making the newly qualified less desirable. After all, staff are required to make money for the organisation, not to be a burden whilst getting up to speed in the commercial world.

As GANDALF <|:-)> said earlier, jobs are going to people in the east. Norwich Union has just made a substantial staff cut in the UK and now has its typing pool in India.

Hope you get sorted.

John

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