Looking Toward the MCSA

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Checking Up on the MCSA



The Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) credential was
introduced last fall, and the first MCSA was granted in December 2001.
By March 2002, 5,000 IT professionals had been certified as MCSAs. The
credential, designed for systems administrators, network administrators
and other similar job roles, demonstrates the knowledge and skills
required to manage and troubleshoot systems on the Windows 2000
operating system.



The nice thing about the MCSA is that all of the MCSA exams will also
count toward MCSE certification, making it a nice resting point on the
way to the more advanced credential. So what’s the difference between
the two? There are some things MCSEs do that MCSAs don’t: learn design
skills and deploy new networks and systems.



To earn an MCSA, you must take three core exams and one elective. To
satisfy the core exam requirements, you must take one client operating
system exam and two networking system exams. To satisfy the elective
requirement, you can choose one of many MCP exams, or you can use your
CompTIA certifications—A+ certification plus either Network+ or Server+.



The addition of the CompTIA exams to the elective requirements is
helpful for professionals just getting started in certification and in
IT. You can start with A+, a vendor-neutral certification for entry-
level computer technicians. From there, you can move on to Network+ or
Server+ certification. Network+ is designed for professionals who have
at least 9 months of network support or administration experience.
Server+ certification tests on Industry Standard Server Architecture
(ISSA) issues, including RAID, SCSI and more. Server+ requires the 18 to
24 months of server technologies industry experience.



Once you’ve earned you’re A+ and Server+ or Network+ credentials, you
can apply them toward the MCSA track. To do this, you must take at least
one of the MCSA core exams and get a Microsoft Certified Professional
(MCP) ID number. Then you can go to CompTIA’s Web site and use the
online CompTIA MCSA candidate form to submit your CompTIA credentials
along with your MCP ID number. Finally, CompTIA will verify your
certifications and will send your information on to Microsoft. 



To find out more about using your CompTIA credentials toward and MCSA
certification, see
http://www.comptia.org/certification/mcsa. To find
out more about the MCSA, check out


Moving on Up



Sometimes, doing your job well is not enough to earn a promotion. You
have to go out of your way to make yourself visible to the people who
are in control of your career path. You may know that you’re ready to
move up to more challenging roles, but they might not know it. Here are
some steps you can take to make sure that your name is on the top of the
promotion list:



* Learn to Walk the Walk: Does your employer offer training? If so,
take advantage of any training you can get your hands on. If not,
go out on your own and seek the training that will give you the
skills you’ll need for the job you want. In addition, you should
figure out what training will help you perform better in your
current job and keep yourself informed on what’s going on in your
field. Staying on top of new tools, technologies and techniques
will show you have initiative.


* Challenge Yourself: Volunteer yourself for challenging projects,
but make sure the projects you take on are challenges you can
handle. Don’t get in over your head. Figure out what’s needed at
your organization and then figure out a way you can fill this


* Ask: Don’t be afraid to ask your superior what you need to do to
improve your chances of promotion. Most companies like to promote
from within because that way they know what they’re in for, but
you need to take some initiative. First of all, let your manager
know that you are interested in taking a step up the career
ladder. Then, keep track of your performance. Keep records of
your successes. Did you help save money? Mention it. Did you
bring in a project early? Make sure the boss knows.



Coming Soon to a College Near You?



In Ohio, a new economic development and workforce training service has
been launched in an attempt to narrow the work force’s skills gap.
Prometric, the Vendor Consortium, the EnterpriseOhio Network and the
Ohio Board of Regents plan to deliver technology-based training and
testing to Ohio’s workers. Vendor Consortium partners include The
Chauncey Group International Ltd., Educational Testing Service (ETS),
iLearning Inc., Saba Software Inc., Saville and Holdsworth Ltd. and



In Ohio, there has been a drop in the manufacturing industry and a rise
in unemployment. At the same time, the need for knowledge-based workers
has risen. Statistics show computers and technology as the fastest-
growing industries in the state. In order to keep the state’s workers
employed, and to stop employers from looking to other states for
workers, Ohio is going to train its citizens to take on these new job



According to Michael Taggart, director of Workforce Development for the
Ohio Board of Regents, the SkillsMAX program will help local businesses
succeed through good hiring, training and promotion decisions. “The
local workforce is supported because individuals can assess their
skills, aptitudes and aspirations, set better career goals, choose
appropriate training as needed and gain credentials that confirm their
knowledge and skills,” he said.



SkillsMAX will provide computer-based testing, online learning and Web-
based data management resources. The program will be available in
“centers” on campuses of community colleges, technical c
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