If you are looking to gain accredited qualifications at the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator study level, the best devices around are CD or DVD ROM based interactive training. So if you are a professional but are ready to formalise your skills with certification, or are new to the industry, you will be able to choose from interactive MCSA study programmes to fulfil your needs.
Each level should have a specialised course, so verify that the course is right for you in advance of spending your money. Search for a company that takes the time to learn what you’re looking to do, and can help you work out how it will all work, before they select your course.
You have to be sure that all your accreditations are what employers want – forget studies that lead to in-house certificates.
From an employer’s perspective, only the top companies such as Microsoft, CompTIA, Adobe or Cisco (for example) will make the right impression. Anything less just doesn’t cut the mustard.
Students will sometimes miss checking on a painfully important area – the way their training provider segments the courseware, and into what particular chunks.
Training companies will normally offer some sort of program spread over 1-3 years, and courier the materials in pieces as you pass each exam. This sounds reasonable until you consider the following:
Students often discover that their training company’s typical path to completion isn’t the easiest way for them. Sometimes, it’s more expedient to use an alternative order of study. And what if you don’t get to the end in the allotted time?
Ideally, you want everything at the start – meaning you’ll have all of them for the future to come back to – as and when you want. You can also vary the order in which you complete each objective as and when something more intuitive seems right for you.
It’s so important to understand this key point: You absolutely must have proper 24×7 instructor and mentor support. You’ll definitely experience problems if you don’t heed this.
Never buy study programmes that only provide support to trainees via a message system outside of normal office hours. Colleges will give you every excuse in the book why you don’t need this. The bottom line is – you need support when you need support – not when it’s convenient for them.
Keep your eyes open for colleges that have multiple support offices around the globe in several time-zones. Each one should be integrated to enable simple one-stop access as well as 24×7 access, when it suits you, with the minimum of hassle.
Always pick a training provider that cares. As only round-the-clock 24×7 support delivers what is required.
Those that are drawn to this type of work often have a very practical outlook on work, and aren’t really suited to the classroom environment, and endless reading of dry academic textbooks. If you’re thinking this sounds like you, use multimedia, interactive learning, where learning is video-based.
Many studies have proved that long term memory is improved when we use all our senses, and we get practically involved in what we’re studying.
The latest audio-visual interactive programs featuring instructor demo’s and practice lab’s will forever turn you away from traditional book study. And you’ll actually enjoy doing them.
Be sure to get a demonstration of the study materials from the school that you’re considering. The materials should incorporate instructor videos, demonstrations, slide-shows and interactive labs where you get to practice.
Some companies only have access to just online versions of their training packages; while you can get away with this much of the time, consider how you’ll deal with it if internet access is lost or you get intermittent problems and speed issues. It is usually safer to have physical CD or DVD discs that will solve that problem.