Should you be looking to gain accredited qualifications at the MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator) level of study, amongst the finest methods on sale are CD or DVD ROM based interactive, hands-on study. So if you are a professional but are hoping to formalize your skills with certification, or you’re a beginner, you will be able to choose from hands-on MCSA study programmers to suit your needs. Each scenario needs a different type, of course, so make sure the course is right for you before making a start. Look for a training provider that has the courtesy to understand what you’re trying to achieve, and will work with you to sort out how it will all work, well before they start talking about courses.
We can’t make a big enough deal out of this point: You absolutely must have proper 24×7 professional support from mentors and instructors. You will have so many problems later if you don’t follow this rule rigidly. Try and find training with proper support available at any time of the day or night (even if it’s early hours on Sunday morning!) Make sure it’s always 24×7 direct access to mentors and instructors and not a call-center that will take messages so you’re parked in a queue of others waiting to be called back at a convenient time for them.
The best training colleges tend to use an internet-based round-the-clock service pulling in several support offices throughout multiple time-zones. You’ll have an interface that switches seamlessly to the best choice of centers irrespective of the time of day: Support when you need it. If you fail to get yourself online 24×7 support, you’ll regret it. You might not want to use the service during late nights, but you’re bound to use weekends, early mornings or even late evenings at some point.
Every program under consideration really needs to work up to a widely recognized accreditation at the end – and not some unimportant ‘in-house’ piece of paper. From a commercial standpoint, only the big-boys such as Microsoft, Adobe, CompTIA or Cisco (for instance) really carry any commercial clout. Anything less just doesn’t cut the mustard.
Many training companies offer a Job Placement Assistance service, to help you get your first job. The honest truth is that it isn’t as complicated as you might think to find a job – assuming you’re well trained and qualified; employers in this country need your skills.
Get your CV updated straight-away though – you should get plenty of help from your training provider on this. Don’t delay until you’ve qualified. Many junior support roles have been bagged by trainees who are still learning and haven’t got any qualifications yet. This will at least get you on your way. If you don’t want to travel too far to work, then you’ll often find that a local IT-focused recruitment consultancy may serve you better than a centralized service, for they’re going to have insider knowledge of what’s available near you.
Many trainees, apparently, spend evenings and weekends on their training and studies (for years sometimes), and then just stop instead of finding their first job. Introduce yourself… Do your best to put yourself out there. Good jobs don’t just knock on your door.
A typical blunder that students everywhere can make is to look for the actual course to take, rather than starting with where they want to get to. Schools are stacked to the hilt with students that chose a program because it looked interesting – in place of something that could gain them an enjoyable career or job. Your training for just one year or so can land you a job-role for decades.
Make sure you investigate what your attitude is towards earning potential and career progression, and how ambitious you are. It’s vital to know what industry expects from you, what certifications are required and where you’ll pick-up experience from. We advise all students to speak with an experienced professional before they embark on a study program. This is essential to ensure it contains the commercially required skills for the career that is sought.