Are you dissatisfied with your job? Do you want to find a new one or at least make a move to another department within your company? Do you need certifications in MCSE, MCP and any of those other abbreviations? You need to sit down and decide what career path you wish to take if you want to go the Microsoft Certification route.
First of all, do you have any prior experience in the business world? If so, no matter what you decide to do, whether it is MCSE training or MCP training or anything else, you will be ahead of others with no prior professional expertise. However, if you choose to make a career change that is a complete 180 degrees from what you are doing now, you will have some trouble finding gainful employment without some concrete experience.
For instance, if you are an Administrative Assistant and decide to go for a Microsoft Certified System Engineer, better known as an MCSE, you need to have some practical experience (the basic requirement is about a year of previous experience) under your belt before even starting your MCSE training. How could you go about doing that? You have several options. Find a mentor. Maybe another person within your company who has an MCSE could give you pointers and some on-site knowledge into his job. Volunteering through a nonprofit or some other community organization could net you some valuable experience. Serving as an intern, whether paid or unpaid, is another option.
A volunteer position or an internship also is beneficial for those people with a fresh Microsoft certification but no practical, hands-on experience. Practically every nonprofit organization or community group has computers. Some of them are small groups and others have computer labs (perhaps state-run job placement places) with no budget to hire full-time staff. You have got to think outside the box for ways to gain that practical experience.
Networking mixers or social time is another great idea. You can mingle with professionals in the field you are trying to break into and find out about their internship opportunities. It is the perfect venue in which to sell or market yourself. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce for any local trade organizations in the prospective field as a starting point in this networking endeavor. Many times, you can find out some priceless information about the ins and outs of your potential area of certification. Learning from the experts could be an eye opening experience for you. Heck, you could even change your mind from braving those MCSE boot camps and the seven tests for MCSE exams. Isn’t it better to gain that insight before you spend the time and money?
Once you have completed your certification, whether it is navigating through MCP courses or any other Microsoft certification, be prepared to start from scratch in your new endeavor. Just remember, anything having to do with technology will change again in a year or two, so you have to keep up with new trends and that means continued instruction. As long as you travel the Microsoft route, you’ll be successful.