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Free MCSE Bootcamp and Certification in August

Free MCSE Bootcamp and Certification in August

Free MCSE Bootcamp and Certification in August

Hello everyone!  I can't remember if I've ever posted on here, but I have read over the years and have gained a lot of knowledge from all of you.  I have been given an incredible opportunity (from the VA) to go to a MCSE Bootcamp in Atlanta (14 days of pure hell).  I'm currently a system's administrator responsible for 3 SAN environments (MSA 1000's) and a multitude of servers.  However, I don't feel that I'm ready for this boatload of information and testing (within that 14 days).  My course load includes:

Security +

I thought I had decent experience until I started researching some of these tests and the topics.  After which, I realized I'm going to be lost.  So, with your humble opinions, how can I prepare as much as possible to be somewhat successfull (I do want to obtain my MCSE while there) and not blow this opportunity.  Can anyone tell me about their experience with an MCSE bootcamp and how intensive it is?  My schedule looks like 8 am to 6 pm with maybe a candy bar at the snack machine break.  Any advice would be great!  Again, you guys and gals are absolutely wonderful and have helped me with so much.  Thanks in advance!

RE: Free MCSE Bootcamp and Certification in August

This is simply my opinion from my experience and hearing from other who have attended them.

Boot camps serve no useful purpose other than to gain the certification. It's basically cramming to take the exams and you really don't retain much afterward. It's very tiring and you have to have stamina. But, you are certified. I don't know why the VA would consider this a good learning experience.

RE: Free MCSE Bootcamp and Certification in August

It's not necessarily that the VA says it's a good learning opportunity...just a good opportunity to get certified.  So, I'm basically  trying to figure out how I can be successful in this short amount of time.  By the way, is it possible to have decent experience with System's Management, study a good amount before, go in with determinitation and pass all tests required.  Do those bootcamps care if you pass or not, do those bootcamps give you good insight to the tests, do they offer second chances in case you fail a test...?  That kind of stuff.  Thanks for any input.     

RE: Free MCSE Bootcamp and Certification in August

The bootcamp I attended prepared you for the tests. As long as you take the test pretty close to finishing the camp, then you should be OK. If the VA only cares about the certification, then this may be the fastest way to go.

I think it may be better if you don't study beforehand. The bootcamp will teach you in their own way and if you have experience or have studied, you spend time trying to deal with the conflicts in the brain. The one I attended had some experienced people in it and they wasted time saying things like "But that's not the way you're supposed to do it".

The bootcamp teaches you to pass the test not to be good at it when you're working in the field.

RE: Free MCSE Bootcamp and Certification in August

Ah, I see.  Thanks for the input.  I did call the certification place and asked about some of the things that I need to be prepared for, and they said kind of the same thing you did.  They did say that I'd learn and that I'd be mentally drained by the end of it all.  They also said that I'd have the option of 3 retakes while I was there to apply to any of the tests.  They did say that I'd be taking each test after each topic was covered.  The lady told me that historically the 70-291 was the hardest test of them all.  Not sure if that's true or not, but I'm sure it is.  She said the pass rate for all certification bootcamps (they have quite a few) is 80%.  So, I think that's pretty good.   

RE: Free MCSE Bootcamp and Certification in August

1.  Bootcamps generally don't help you gain skills, they help you gain certs.  My employer won't pay for anything with the word "boot camp" in the title because they have a bad reputation.

2.  I'm not going to name any names, but I have a friend who went to a boot camp in the Atlanta area that taught that exact curriculum.  From the other details that you have mentioned, it sounds extremely similar.  I'm not saying they are the same company, but if they are watch out.  The boot camp that he went to was basically studying and memorizing Test King braindumps for 10-12 hours a day, and then doing the same back at the hotel at night in study groups (the boot camp provided the training and accommodations so all students stayed together).  After going over the material for an exam they took the exam and then moved on.

He went into it with strong sysadmin experience and came out of it with an MCSE: Security certification.  He got perfect scores on 5 of the exams.  He also said that he had classmates who had no IT experience whatsoever who also got perfect scores on some the exams, and that only two students did not pass all of their exams.

All I'm saying is be wary of boot camps.  They will get you your certs, but you will likely learn very little.  If that is important to you then you may want to look elsewhere.  TO put it simply, there is no way on earth you can gain all of the knowledge and experience required to pass all of the MCSE exams in only two weeks.  You can sit and memorize questions and answers, and you can learn why some answers are right and others are wrong, but that's about it.


CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCTS:Windows 7
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Server Administrator
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator
MCITP:Virtualization Administrator 2008 R2
Certified Quest vWorkspace Administrator

RE: Free MCSE Bootcamp and Certification in August

Yeah, this is interesting for sure.  And, thanks so much for that good detail in your and your friend's experiences.  I'm a researcher by nature and a student of IT always, so I'm not necessarily worried that I'm going in just to get the cert (i'm hoping to learn some things that will help me in my job).  The problem is that I don't want to pass up an opportunity like this that costs me absolutely nothing.  It's just way too good, and it's something that I'm already working towards.  I've already taken the 70-270 (passed with a decent score) and was studying for the 70-290 and 291.  Price of this bootcamp is usually about 4 to 6 thousand dollars.  So, it's a hard one for me to turn down.  Would anyone else turn down the opportunity if it was offered to you for free?  

I will continue my studies for sure.  I'm not a cheater, so I'm not worried about jipping myself and others by saying that I'm something I'm not (not to mention, I'm already in a great position that I'm not moving out of anytime soon).  Anyway, thanks for all of your input.   

RE: Free MCSE Bootcamp and Certification in August


Would anyone else turn down the opportunity if it was offered to you for free?  

If I was younger like when I took the boot camps, no, I wouldn't turn them down. The pace and lack of sleep would nearly kill me now... ponder.  

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