Q

Having a hard time finding a job with just A+ and MCSE

Several months ago, I qualified for my A+ and MCSE in Win2000. Do you suggest I keep studying, as I am finding it very difficult to get a foot in the door? I am monitoring job sites -- such as Seek.com -- daily, and all the positions advertised on these sites require a specialty or three years experience. A lot of the jobs are for SAP qualified people. What is SAP? It was never mentioned during the year of study for the MCSE. It might...

be fair to restate a number of questions from your e-mail, if only to make sure I'm answering everything you're asking.

1. Do I suggest you keep studying?
That depends on what you want to do for a living. If the kinds of jobs you're seeking are served by an A+ and an MCSE, it might be the case that more time and money spent on further training won't be repaid as an investment in yourself.

2. How can I compensate for a lack of experience?
Any experience is good experience. Look for temporary work, volunteer for local churches, charities, non-profits or schools and get your hands dirty doing real administration (even if it's low-pay or no pay), and you'll up your odds of getting past that hurdle. I also hope you can talk intelligently about running a home lab/network and all the different kinds of admin stuff you already know how to do: creating users, assigning rights and privileges, managing accounts, working with Active Directory and so forth.

3. What is SAP?
SAP/R3 is one of the best known ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) products out there. As a high-dollar, high-function line of business application, it requires high levels of skills and knowledge that are in pretty high demand. You can get a good idea of what I'm talking about by checking out the information on GoCertify on their cert programs, or by visiting the vendor's own certification homepage. Because it's a very different software environment from what most Windows network admins work in, there's not much overlap between these worlds. This is what probably explains why you heard no mention of this toolset while you were studying for the MCSE.

I hope I've addressed your questions and concerns. If not, please post again or e-mail me.

This was first published in October 2003

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