I want to get Microsoft Certified and take exams 70-620 and 70-623. The $125 per test and the Microsoft Second Shot stuff is nice, but I don't think I'll get in the front door of the test site because of my age. I've seen the stories of all those people even younger than me taking the test. I work in a computer repair place where I fix viruses, troubleshoot problems, redo operating systems, and it's all the stuff I do on a regular basis. I have a bunch of questions. The exams are essentially on vista and I know about every way around it here and there.
1) Should I try to get certified at my age or wait later?
2) Would the exams be harder than what I'm already doing at work?
3) Getting paid $8/hr, should I ask for or expect a raise if I get certified?
4) Should I take different exams than those I want to or take any afterward?
A lot of questions and I know it would be good to get certfied, but I'm not sure what would happen next of if I should not try to get it until I'm older.
If you're working for a smaller repair shop or Geek Squad, having an MS cert might be beneficial, but don't be surprised if you don't get a raise.
The exams you're looking at taking are part of the MCTS, or Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist certification, which is basically just saying you're very well versed in the installation, configuration, and troubleshooting of Vista. The cert would do very well for a DST or Helpdesk type position, but for a retail job, an A+ will suffice.
Because of your age, you won't be getting into any white-collar IT position, and since you're cert is overkill for all the jobs you can get right now, I'd wait. Keep up with the tech, refine your skills, and learn new ones. If you keep it up, by the time you're 18 or 19, you'll more than likely be able to step into an entry level IT position, rather than farting around at a fast food joint while you're going to school.
I'm not saying take the job over school, but with a full-time, IT job that will pay twice as much as any retail computer job, you'll be able to support yourself, and still take college courses at night, weekends, and/or online.