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A+, Network+ and the MCDST - which order?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Notebook, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Notebook

    Notebook Bit Poster

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    A+, Network+ and the MCDST

    Hi
    Just been made redundant, so lots of time on my hands.:biggrin

    Will be getting a free grant of £2500 and am looking at training providers - the ones you go to class at as apposed to online.

    Local microsoft gold member has offered the A+ and N+ for this amount.
    I know I will require lots of reading etc with these courses so I am not running blindly into this.

    A few Q's
    If I do the A and N, how hard is it to pass the mcdst on your own from here?
    Would the time in class be better off learning the mcdst and then the others on my own?
    Therefore which order is best?

    Did a basic college course in visual basic - enjoyed this - whats a qual in this area?
    where can I read up on this to know where I would be in relation to a qualification.

    Thanks guys for your help
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2009
  2. Evilwheato

    Evilwheato Kilobyte Poster

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    Most people will study the A+, N+ then MCDST (although it doesn't have to be it that order). I would definitely recommend taking the A+ first as it will give you an introduction to both Windows XP and networking terminology. I found the N+ very helpful for the MCDST, as it allowed me essentially skip a few chapters in the MS press book ;)
    If you have the A+ and N+ you shouldn't have any trouble passing the MCDST, as long as you have access to Windows XP :)

    Wouldn't know about VB, sorry ..
     
  3. ericrollo

    ericrollo Megabyte Poster

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    Go to a local college much better option.
     
    Certifications: MOS Master, A+, MCP 271
    WIP: HND, Programming, Another Job
  4. Notebook

    Notebook Bit Poster

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    Thanks
     
  5. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    You can do them in any order, but I'd recommend doing them in the order you have them listed: A+, Network+, and MCDST. Each one builds on the previous ones.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  6. Notebook

    Notebook Bit Poster

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    Have built computers and used sotware from windows 3.0, so remember a few dos commands and also seen cards, processors and slots come and go. How usefull or should I say what would I get out of the training - 1 week for each? How much more would I nned to do - being realistic
    Thanks
     
  7. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I know that £2500 grant is burning a hole in your pocket, but you don't NEED the training. That said, if it's free, I guess there's no harm in pursuing the training. Just realize that you don't HAVE to take an official training course before taking a certification exam.

    How useful is it? I dunno... that'd be like me asking you how good food is in restaurants. Without knowing what particular restaurant I am visiting, what kind of food the restaurant fixes, and who is working in the restaurant that day, you would have no way of telling me how good the food is going to be. You could sign on with a training provider who provides good materials or bad ones. You could have a good trainer or a horrible one. Who knows?

    Personally, I don't care much for structured classroom training. They tend to move far too slow for me, and they tend to use materials that I would not have chosen. I learn well on my own using books and hands-on experience. See all those certifications in my signature? I have yet to take a training course for ANY of them. If I can do it, you can do it too.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  8. Notebook

    Notebook Bit Poster

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    Bosun boy - your a star!!

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.
    Still picking your brains - how long should it take me to get through saythe A+ on my own.
    I Know whats coming, but say I spend 2 hours a day?
    Perhaps I should ask - How long did it take you - hours per week?
    As you can see I am just trying to get the feeling for this.

    Whats your opinion on training nuggets?

    also a mate has some mike meyers video for A+ - any good.

    The local college I have yet to fully look at, but they do a cisco over 32 weeks I believe - 1 day a week 8 weeks at a time.

    Perhaps money spent on this better and my own time etc on A+ my way at home?

    What if any hardwear would I need for the A+
    Again thanks
     
  9. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    For the A+ all you need is compTIA A+ all in one 6th edition by Mike Meyers & PC Technician street smarts by James Pyles.

    A computer you don't mind fiddling with (can get them from free from recylcing centers or pawn shops for cheap)

    Then when you have studied and feel confident enough by a practice exam simulator from Boson, preplogic or Transcender. I reccomemend the Boson ones as the best.

    You can get free practice exams from www.proprofs.com however if you are looking on the net for free practice exams be aware that some are illegal and can get you decertified and could end up facing legal action so always check their validity first with www.certguard.com.

    When you are read for your 2 A+ exams register with www.pearsonvue.com and book the exams you can cut the cost of the exams buy first buying two international A+ vouchers from www.gracetechsolutions.com and using the voucher codes on the pearsonvue website instead of your credit card.

    For the N+ I recommend Mike Meyers and David Groth books, taken at vue centers and you can buy discount vouchers from gracetech for this exam too

    For the MCDST I recommend the MS Press books (MS exams need to be taken at prometric centers).You get vouchers for the exams in the MS press books along with trial copies of xp so you can setup a virtual network if you so desire.

    You don't need a training provider for any cert but if you really need classroom training I would only recommend that you look at a college as atleast you know the tutors actually know what they are on about and a proper college will charge fairly and not rip you off or over certify you which is what most TPs do.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  10. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Glad to be of assistance. :)

    Then you probably know what's coming. :) It'll take you as long as it'll take you. Nobody can tell you how long you should take to gain an understanding of the A+. Everyone's different. Everyone has different responsibilities, different ways of studying, and different amounts of previous experience. Some people consume information readily, while others struggle. Some people retain information like a camera, and others cannot. Some people take tests well, while others do not. You might be excited about the material, or you might be bored with it - for example, I might enjoy science and plow through it, whereas you might hate it, though the situations might be entirely reversed regarding history.

    So there's no way to know... and anyone who says that they do know, although trying to be helpful, are not giving you good information. And no good can come from someone telling you a time frame to shoot for. Let's say I were to tell you it should take you about 3 months. If you didn't feel comfortable after 3 months of study, wouldn't you feel pressured to go ahead and take it anyway? Or wouldn't you feel bad that you didn't get it done in the "accepted time frame", thereby making you doubt your suitability for IT?

    Let's switch the situation around... let's say you felt comfortable after only a month of study. Wouldn't you feel pressured to spend more time studying simply because the "accepted time frame" is 3 months, when in reality, you may indeed be ready to take the exam? After all, you don't want to hurry into it and waste your money... and thus, you end up overstudying when you could have knocked it out and started on Network+.

    Study until you have a complete understanding of the topics... no more, no less. If you want to see if you're ready, buy a practice exam from a respected, well-known practice exam provider, though I will warn you, good ones aren't cheap.

    Zero. I went in cold and took the exam with nothing more than 5 years of real-world experience. That illustrates my point exactly - everyone's different. :)

    I assume you mean CBT Nuggets. Although they're probably fine for people who learn well with video-based training products, I don't care for them. Like classroom training, they move far too slow for my taste. Plus, you can't really skim a video.

    I like Meyers' book - in fact, I wholeheartedly recommend his All-in-One Exam Guide (6th edition is current, 7th edition is coming). If you like video-based training, his video is likely to be fine.

    Keep in mind, though, that most practice exams and video-based training products are sold as a single-user license... meaning, it's probably not legal for your mate to let you watch his training videos. Legally, it'd be no different than pirating it off the Internet. I'd recommend you look into the licensing before viewing it. After all, we training content providers have to stay in business... if we disappear, who will you study from then? Consider the expense an investment in your career.

    Although I love Cisco certifications, getting Cisco certified early in your career would be a mistake. The Cisco certifications have nothing to do with entry-level tech work.

    If you are allowed to spend the £2500 however you see fit, I'd recommend getting the best, hand-picked training materials you can and study on your own (provided you study well with self-study methods). You'll save a bunch of money that way, thereby giving you MORE training products to study.

    Usually, any old PC will do. If you want a book to help you practice labs, I recommend PC Technician Street Smarts by my good friend James Pyles.

    Any other questions? :)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  11. BosonMichael
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    Groth does not have a book for the most recent version of Network+.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  12. Notebook

    Notebook Bit Poster

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    what is the current training version of A+ and N+
    what should the books say?
     
  13. BosonMichael
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    There are currently two A+ exams out at the moment - the older 2006 version and the recent 2009 version. The A+ All-in-One Exam Guide 6th edition matches the 2006 version, and the upcoming 7th Edition matches the 2009 version.

    I don't know what I'd recommend for the current version of Network+. I used to recommend Sybex's Network+ book by Groth for the previous version of the exam, but he didn't write the most recent version. Meyers has a Network+ All-In-One Exam Guide... I don't know the current edition, but if you look for one with a late 2008/early 2009 copyright date, you should be fine.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  14. greenbrucelee
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    I know but I still recommend it as it's a very good book even though it covers appletalk etc that isn't in the N+ anymore but I believe its still worth knowing about appletalk and the topics they have made redundant in the new N+ exam.

    The meyers book for the current N+ is the fourth edition.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  15. BosonMichael
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    But... dude... the old version of the book doesn't likely cover the new stuff that the exam doesn't cover.

    Do you want to be the person who recommended he buy the wrong version of a book and, should he fail, the blame be on YOUR head? :blink Not a smart move, Stephen.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  16. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I was trying to point out that the network+ has had some things taken out of it and hardley anything added that it is still worth knowing about the areas that have been taken out. That is why I would stil recommend the book.

    The new Meyers 4th edition will cover the new areas.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?

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