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A+, Network+, Security+, Server+

Discussion in 'A+' started by magic johnson, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. magic johnson

    magic johnson New Member

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    Hello,

    I am about to embark on a 12 month course to do all of the above. Distance learning looks the most likely, so I'll have to do it in my own time.

    I have 2 years' experience supporting an SME with full exposure to all systems and infrastructure.

    The place I got a quote from recommend 90hrs for A+, 50hrs for N+, 50 hrs for Security+ and 50 hrs for Server+.

    Is this about right? This is equal to 10 full days of study time, however given my experience I think I could cut down the time for the A+ considerably.

    Has anybody else done anything like this and how hard was it to achieve (especially interested to hear from anyone who has done it whilst having a full time job).

    Cheers! :biggrin
     
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Depends on the individual. I've got Network+, Security+ and Server+. Each one took about a months part time study. However I've been in IT since 1995 and did a Comp Sci degree before that.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  3. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    Hi Magic Johnson,

    Impressive list, is there a specific role you're aiming for when doing all these certs?

    Was there any particular reason you are doing the CompTIA branch of certs?

    I doubt you'll be able to do them all within 10days, purely because of the amount of concentration required to take in all the information. However, you should be able to them them all within 2-3 months if you work hard and read fast 8)
     
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  4. magic johnson

    magic johnson New Member

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    I only have an HNC, unfortunately. :(

    Still, that's a nice time scale dmarsh, I'd go at it hammer and tongs and I'm quite a fast learner, so that's a plus I guess. I'd definitely hope to have them all within 12 months.

    Hi Boffy,

    No specific role I am going for, I'm pretty much exposed to everything as opposed to being 1st line, 2nd line, Network admin etc

    Yes, they are more generic as opposed to MS quals which are very specific. I also want to confirm to myself and the company I am competent at what I do. I also think they will give me a good foundation for my MCITP that I'll have to achieve when my company upgrades.

    Haha, no I'd be amazed if I could do it in that timescale! I meant the study time adds to 240hrs or 10 days, I just wondered how that would translate over the 12 months. If I did an hour a night it would be 240 nights, but I'm not sure if that's the recommended time scale for people with no I.T experience.
     
  5. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    Sounds like you're confident about your choice. My only concern would be that some employers don't recognise CompTIA exams, and that you'll need to sell yourself well for any interviews. Especially if you had no IT experience.

    But, since you have a job and just want to progress - having a solid foundation of knowledge goes a long way and enables you to direct your career more specifically where ever your interest (or career) takes you.

    good luck with it, let us know how you get on 8)
     
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Sounds reasonable to me given someone with your background. However I'd advise against making big cert lists in general.

    Pick one you like the look of or think will help your career etc. Then study for it, then take the exam. Don't worry about the timescale so much, focus on learning what is required for the exam, when you feel ready take the exam.

    Hopefully you will pass, then you take a breather, go down the pub celebrate etc. Once that wears off and you want a new challenge pick another one...


    Most of the CompTia certs don't carry much weight in the UK, its like doing the first year at college, it gives you a foundation but is not going to blow anyone's socks off. So people tend to do a couple and then move onto other cert tracks.

    Many cert programs also run Beta's which make it easier to pick up free or low cost certs, which is one reason why I have so many CompTia certs.

    Finally you can learn stuff and do CPD without having to follow someone else's cert program! These companies do have their own agendas and bias. Also many subjects are not covered well by cert programs.

    In my field there are arguably far better ways to differentiate yourself than by taking cert exams.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  7. magic johnson

    magic johnson New Member

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    Hello, me again. Typed out a big reply to you both but it denied me! Argh!

    Quick question, would you recommend a 5 day crash course in each exam or the 12 month online learning?

    Don't want to fail!

    EDIT: Okay, changed my mind. I'm gonna self-study for the A+ and get it as soon as I can. Think it'll be too easy and probably a waste of money for work to put me through training.

    Not sure about the Security+, Server+ or Network+ though. Same question applies; crash course or distance learning over a period of time?
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  8. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    If you're going to learn, why not self-study by using books? The e-learning is only providing access to these resources anyway.
    • Book + additional resource
    • Exam
    • Perhaps exam question pack
    £250-300 (A+ is 2 exams, costing about £220).

    The A+ doesn't require any previous skills or knowledge, so you might as well do it from home. Save your cash for bootcamps/crashcourses when you need to learn a skill in a classroom environment.

    The same applies for the N+, its a beginners course on networking. Teaching you the fundamentals to get you into a entry-level job before you build on vendor specific knowledge (ie: CCNA).


    Do the A+, then N+. From there, look at where you are in your career. Consider these as possible routes upon the completion of A+/N+:

    Microsoft Client Exams which leads to:
    MCITP - Desktop Support Technician

    Or Server based exams:
    CompTIA S+
    MS Active Directory
    Other exams involved in becoming a Server Administrator

    Or networking exams, depending on your vendor - ie: CCNA.


    The thing is, you can't become a Server Administrator unless you have the experience. So work your way up - slowly, do the certifications WHILE you gain experience.

    Certifications aren't to help you are learning X/Y/Z, but rather you're already proficient in X/Y/Z
     
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  9. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  10. magic johnson

    magic johnson New Member

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    Oh well, looks like that decision has been taken out of my hands, my boss has just went to get it signed off lol.

    So I have 12 months to get all 4 certifications. I may buy those resources out of my own pocket (the Mike Meyers stuff) as well.
     

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