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A+ self study vs classroom

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Pixie_0, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. Pixie_0

    Pixie_0 New Member

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    Hello all

    I've been trawling through the posts in the hope i wouldnt have to repeat what i am sure a million people have before, however the answers i find just arent specific enough to me, so here goes.

    I am looking to start my A+ and then progress to N+.
    My options are
    A: London college CompTIA A+ Certification, 5 week course (on saturdays in a class) for £650
    -fee includes Class Room Based tuition, Hands-on experience, Books, Extra Practical Hours & Practice Exam


    B: ICS Learn cdrom course (exam fees excluded) for £549

    C: self-study - according to this forum between £400-£500

    Excluding the consideration of saving £200 - do you think tis better to do these courses at home on your own, or to have hands on experience in a class? Is it really really viable to self study such a hands on subject?

    My IT background is no professional, however i'm constantly finding cures for pc problems and my friends always call me for help when things go wrong and i generally manage to sort the problems out for them.

    What do you reckon?
    Thanks everyone!
     
    Certifications: None - yet!
    WIP: A+
  2. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    You don't say if the cost of A includes exams, so I assume it does not. Thus, for A and B you need to add £222 to the cost. You would also need to add the cost of the travel to and from the college in A. The cost of C seems a little steep, unless you are including the cost of a cheap PC to ake apart and put back together. I also assume C includes cost of exams. If it doesn't then you obviously need to include that too...


    The bottom line is whether you can afford the cost of A or B, plus exams. If you can't, then I would seriously consider going down the self-study route.

    And, as someone who has studied A+ with a Training Provider (TP) and studied Network+ using self-study, I would suggest that you should save money and study at home for A+ and Network+. They are two courses that can definitely can be done at home!


    One reason I went with a TP in the first place was that I wasn't sure I could be motivated to learn it on my own. The TP I used(not London College I hasten to add!) was rubbish. So, I decided that I would self-study the Network+, even though I had concerns.

    I purchased several books recommended by friends on CF, 'chatted' and 'listened' to forums and posts on CF, as well as 'googling' and using Wikipedia. In the end, I found I had the motivation, and I made the time... that is an important factor, making time to learn.

    I am now studying Sec+ (and MCDST) using books, CF, Google and Wiki.

    But, that does not mean to say that, in the dim and distant future - when I look to study MCSE or CCNA (I wish!) - that I may not look at TPs again; however, should that day come, I'd make sure that I have done my bit of self-study, and I would merely use that TP to fine tune what I have learnt to ensure I am ready for the exam(s).
     
  3. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I would say self study and I think you being a bit OTT with the total price, I am self studying I got the two most recommended books for it compTIA A+ all in one exam guide 6th edition by Mike Meyers and PC Technician street smarts by James Pyles in addition to this I got an old PC to mess with. Total cost £80 I need to take both exams which if I pay full price I am looking at £266 altogether so thats £346 in total.

    To lower the price evn further I could by 2 INTERNATIONAL vouchers from gracetechsolutions.com which cost which cost £111 no vat to pay so the total cost would be £302 including books & pc.

    With self study you can't rip your self off or are restricted to timescales and its upto you to get the studying done.

    Good luck.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  4. Pixie_0

    Pixie_0 New Member

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    Thank you! For clearing it up in my mind! You are of course, entirely right. Its quite considerably less by self study, i was just a bit concerned about the lack of hands on education so to speak. However, the buying a pc thing sounds like the perfect idea. Can you tell me what kind of pc i would be looking to buy as a take-aparter? pc or laptop and does it need some kind of specs minimum?

    Ps: worst part is, i only just realised that option A does not include the real exams!!! sneaky!

    :blink
     
    Certifications: None - yet!
    WIP: A+
  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    You can get a hands-on education at home... just make a cheapie home lab, preferably with stuff you've already got, and don't mind breaking/fixing. :)
     
    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. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Forget laptops, they are more specialised and will not be good for studying the A+.

    Buy a 2 or 3 year old clone (unbranded) PC, something useable like a P4 with at least 512MB RAM so it will run XP fine. The reason i say unbranded, is that you have a better chance that the parts are generic/standard. You should be able to pick a box like this up now for a reasonable amount as processors have moved on and people are upgrading.

    Good luck.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  7. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    The PC I got for £60 from a computer fair was a Pentium running xp with minimum specs it didn't have amonitor with it but I had a friend who had a spare :)
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  8. BosonJosh

    BosonJosh Gigabyte Poster

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    Actually, don't forget laptops when studying for the A+. There's an entire section on the A+ about laptops and portable devices.

    However, I would agree that buying a desktop makes sense if you're going to be tearing down and building up the computer.
     
  9. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Yes, i should have said forget *buying* a laptop to take apart and re-build.. as a practice tool :)
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  10. cisco lab rat

    cisco lab rat Megabyte Poster

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    A+ !!!!

    Self study for sure 100%
     
    Certifications: Yes I pretty much am!!
    WIP: Fizzicks Degree
  11. Pixie_0

    Pixie_0 New Member

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    Something tells me since the discovery of this forum, my chances of passing these things has magnified massively! Still shocked how quick and helpful everyone is. Its great! When I'm a guru (or at least on the path to guru-dom) i will return the favour!

    As if its meant to be, my old man has informed me he has a desktop sitting doing nothing but taking up space and i can have it. its running xp and is not a branded one, its been built by one of these pc shop companies. Perfect!! :D

    Already started ordering the books!
    Lets do this thing!!

    THANK YOU!! :thumbleft
     
    Certifications: None - yet!
    WIP: A+
  12. DrHypnosis

    DrHypnosis New Member

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    Self study is great if you are extemely motivated but I recommend having some form of tutor backup that can help when you are in a sticky patch.

    Classoom based is always best but for the obvious reasons is more expensive.

    Beware of Home Learning colleges as the are not value for money. You can get similar material at a fraction of the cost.
     
    Certifications: CompTIA A+, Network +, MCSA
    WIP: MCSE
  13. harpistic

    harpistic Byte Poster

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    Phew! I've been agonising over the same question for the last few weeks, and after bad experiences with classroom-based courses (VB and Oracle), I'm relieved to see such support for self-taught. (About to embark on A+, Network+, MCSE for starters).

    Pixie, if you need some backup, I've earmarked trainingcenter.com and onlinelearningnetwork.com for additional discipline if needed - very cheap so easy to throw into the study budget, I hope this helps.

    (Now to return to Ebay to look for cheap PCs...)
     
    Certifications: Pet Geekery
    WIP: cure for insomnia

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