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Advice : Anyone Used Firebrand to obtain A+ & Network +?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by danno99uk, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. danno99uk

    danno99uk New Member

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    Hi all

    Must admit I've found these forums exceptionally useful already, even though I've just joined. What a nice bunch of folk!

    Having been made redundant in the Summer and just completed my work funded HR course, I want to change direction and try to get into IT (Lol, I can almost hear the groans :rolleyes: ). I'm fairly adept from an end-user (creating websites and the like) and feel I have a REALISTIC opinion in what I can achieve early doors. i.e I know I'm only a hobbyist at the mo and that there's a big difference between that and a pro. I've ditched the idea of doing some ridiculous mammoth MCDBA or MCSE course - I've figured I'd be better working toward my A+ and Network + .

    Having been scared to death of most of the distance learning providers (eg. Advent and the like) by the very useful posts in this forum, i was wondering whether anyone had used Firebrand to obtain their A+ and Network +?. I've been seriously considering enrolling on their 7 day combined course that includes everything for about £3k. The testamonials are somewhat scarey (ie. its bloody hard graft) but very positive. They were also named IT Training Company of the year two year's on the trot apparently.

    Has anyone used them, especially for this course? Or indeed, does anyone have any thoughts on my potential of passing these two exams given by background. I must admit I've had Mike Meyers A+ book for about 6 months and it doesn't scare me much at all now. In fact I'm fairly confident I'd pass it after doing their course. However the Network + (when I've had a good look at these books in Borders) seems very tough going for someone like me with little experience how 'how things works' on a corporate network scale.

    In short, would I have any realistic chance of passing my Network + in such an accelerated training environment? Are there any other 'starters-out' out there who have done this 7 day course with Firebrand?

    All thoughts gratefully recieved!!!

    thanks very muchly
    Dan
     
    Certifications: none
  2. cisco lab rat

    cisco lab rat Megabyte Poster

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    Best you stick to the manuals 3k is a lot of money to be told how to suck eggs
     
    Certifications: Yes I pretty much am!!
    WIP: Fizzicks Degree
  3. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Are you talking about learning the entire A+ and Network+ content in a 7 day period? Sounds like a "boot camp" to me. That's not necessarily a bad learning model, but it's designed for a specific audience. Boot camps present complex information in a compressed learning format for people who already use that information on a day-to-day basis but need to be able to pass various certification tests. The idea really, is to teach people how to organize what they already know in a way where they can pass exams...not learn new information.

    In my opinion, if you expect a boot camp to teach you concepts and information you have not yet mastered, you'll never learn it all and even if you manage to "get it" enough to pass the exams, you'll retain less than 20% (and I'm being optimistic).

    If you feel confident to pass the A+ exams at this stage of the game, go for it. It you want a career in IT, start looking for entry-level jobs now. The combination of studying and actually working in IT, will help prepare you for the Network+ exam. Believe me, the Network+ content won't seem quite so difficult if you start actually doing some networking. It's easier to learn by doing something than by reading about it.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  4. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I agree with Trip, he gave sound advice.

    I would also recommend that you stick to learning the material on your own. If you already understand the A+ then passing the exam should not be very difficult for you. You would have to study a little but you will pass. As for Network+ it's like Trip said it will get a lot easier when you actually do some of the things that the book is talking about. In the end you will save yourself 3K which is a lot of money.

    Good luck.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  5. MrNerdy

    MrNerdy Megabyte Poster

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    "The goal of this seven-day accelerated bootcamp-style course is to provide professionals with the basic hardware, software, and networking skills necessary to function in an variety of information technology positions"
    Courses like this are not designed for those starting in the Industry, but more for those wanting to upgrade certificates.

    I suggest you try your local colleges to see if they run an A+ course, or if they do Cisco IT Esssentials 1 which lead's into the A+ exams.
    Total cost including exam fees less than £500
    Then try Network+ again some colleges run these courses it's just a case of contacting them & seeing when they are doing it!
     
    Certifications: ECDL, CiscoIT1 & A+
    WIP: Girlfriend & Network+
  6. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I did that course with them last year, and I would never go with them again.

    I had to make at least two representations about the tutor on my course, and the standard of training given. There was also one guy on the course whose wife had bought him the course as an early Xmas present... he didn't have any idea of how to use a PC or, indeed, what Google was. He got little if no help, and ended up leaving the course early.

    Despite requests for some sort of recompense, the most I have been offered is the standard redo the course for free, but pay for the accomodation or up to a third off your next course. My attempts to escalate to the directors have stopped at the Customer Service manager's office.

    I passed my A+, not because of Firebrand but in spite of them. I declined to take my N+ there, and left early. The reasons I went to them in the first place were because I was concerned about a lack of motivation and a lack of confidence in my own ability. Boy was I wrong! I would add that I have kept in touch with all of the people on my course and know exactly what they think. They are also all aware of my ongoing attempts to get some sort of refund.

    Seriously, save your money... do as the likes of Michael, GBL and others say all the time on this forum. Self-study. Or at least try it... buy the books, buy a bit of kit, and give it a go...
     
  7. BrizoH

    BrizoH Byte Poster

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    I haven't actually used them, although I have looked into them. I do agree with the others in that it's basically a boot camp designed to get you through the exam.

    If you do decide to go with them, you will get a better deal towards the end of the month - don't be scared to bargain with them.
     
    Certifications: CCNA, CCNA Security
    WIP: CCNP
  8. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    To add to what all the others have said in a nutshell get the books and study the self study route. There is also this site if you're stuck or need clarity.

    Save your money and time and do the right thing by getting the A+ Mike Meyer book and a computer you can tinker with and your set to go.

    Best wishes and yep! welcome to CF:)
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  9. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I have no experience with Firebrand, so I don't have an opinion of them. However, I am a big advocate of self-study. If the Meyers book doesn't scare you, save your money and go take the exams when you're ready. :)
     
    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!
  10. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Another vote for self study here.

    Also it’s not the best idea to take shortcuts in your certifications so early in your career. How much can you realistically learn in 7 days? Not much.

    If you have questions about the A+ or Network+ why not post them on this forum? Many of the members have taken both certs and can help you out. 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  11. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Firebrand actually supply the Meyers A+ AIO 6th and the Network+ Passport books as some of your study materials anyway, if you don't already have them...
     
  12. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    All the more reason to self study those materials yourself rather than pay 3 grand for them. :)
     
    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!
  13. justin

    justin New Member

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    By mid 2002 I had attended all the courses I needed for training in a Microsoft MCSE. These consisted of seven, 4 or 5 day taining courses (Official Microsoft Curriculum), the traditional kind of training if you like. I gained a lot from it. Firebrand do not do this kind of training. I was busy implementing what I had learned so kept putting off the exams until.....

    Late 2002 my employer was going into receivership and I was given a training perk by them to help me complete my qualification. I went on a 14 day MCSE 2000 residential course with the Training Camp (now Firebrand). By day three they were handing out the "popular braindumps" and telling us to go away and memorise. One guy boasted doing an exam in 14 minutes.....blahblah

    What I cannot believe is that these people are Microsoft Gold Partners and Microsoft try to close the very site they use for their "braindumps".

    My faith in Microsoft & Firebrand Training (previously The Training Camp) is greatly diminished.

    Hold on to your money, put yourself up in a hotel if you need to get away from your family but dont go there.......Don't get me started on the instructors.
     
    Certifications: Many
  14. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    To be fair, they never offered me any braindumps for the course I did... I got offered the Meyers AIO 6th and the Network+ Passport.
     
  15. justin

    justin New Member

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    Well an MCSE (2000 or 2003) is 7 exams.
    I have done the Security+ and various others. A week on those was fine.

    Back to the MCSE - 2 days per exam! Well how are you going to get that knowledge across in two days per exam? Either you allready know it and you are paying for two weeks hotel accommodation and some exams or you are very clever.

    If you are very clever stay at home and do it yourself or go to Novotel.
     
    Certifications: Many

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