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Advice for Newbies

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by Davidus, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. Davidus

    Davidus Nibble Poster

    Hi. My name is Davidus and I’m a Noob…lol. There, confession is good for the soul :).

    I’ve only been on this forum for a short while and the help here is fantastic, and to help some of the guys out here, I’ve taken it on me own head to supply just a brief description of how to begin life in the IT world. Now some of the stuff I’ve written may not be wholly accurate (although I'm hoping it will all make sense), or that the best course of action for everyone will be different. I hope however that those in the know will be forgiving, and those NOT in the know, will be wise enough NOT to tell me so :biggrin, lol.

    Now, I’ve taken the liberty of assuming that you are new to IT or have very little experience and wish to get a job in the IT world.

    Hmmm. From what I can see, this might prove a tad difficult. You’ll need several things. Qualifications, experience, determination and a firm willingness to develop your career once you’re in. Sound easy doesn’t it. (And I cannot stress the experience element enough). Potential employees would obviously prefer people to be able to hit the ground running, as it takes time and money for another IT chap to nursemaid the new member of staff to get up to scratch.

    Ok – First question seems to be what to study??

    As IT is a vast area filled with many career paths it’s not gonna be possible to detail each one, however, if your thinking of going down the IT ‘Tech’ route (Hardware, networking etc), the general consensus appears to be going for the Comptia A+, followed by the Comptia N+, and then progressing to MCDST (Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician).

    Recommended self-study books for the Comptia A+ would be ‘A+ Certification All-in-One Exam guide’ by Mike Myers, and 'PC Technician Street Smarts' by James Pyles. There are others, but these are the two you will hear mentioned throughout this forum (if anyone has other suggestions/recommendations, PM me and I will willingly add to this list).

    I won’t recommend any Training providers (as there are a number of GOOD and BAD ones out there). There is a general consensus about these throughout the forum (which you can find should you wish), but in short, self-study is highly recommended.

    Additional help can also be obtained in the form of free pdf revision guides from cramsession, freeware from examforce and video's from testout (originally mentioned in a post by fatp).

    Ok – if you want to go self-study, you’ll need to book an exam (or two) but where???

    The exams are held at test centres which deliver certification exams either organised by Pearson VUE or Thompson Prometric. Further information, together with locating your nearest test centre can be found by Googling the above names. The Comptia exams (for A+ and N+) currently cost £111 per exam (as at 20/07/08 per Prometric website).

    Should you then wish to proceed onto the MCDST, your best bet is to visit Microsoft’s own website to learn more.

    But to briefly mention, you would need to pass two Core exams: Exam 70-271 ‘Supporting Users and Troubleshooting a Microsoft Windows XP Operating System’ and Exam 70-272 ‘Supporting Users and Troubleshooting Desktop Applications on a Microsoft Windows XP Operating System’.

    There are upgrades to this under the new certifications issued by Microsoft, and my understanding of this is were you to pass the above two core exams (using the XP operating system) you would be able to upgrade to the Vista operating system by taking Exam 70-621 ‘PRO: Upgrading your MCDST to MCITP Enterprise Support’.

    I won’t concern you with any other information about the various other Microsoft certifications as these are varied and would only confused the uninitiated. However, there are others here in this forum who would be able to better explain.

    I should also point out here that the premise behind the Microsoft Certificates are to show employers and other users that the individual, when awarded these certificates, has the relevant competence/ability in that given area. In other words, you would need to have a working experience and knowledge to take these exams, and it is therefore strongly advisable to be a suitable job, or have relevant experience before undertaking these exams.

    There – I hope this is of some use to somebody. I hope this will be the beginning of a rewarding career, as it looks like computers are gonna be around for quite a while. And where there’s computers, there’s ‘problems’ and who’s gonna fix/rectify these problems??? That’s right – you and me :wink:.

    Good luck with your studying, and please remember, if you have any problems, post a thread. There’s always gonna be somebody here with a friendly word of advice.
    Certifications: EDCL (don't laugh)
    WIP: 70-536, Comptia A+
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Very good post Davidus worthy of being pinned imo.

    Just to add to it if I may, exams can be taken cheaper by buying discount vouchers or ones that come with books.

    With the price of the two A+ exams being £111 + vat it would have turned out expensive so I bought discount vouchers from www.gractechsolutions.com. With the price of the two A+ exams being £111 + vat it would have turned out expensive. The price of the vouchers were £107 each with no VAT to pay if anyone decides to buy the vouchers make sure you buy international vouchers as the others are for Canada and the US only.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. Gingerdave

    Gingerdave Megabyte Poster

    Nice post - Rep given.
    Certifications: A+,MCP, MCDST, VCP5 /VCP-DV 5, MCTS AD+ Net Inf 2008, MCSA 2008
    WIP: MCSA 2012
  4. NightWalker

    NightWalker Gigabyte Poster

    Good post Davidus. We were all IT newbies once.
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCP, MCSA:M 2003, ITIL v3 Foundation
  5. yeedle

    yeedle New Member

    Hi I'm new here - thanks for all your advice guys!

    I had been considering training with NITLC or Avent but think I am going to start CompTIA A+ (and maybe N+) then get into the industry like you suggested.

    All the best
    Certifications: :-(
    WIP: ?

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