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Certification Study Plan Advice

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Albert, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. Albert

    Albert Bit Poster

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    Hi guys,

    I'm in need of some suggestions on my current certification plan.

    I started to study for the A+ back in March 2010, when the AIO 7th Ed. (Mike Meyers) came out. I've only been reading through the book so far. It has been on and off to be honest. I'm not even halfway through it yet.

    My plan was to take the A+ exam at the end of March 2011. Taking a year for it. Then another year for N+ and finally another for the MCDST.

    Now reading about the MCDST to be retired at the end of March 2011 makes me sort of panic slightly and feeling lost as to how to continue.

    I normally work 50.5 hrs a week, 5/7 days, shift based. I have 1 hr to myself when I get home from work plus 40 mins. in total travelling time on public transport.

    My question is, do you guys think:

    1. It is feasible to say, finish reading the A+ AIO book by the middle of November and taking the exam at the end of that month? Then taking the N+ exam just before the end of December?
      The problem is I would feel really rushed. I tend to be the sort of person that is wholly inclined to be very thorough in whatever I do and wanting a deep understanding in a subject.
      I have the Street Smarts book to go through as well. I was also considering buying the Testout LabSim but this would further draw out the length of study time (http://www.testout.com/products/aplus/a-plus-certification-training.htm).
    2. Alternatively, carry on with what I'm doing and go at my own pace? Just let the MCDST go?
      I could always buy a recommended book for it, read through that in my own time and take the latest MCDST replacement cert. instead.
      I'm fully aware that I would need to recertify the highest CompTIA cert. every 3 yrs. after December 2010 but I'm prepared to do that if it comes down to it. It's just that with the exam retirement of MCDST I feel I'd miss out on a Win XP cert. or even beneficial knowledge about it.

    Any guidance or advice would be greatly appreciated guys. :confused3

    Thanks very much

    Albert
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    It isn't just the highest compTIA cert that you have to redo every 3 years it would be both the A+ and N+ if you do not pass either by December 31st.

    Try and grab as much free time as you can to get the A+ done, then if I were you I would move onto the MCDST and do the N+ afterwards.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. GSteer

    GSteer Megabyte Poster

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    From: http://www.comptia.org/certifications/listed/renewal.aspx

    I hold multiple CompTIA certifications. Am I required to renew each of them?

    No. Individuals with multiple CompTIA certifications will be prompted to renew at their highest level of certification held. For example, someone who holds CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ certifications would be required to meet only the continuing education requirements for CompTIA Security+. Completion of CE for CompTIA Security+ would grant the participant with a CompTIA Security+CE, and simultaneously grant a new CompTIA A+CE and CompTIA Network+CE.

    So the OP is correct, you only have to recert the highest to renew all, something I looked in to when debating to try for all three before end of year.

    As for advice for you Albert, not sure I can shed much light. I'm unaware of the benefit of the MCDST, never went for it myself and don't know how it stacks up against the A+ in employeers eyes. As to cramming the A+/N+ it depends what your current experice level is, someone with 5+ years experience could skim the A+ book and take the exam two weeks later and pass, someone else with 5 months experience might need a few months and lots of practice tests - where do you fit in the scale?

    If you've not done the networking side of the N+ topic before then there is a lot to take in, including stuff that you may never have (and never will) see in your job (the fixed size of an ATM cell comes to mind).
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010
    Certifications: BSc. (Comp. Sci.), MBCS, MCP [70-290], Specialist [74-324], Security+, Network+, A+, Tea Lord: Beverage Brewmaster | Courses: LFS101x Introduction to Linux (edX)
    WIP: CCNA Routing & Switching
  4. Albert

    Albert Bit Poster

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    Phew. Thanks guys.

    No disrespect to 'greenbrucelee'. When I read the reply, I was thinking if CompTIA altered their policy again. I really got worried there.

    I seem to see CompTIA stating only CE for renewing all certs. though. It does also imply I could renew the highest cert. by 'exam' which will then renew all the others right?
    I do hope CompTIA sticks to this.

    My main concern right now is potentially missing out on the MCDST before I complete the A+ and N+.

    Thanks again for the useful input guys
     
  5. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I wouldn't stress too much about MCDST being retired... you can always learn it and get the 270 exam done and move up to Windows 7.
     
    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
  6. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I never saw that statement I had only seen the initial one.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  7. Albert

    Albert Bit Poster

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    Oh, 270? I wasn't aware of that one. Good idea.

    1. How comprehensive is it compared to the MCDST cert., as a substitute?
    2. Do you think it will be eventually retired as well?
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010
  8. Albert

    Albert Bit Poster

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    Not to blow my own trumpet here but just to give some background info about myself. I did a 1 year top up to degree level right after a foundation degree, straight into the final year of Business Information Technology (http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/?view=CourseDetail&code=UUSBIT1&page=modules). It was a totally different side of IT. I thought it would make me stand out with better employment prospects by including business acumen. Regretfully the knowledge gained hasn't come in useful yet.

    I find the most relevant and beneficial has been the FdSc (http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/?view=CourseDetail&code=UUFICT5&page=modules). I achieved a 'Distinction' result but as a foundation degree, it's nothing really.

    Since graduating I've worked as a Junior Web Developer for an agency. Really didn't enjoy it so left after a year. Now I'm just working as a Tier 1 technical adviser for an ISP's Broadband and Telecom, since September 2009, in an outsourced contact centre. It can't be any more technically challenging as I desire, especially being able to only do what clients wants to outsource, hence why I am looking to progress.

    Do you guys think I'm just being unnecessarily too slow at working through the A+ since March 2010?
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010
  9. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yes, if you want to add more certs it’s going to take you forever to get through them all.

    Why not set yourself a target date to take the exam? Say early December or something like that?
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010

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