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Entry level in i.t support??

Discussion in 'A+' started by shocksl, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. shocksl

    shocksl Byte Poster

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    I am trying to get into 1st line support with the goal of progressing to 2nd line in the future.

    Do employers take A+ serious?

    I have been trying to revise the microsoft cert 70-680 , admittedly finding it difficult.

    I would be grateful for any advice.
     
  2. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I would say it depends. A small employer probably wouldn't know what it is. I know, for example, it wouldn't have held any weight at my current employer when I started. However, a company with an IT department bigger than one person would probably have more of an idea. Schools and colleges would probably certainly know what the A+ covers. That and the N+ are the normal basic certifications. For entyr level, I know a lot of companies around here look to give day release to go to college one day a week to get a HNC or HND.
     
    shocksl likes this.
  3. shocksl

    shocksl Byte Poster

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    so do you think it's much better to do a Micro cert instead such as MCTS for win 7 instead? I would struggle, but anything can be really done if I put my mind to it.
     
  4. Toasty

    Toasty Byte Poster

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    Some employes do take A+ serious and others don't, but it is what you will learn from it that is most important here.

    A+ and Network+ are starter certs working on to MCTS Windows7. This and gaining as much experience as possible where possible like the voluntary position.

    Given that you have stated in another post relating to the same thing here, that you lack technical skills and the state of the IT sector at the moment, you could find yourself going up against people with years more experience than yourself which employers will go for first, as they will have a proven track record.

    If IT is where you want to be, then don’t give up hope, you will need to apply for every job that comes along and once you start to get interviews use this as a learning tool to better prepare yourself.

    It took me 2 years to land my first IT job and I could not tell you how many jobs I had applied for, 5-10 jobs a day some days.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, MCSA
    WIP: MCSE, CCNA
    Xorallius likes this.
  5. shocksl

    shocksl Byte Poster

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    Thank you soooo much for your comprehensive reply there! I realllly appreciate it!!!!

    So do you reckon it would be better for me to do the A+, Network + instead of the Micrsoft cert for my learning process? Or shall i throw myself in the deep end and do get on with the Micro cert , which I believe after a few months, i can try to pass it.
     
  6. Toasty

    Toasty Byte Poster

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    I did the A+ and Network+ as having not studied or taken any exams since I left school. I did have a good understanding of the subject’s covered as I have always built, installed and repaired my own computers and also for friends and family. So I used my knowledge to gain experience in studying again in preparation for studying for harder certs I wanted to gain later.
    As the A+ and Network+ covers the basics of hardware/software I see this as a good starting point to learn. You need to walk before you can run and a good foundation is the best place to start. This is just my thoughts, others may think differently.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, MCSA
    WIP: MCSE, CCNA
    shocksl likes this.
  7. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    Definitely do the A+ and N+ before your Windows 7 cert. Microsoft clearly state you should have 1 year to 18months experience with Windows 7 in a business environment.

    I'm not saying you can't do it, but you'll biting off more than you can chew - which might not even look that good if you have no experience on your CV.
     
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
    shocksl and Xorallius like this.
  8. algorithm&blues

    algorithm&blues Nibble Poster

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    Entry level IT jobs are a bit whacky. Some companies I've worked for have only taken on undergrads at helpdesk level, whereas some have taken on a team of people with zero technical qualifications.

    You'll probably find the "average" helpdesk is made up of about 10 people, 2 or 3 of which will probably be highly technical and will progress into 2nd/3rd line roles in a year or two, 5 or 6 of them will be moderately technical, and 2 or 3 will be completely non-technical but may have come in from a customer service background.

    It may be worth keeping an eye on vacancies with some of your "big" IT suppliers - I'm thinking here about IBM, Fujitsu, BT, CapGemini(are they still about?) etc. When these companies win new contracts, they sometimes employ completely new helpdesks - meaning that they have around 10-15 vacancies and accept a wider variety of recruits (whereas an existing helpdesk looking for just 1 helpdesk agent may employ the highest technically qualified person).

    I hope my answer made sense, always willing to add to it/answer any further questions.

    In terms of certs. The A+ is a good "general" base to work from. It shows you have a good knowledge of a wide variety of the varying fields of IT - a little bit of hardware, a little bit of software, a little bit of OS. It shows to a recruiter that you know a little about a lot.

    The Windows 7 exam is quite hard and it only really shows off your skills relating to Windows 7/Server 2008 technologies. You may find that if your helpdesk is still supporting XP or Vista, the 7 cert may not be of any use.

    My advice would be to go with the A+ first. Then maybe consider doing the modern equivalent of the MCDST (Enterprise Desktop Support Technician) that is made up of 70-680 and 70-685 (correct me if I'm wrong here guys). This should be a fairly good standard to get yourself a decent entry level job in IT.
     
    shocksl likes this.
  9. shocksl

    shocksl Byte Poster

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    Thanks for all the great advice here guys.

    I have deffinately made my mind now with most of your advice to stick to A+ . How long would you reckon it will take for somebody who is going to spend 10 hours a week on study? or what have your experiences have been?
     
  10. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    I did the A+ in 2 months once I started studying. But this all depends on the amount you already know, the knowledge of can absorb and the willingness to continue it every single day until you pass your exam :)

    Don't rush it though, the goalposts are always moving so you should try to enjoy the process.
     
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  11. barrymat

    barrymat New Member

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    I am in a similar position, have zero IT job experience except WMS Systems that I use in my current job and a basic knowledge of Windows 7 and Office. I am currently on the CompuTIA A+ essentials course then on completion of that will be moving on to my n+ course.

    I tend to do a bit of studying a day, usually a mini module which tend to last 20mins a day. It'll take me longer but I find it easier to absorb small amount of information daily than sit there for 2 hours completing the full module and forgetting half of it.....obviously it varies for everyone.
     
  12. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Not as much as people think! Generally *everyone's* brain absorbs best for about the first 20-40 minutes. It is possible to work way beyond that, but it very quickly becomes a case of diminishing returns (i.e. getting less and less back for your efforts). But also, a change is as good as a rest here.
    When I'm training across a big block of time, a consideration is always how to plan lessons so there are natural breaks and gear-shifts to shake things up every half-hour or so. The brain seems to naturally switch off after a while of doing one thing - it's better to work around that rather than try to fight it head on.

    Personally, I always recommend studying little and often wherever practical. Generally, 20 minutes in the morning, 20 at lunch and 20 in the evening is far more effective than an hour at night - which is sadly what most people can practically do.
    Also, where you have to memorise lots of facts and details (as in the A+) it's pretty well proven that the gaps between revision are at least as important as how much you revise. If you look at a fact (e.g. USB2 = 480Mbps) five times when you read it one morning, chances are you'll have forgotten it within a few days. Whereas if you look at it once when you read it, again two hours later, again a day later, and again a few days after that, you're much more likely to remember it when you need it.

    It's not about studying hard, it's about studying smart!
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
    Certifications: A+; Network+; Security+, CTT+; MCDST; 4 x MTA (Networking, OS, Security & Server); MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Support; MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Administrator; MCITP - Server Administrator; MCSA - Server 2008; MCT; IOSH; CCENT
    WIP: CCNA; Server 2012; LPIC; JNCIA?
    mackie likes this.
  13. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    I agree with Zig, but the A+ is largely facts, facts, facts. Not a lot of concepts but masses of facts (like the max speed of USB2, or the max speed of a 802.11 connection etc). These are best tackled with a flashcard style in my opinion, search for Mnemosyne on these forums, there's a great starter pack of stuff for the A+, and Zig has done one for the Network+ as well I believe.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  14. Adzmobile

    Adzmobile Nibble Poster

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    More than likely it is your CV that causing the issue and not marketing yourself correctly. Start there first and try perfect that.. then perfect your ability to explain your skills and why you feeel you would be good at the position.

    IT skills can always be learned and managers understand that you won't know everything for 1st line positions. You need
    to cut through the crowd firstly and recruiters need to feel they can present you to their clients.
     
    Certifications: Commvault Administrator, CCNA, ITILv3, CCA for XenApp 6, CCAA for XenApp 6.5, CCA for XenDesktop 5, CCA for NetScaler 9.2, CCA for XenServer 6,VMware VCP5, VSTP 5, HP SMB Storage, Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer (CCEE), EMCISA, VCAP-DCA
    WIP: DCUCI
  15. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Well put. An ex-student of mine was at a training event and had to look through CVs. What surprised him was that there was such a range - from ones that were really convincing, to ones that talked about their hobby for "socialising" but gave you no idea why they'd be good at anything. Something like 95% of applicants get filtered out at CV stage - so it's probably the #1 thing to get right.
     
    Certifications: A+; Network+; Security+, CTT+; MCDST; 4 x MTA (Networking, OS, Security & Server); MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Support; MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Administrator; MCITP - Server Administrator; MCSA - Server 2008; MCT; IOSH; CCENT
    WIP: CCNA; Server 2012; LPIC; JNCIA?

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