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final decision

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by cosmique, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. cosmique

    cosmique Bit Poster

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    good afternoon :)

    i know i have asked previously but this time im sure i will make my final decision by the end of the week (finally!). But before i hand out somebody my hard earned £2,000 i need your final opinion on the courses i am about to take. london college ( http://www.london-college.com )according to their website has just lowered prices for their part time courses, my desireable ones - n+ and mcsa now at £800 and £1200, all inclusive. books they're using are david groth's for n+, microsoft for mcsa. course durations n+ 8 weeks x 6 hrs, mcsa 10weeks x 6hrs.

    i have decided to selfstudy for a+ at the same time with 5th edition of meyer's all-in-one book.

    im sorry to be nagging you again, but you know - im a young guy from abroad that just came here and want to jump one day into IT market. i must be totally sure before i borrow £2,000.
    it seems a cool package for me as self studying for networking certs is out of the questions for me - i share a small room with someone else, no place for more computers.
    so what you think?

    thanks!
     
    Certifications: none
    WIP: a+, n+, mcsa hopefully!
  2. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    *bump* :tune
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  3. cosmique

    cosmique Bit Poster

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    :(...
     
    Certifications: none
    WIP: a+, n+, mcsa hopefully!
  4. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Do you have any IT experience? It seems like loads of certs are crammed into a relatively short period of time. MCSA in 10 weeks is a challenge.

    As for not having enough space for any PCs it would probably best to invest in one high spec PC so you can run Virtual Server and therefore install a server and learn from that.

    Best of luck! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  5. riaz.hasan

    riaz.hasan Kilobyte Poster

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    would definitely be tough but not impossible, going from wot u had as 10 * 6, 6 hours study per day, full time study for u then...as for computers, have a look at vmware, google it...or there is a whole forum for it over here, u might find some interesting links about it in some of the threads :)
     
    Certifications: Degree, A+, HDA, MCP(270 finally!!)
    WIP: MCDST, MCSA2k3
  6. riaz.hasan

    riaz.hasan Kilobyte Poster

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    the forum is called 'virtual computing', lot of info on virtual pc and vmware :biggrin all the best mate!!
     
    Certifications: Degree, A+, HDA, MCP(270 finally!!)
    WIP: MCDST, MCSA2k3
  7. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Good job man, I am glad you are interested in this field, honestly if you like what you do, at times its gonna be hard but no matter what you'll still love what you do, at least thats how I am. Anyways the college seems like a nice place, but to warn you a little the A+ there is bit of difficulty because there's a lot of stuff to know for yourself and the certification but like everyone else on this forums has achieved this so can you.

    Good Luck man.
     
    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
  8. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    cosmique,

    You have given no hint, at least here, as to your background. If you have none, or only "some" then 6 hours a day is the minimum you will spend studying. That's on-site instruction, and if you want any real knowledge from these certs you need just as much hands on time as you are going to be spending in classroom time. So, I would figure at least 12 hours a day for the duration. How you figure you will get time to study for an A+ during while devoting that much time to your other certs is beyond me.

    Also, I have no idea as to the quality of the book you are using for N+ as I have never heard of it. I would not recommend that you study all the principles and concepts from exam specific books all by themselves. Exam specfic books are there to teach you how to pass an exam, not teach you everything you need to know to really understand the concepts you're going to be studying, and that's what you need to hold down an IT job. This is true for any and every cert you can possibly hold.

    It looks to me that you need to understand that certification does not equal a job. Certification does not equal all the knowledge you will need to perform at an IT job either. You need to round out your study with a lot of outside study, and a lot of hands-on work if your certs are going to be meaningful. So, if you ask me, your training plans are more than a little overly ambitious. You are going to be biting off a huge chunk with just two certs. With three certs you're not going to be retaining even 20% of what you study. You may pass, but you're not going to really learn in a way that will be beneficial to you in the long run.

    My advice to you is to rethink your plans.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  9. jodsclass

    jodsclass Byte Poster

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    I Have to completely agree with ffreeloader on this one. I have been fiddling with all things IT for about 13 years now (Since I was 10 years old) and I built my first machine, a 166 Mhz pentium machine way back in the day (when the Orchid righteous 3d 3dfx pass thru card was the daddy!). Since then I have done time in PC Sales, for the UK's largest PC Chain (where in the world could that be :biggrin ), I have been to University to study an IT related course, and worked as helpdesk & desktop support in a Huge University IT lab.

    The crux of my arguement is this. Even with all this hands on experience and years of messing with machines I was still missing large chunks required for the A+ and N+ exams. I looked at the whole thing and thought "hardware, yeah I can deal with hardware", but there is so much more to it than that. To know this material inside and out you need to learn, re learn and put into practice what you learn.

    The second point I will make is this, Overcommitment of study will land you in hot water in my experience. I tried desperately to study the Meyers A+ book whilst in my third year of university and it was impossible. I lacked time, i noticed degree knowledge merging with A+ knowledge and vice versa, and generally I did not have time to commit and focus 100% on the cert. It is only since graduation, and subsequently becoming unemployed that I have been able to sit down with Mr meyers and learn this stuff.

    Please think carefully before commiting to such a workload, and with the advice of the folks here seriously consider the goals you are setting for yourself. Not to sound negative, but you may be setting yourself up for a fall, and if for any reason you happened to fail your first exam, you may find yourself de motivated.

    I wish you all the luck in the world with your studies, no matter which route you decide to take.

    Jodsclass :rocks
     
    Certifications: BSc IT & Web Development
    WIP: MSc Advanced Computing, Oracle Cert
  10. cosmique

    cosmique Bit Poster

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    thanks guys for your helpful replies. i really appreciate your effort!

    that's the thing i wanted to know - is 10 weeks enough to learn mcsa, 8 to learn n+. other schools i came across offer similar periods, boasting 75-90% pass rates so i thought it's ok.

    i have a 10year computer experience, my first comp was pentium 75 in 1996 :)

    sorry to take your time, now have some herbal tea and relax :) i'll have mine to relax too and reconsider, probably starting with a+ and seeing how long it will take me to learn and pass.

    all the best

    Tom
     
    Certifications: none
    WIP: a+, n+, mcsa hopefully!
  11. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I spent 3 years getting my MCSE, CCNA, A+, and MCDBA, and that was full time study. I spent anywhere from 8 to 15 hours a day and probably averaged 11 or 12. I have a home lab with 5 computers on which I installed everything and then built business scenarios for everything MCSE and MCDBA related.

    Pass rates really don't mean anything in my eyes. People can brain dump a cert in a few weeks and pass the exam, but still not know anything. You want to learn, not just pass a cert, if you want to get, and more importantly, keep a job.

    What does your 10 years experience consist of? There are people on this board that spent a lot of time as computer hobbyists and when they started studying realized that they didn't know anything near what they thought they did.

    You are moving to a completely different level of knowledge. I thought I knew quite a bit, but I now own a library of more than 100 computer books as I found I needed them to really understand the concepts and ideas brought up in the certification process.

    You need to understand that an MCSA is just one step below an MCSE and for a long time an MCSE was considered to be the equivalent of Bachelor's degree. I'd say the MCSA is probably the equivalent of a 2 year degree, if you end up with a working knowledge of everything you study. And, the school you're thinking about attending is telling you it's a 10 week process at only 6 hours a day.... At cram rates like that your retention levels of what you are supposed to be learning are going to be very low.

    I really think self-study with a multiple computer(read as a minimum of 4 servers and a couple of workstations) lab in your home is the only way to go with certs. That way you can spend the necessary time with the subjects you are bound to struggle with because everyone struggles with something and you can get some kind of hands-on experience because that's the only way you will absorb and understand some of the concepts. If you don't set up a lab capable of hosting the things you're going to be learning, and then set up all these things a few times each, you are not going to really understand what you're studying. Hands on is a must.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1

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