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Got rid of Compuleech, are these the right steps to take next?

Discussion in 'A+' started by Lysander, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. Lysander

    Lysander New Member

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    Hi everyone, I'm new here and would like a little advice with getting started in the IT industry. I hope this is the right forum since I'm not totally au fait with the layout of this place.

    A few days ago I had Computeach round and - as I've seen other people have said too - they began the selling not long into the meeting. The representative tried to sell me a £5000 course to which I said I'd "think about it" and then he left. He even had the Barclays loan application there ready for me to sign. I don't intend on seeing them again.

    My main problem is that I've had an interest in computing for years but don't know which path to take in IT. I don't find software as interesting as hardware so he suggested I take A+, MCDST and MCSE to get into network building and hardware support. Do these sound like the right courses to take? Also, is it better to get books and learn oneself rather than go to Advent or a similar institute? I have also noticed a lot of people talking about the OU which looks like a good idea.

    I've been using and building computers for years... so do A+, MCDST and MCSE sound like the right routes to do down? Thanks for any advice you can give.
     
  2. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Hi and welcome to CF:), this issue of using a TP has been raised on this site serveral times. On this site majority of people would recommend the self study route.

    Ultimately, the choice is yours to choose.
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  3. Tinus1959

    Tinus1959 Gigabyte Poster

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    Hi and welcome.

    A+ and a track like Network+ will be covering a lot of hardware-ish issues. MCDST is handeling installation of windows XP and all the problems this can emerge and possible problem with software running on XP. More software oriented.

    MCSE is a very tough track involving server 2003 up to designing networks. Almost no hardware issues there.
     
    Certifications: See my signature
    WIP: MCSD, MCAD, CCNA, CCNP
  4. MrNerdy

    MrNerdy Megabyte Poster

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    Hello Lysander.

    Have a look at what your local tech colleges/adult education colleges offer.
    £5k is a lot of money to fork out if you are unsure of what your after.

    And sadly if you get the qualifications & the bits of paper this may not get you a job.
    Forget the promise of a pot of gold at the end of your course, Or the hype of earning £25k.
    My 1st job in IT with a handful of meaningful Quals was £14k

    Most firms these days want practical experience as well!
     
    Certifications: ECDL, CiscoIT1 & A+
    WIP: Girlfriend & Network+
  5. Fanatical

    Fanatical Byte Poster

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    Well I'd say that in essence that pathway of certs has nothing wrong with it but once your past the A+ and N+ you need to be "in" the industry to really make the most out of further certs. I think the inescapable thing is that no job in IT is not going to require you to know about software or to avoid really dealing with it on a daily basis.

    I'm following the same cert pathway as you and have just got my MCDST and looking at the MCSE objectives I'm going to have to get a different job to be able to get the hands on experience that you need for the MCSE. best move I would say is start applying for those entry level jobs, if you can volunteer time at your current workplace IT dept even if that means humping TFT's and printers becuase it looks great on CV's. get in and you'll find that the certs are that much easier.
     
    Certifications: A+, MCDST
    WIP: MCITP: SA
  6. Dullage

    Dullage Byte Poster

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    Hi Lysander, welcome to CF. Good advice above :D
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: Network +
  7. del_port

    del_port Byte Poster

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    A+ at college is fairly cheap,£300 or less ,i would say go to college for that one.

    The MCDST is the one i'm doing just now ,at this moment in time i'd say just buy two books costing less than £100- and do this qualification at home,i'm doing this course at college,i've paid a lot of money for it, and the reliance on one single book for the whole course says to me i didn't need to attend college to do this certificate,.

    I'm not saying it is an easy qualification,i'm finding it difficult myself,just saying the books are all you need for that one.And i'm not someone who would normally recommend self study.

    And yes i'd agree with
    doing the A+ followed by MCDST
     
    Certifications: A+ and MCDST 70-271
    WIP: mcdst 272
  8. Lysander

    Lysander New Member

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    Thanks everyone, some very good advice. Looks like I'll go down the A+ and MCSDT route. I'll check to see what bthe OU has to offer.

    If there's nothing of value at the OU [which is doubtful] I'll get on and do the work myself. After I've completed my own work on a course such as, say, A+, where do I go for the exams?
     
  9. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    You need to get yourself an account at Prometric or Pearson Vue
    and from there you can find your nearest test centre and book/pay for exams etc. You can also re-schedule them if you think you're not quite ready.
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  10. Lysander

    Lysander New Member

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    Thanks - those both look like US sites though, unless I'm missing something.

    Also, can anyone tell me what the difference between the CompTIA courses are and the others?
     
  11. Fanatical

    Fanatical Byte Poster

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    Comptia courses are in general non-vendor specific, giving you a much broader but more general overview of certain technologies (computers, network, security etc). the other certs are offered BY vendors such as Microsoft, Cisco etc which show you how their own systems and software work.

    as some who is starting out in IT the A+ is good grounding as it will enhance your basic knowledge that you already have, teach you new things and show you the overall picture of a computer system regardless of what is installed on it (well nearly as the software side is windows based but anyway!).

    The MCDST, as an example, shows you how to configure, install and troubleshoot shoot issues arising from hardware, network and siftware issues WITHIN a windows environment. Most of the topics in it are not things you will have come across as a single user at home hence why it is suggested that you are already working in IT before you start it.
     
    Certifications: A+, MCDST
    WIP: MCITP: SA
  12. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    They are but they are the people that run the exam centres worldwide for the likes of CompTia and Microsoft. You sign up and when you want to book your exam it will take you through to your country. There's about 120 'ish testing centres in the UK.
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  13. Lysander

    Lysander New Member

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    Thanks, are you - or anyone - able to link me to the approproate A+/MCDST at the OU? There are loads of options on their site... I take it I should be looking at that rather than at an undergrad course in computing?
     
  14. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    If you go to amazon you can the following books

    A+

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Certificati...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225719340&sr=8-1 (21 quid)

    and

    MCDST

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/MCDST-Self-...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225719384&sr=8-1 (25 quid)

    and

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/MCDST-Self-...=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225719384&sr=8-2 (27 quid)

    And be able to study for the exams with these books, then just use the prometic/pearson sites to book the exams.

    The best thing about self study is that it prepares you more for the life in the field, finding resources for information on a problem is sometimes the only option, so with the books, and forums such as this you can gain the same, if not better, knowledge and pass the exams at a fraction of the cost.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  15. del_port

    del_port Byte Poster

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    i don't think the open university does either the a+ or the mcdst ,these are college courses [night classes] some colleges will have one day a week sessions during normal hours 9-5 too.
     
    Certifications: A+ and MCDST 70-271
    WIP: mcdst 272

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