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Has anyone used ICS Home Learning? Any advise on starting in IT?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Hulk, May 2, 2006.

  1. Hulk

    Hulk New Member

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    I am looking into getting an IT certificate using a home learning company in UK. I have looked at Computeach and NITLC but both are very expensive. (£4000 - £5000) for an MSCE.
    After seeing an advert on tv, i went to the ICS website. They are doing an MCSE for about £1200!! This is more affordable, but i am very scared about putting my money into a company i know nothing about. I have a young child and my wife does not work so i want to get on the IT ladder as cheap as possible. I am a Printer by trade but my passion is PCs. I have built PCs and have been solving computer problems for myself and friends for a few years now. I would like to take the plunge and get a qualification to get into the IT industry. I was thinking about doing the A+ and N+ to start with, then going for an MSCE. Would this be a good idea?
    Anyway, sorry for the mish mash of subjects, but if anyone can let me know if they know anything about ICS or pointing me in the right direction would be grateful.
    Thanks.
     
  2. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    Hulk, have you had a look see around our Training and Development forum, I know ICS have been mentioned there.

    Have you thought about self study esp for A+
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Looking at doing ..................
  3. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    Like AJ said but why only A+? im doing MCSA (MCSE can too) - and im going self-study.. im on my 3rd exam and its cost me to date 90 for the books (thats for all 4 exams) and 40 for exam exam.. self-study will save you alot of money. 8)
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  4. mattwest

    mattwest Megabyte Poster

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    Have to agree with the last two posts.... self study is definately cheaper.

    I went with a training provider about 4 years ago, they folded and i only recieved 5 days of 35 i had paid for and lost £2000 of my own money.... but i'm sure ICS are too large for that? But i'd do some serious research first.

    If you have at least 2 PC's you could spend no more than £50 on books per exam and around £88 per exam, so for the MCSA that would be 4 exams and MCSE another 3....

    Why not self study for the A+ which in comparison is a little easier and a bit more in your field of PC fault diagnosis / repair? Then once you have a few exam under your belt it all becomes alot easier :D

    I'd also say see if you can find some way of gaining industry experience? Volunteer work for a company or a charity if you have too but an MCSE with no experience wont look half as good as MCSE with some experience.

    Let us know if you need anymore help mate. We've all been there or are going through the mill now....... chin up and all that :D
     
    Certifications: See my signature...
    WIP: Maybe re-certify my CCNA
  5. Hulk

    Hulk New Member

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    Thanks for your replies peeps!

    Is there any self study A+ books that anyone could recommend to me?
    Also, once i have got my A+, what sort of job could i expect to apply for and on what average salary?
    Im in quite a well paid job now (23K) and like i said, ive got a young child and wife at home so cant really afford to take too much of a pay cut.
    I know i will have to take a pay cut to get on the ladder but its difficult to find a money/happiness balance. I think it will be a very difficult dicision to leave my current job/pay which i hate, to take a lower paid job i will love, at the expense of my family lifestyle. But then again, the thought of being a printer for the rest of my life makes me feel sick!! LOL

    Thanks again!
     
  6. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    here is what i think you should do... self-study.. you have a job right now so if you want to get into IT you going to have to take a big cut in salary because i dont think you will get that as a first job in IT. Do the A+ then move into Network+ and in the mean time advertise your services to fix friends or co-workers pcs. Do some non-paid work to get experience and look at higher level certs and MORE experience before you think of getting the money you getting now.
    JMO 8)
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  7. mattwest

    mattwest Megabyte Poster

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    Yeah the money might be an issue...... i'm on 22k as a 3rd Line Techie, 7 years full time experience and these certs: MCSA 2003 (soon MCSE) A+, N+, Linux+, Project+, CCNA, CIW and Exchange 2003.... i know i could be on more if i went freelance and moved to a different area but with the A+ alone i wouldn't want to think about the kind of pay.

    I think if you could move down the N+ and CCNA route you'll get more but it depends greatly on the area you live in and what the salary's are like?????????
     
    Certifications: See my signature...
    WIP: Maybe re-certify my CCNA
  8. Hulk

    Hulk New Member

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    Thanks for your replies!

    Im in Swindon here so its a big town with lots of employment.
    I think i will do the A+ by book and save about £400 if i'd done it with ICS. Thanks for the advise fellas!
    Can anyone recommend a book to go with? Ive heard something of Meyers?? But dont know of any others. Ive seen these 2 on amazon.
    Mike Meyers' A+ Certification Passport
    also,
    A+ Certification All-in-one Exam Guide

    Does anyone know the difference between the two? I was thinking the all in one exam guide, but purely based on the title of the book.
    Or is there better books around?
    Thanks peeps!
     
  9. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    The All-in-one is the the book that most here recomend.

    There is info pinned in the A+ section in these forums that may help.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  10. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

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    See the answers to your questions in this thread.

    Good luck with your studies Hulk! :thumbleft

    J.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270, MCSA
  11. Hulk

    Hulk New Member

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    Cheers for replies!

    I had my copy of Meyers A+ all in one guide arrive today!
    Its bit of a chunky monkey isn't it!
    Thanks for all the advise fellas! What section is best for posting questions for A+? Im sure i will need some help from the experts on this site! I cant wait to get stuck into this beast of a book!
    Cost me £26.90 from amazon! It beats paying ICS £400-£500 for it!
    Thanks again!
     
  12. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    The best place to post A+ Questions is in the A+ Forum! :biggrin
     
  13. Hulk

    Hulk New Member

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    LOL! Thanks Simon!
    I just realised i made myself look like a right pillock! A+ Forum would be the obvious choice i guess! HA HA!
    Cheers fella!
     
  14. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Don't worry Hulk - that's why we have a "Basics" forum. :)
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity

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