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Home Learning & Exams Question

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by DeaDLocK, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. DeaDLocK

    DeaDLocK Bit Poster

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    Hi guys

    New here and looking for some help to get me on my way in a positive direction...

    I have decided that with my current knowledge and understanding of PC's and Networks I should still start with the A+ course as a basis and work my way up. But I have a few questions relating to home study and exams.

    I have read the guides to Training Centres and Self Study and I I would prefer to study myself and get the information from some good books by Mike Meyers and help from forums but my concern is when it comes to the exams.

    So my questions I have numbered below to make it easier...

    1.How/where can you sit the exams
    2.How much do the exams cost
    3.Which centres in UK allow you to sit only the exam without signing up for the course
    4.How has done the self study route and exams, and can you give me any more insight

    I hope I'm not to vague with my questions and I do apologise if this has been covered over and over.

    Many thanks and I look forward to getting involved here.

    Mark
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+ N+
  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    First - go to Comptia.org and select A+ where all will be revealed!

    Download the Objectives to give you a basis to work from.
    Select "Register for an exam" to get details of the companies that do the exams, and book one. It will also tell you the current price. (Currently £144 each for the two exams.)

    I've done the self-study route and it was quite straight-forward (hard work though!).

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  3. DeaDLocK

    DeaDLocK Bit Poster

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    Thanks for the reply, dmarsh has helped me answer my question and so have you.

    I'm starting my reading today so I think with my current knowledge and understanding I should be able to self study the A+ and complete exams within 2months.

    So now it’s down to a strict regime of study and testing.

    So my next questions really are what would be the best path to take to move my IT career forward after passing the A+, would doing one of the MS certs be wise or maybe the Network+.

    Many thanks
    Mark
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+ N+
  4. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    It would depend on where you see your career going, and what interests you.

    However - I would recommend going for Network+ next for two reasons:
    1 ) It is almost impossible to do anything in IT these days without networks being involved.
    2 ) Network+ is a good foundation and is vendor neutral.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  5. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    With the two A+ exams cost £111 + vat each you can buy discount vouchers from www.gracetechsolutions.com

    If you are from the UK you buy the international vouchers you can get the for £107 each with no VAT to pay, which will end up saving you £42 as there is no VAT to pay and you get £4 of the proper exam price.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  6. DeaDLocK

    DeaDLocK Bit Poster

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    My main goal is to immigrate to Australia before I’m 30, best timeframe I see as being attainable would be 24months from 2009. This gives me time to get a few skilled certificates under my belt A+ Network+ etc and to find and gain experience in the work place in my chosen field.

    I’m doing research into what jobs are available in Australia in the IT sector and I’m seeing a lot of Networking based roles.

    My interests are wide for PCs I find all areas fulfilling especially technical areas.

    Money is important but I realise I will be working my way up so starting salary will be lower, but I’m sure it will beat my current salary of £14,500 where I’m an Admin Officer for a University.

    So my plans and timeframe seem like a lot to accomplish but I’m very dedicated to goals I set for myself, and with help and support from friends and family I can achieve them.

    Thanks for the help so far and I appreciate all input.

    Mark
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+ N+
  7. Naive

    Naive Byte Poster

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    Good luck with your plans. Although don't be so sure you'll definitely get an entry level I.T job that beats £14,500.
    They can range from £10k up to £20k :)

    Best of luck with your studies!
     
    WIP: MCDST
  8. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    ^^ What he said.

    I was on less than you when I first started in my 1st line role.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  9. DeaDLocK

    DeaDLocK Bit Poster

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    Thanks guys, still its a while off until I look for jobs but I have started my studies already so Im on my way.
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+ N+
  10. M_Cade

    M_Cade Bit Poster

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    i think the best thing you could look for would be a junior helpdesk position as these possibly will pay what you are looking for. the problem is though a lot of IT departments will not look for qualifacations you have but more so the experience you have in the IT support field.

    I have been working in the IT industry since i left school after completing an IT A level and moving up the ladder and gaining experience at the moment. I have just started my MCITP - Enterprise administrator and passed the first vista exam for it so i am on the way.
     
    Certifications: MCTS, MCITP-EA, NCDA, NCIE
    WIP: MCITP:VA
  11. DeaDLocK

    DeaDLocK Bit Poster

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    Thanks for the reply M_Cade, well I don’t have any official IT Support experience apart from supporting friends and family with home networks, PC building and maintenance. Its one of those chicken or the egg dilemmas where companies want you to have experience for positions at the bottom of the ladder but how can you get work experience in the field when you can’t get the jobs.

    So having the qualifications and general experience surely is more beneficial to companies for jobs at the lower end of the scale than having employed someone without any qualifications or general experience.

    So I may not be top of the list of CVs but I won’t be bottom so that gives me a better chance than some.

    What would help is a list of job titles that would be suitable for someone of my current experience with/without required qualifications. I will look myself but sometimes it’s hard to tell from reading job specs where they place on the ladder.

    Many thanks
    Mark
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+ N+
  12. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    If you're looking to crack the first I.T job prior to gaining your qualifications then jobs that you'll need to look for will be worded as:-

    Helpdesk Support (Technician etc)
    1st Line Support
    Desktop Support

    Or more generalised as in my current workplace - "I.T Assistant".

    Hope this helps. :)

    Qs
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  13. DeaDLocK

    DeaDLocK Bit Poster

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    Thanks Qs

    I will start looking around at whats out there with those types of job titles.

    Thanks
    Mark
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+ N+
  14. Naive

    Naive Byte Poster

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    Just to add to Qs' informative post, another thing to search for is 'entry level' as this basically means just entering the career field. I would also like to add that any job experience with customer service or troubleshooting methods, or infact anything with a relevance to I.T can be used as a 'back door into I.T' so to speak. One last thing would be to perhaps modify your CV to the actual position you're applying for, pretty simple and doesn't take too long, whatever they're looking for, tailor that into how you can offer :thumbleft
     
    WIP: MCDST
  15. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    Pretty solid advice. Though if it were me - I'd tailor separate cover-notes for the different types of role you're applying for and not the CV itself.


    Weird metaphor, but it may help:-

    Imagine it as a cake.

    Keep your CV as the 'base' (I prefer sponge) and your cover-note as the topping.

    This way you can satisfy most criterion for entry roles with your spongy goodness (CV) and cater for those with different tastes with a variety of toppings (cover note).

    Damnit... I really want a cake now :(

    Hope this helps :)

    Qs
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  16. DeaDLocK

    DeaDLocK Bit Poster

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    Thanks for the reply Naive,

    My career as far has been 10Yrs in Admin based roles, with no I.T based skills involved apart from using a PC day to day with applications such as Word Excel and some In-house based applications. Some of my positions have had a customer relations based roles from time to time where I was front of house contact for students at a University, I am still at the University but now my position is solely back of house working with Quality Assessments of the running of the University’s Business School.

    All my I.T Based knowledge has been from self study, interest and working with family and friends and their needs. So whether this is something I can put into my CV as a general experience section I don’t know, its hard to say how a CV should be formatted as there is no set way to do so.

    I’m thinking a CV with these sections may work well

    Contact Details

    Goals

    Work Experience

    General Experience and Related Skills

    Its been some time since I last updated my CV, so if you know of a good template which would be best suited for a career change with only “general skills” to show for the specifics of an I.T job would be great, and also on what would be best to write about to express my desire to get into the I.T sector and how to best write about my home based experience would be very helpful.

    Many thanks guys, all this is very helpful and is motivating me more.
    Mark :D
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+ N+
  17. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    Thankfully - that is experience.

    The skills that you obtained through your admin roles would include:- Microsoft Office Proficiency, Customer Relation Skills (speaking to people on the phone etc), Point-of-contact skills (communicating with outside companies for the university).

    These are exactly the type of experience based skills that employers look for when looking for new people for 'entry' level I.T roles.

    This, combined with your self-study experience and other I.T based work should show you as a good candidate for such a job. My recommendation would be to obtain some of the lower-level IT qualifications such as CompTIA's A+ and N+ as this will bolster your attractiveness to employers when tied with your current CV

    A good place to start would be www.cvtips.com, else if you require decent templates then use monster. Link for that is here.

    Hope this helps. :)

    Qs
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  18. DeaDLocK

    DeaDLocK Bit Poster

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    Thanks guys, you are really helpful and the advice is not just useful to me but to many others who are in the same position and can read this.

    I will be re-doing my CV soon, and I should be able to get it more streamlined for an I.T based role.

    Thanks
    Mark
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+ N+
  19. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    Glad I could help :) The best of luck in your endeavours.

    Qs
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA

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