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I need some advice: Going it alone vs. Course.

Discussion in 'A+' started by Stuka, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. Stuka

    Stuka Nibble Poster

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    Hi guys,

    Next week, I start my A+ course at college. I originally thought the course was a 16 week module that lead up to the A+ exam. However, last week, our tutor informed us that the course actually falls under a Level 2 Diploma, and includes some sort of customer provision module which is compulsory to the course. To my surprise, he also informed us that the course runs from now until next June! We do the Cisco I.T Essentials and the A+ exam in January, then the course continues in Febuary 2009 until June...

    Really, all I want to do is become A+ certified. I've read a book entitled "A+ In Depth 2006" by Jean Andrews from start to finish and I've made physical notes as I've been reading. Plus I've watched various CBT Nuggets and VTC A+ videos. I'm currently working as an ICT technician in a secondary school.

    I'm just wondering, is it worth going ahead with the course and just sticking it out? With the course, I'll have professional guidance from the tutor and the materials needed to pass the course. However, on the other hand, I'm tempted to just ditch the course, and rely on my own revision and the book and then just sit the exam at the college whenever I feel confident. That way, it'll save me a lot of time in the long run.

    So, in a nutshell, what do you guys think I should do? Do I go ahead with the course? Or do you think I should just bite the bullet and revise then book and sit the test in say, a couple of months time?

    So really, its a case of self-study vs. the college way.

    Thanks guys
    Jonathan.
     
    Certifications: IT 2:1 Degree, A+, N+, MCDST
    WIP: MCITP
  2. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Forums like these will provide you all the professional guidance you need. On this very forum, you will find IT trainers, certification practice exam creators, and IT book authors who are available to answer questions you might have. And as far as materials are concerned... those are incredibly cheap compared to the cost of a course.

    You'll find that most of us here recommend self-study over classroom training. I have yet to take a class for any of my certifications... they've all been gained through self-study and/or real-world experience.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  3. Stuka

    Stuka Nibble Poster

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    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the advice. I will probably just end up studying from home.

    Here's another question that you maybe able to answer. Is there any difference between the Cisco IT Essentials and the Comptia A+ Essentials course? The college at which I may attend has the Cisco IT Essentials in its syllabus.

    Thanks.
     
    Certifications: IT 2:1 Degree, A+, N+, MCDST
    WIP: MCITP
  4. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    you don't need to do a course and CISCO is for people who work with CISCO equipment (in a job).

    If you are interested in networking do the N+ after the A+
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  5. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    They're vastly different. The A+ is great for people just getting into IT (or who want to get into IT). Cisco certifications are for people who are starting to administer Cisco gear as a network administrator... about three steps above entry-level.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  6. Stuka

    Stuka Nibble Poster

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    Hi Guys,

    Yeah, I know who CISCO are. The confusing thing is, with the college course we have to do two exams to gain the A+ cert. The first portion is the CISO IT Essentials, then the second part is the 602 (I think) IT Technician.

    See, I was under the impression that the exam was structured in two parts, Comptia A+ Essentials, then either the 602, 3, 4 etc....what I don't understand is this Ciso IT Essentials unit, surely it should be the A+ Essentials?

    That's why I wondered if you guys knew what the difference was between a CISCO IT Essential unit and the Comptia A+ Essential unit.

    Cheers.
     
    Certifications: IT 2:1 Degree, A+, N+, MCDST
    WIP: MCITP
  7. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    That wont get you the A+ to pass the A+ you need to pass 220-601 Essentials (has nothing to do with CISCO) and either 220-602 (IT Technician), 220-603 (desktop support) 220-604 (depot technician).

    The essential is mandatory and you choose one of the other 3 most people do the IT technician exam.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  8. Stuka

    Stuka Nibble Poster

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    Hmm, if thats the case I'll have to look else where to sit the test then.
     
    Certifications: IT 2:1 Degree, A+, N+, MCDST
    WIP: MCITP
  9. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I'd get clarification from the college about what the course actually is. We had a member on a while ago who thought he had the A+ because some of the A+ topics were in his course it wasn't untill he found out from here and http://certification.comptia.org/a/default.aspx that he realised he hadn't got the A+.

    If you are looking for test centres you visit prometric or pearson vues webiste to find your nearest test centre. If you pay pearson vue/prometric directly each A+ exam cost £111 + VAT however you can buy discount vouchers from www.gractechsolutions.com select international voucher and buy two from there for £107 each with no vat to pay then all you do is enter the voucher codes in the payment part when booking your exams through prometric or pearson vue.

    Actually gracetech only provides vouchers for pearsonvue for the A+.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  10. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Yep. You won't get a certification until you pass CompTIA's official exams... not a university's exams or a training center's exams.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  11. del_port

    del_port Byte Poster

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    over here in england it is cisco who do the training for A+ at college ,mine was cisco organised too.mine was cisco it essentials.
    it wasn't as long winded as september till june though,it's 34 days at college here,which translates to 102 hours studying time with the teacher.
    The main focus of study under cisco is the 601,though they cover enough in their material for you to pass 602,603 and 604 ,whichever you want to do.
    You may manage it by book alone as you are not a beginner,for all those recommending books it's not easy for someone to know nothing about pcs,study a book and pass the a+ .
    You are looking at it from an experienced viewpoint,which the beginner isn't.
    this looks like how part 2 is organised, and why your course is so long.
    601 will be the first part and networking is part 2 by the looks of it.
    http://dorset.floodlight.co.uk/dors...ertificate/16180339/27808421/course-info.html
     
    Certifications: A+ and MCDST 70-271
    WIP: mcdst 272
  12. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  13. del_port

    del_port Byte Poster

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    Certifications: A+ and MCDST 70-271
    WIP: mcdst 272
  14. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Highbury ? They only list IT Essentials I, do they do II also ?
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  15. del_port

    del_port Byte Poster

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    yes,highbury.
    they do essentials 1 as you say.

    it essentials 2 [networking] i couldn't see it on the courses list,i think it is in there somewhere under a different name.

    september till january is the teaching time at highbury for part 1.
    The original poster could miss out part 2 by the looks of it and still pass any of the 4 exams 601/602/603/604
    as networking is in essentials 1.
     
    Certifications: A+ and MCDST 70-271
    WIP: mcdst 272
  16. Stuka

    Stuka Nibble Poster

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    Thanks for the info, Del_Port. I'm confused now!

    So, if CISCO sort of overlook the whole A+ at college over here in England...do you think that if I just booked and sat the exam, I'd be doing the CISCO IT Essentials and the A+ (602) exam? More so, would this provide me with the A+ Certification?

    Is it the same wherever you go in the UK?

    Like I said, all I want to do is find a place where I can sit the damn exam and become A+ certified. I'm just not sure about this whole CISCO IT Essentials thing.

    I'll ring the college tomorrow and ask them.

    Cheers all.
     
    Certifications: IT 2:1 Degree, A+, N+, MCDST
    WIP: MCITP
  17. del_port

    del_port Byte Poster

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    in essentials part 1 you have 2 full chapters dedicated to networking [networking and advanced networking] ,cisco give you enough info to pass any networking question on any of the 4 exams.

    I don't know why essentials 2 is compulsory for you.

    And cisco are used all over the uk for training ,i checked a minute ago on the web and saw colleges throughout england and up in scotland using cisco for it essentials training.

    the exams are outwith the whole training experience,after your cisco training is finished you walk away with a college certificate saying you passed the college course,you then need to book a test centre to do your A+ essentials exams,cisco were the company teaching you everything to pass those exams.
    But their relationship terminates with the student before the exams.
    Basically you are on your own after college and you then go out to a test centre to do 601/602/603/604 whichever of the two exams you wish to take.
     
    Certifications: A+ and MCDST 70-271
    WIP: mcdst 272
  18. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    only compTIA essentials and compTIA 602,603 or 604 get you A+ certified.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  19. del_port

    del_port Byte Poster

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    i don't know what point you are try to get across,
    here is the wording from my exam paper receipt from the test centre.

    Comptia A+ certification programme
    CompTIA A+ essentials 2007 edition exam score report
    exam : compTIA A+ essentials [2007 edition] exam

    so does that differ from yours?,it should read the exact same.
    and to track my exam history i have to go to comptia.
    if it is that you feel the person must do nearly a full year of training,essentials 2 appears to be the N+ or network + .
     
    Certifications: A+ and MCDST 70-271
    WIP: mcdst 272
  20. Markyboyt

    Markyboyt Kilobyte Poster

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    Is it maybe the case that Cisco provide a training program which covers the A+ material, you then sit the CompTIA exams despite doing Cisco's course?

    I cant think of any other way it could be.
     
    WIP: A+

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