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MCDST vs CompTIA A+

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by steve008, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. steve008

    steve008 New Member

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    I have just completed the MCDST course and struggling to be accepted for a job. I am considering doing the CompTIA A+ course but not sure if I am wasting my time?And money.
     
  2. Gingerdave

    Gingerdave Megabyte Poster

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    having got the A+ and heading am currently doing 70-271 I am finding the information is mostly the same, the A+ goes into more hardware depth, and without the M$ bias to be honest I think you would have more luck either getting the N+ or continuing down the M$ route if thats what you want to do.

    at this point I think the A+ would be a waste of time and effort.
     
    Certifications: A+,MCP, MCDST, VCP5 /VCP-DV 5, MCTS AD+ Net Inf 2008, MCSA 2008
    WIP: MCSA 2012
  3. Naive

    Naive Byte Poster

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    Having the MCDST, you should be in a great position to get an entry level job, bearing in mind the competitiveness of the market, are you getting into interviews? acquiring feedback from them? these are all important. Taking the A+ now would be a waste of time? Sorry, but I disagree, If you want to continue studying whilst searching for a job, I'd recommend taking the A+ & N+ as these both count as an elective for an eventual MCSA cert, if anything I'd say it is a perfect time for you to tackle the A+, having the knowledge from the MCDST, you shouldn't find it too difficult and will be a lot more competent on the hardware side of things. IMO anywa. :)
     
    WIP: MCDST
  4. Gary B

    Gary B Nibble Poster

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    Certifications aren't everything, many companies are looking for on-the-job/real world experience over certs. Passing an exam shows you know the basic theory but it's different putting it into practice in the real world.

    Continue down the learning track as it all helps and shows you have an aptitude to learn, better your self and have ambition

    How you get a job with no experience can often be down to right time, right place (Luck).

    Working in an IT department you'll need lots of patience and perserverence so see it as just part of the interview process

    Don't give up and you'll get there.
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003
    WIP: You tell me
  5. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    Sounds about right. Unfortunately in order for potential employers to take you seriously you need to build up an experience base (as well as have qualifications) - customer services focus is usually good as it has similar transferable skills with I.T jobs.

    Keep on trying too, jobs aren't going to look for you it's more likely going to be you hunting them down.

    The best of luck :)

    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
  6. Gingerdave

    Gingerdave Megabyte Poster

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    While I agree that it would be an easy cert I do not believe the A+ would add anything other then another cert, its likely not going to increase his knowledge by any great amount and will cost money and time that could be better spent on advancing skills and knowledge. While the name of the certforums I don't think that recommending a cert the covers much the same ground as one someone already holds is a good idea at any point, and then just becomes having certs for the sake of it.
     
    Certifications: A+,MCP, MCDST, VCP5 /VCP-DV 5, MCTS AD+ Net Inf 2008, MCSA 2008
    WIP: MCSA 2012
  7. Naive

    Naive Byte Poster

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    I understand your point, but the contrast between the MCDST / A+ is 'similiar' but nowhere near the same. The A+ is vendor neutral for a start which is attractive to ALL employers, not just Microsoft orientated employers. The MCDST concentrates on actually supporting the end-user with software, and I believe to maximise competence, you would need to gain hardware knowledge. I'm recommending a cert that crosses paths with the MCDST and compliments it excellently. IMO the perfect 3 certificates to have under your belt at the beginning of an I.T career are the A+ / N+ and MCDST. But I'm not one for flogging a dead horse, so we'll agree to disagree adn base it to a matter of opinions :thumbleft
     
    WIP: MCDST
  8. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    I'm tending to agree with Gingerdave on this one Naive. The A+ does cover a lot of the information that you gain on the MCDST (and I do understand that it's vendor neutral). Whilst I agree that additional certs can't hurt - when going for an entry level job such as 1st Line Support I think they're pretty much equal 90% of the time (as most environments will be Microsoft focused).

    The MCDST is also an elective to the MCSA so you're not gaining anything. In fact by going for MCDST over the A+ you'll already be 'experienced' in the way that Microsoft do things (word the questions etc) and you'll already have two Microsoft certifications under your belt to impress potential employers.

    In an ideal world I'd get the A+, N+ and MCDST but if I was forced to choose between A+ and MCDST then personally I'd go for the latter. I have little interest in supporting anything non-Microsoft as they control the monopoly and therefore control what skills (and ultimately qualifications) I require to support end users and obtain better jobs in the future.

    At the end of the day it's experience rather than certifications than govern how attractive you seem to potential employers and this is what the OP needs.

    My two cents.

    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
  9. Naive

    Naive Byte Poster

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    Yeah I understand where you're coming from but my point was not choosing one over the other, it was mainly to get at A+ & N+ complementing the MCDST. Because when it comes down to it the A+ / N+ teaches you about the kit and how it all works, whereas the MCDST teaches you more about how to resolve issues with the applications that run on the kit and dealing with end users. So in my mind the A+ is certainly not a waste of time nor money in conjunction with the N+
     
    WIP: MCDST
  10. steve008

    steve008 New Member

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    Wow!Thanks for your replies people!I used to be Primary School teacher and got fed up with it (paperwork mainly) and always loved computers. I enjoy fixing them and helping people out, with them. Reading all your comments, I believe that the MCDST should be enough, but it doesn't cover hardware and I haven't got a clue about that. plus, MCDST is all XP, whereas A+ covers Windows 9x and 2000, so I think it's important to get to know both and not be limited to one operating system.

    Also, could I be over qualified as I used to be a teacher (and therefore have a degree already)? I have not been accepted for many interviews and had some, but lost out by a narrow margin because of lack of experience. How can you get a IT job if everyone wants experience and you don't have it!!!
     
  11. steve008

    steve008 New Member

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    Also, is the A+ more recongised by companies than the MCDST?
     
  12. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    Agreed. :) I wasn't busting ya balls.

    I did say personally and that's the crux of it. For me - I already know quite a bit about hardware and how it works due to my HND and the CCNA qualification so the A+ to me would be seen as a nice addition - but not a patch on the MCDST as a comparison. :)

    Now have a beer. :alc!
     
    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. Naive

    Naive Byte Poster

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    No of couse not, It was constructed conflict which is healthy! :D I appreciate & respect your comments wholeheartedly, *raises beer* :alc! 'Tis teh weekend!

    In regards to the OP I would advise you to keep slamming your CV out there mate and don't be disheartened, having the MCDST is a fine thing and now it's just a case of you hunting like a bull on steroids for your first foot in the door! I would also recommend getting the A+/N+ combo whilst hunting as these will look sexual on your CV and will give you a fantastic boost upon starting your first I.T job.

    Best of luck mate :thumbleft
     
    WIP: MCDST
  14. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Some companies won't know what either are but I would say they are about equal in peoples knowledge about them. Usually the route to go is A+, N+ then MCDST.

    The A+ and N+ will give you a good foundation for the MCDST.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  15. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I would also dissagree that A+ is usless over the MCDST. I have only skimmed my MCDST book but I didn't notice any topics on how to binary and hexadecimal or diffent connectors that are used in computing and networking.

    It would be a bit crap if you were asked by your boss to get a spare a BNC connector when all you knew was how to get rid of the tool bar in IE :D or plug in a new DVI cable in your monitor when all you knew was how to use regedt32 to change the registry.

    Learn the basics first then move on. A full knowledge is better than a half knowledge.

    Learn it all or learn nothing so you can gain a thorough understanding of the concepts involved (GBL September 5th)
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  16. Gingerdave

    Gingerdave Megabyte Poster

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    In which case go for the A+, I assumed you had some hardware knowledge, my mistake. The A+ is very hardware focussed and goes through all the basics. the N+ would also be a good idea.


    On the job front, try getting you CV looked at by someone you trust or by some professionals as it may be badly put together or not targeted correctly. Also try getting a Saturday job (I know it sounds silly) in a local computer store, or buying broken machines from Ebay and try and fix them, at which point you can sell them on making a bit of money and getting valuable experiance.
    good luck.
     
    Certifications: A+,MCP, MCDST, VCP5 /VCP-DV 5, MCTS AD+ Net Inf 2008, MCSA 2008
    WIP: MCSA 2012
  17. Naive

    Naive Byte Poster

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    This is what I was trying to get at, to summarise, It seems silly to fully know how to fix something but not know how it works. The A+ is very important, but you are completely right in believing that the MCDST should be enough to get an I.T job, especially an entry level 1st line support job. I wouldn't say the fact that you have a degree in teaching would be a hinderance, if anything that'd help you!

    In regards to getting that first job, it can be frustrating but you have to stick at it, get feedback on why you wasn't successful in getting jobs (assuming it's just down to experience) keep plugging away, and you will eventually get there! stay positive :D
     
    WIP: MCDST
  18. Naive

    Naive Byte Poster

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    100% Agree :thumbleft
     
    WIP: MCDST
  19. Hades

    Hades Nibble Poster

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    Or look at local charities and volunteer your help for their IT support, you mite not get paid.... but it'll look good on your CV
     
    Certifications: City & Guilds Diploma in ICT level 2+3
  20. JonGlory

    JonGlory Byte Poster

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    I don't know if its a Scottish thing or a British thing, but in all my job hunting, I have only encountered 2 maybe 3 jobs asking for a+, compared to 100's asking for MCDST.

    Is it really as recognised over this side of the pond?
     
    WIP: LIFE

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