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some advise and info on a TP plz

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by adrian, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. adrian

    adrian Nibble Poster

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    Im considering getting some certifications with a view to go into networking (my knowledge atm is nill :P)

    Im awaire that it will be all self study and im confident ill be able to do it - im just very concerned about getting ripped off by these internet based TP's.

    If I go with any itl be this one http://www.certforums.co.uk/forums/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=54
    has anyone heard of them before?

    They have a package that includes the A+ N+ CCNA and MCSA for a cost of 1100 pounds for 12 months access, or 697 for 6 months or 147 a month for as long as you like. As im currently unemployed I think I can get through them quite quickly so ill probably go with the monthly option. This price doesnt include the exam costs but if i fail any of them they will pay for the resit and further resits until I pass. Also on completion they promise to help me get a job within 90 days or the whole cost refunded :P

    Now this all seems very nice - i assume they have all the materials that teh others have, plus the 24/7 live talk access to tutors and router simulators etc etc

    but does anyone know these people? i think they are quite new (they only recently got comptia membership) I want to know if im missing some massive flaw that will mean im throwing my money away or something :D
     
    Certifications: A+ N+
  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Hi and welcome to CF!

    If you currently have *no* knowledge of IT then, in my belief, 12 months for all of those is simply not realistic.

    There are people here, by no means dense, who have taken 12 months just to get A+ and N+.

    And all too often the promise of a job vanishes because of 'the small print'.

    If you are happy with self-study then why not do just that - without the TP - whichever one it is. (Your link didn't work I'm afraid.)

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

    adrian Nibble Poster

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    ok try this one http://www.comptia-certification.co.uk/it_starter.html

    Well, i say I know nothing but I have a A-Level in computing although that was 3 years ago - I do have some knolledge, ie I build my own computers from scratch and so on.

    But the time thing does confuse me - Some people say it takes 6-8 months, others say not long at all, I also think i read somewhere that the A+ and N+ take about 40-50 hours of study each, considering i can study full time, ie 6 or 7 hours a day I dont know where these estimates of 12 months are coming from.


    My biggest concern about total self study is getting the material, i know there are books about and i can use forums for questions and stuff, but books cost money and might not have everything i need. Also if i only study 5 hours a day and it takes me say 100 hours of study per exam, ill be doing one exam a month so 147 pounds plus exam fee for the comptia doesnt seem too far off the cost of self study and with TP i get security in that if i fail they will pay for resits.
    Also i think a TP will provide some structure to the study (am i wrong?) which is easier than just reading a book and hoping what i remember will be sufficient.


    I was just wondering if anyone knew this particular TP and could give a reference.
     
    Certifications: A+ N+
  4. TruthOrDare

    TruthOrDare Bit Poster

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    Well in theory, it is cheaper with the provider if you can do the A+ in one month, but you have to remember, that they will have to mail out your course materials (who knows how long that takes), you have to study, complete the objectives they set, pass a mock exam that they set (that could well be designed to be very difficult, to slow you down and keep you subscribing), and THEN set a date for the real exam. Do you realistically think all that is possible in a month?

    As soon as the second month hits, it becomes cheaper to self study. The combined cost for the two books that everyone recommends here (Trips and Mike Meyers are just £33.88 from Amazon. The exams cost £110 each if you get vouchers (not used these personally, but seen them recommended by people here), making £220 in total.

    So for an outlay of £253.88, you get the books you need, the exams, and most of all, the flexibility and the knowledge that you don't have to rush and can take as long as you need.

    As for how many hours it takes, it all depends on what you already know, how much time you can spare in a day/week, and being in the right frame of mind for studying (ie: not having, "I need to hurry up and complete this within a month or I'll be charged more" in the back of your mind.).
     
    WIP: A+
  5. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I looked at the link you gave, and for a minute I thought it was CompTIA!

    I had a brief scan through the site and picked up the following info:

    These courses are excellent value for money all you need is effort, perseverance and a little spare time.

    If you self-studied the A+, all you'd need is effort, perseverance and a little spare time. The books such as the Mike Meyers CompTIA A+ All In One 6th Edition and the James Pyles PC Technician Street Smarts books are excellent value for money, and you can buy them on Amazon.

    Start with the A+, get through that, pass the exam and then move onto the Network+, then onto the MCDST.

    And, while you're studying, look for an entry level IT job that can help you enhance your skills.

    Best of luck.
     
  6. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    The concern is this: while the A+ and Network+ are entry-level exams, and totally appropriate for someone wanting to enter the IT field, the CCNA and MCSA are NOT entry-level exams - they're designed for experienced techs who are already in the industry. You should already be starting to mess around with Cisco routers in a real-world environment before pursuing the CCNA, and you should have at least 6 months of server administration experience (not IT experience, but server experience) before pursuing the MCSA.

    In truth, having advanced certifications like the CCNA and MCSA on your CV can make it MORE difficult for you to get your first IT job... you'll look overqualified for entry-level jobs, and you'll be underexperienced for anything beyond that.

    The decision is yours, but I would recommend self-study. If you MUST go with a training provider, stick to the A+, Network+, and MCDST until you get some real-world IT experience under your belt.
     
    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!
  7. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I was going to go with these lot before I realised self study was an option. The company isn't actually called compTIA certification.co.uk as you can find the under microsoftcertification.cio.uk too

    I forget what they are actually called so that sent alarm bells ringing before I found out about self study.

    Also beaware that if you have no experience and are looking for your first job the CCNA and MCSA wont do you much good as they are certs for people who already have on the job experience in those areas. Certs like that are for validating your experience level not to get you into IT but a training provider wont tell you that.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  8. adrian

    adrian Nibble Poster

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    double post
     
    Certifications: A+ N+
  9. adrian

    adrian Nibble Poster

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    I know they arnt actually comptia - I checked them out and they are quite new. I am currently in my 4th day of the free trial and I have to say I impressed.

    The course material is 100% online (nothing in post) set out in flash/powerpoint like lessons that cover every aspect of all the objectives.
    In order for them to provide the "if you fail we will pay for resits" thing they require you to pass little tests at the end of each lesson - These arnt very hard and even if you fail them you can just go right back and redo them, same questions and everything so theres no question of them holding me back from an exam im ready for.
    Their tutors are very helpful and instantly available at the click of a button which is nice.

    I dont currently have a job and so can put alot of time into study, atm I think I could complete the material for the A+ in the next 3 days if I wanted to but ill go a bit slower and do it over 6 days. That will leave me 2 weeks to revise it for the first available exam. Once I have the A+ under my hat ill move on to the N+.

    As for the certs themselves - when i was looking into a IT career I checked job descriptions to see what people wanted, I even phoned several companies and talked to their HR people. In all of the lowest level jobs I found - the ones that asked for no experience all asked for a CCNA mostly, and sometimes a MCSA and one or two asked for both.
    I realize the comptia certs are respected and are great to get a basic knowledge which is why im doing them but I have never seen a single advert even mention them - i only knew they existed from the training companies websites and forums like this one.

    If having a A+ N+ CCNA and MCSA for a entry level job does turn out to make me over qualified then ill just leave the vendor ones of my CV until i have experience :D

    I realize self study is an option but to get all 4 of these certs for about 1400 inc exams and have the insurance that if i fail any exam the TP will pay for as many retakes as it takes - plus to have the course material spoon fed to me in a very easy to understand way - makes it worth it in my opinion :D
     
    Certifications: A+ N+
  10. dalsoth

    dalsoth Kilobyte Poster

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    I'm doubtful that this company will pay for you to continually resit exams if you should fail each time as there must surely be some cost involved for them and this could even end up costing them more money than you may be paying. Perhaps i am wrong though.

    I am pretty much certain that they would not be able to get you a job at the end of it. I have heard of many providers that boast this but have rarely heard of any that back it up.

    It is good that you are looking to get certified and increase your knowledge in IT but it seems that many here feel the package provided would not be suitable for someone just starting out looking for an entry level position. If a company you have contacted is asking for CCNA and MCSA with no experience then i would expect that they have no real understanding of the certs and will pay you peanuts but will expect you to be an oracle of all IT knowledge and come down on you like a ton of bricks if you fail to live up to it. Not where i would want to work.

    There is a wealth of knowledge on these forums and many useful guides and tips on self study should you choose that path. Have another look around on here at training providers and self study time-frames and methods before you spend all that money.

    On a personal note, i did also think that the site was Comptia when i visited it and it does not feel right to me. Perhaps take a look at other more established training providers and contact them with regards to how their prices match up to this particular site and if there is a huge difference, ask why.

    Just make an informed decision and good luck. Whatever training method you select, i hope you get the certs you study for.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCP, MCDST, MCSA, ITIL v3
    WIP: MCITP EA
  11. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    They were going to charge me £750 just for the A+ which I thought was steep and that didn't include the exam fee.

    I too thought their free demo was good but I did speak to one of their advisor/tutors and to me he looked like he was just a call centre bloke with a list of problems and answers on his computer.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  12. Toasty

    Toasty Byte Poster

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    Hi,

    I was in a similar situation, had a bad accident at work in 2004. Could never go back and as part of my claim I was signed up to an IT course with NITLC as I had only experience working with mine and friends pc’s.

    I started in the Jan/Feb 2005 and like you I to was off work so I studied for 8 – 9 hours a day. It took me until June 2006 to pass my A+, N+, MCDST and 70-720. All exams came with a 4 day workshop which helped a lot and then had the option to take your exam after workshop as they are a test centre. I have now passed my MCSA but with limited experience it took 3 attempts at the 70-291 exam.

    It was not until the July 2006 I got my first IT job after applying for over 1 year and lots of interviews.

    Not trying to burst your bubble here but give you a bit of reality check as all is not what it is made out to be on a flashy website. Luckily for me my course was picked and paid for by the Insurance company, knowing what I do now I would never sign up to any TP and always self study.

    Regards
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, MCSA
    WIP: MCSE, CCNA
  13. Mr Machfisto

    Mr Machfisto Nibble Poster

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    Hi Toasty

    I am with the same TP, and I have found then extremely valuable and would highly recommend them.

    I'm not sure if I have read your comments correctly?

    You passed the A+, N+ MCDST within a year, attended 3 x 4 day workshops and passed your exams at their centre, and have now found a job in IT...........and you would not recommend them?

    Well it defies belief.

    I have utilised everything possible help given by NITLC and it was worth every penny. It looks as if you have also, but have not seen the benifit of the success you have found.

    MrM
     
  14. Toasty

    Toasty Byte Poster

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    Hi Mr Machfisto,

    It took me 18 months to pass exams, I have nothing against NITLC the support I received was very good, but having said that I would never have paid the £4500-£5000 I think it cost for the full course.

    Every exam I take from now on will be self study because at the end of the day about 90% of the IT coruse was just that, yes I had tutor support but this site gives far more info and explains things far better. As the people answering have done it in the real world.

    Regards
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, MCSA
    WIP: MCSE, CCNA
  15. adrian

    adrian Nibble Poster

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    yea greenbruce - the individual courses from the site cost alot - im going to pay 700 for the 4 courses and pay my own exam fees - bringing the grand total for obtaining all 4 certs about 1400 - not bad really.

    I dont know why ppl seem to think i have a "bubble" of high hopes :P

    At university I studied for archaeology - Dont know if you lot know about professional arch but its brutal, hard to get jobs, ther are several thousand active archaeologists in the UK and a few hundred jobs at best and experiance is king - there are no particularly useful qualifications except a degree in arch which kinda helps get your foot int eh door, also it pays extremly little (about 19k is the top of the career ladder). I fully expected to have to live out of a car at some stage :oops:

    I left uni right as the recession hit hardest (no arch jobs at all and other industrys arnt interested) and I have yet to get a job (been about 6 months now) despite applying to jobs daily.

    I know exactly what the current job market is like, im fully awaire that these certs wont "land" me a job and the promice of a garanteed 30k job has never had the slightest impact on me whatsoever - im the most sceptical and cynical person you can imagine.


    Also someone said they got their certs and then spent a year looking for a jobs after "lots and lots of interviews" well - surely the certs are what got you the interview in the first place? after that its up to you to impress the interviewer - id be very happy if i was getting lots of interviews :D
     
    Certifications: A+ N+
  16. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    I don't think Toasty was saying that he wouldn't recommend them per se. What he wouldn't recommend is shelling out four and a half grand for the course.
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  17. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Nope - the certs probably stopped them getting more interviews, and stopped them getting the jobs when they did get interviews. Getting into IT, like getting into most other professions, is often the most difficult thing to do. No-one will hire you without qualifications - so people quite naturally think the obivous thing to do is get professional certifications, but quickly find out that getting certifications without getting the requisite experience makes it even harder to get that first job.

    It sucks, but IT is a profession like any other. You wouldn't be able to take your basic Accounts Assistant qualification then walk straight into a management accounts role - you have to do something like purchase ledger or credit control first. It just so happens that a LOT of people like working with computers (far more people than 'like' working in accounts I'm guessing) so getting the initial role is a lot harder.
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em

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