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Straight to N+?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Nursa, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Nursa

    Nursa Bit Poster

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    I have currently got a BTEC in computing which was a 2 year course full time course I passed around 4 years ago after which I didnt continue my IT study or job search. My local college are running A+ and N+ one of which I want to take. My ambition is to get into a networking position in IT.

    I currently work full time NOT within IT and have no IT experience. I went to the college to try and get some information on the courses as to which was most suitable for me to take, and they were of no help at all advising me I should sign up for a 3 year foundation degree, not listening that I wanted to take the quickest route into an IT position.

    I know the standard route is A+ then onto N+ but the BTEC i passed covered most subjects in the A+ and the college seemed to think I would be wasting my time & money studying it, plus the A+ was around 18 months and around £1500. Then N+ is 1 year and £700. The reason for me taking the cert is to get out of the job im in and get into IT via the quickest route.

    My question is would it be possible to get a job doing entry level networking / helpdesk / support role with just my BTEC (which is 5 years old now) and a N+? I have researched alot on these forums and I know self study is the advised route but I would like some structure to my learning and think I would benifit more from college. I have bought the Mike Meyers A+ AIO book and have been reading through to refresh my memory from what I learnt in my BTEC just as a recap before the college courses begin.

    Thanks for any responses :)
     
    Certifications: BTEC in Computing
    WIP: A+
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    You could get an IT job whilst studying the A+ and N+. I would recommend that you do the A+ first and then the N+ because trust me you will find things on the A+ that you will not have done on the BTEC although you will grasp those concepts easier because of your BTEC.

    I have a HND and found things on the A+ that I didn't learn on the HND.

    You mention the price which seems to be an issue for you, have you considered self study? that is just getting the books yourself and then booking and taking the exams, this is how I did it and how a lot of people on here have done it.

    If you feel you actually need a course then I would always say go to a college and stay away from training providers.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. Nursa

    Nursa Bit Poster

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    As I said above I have done alot of reaserch on this forum and I realise self study is the cheapest and advised way to take IT certs if you have the motivation to do it that way.

    I would never go with a TP but colleges are there to help you learn and not just grab your money. I am really confused at the moment because I know that taking the A+ will teach me a thing or 2 extra to my BTEC, but that extra skill I will learn isnt going to be worth £1500 and 18 months of work imo. Which is why I am contemplating self study but I don't know if I can do it without any a course to follow, I need to make a desision sharpish because enrolment is happening now and only takes place once a year.

    Which is why I asked mr original question, is it going to possible to go straight to the N+ pass that then start applying for entry level jobs? and will save money and time!!! :blink
     
    Certifications: BTEC in Computing
    WIP: A+
  4. Waria Ahmed

    Waria Ahmed Byte Poster

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    To be honest if you feel comfortable with computers, I think you can skip A+, I was studying A+ while I was doing my BTEC and I thought it wouldn't be no help to me, as I wanted to be a programmer, so I quit A+. 5 years on, a degree and a MCP later, I don't think I'm regretting that decision.

    Its recommended to do your A+, but if you already feel comfortable with most of the stuff, breeze through the book and move onto N+.

    Please note, I have no idea what your level of IT knowledge is, so please don't take my opinion to heart. other than that, Good luck :)
     
    Certifications: See Signature
    WIP: MCITP: Enterprise Administrator
  5. Lev Arris

    Lev Arris Byte Poster

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    I attended a college course in Nottingham for the A+, although the hands on it gave me was brilliant it didn't really prepare me for the exam. I think it cost around £500.

    This was a few years back but I think the course was around 13weeks 2-3hrs a night. Although its not the answer you would like you will probably find even with college courses there will be some emphasis on yourself to buy the training materials and study at home as well as doing the course.

    If I could do my time again etc. etc. I would try the home study first if I didn't like it I would still have a study book that I would need to read on top of the college course and also only have lost £25 your choice though.

    I personally think you can get an IT 1st line support job (probably only around 14k imho) with a BTEC without the N+.

    The advantage of studying for certs is two fold, obviously the knowledge gained but also do not discount the fact that in the interview you are showing keen by actually pro-actively going out and doing something. Employers at my interviews have always been suprised and impressed by the fact I am bank-rolling myself through study. IT is always moving and the ability to work towards new qualifications is imho a huge thing
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, MCSA (270,290,291)
    WIP: CCNA ..Global Domination
  6. Nursa

    Nursa Bit Poster

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    Thanks for your replies!

    The college did advise me that I could be appling for some low level support rolls with my BTEC, but I passed it such a long time ago I think I need to recap before I feel confident enough to get through the interview and start work in IT.

    I would love to attempt self study first to see if I could do it because this is obviously the cheapest and quickest method of study, the predicament i'm in is the college courses start this month! So if I dont enroll now and and can't get along with self study I will have to wait till this time next year to enrol and I NEED to get out of the mundane job im in now its driving me insane :(
     
    Certifications: BTEC in Computing
    WIP: A+
  7. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    I've done the A+, N+ and half an MCDST for about the same price as the N+ course quoted above. That took me about 9 months. I didn't have the advantage of a BTEC behind me either.

    My advice would be to start self-studying the A+. It provides a good foundation for future studies and should ease you in to self-studying gently.
    Once you've self-studied one, the rest are a lot easier. There's nothing in these entry level certs that requires the attention of a tutor if you have an aptitude for IT and a desire to learn. You seem to have both.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  8. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Also beaware that not many people walk into a networking job, most people start at the bottom and work their way up which is why the A+ will help with the first IT support/help desk job. If you show your employers (when you get one) that you are studying certs like A+,N+ and MCDST they will see your desire and goals to move on
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  9. Nursa

    Nursa Bit Poster

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    Posts like your Soundian give me the confidence to try the self study route. I know I can find all the resource I need from this fantastic forum. How many hours week were you putting in to pass all that? Were you working in IT when you started studying, if not has it helped get your first IT job?
     
    Certifications: BTEC in Computing
    WIP: A+
  10. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    I averaged about 20 hours a week probably, although there are about 10 weeks in that time where I hardly had time to study and a few weeks where finances dictated that I had to wait before booking the exams. Bear in mind that I'm the wrong side of 40 and my memory isn't maybe quite as good as it was in my prime.

    I still don't have a job in IT. Mainly because there have been no entry level IT jobs to apply for in my area. I was contacted by an agency last week about a job and I've been volunteering as an IT assistant at a local charity, both of these on the basis of only A+ and N+.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job

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