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To A+ or not to A+

Discussion in 'A+' started by mwahahaha, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. mwahahaha

    mwahahaha Bit Poster

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    Hi Everyone,

    Newbie to the forums here but I have been working at various levels of tech support for just over 5 years. I've realised it's about time I concentrated on getting a few professional qualifications to demonstrate and improve my skill levels.

    My boss is keen on me to do the 70-270 XP Exam mainly for company Microsoft partner points etc but I'm considering maybe starting with an A+

    Do people think an A+ is still relevant for someone who isn't starting out in IT? Would I be better just plodding on with the MS exam track? In the future I'd like to try a bit of Cisco training (Something I currently know nothing about) and I read in a few places that the A+ and then N+ are very good introductions to the Cisco learning track - anyone here have any opinions on that?

    Work are paying for the exams so it's just the book/web training outlay I'd have to find so what do people think?

    Cheers,
    Dan
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation, MCP (70-270 Pass - 860)
    WIP: Not sure yet
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    You should do A+,N+ and MCDST and no further until you are experienced enough.

    The 70-270 isn't for begginners.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. gosh1976

    gosh1976 Kilobyte Poster

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    is 5 years experience a beginner?!? guess it might depend on the type of experience!

    I would certainly do the A+ and Net+ if they will pay for those exams. With 5 years experience it should be easy enough to sit those exams in time to get the certifications for life.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCDST, CCENT, MCTS: Win 7 Configuring, CCNA
  4. mwahahaha

    mwahahaha Bit Poster

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    Cool, hopefully though after 5+ years of being a network admin I would hope I wouldn't struggle too much with an XP exam. TBH I try to steer clear of desktops wherever possible and stick to the servers (Less users to deal with:wink:)

    The A+ just looks to be good base framework to start with - a bit of everything and prepping me on the network side of things. Whilst I am quite confident with my everyday networking principles and device configuration I get a bit stuck on vlan's and managed switching so an introduction to this would be great. As I said I'd maybe like to start some Cisco learning in the future so laying the groundwork for that would be a real plus.
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation, MCP (70-270 Pass - 860)
    WIP: Not sure yet
  5. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

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    Personally I think that if you have 5+ years then grab a Network+ book and have a quick read through. This will probably fill in a few gaps as well as giving you a refresher on networking and if you think you might need it then you can take the exam (but not necessary). I'd also forget about the A+ .

    Then I'd look at doing the 270.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685
  6. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    In my opinion, it all depends on what you've gained experience doing the past 5 years. If you've done nothing but helpdesk support, I would absolutely steer you towards the A+ and Network+ certifications. But if you've been doing server administration for at least 6 months (which it sounds like you have), I'd recommend you start on the MCSA track, then continue to the MCSE track after 12 months of server admin experience.

    All that said, if you've got the money or if your employer is willing to pay for them, it wouldn't hurt to grab the A+ and Network+ real quick. I did the A+ after being in IT for 5 years (and messing around with computers for umpteen years), and I still learned a thing or two. It is a good framework to build on, and if you're experienced, it shouldn't take long at all to knock out. But is it a requirement? No, not really. Same with Network+. Do it if you can afford it and/or need help with general network concepts and subnetting.

    I'd recommend the CCNA to anyone who is either starting to get hands-on experience with Cisco gear or is being asked by their employer to do it in order to start getting their hands on Cisco gear. Remember, certification isn't just something you do to learn something new - you can do that with or without certification. Rather, certification is designed to show an employer what you already have experience doing. Now, you may very well be at the level where you'd be reponsible for Cisco devices on your network, and if that's the case, it's not a bad idea to pursue the CCNA.

    Do you need Network+ before the CCNA? Well, Network+ isn't a requirement, but it does build a foundation. Network+ covers theoretical aspects of networking, whereas the CCNA covers practical aspects of networking with regards to Cisco devices. Additionally, you don't get a lot of time on the CCNA exam, so if you're stumbling around with subnetting, you will quickly be separated from your exam fees, if you know what I mean. You need to be able to subnet quickly in your head. So doing Network+ couldn't hurt... and you just might learn something new along the way.

    Either way, the decision is ultimately yours... and provided you have the experience, there is no "wrong" decision. :)

    Welcome to the forums.
     
    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. mwahahaha

    mwahahaha Bit Poster

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    It's been a while but I thought it would be a good time to update this thread.

    After yet again putting certs on the backfoot I got the urge to finally get myself in gear and booked a 70-270 about 2 weeks ago. Thanks to the Sybex book and a long weekend of revision I just got a pass of 860 this afternoon:D

    Finally after all these years I've got something to show for the countless hours of fixing Windows!!

    So, where to now? tempted by the A+ as if I get it done this year it won't expire, also by the N+ as networking is an area I'd like to expand on. Is the N+ the same as the A+ in that after this year it'll expire?
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation, MCP (70-270 Pass - 860)
    WIP: Not sure yet
  8. TheITCrowd

    TheITCrowd Kilobyte Poster

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    PHP:
    Sowhere to nowtempted by the A+ as if I get it done this year it won't expire, also by the N+ as networking is an area I'd like to expand onIs the Nthe same as the Ain that after this year it'll expire? 
    Yes they will both need to be taken every three years if you dont get them before end of this year.

    The Network + helped me with the basics of networking, in preperation for my CCNA, I was already working with Cisco gear, but my basic understanding of Networks was lacking some what!!!
     
    Certifications: Network + |CCNA |MCTS-70-680,MCTS-70-401, MCTS-70-656, MCTS-70-351 |HP AIS ProCurve Networking -2011 | HP2-896 |VCD-CP27|JNCIA |Hewlett Packard ASE - Network Infrastructure (2011)
    WIP: 642-813
  9. mwahahaha

    mwahahaha Bit Poster

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    Thanks for that, yes I know what you mean. I configure Juniper and Sonicwall firewalls quite a bit, NAT / Lan-Lan vpn's etc but I could definitely do with a better underpinning of my knowledge. Doing the 70-270 has really helped me with XP and a lot of tricks I didn't know existed. I'm going to take a look at the N+ syllabus at CompTIA.
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation, MCP (70-270 Pass - 860)
    WIP: Not sure yet
  10. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    well done, ps never noticed you had 5 years xp.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  11. mwahahaha

    mwahahaha Bit Poster

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    Thanks, much appreciated! For the A+ is the general consensus to go with the 7th Edition Michael Meyers book?

    I'd like to keep going whilst i'm in the right frame of mind or it'll be another few years till I get into gear again lol...
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation, MCP (70-270 Pass - 860)
    WIP: Not sure yet
  12. mwahahaha

    mwahahaha Bit Poster

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    Anyone got any other tips on books other than the Meyers 7th edition I linked to above?
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation, MCP (70-270 Pass - 860)
    WIP: Not sure yet
  13. gosh1976

    gosh1976 Kilobyte Poster

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    It's always a good idea to have more than one resource but for someone with a good bit of experience you would probably be ok with the Mike Myers book and maybe the professor messer videos. http://www.professormesser.com/free...essers-free-220-70x-comptia-a-training-course

    I took the A+ such a long time ago I can't recommend any other books but I have watched all of the messer net+ videos and a few of the A+ ones as a refresher and they are very good especially considering they're free.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCDST, CCENT, MCTS: Win 7 Configuring, CCNA
  14. mwahahaha

    mwahahaha Bit Poster

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    Thanks for that, I'll definitely check out the videos, I'm going to order the Meyers book tonight then once it arrives have a quick skim to assess how long I think I'll need to study and then book the first exam or I'll never do the work:rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation, MCP (70-270 Pass - 860)
    WIP: Not sure yet
  15. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    PC Technician street smarts by James pyles. Its an excersise book which helps you gain the knowledge of the practices invlived when working as a tech. That may not be any good for you with your experience but I hear the Jean Andrews book is good and the Mike Meyers passport book which is a revision book.

    Prof messer videos are great there are also CBT nugget books and videos.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  16. chuckles

    chuckles Kilobyte Poster

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    I used the book by Jean Andrews and found it to be very good (but I didn't know about the Meyers book at that time!)
     
    Certifications: '07/'09 A+, N+, S+
    WIP: maybe something Apple

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