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Where to Start?

Discussion in 'A+' started by Nightmare, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Nightmare

    Nightmare New Member

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    Hello people, I'm new here. so my plan is A+>Network+>CCNA>CCNP>CCIE.... I don't have any university degree just yet, but I'm and a freshmen CS student and I thought if I couldn't continue paying for my university, it's a good idea to do all those, i guess. In the mean while maybe I could get A+ certified at first, and get some money so I'd pay for my university :dry (although i already started with CCNA and stopped to finish A+). I was studying with the Sybex A+ guide for the 600 series but then I noticed there's a new 2009 exams 220-701 and 220-702, so I changed to Pearson guide for the new exam(is that a good guide, if u got a better one please tell me :biggrin ?). Plus what happened with the IT Technician, Remote Support Technician, and Depot Technician?
    I just wanna know where to start or if I'm on the right track, and if it's only just read a book, do the test, and get certified.
     
  2. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    You start off well... and then the wheels come off as you try to jump from the 2nd rung of the IT ladder to somewhere about the 43rd rung.

    You should start out with some solid entry-level certifications, such as the A+, Network+, and MCDST... and no farther until you build up some real-world IT experience. With the exception of these entry-level certifications, certifications are designed to reflect your current experience level. Thus, until you get some experience with Cisco router administration, you should avoid taking the Cisco certifications. And that's not likely to happen for a while yet. Companies aren't too keen on allowing people fresh off the turnip truck to start messing with their servers and routers and firewalls and such.

    So... work on those three certs while you look for an entry-level job. When you get the A+, add it to your CV and keep studying (and keep looking for that job!).

    From your "paying for my university" comment, it is unclear as to whether you are going to continue your degree. If you do plan on continuing, great - but don't go to school at the exclusion of working in the field. Otherwise, you're going to end up with a degree and a lot of book knowledge, but no real-world IT experience to show for it. And you know what that means? You're still gonna start out at the bottom like everyone else. The degree will simply make you look more attractive to some employers. To others, it may be more of a hindrance than a help, as to some, you'll look overqualified for an entry-level position. Unfortunately, you'll be underexperienced for anything beyond that.

    In comparison, someone with 4 years of experience and no degree will almost always get the job over someone with 4 years of schooling and no experience. That said, your degree will be useful later in your career, opening doors that would otherwise be closed to you.

    So... if you are going to pursue your degree, put in your dues while in school and get that entry-level experience NOW, so that when you DO get your degree, it'll be much more useful in your job search, and you'll be able to get a somewhat more advanced job (assuming by then you work your way up from entry-level to desktop support and, potentially, to server administration).

    To answer your A+ questions... I'd recommend the A+ All-In-One Exam Guide by Mike Meyers. For the 701/702 exams, that'd be the Seventh Edition you're looking for. The 601/602/603/604 exams are still around until February 28, 2010, so if you plan on taking the exam by then, get the Sixth Edition. The choice is yours - employers won't likely care which version you passed.

    What happened to IT Technician, Remote Support Technician, and Depot Technician? CompTIA seems to have dropped all that silliness that they implemented with the 60x series of exams. Very few people took the 603 and 604 exams, making it a waste of CompTIAs time to develop and implement them.

    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!
  3. Nightmare

    Nightmare New Member

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    Thanks, I thought no one would ever reply. I believe what you said is all true, but i don't think I can get any cisco experience before getting a certificate in where I live. The problem is that, I want to continue university (computer science) and if I got A+ certified I want to work with it, but what company will hire a 19 years old with only an A+ degree?, but then again I also thought that despite that, it can give me some pocket money by fixing some pcs or by tutoring until i get more certificates.
    I think I'll go 220-701 and 220-702. why you have some impressive resume! One more question, does those bunch of certificates that I mentioned(A+,Network+,cisco stuff..) can be equivalent to a university degrees when it comes to finding a job?('cause I might not continue my studying at university due to my financial issues).
    Thanks again.
     
  4. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    No, both are different.

    The best thing is commercial experience. Once you get started in your IT career you can plan future certs etc. around what technologies you are working with and are interested in.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  5. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Sure you can. Just don't get your Cisco certification until you get experience. Simple as that.

    A+ is a certification, not a degree... and yes, they'll hire a 19-year old with an A+ certification. And the A+ isn't even required for many entry-level jobs... but it'll certainly make you look more attractive to entry-level employers.

    No, they won't hire you to manage routers... but they'll hire you for an entry-level tech job. And getting a Cisco certification isn't going to magically make it possible for you to get anything beyond that entry-level tech job. Cisco certifications don't have anything to do with entry-level tech work... so getting the CCNA without experience is an instant red flag to most employers. It'll make you way overcertified, which can make it HARDER for you to get that entry-level tech job, not easier. So do yourself a favor: focus on the A+, Network+, and MCDST, and leave everything else for later in your career.

    Yep, fixing PCs will certainly get you pocket money. It's worth doing for an entry-level job.

    It is unlikely that a company will hire you to be a tutor with the A+ and no experience. But if you know someone with those connections, it's possible.

    My situation is different from most. Although I used to be a network administrator, I currently write practice exams for a living. :)

    Not exactly equivalent, no. Not better, not worse... simply different. In this respect, they are the same: neither certifications nor degrees are required for entry-level tech work... but both can make your CV look more attractive to employers. In my opinion, a degree is less helpful at the start of an IT career and more helpful as you go along, opening doors later in your career that would otherwise be closed. Certifications are helpful only if you have the corresponding experience to go with them. The A+, Network+, and MCDST are typically considered entry-level certifications, so you don't really need any IT experience to pursue those.

    Glad to be of assistance.
     
    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. Nightmare

    Nightmare New Member

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    Thanks a lot again, your right but one more question, if all of those stuff isn't the basic role into getting a job in computer fields but experience is , then how can you start or what kind of companies should I apply to, to gain experience and so on?
     
  7. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    You can start by applying for entry-level jobs that don't require experience. These jobs often include, but are not limited to, help desk tech, PC repair tech, 1st line tech, call center tech, field service tech, and desktop support tech.

    That doesn't mean that employers with those jobs won't sometimes ask for people with experience. Make note of whether they say "recommended", "desired", or "required". The former two mean that experience is wanted, but isn't required. The latter one means that they're definitely looking for someone with experience. Still, it can't hurt to put your resume out there; the worst they can say is "no".

    And, as mentioned before, entry-level certifications like the A+, Network+, and MCDST can make your CV look more attractive to employers.

    Once you've got an entry-level job, you'll start building the experience that employers desire.
     
    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!
  8. Nightmare

    Nightmare New Member

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    ok, then I better continue studying and search for a job .. thanks
     

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