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Where will the a+ take me?

Discussion in 'A+' started by Teejay73, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. Teejay73

    Teejay73 Bit Poster

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    Hi to all,
    i am new to cert forums just signed up today! i have recently been laid off (a plasterer by trade) and have been looking at getting my a+, i am really interested in hardware and love the practical side of pc`s and also fiddle a little with overclocking, i feel i have a passion for pc tech and now want to develop my skills so i can actually take up a role in the world of I.T, with the essence of staying with-in the hardware side of things.

    What i would like to know is where will the a+ take me in terms of actually getting employment as being redundant and out of work takes it`s toll on finances, i dont have the option of any goverment funded courses that i am aware of and although i am on jsa, there does not seem to be any subsidised training for things like comptia certs, i am though determined to get onto the ladder and at 35, with two kids to support really need to make this happen and the fact the other half is the bread winner at the mo knocks my ego a bit....lol.
     
  2. skulkerboyo

    skulkerboyo Megabyte Poster

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    I started with A+ around two years ago whilst working an 85 hr week in security/facilities and through persistence got my first job in I.T.

    The A+ could easily net you a job in 1st line or working in a shop if you're sure you want to go the hardware route. I didnt get my break until after I took the MCP but I was looking to get into enterprise support.

    Best advice I can give is buy the book. Read it and see how comfortable you are with the material. The A+ was invaluable and taught me a hell of a lot I had no idea about. Absolutely the best place to start.

    Most people dont need to do a course for this qual and its probably in your interest to do it as self study as it shows you're a self starter with a passion for the subject

    A word of warning though. It can take alot of time to get that first break and prove yourself, this not counting the time it takes for you to pass the exams lol. Please just stick with it. I must have applied for close to 200 jobs before I got an interview. Once my foot was in the door I was sorted but its getting that foot in thats a bugger.

    You found the best place for advice. I couldn't have done it/wouldn't have had a clue where to start without certforums

    Good luck
     
    Certifications: MCITP:SA, MCSA 03, MCSA 08, MCTS(680+648),A+,N+,ITILV3 Foundation, ITIL Intermediate: Operational Support and Analysis
    WIP: 70-417
  3. Teejay73

    Teejay73 Bit Poster

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    many thanks for your words and support, i accept that it wont be easy and the self study route seems the best all round and seeing as i have time to spare at the moment i should start straight away! i am so glad i found this forum as everything you hear seems so daunting when you are a newbie! i hope to be using these forums a lot in the future as i can see that the information available is very helpfull and should help my progression a great deal. many thanks.:)
     
  4. skulkerboyo

    skulkerboyo Megabyte Poster

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    Good luck and please ask questions, though using the search first wouldn't harm as I can guarantee most of what you want to know may have been asked before.

    Best of luck
     
    Certifications: MCITP:SA, MCSA 03, MCSA 08, MCTS(680+648),A+,N+,ITILV3 Foundation, ITIL Intermediate: Operational Support and Analysis
    WIP: 70-417
  5. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I agree with whats been said.

    The A+ can take you in many directions if your foccused enough.

    It was having the A+ alone which has gotten me sideline job from my main one which is building systems and doing overclocks for clients. We use software at work from an outside company who support us with it and it was their systems guy offered me the job on the strength that I had the A+

    good luck
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  6. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    See this thread about funding - Pitman Training may be an option for you via Train to Gain : http://www.certforums.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=32911&highlight=pitman+training

    Other than that, yes, there is no funding directly available to Jobseekers for training.

    As to where the A+ gets you - on it's own, probably not very far to be honest IMHO. You could try getting work in a local computer shop but the reality is that it's a tough market out there and without experience you are going to find it hard. Experience will be your greatest asset but bera in mind if you're planning on getting into IT in a company it involves a lot more than A+ knowledge and being able to overclock a PC (most companies won't do anything like that at all anyway).

    Your other option might be to go s/emp as a plasterer (Jobcentre can advise you on the £800 available - paid weekly as £50 p/w) as I'm sure you'd pick up work. I don't know many out of work plasterers to be honest ! You could then study in your spare time for the basic certs such as A+ and N+, see if you really like the more advanced stuff like newtorking and move on from there.
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  7. Teejay73

    Teejay73 Bit Poster

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    thanks for all the replies, i understand the path into employment in the I.T sector is not as straight forward as getting the a+ and i was also looking at the n+ and mcdst to compliment my c.v further, the key issue for me is getting the all important experience and tying it in with some paid work if thats poss (cant always have your cake and eat it!).

    This is what makes my decision hard as i have a young family to help support and as my partner works full time, my time at the moment is taken up with the kids and their needs, so while i can do the self study route for the a+, i really need to at some point earn some money even if it is 1st line support i dont care. i like a challenge and will try everthing i can to get in the club. thanks again for your help guy`s!
     
  8. Teejay73

    Teejay73 Bit Poster

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    In a ideal world that would be where i would like to go into system building as i feel i have more to offer from a hardware perspective than i do software and doing overclocks for clients must be satisfying if you enjoy it personally, though the only route i could see into the performance side of the market would be working for yourself. i go on quite a few hardware forums and these have been my main source of information when i am system building and overclocking. nice rig by the way.
     
  9. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    There's very little money in hardware unless you're buying in real volume. The likes of dell etc. selling at below cost to drive out the smaller retailer don't help. I think you'd struggle to make a living just from that especially with a young family to support. Many small retailers have gone bust (me included plus at least one other on this forum) and I know of others who struggle.
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  10. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Places like ebuyer, scan, novatech, overclockers etc have the UK market sewn up.

    Half these companies started operating 10+ years ago and are now well established.

    I can remember when half of them opened, it would have been a good idea 15 years ago, people told me then to set up a hardware retail business but my software career was just starting. Many similar companies have either made it or gone bust in the meantime. Its not a good idea now unless you have the right contacts and a lot of funds.

    I honestly don't know how greenbrucelee makes the money he claims out of it, he must know a lot of rich people that want PC's !
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  11. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    Specialise ... that's the trick with system builders. I have a number of satisfued customers who I have built tailored systems for. It's a sideline though, not a business I could earn a living from.

    To Teejay73 ...

    There are a couple of options you may not have considered when it comes to courses etc.... Learndirect is free to people on JSA. Although they don't offer exams as such, some of their training courses are mirrored to the objectives of the A+, N+ and even some MS certs as well. This was certainly the case a couple of years ago when I worked for a company that provided Learndirect courses and training.

    So if you could get access to that, it would be a good way to fund the training, if not the exam itself. Also my local college provided a number of professional training courses and I believe it was either free or very cheap to get on them if you were claiming JSA. Might be worth checking out the prospectus of your nearest college.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  12. Teejay73

    Teejay73 Bit Poster

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    Just looked at the learn direct site and they do the ITQ which i assume is like nvq`s? what does the ITQ mean to prospective employers though? this could be a worth a try as they have a local centre near me assuming they cover what i need, i have thought about college and my local college does the it practioner`s course but once again what does the coursework contain and where does it stand? these are avenues i will look down though so thanks for tip`s.:thumbleft
     
  13. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Check again with Pitman Training if you actually want a course as opposed to self study. I got this from them back in March :

    "Depending on your circumstances there may be an opportunity to do the A+ (601, 602) and N+ through LSC Train to Gain funding with us"
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  14. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    Sorry I can't advise you on specific courses via Learndirect etc.. but I'm sure they can give you more info.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  15. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    overclockers.co.uk have arecruitment page, they are looking for a system builder at the moment!
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  16. Teejay73

    Teejay73 Bit Poster

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    Just emailed them to see what they can do for me, it seems there are a few options and im not going to rule out home study route either, just keep my options open for now. cheers for the advice.
     
  17. Teejay73

    Teejay73 Bit Poster

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    A bit too far for me as i live in essex, though a good example of something i would be interested in gbl, my idea was that i would get my a+ and look for a service role, i saw an advertisment for a mobile pc tech to service clients in a domestic capacity and they wanted some-one with the a+ cert and the pay was £20hr with 20hrs a week. Cheers though.
     
  18. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    There are a few service tech/field service tech roles but they are few & far between
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  19. Teejay73

    Teejay73 Bit Poster

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    Just received Mike myers A+ all in one today and tomorrow i start my road to a career in I.T, i plan to study for a min 2hrs a day via the self study route, i plan also to book my exams for about 3 months time. I have been doing some test`s at pro prof`s and have scored about 60% thus far.

    Is 3 months considered too short for the a+? i feel i know quite a bit more than a complete newbie and feel this is an adequate amount of time for the a+, any suggestions or advice will be most appreciated!

    Many thanks to the guy`s at cert forums for the advice given!!

    Terry.
     
  20. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Take as long as you need just don't over study this can be just as bad as understudying. You don't want to burn yourself out.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?

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