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Woo-hoo, another NEWB! Surprised? No? Oh well...

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by Richdog, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. Richdog

    Richdog Bit Poster

    First of all let me just say a big HELLOOOO to the forums. To be honest when I found this place I honestly and very nearly soiled myself. I would never have guessed there would be a large forum dedicated to certification specifically (dunno why, just didn't expect it) and to find it now, at a point where I need it most, is akin to Princess Leia receiving the help of Obi-Wan. You could indeed be my only hope. Or one of them anyway... :twisted:

    OK so here we go... *takes deep breath*...

    Basically I have reached a crux in my life where I know that if I stay with my current job (tracking banking mergers and acquisitions for USA banks and holding companies and entering them into a database) I will go completely and certifiably insane, just like this little guy here, maybe worse. :silly

    Now i've used and maintained computers for ages, since I was young as i'm a big overclocker and PC speed/tech junkie, but my skills (as far as they go) have always been the hardware side, problem-solving components, system building, and i'm getting OK at networking now too having just set up a basic WAN at home. The heavy software side like programming or web-design is most definately not my forte.

    With this in mind, and wanting to get my dainty foot in the door there has been a certain amount of rooting around that i've been doing with regards to the necessary qualifications, andfrom what I can see the two main (most useful) ones for me to start with are...

    A+ Certified (CompTIA or OCR) ~£400-£600

    MCSA ~£2200-£3000

    Now I am not fooled into thinking this will get me a good job with good money straight away, they are certificates proving you are capable, and no substitute for real experience in a pressured environment.

    From what I can find by job-ad hunting a beginner with the above qualifications working for a company will get roughly between £14-17k, while a PRO with more experience will be pulling in £20k+ (I saw a couple at over £35k, must be for grizzled veterans though).

    What I have typed above is not based on sure-fire knowledge of what to do and the course to take and this is where you come in...

    Are the above qualifications (A+ and MCSA) what I will need to get a decent foot-inside-the-door for I.T. support. Do you have any advice in the slightest with what will be useful to me and what would be good course of action?

    Also, I have no idea whether it would be best to go for an instructor-led course, or if self-study is also viable and worth doing?

    I have been looking at a few places but the closest BIG company is in Crawley, and it's called Pitman Training. I have been looking at this course... http://www.pitmanskills.com/course_description.php?course_code=1166850042&center_id= which is an MCSA with CompTIA electives. Takes 240 hours and from what I understand from some info I got, is based on 2 hours a week of online, instructor-led training. 2 hours a week doesn't seem much to me if you want to get through it in reeasonable time but I don't know what the norm is. Is Pitman a reputable and high quality place for I.T certs?

    If not, which courses would you PRO's reccommend?

    Cheers for reading my overly long post, I did try and make it as palatable as possible, and hopefully i'll get some replies... as many as you can be arsed to write, lol... :)
    Certifications: None as yet...
    WIP: A+/MCSA
  2. SimonV

    SimonV Petabyte Poster Administrator

    I'll be the 1st to welcome you to the forums, good to see you here and nice avatar BTW. Hope you stick around and join in with the rest of the gang who I'm sure will be round soon to give you the usual CF welcome.

    Si :)
    Certifications: MOS Master 2003, CompTIA A+, MCSA:M, MCSE
    WIP: Keeping CF Alive...
  3. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

    :eek: :blink :eek:

    LOL Hi Richdog and welcome to our place. Good to see you've started on the IT Cert road. Rocky in places and nice and smooth in others. Browse around the Training and Develpment forum for loads of advice and training providers and perhaps a bit of DIY Cert Hunting.

    Anyway Welcome :biggrin
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Looking at doing ..................
  4. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

    Welcome to the forums mate.:D
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685
  5. Phil
    Honorary Member

    Phil Gigabyte Poster

    Hi Richdog, welcome to Certforums. It seems you have your head pretty well screwed on with regard to job and salary expectations, which is a good start.

    You've got 3 options, classroom based courses, distance learning and self study. The question is which form of studying suits you best? Do you need the structure of a class room and instructor-led classes to motivate you? or are you able to get stuck in on your own and just get on with it?

    If you are able to motivate yourself then the self study route is by far the cheapest, the disadvantages are that you don't have guaranteed help when you get stuck, on the other hand the internet holds a wealth of information and we're a pretty helpful bunch when asked. More expensive is the distance learning route, you're still self studying except you have tutors on hand to help you when you get stuck.

    If you need the classroom environment then I would pick a course that is geared towards MCSA 2003 rather than 2000, the qualification will have more shelf life. You could find yourself in a position where the 2000 exams are close to being axed by the time you finish the course.

    I think your best option would be to just grab an A+ study guide, set yourself a target date for doing the exam and get stuck in. From what you say you already have the hardware and with your experience of being a tech junkie I can't see you having any major problems with the hardware exam. This will also give you a good idea if you're able to self study and it will only have cost you £40 or so for the book + £100 (I think? stand to be corrected here) for the exam.

    If you really drive yourself, to the point you have no social life, you could have the MCSA under your belt in months rather than years.

    Certifications: MCSE:M & S MCSA:M CCNA CNA
    WIP: 2003 Upgrade, CCNA Upgrade
  6. punkboy101
    Honorary Member

    punkboy101 Back from the wilderness

    Hi Richdog, welcome to certforums. I'll agree with what phil said, you seem to have a good idea of what to expect for a job and salary, which a surprising number of people getting into IT don't have. Most of us don't do it for the money (although that is nice!!), but because we are just generally geeks who like computers.

    If your in it for the money, your probly in the wrong industry (not that I think this applies to you, just sayin. :biggrin )

    Anyway, welcome to the forums!!!
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: Nada
  7. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Greetings, Richdog. Welcome to CF. Can't add much to what the others have said except to say, glad you are here.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  8. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    G'day, Richdog - warm CF welcome from me too :D

    The guys have already pitched in some sterling info which pretty much covers it - all that remains for me is to wish you the best of luck, and hopefully you'll stick around and give to, and take from the site.

    Cheers :D
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity

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