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A+ or MCDST first?

Discussion in 'MCDST' started by RichUncleSkellington, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. RichUncleSkellington

    RichUncleSkellington New Member


    new poster here (obviously), I'm 25 with about 8 years experience in the industry, a few years in ISP support, the rest working for a distance learning college as a tutor/in housed IT officer (I know, I know!)

    Basically I'd say I have a good grounding in IT support, perhaps to 2nd line level in application support, hardware probably closer to 1st line.

    Anyway, after redundancy from the distance learning college, I've taken a role with a service desk, working as 1st line. Obviously I dont want to be doing this for very long, so I have started the A+, with the excellent Mike Myers book.

    BUT, my question is this. the A+ is very much led by the hardware aspect, I am struggling with all the CPUs and RAM types etc (not the logic, but the memorising of each variant). Now I may be being very ignorant, and if I am I apologise, but the MCDST seems much more based on the using of hardware, i.e using windows and its features to fix problems, rather than fiddling with whats 'under the hood'.

    Really where I want to be in a few years is desktop support, 3rd line here I suppose - the guys we get to do stuff basically! I'm not shying away from hard work, so I do apologise if it comes across like that, I just dont want to spend the next 9 months studying A+, and find that really I should've gone straight to the MCDST (which I plan to do next)

    I'm just looking for guidance to be honest, people have told me A+ is far too novice, but I'm 350 pages into Mikes book and it really isnt for me! Similarly the MCDST has been rubbished, but my company recognise this and its basically all I need to progress.

    Thanks in advance! (and sorry if this is in the wrong place!)
    Certifications: ECDL, ECDL Advanced
    WIP: A+, MCDST
  2. McTaff

    McTaff Bit Poster


    The general concensus of opinion is that you should attempt the lower level certs in this order; A+, N+, MCDST. Personally, I think the N+ may be a tiny bit harder than the MCDST, but that's just me.

    I do believe the A+ is worth having, although it appears to be better respected in the US, and yes it is generally more hardware based than the MCDST. However, I would not have thought it necessary for someone of your experience to have to expect to study the A+ for 9 months (although obviously I don't know how many hours a day you're planning to do). Are you using any practice exams from a reputable provider (e.g. Transcender or Measure-Up)? I'd recommend finishing Myers book and then attempting one of the practice exams, you may find you know the material better than you thought. The objective is to pass the exam, not to know everything - that is what the pass grade is for; to prove you have attained the sufficient LEVEL to receive certification. Other exams higher up the CompTIA and Microsoft paths will, of course, be harder as necessary.

    Good luck.
    Certifications: ITIL v.3, MCDST, CompTIA A+, Network+
    WIP: Scratching my head in frustration
  3. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  4. supernova

    supernova Gigabyte Poster

    I also think that is worth doing the comptia's first because the MS is a different style
    Certifications: Loads
    WIP: Lots

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