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Assistance/Advice Required (AKA arm around the shoulder)

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by JimmyGrunt, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. JimmyGrunt

    JimmyGrunt New Member

    Hi everybody,

    I stumbled across this forum yesterday (not sure exactly how), and I have had a quick look around, seems like a great place. This really is almost a cry for help, I’m looking for advice, info on what YOU did if you have ever been in my position, or what you WOULD do in my position. I may be asking a lot here, I hope I’m not asking too much. I honestly believe that this is the best place for me to be asking this as you can go to careers advisors and they can talk to you, but they don’t really understand the IT industry like people in the industry do.

    I have worked in IT since 2005, mostly in the Service Delivery area and Helpdesk management/supervision. My CV is built up of various roles and built up of lots of different experience, sadly non in actual technical roles. This is an area I want to get into and have done for a long time, yet I have never been able to. I always find myself in between a rock and a hard place when looking at these positions as I don’t have the required experience, yet I can’t get in to gain the experience….vicious circle!

    Firstly, my long term aim is to progress into the infrastructure and server side of support. I know there is a long way to go before reaching that, but I would like to know what I need to do to get there.

    1) What are the differences between Microsoft Certifications & CompTIA? (These seem like the main two routes from what I have read)

    2) From what I have read it seems like I would need to begin with either the Microsoft MTA or the CompTIA A+. Which is better? I would have thought the MTA would ‘look better’ on your CV just because of the name, but when looking at this site it seems that most people tend to go down the A+ route?

    3) Training Providers VS Self Study – I don’t have money to just chuck in the hands of some training provider (and I also have a friend who went through a lot of trouble with one of these Training providers). My preferred route would be the self-study route and I have read that the CompTIA A+ can be done via self study:

    - If I chose the self-study route, how do I find out EXACTLY what is contained within my chosen certification and how do I find the materials/books I will need in order to carry out the self-studying?

    - Where do you go to enquire about the exams? How do you book yourself on an exam? Do you go directly to CompTIA? I literally have NO idea about this and this is the sort of issue that a Training Provider would remove.

    Can anybody recommend a potential career path to further myself so I can ‘see’ the long-term goal?

    I hope this post is not too long and I hope I can get some replies.


  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    There really is no reason to be misinformed with the availability of the internet :-

    CompTia certification - CompTIA Certifications & Exams
    Microsoft certification - http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam.

    Failing that go to a good bookstore and look at the training guides :-

    CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide
    MTA Admin Fundamentals

    They detail what is involved in both the sylabus and the certification process, a quick flick through should answer most questions.

    Many local colleges run A+, Cisco Essentials or Mircosoft certification courses, you could always give one a visit, they have careers advice centres, open days and all sorts.

    Finally for the details on the test process check out the test centre providers websites :-

    Pearson VUE

    Then there are various other online resources, things like professor messor, CBT Nuggets, MeasureUp, Google Videos, itunes university, etc.

    2) MTA is 'too new' for anyone to really tell you if its 'better', and they could only give a subjective opinion anyway, also there won't be many people who have gone through both courses. At best you might get a neutral trainer give their opinion.

    Ideally you should not embark on any training because of the branding, name, prestige etc. You should undertake training because of the skills and knowledge you will gain if you put the required effort in. That way you are less likely to be disappointed and more likely to succeed in a wider context.

    3) Local colleges are generally fine, so is self study for people who are self starters. Just be wary of companies and salesmen offering big packages for big fees.

    The certification providers provide all the information you need on their websites, all you have to do is read it. They detail what training resources you can use and where to take the exams.

    If after all that you still can't find an answer then that is what we're here for, so just ask ! :D
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012

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