The relevance of A+

Discussion in 'A+' started by hubby, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. hubby

    hubby Banned

    Well i've just shelled out nearly £600 for my A+ course. A friend of mine is a systems engineer and has been looking at my course material. His basic opinion is that A+ is out of date, and not very well recognised as a qualification anymore (his company wouldn't take on a helpdesk operator who only had A+).

    Other things cropped up such as their motherboard diagrams were out of date, they only cover upto win 2000, their definition of a bus was seriously outdated (bus? thing with 4 wheels isn't it?).

    Anyway I guess what i'm asking is does he have a valid point and have I wasted my cash? At the moment I earn £11,180 a year working as a nursing assistant. Can I expect to earn more than that after A+?
    WIP: A+
  2. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

    The A+ is certainly not out of date. I would recommend it to anyone starting out in IT.

    If I knew about it when I first started out I'd have picked it up.

    It may simply be that the training material you have received is dated. The material that is commonly recommended here is by Mike Meyers. He is, according to almost everyone here, the A+ God!

    Be advised though that apparently the A+ is due to be upgraded soon.

    No, sorry to be blunt, but no certification will guarantee you a job. If you work hard, put the hours in, constsntly strive to better yourself, and are lucky enough to find work then perhaps you may get paid more, but don't make the mistake of thinking that just because you have a Cert you can get a job. Experience counts for a whole lot more nowadays.

  3. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

    The A+ isn't out of date, but . . . I wonder what training material you have.

    You see, the A+ is pretty much up to date, testing you on all the relatively new stuff (not brand spanking). But, that doesn't mean that the material you are training from, is up to date.

    What study material do you have?
    Certifications: VCP,A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: Christmas Drunkard
  4. hubby

    hubby Banned

    Ok guys, ICS have sent the following books by Thomson Course Technology:
    PC Troubleshooing Pocket Guide (for managing and maintaining your pc) 4th edition published 2004 written by Jean Andrews

    A+ CoursePrep ExamGuide (2003 Core Exam and OS Exam) 2nd edition writen by Jean Andrews, Wally Beck and Greg Tornsho.

    Lab Manual for A+ guide to managing and maintaining your pc. 5th edition written by Jean Andrews (published 2006)

    Lab Manual for A+ guide to managing and maintaining your pc. (Enhanced) 5th edition written by Jean Andrews. Includes maps to CompTIA's 2003 A+ Exams (Is this the most recent exam?)

    Also the following cd-roms:

    Thomson Course Technology A+ Computer Based Training for managing and maintaining your pc (Includes maps to CompTIA's 2003 A+ Exams) written by Jean Andrews

    CompTIA A+ 2003 Curriculum skillbuilder disk by ICS

    So that covers my course material. Has anybody done this course with ICS? I'm really struggling as I've never done a self-taught course before. Should I be using the books, one or both of the disks? Surely they'll all contain the same info?

    I've only just started and after what my friend said i'm considering cancelling the course and giving up. I thought I was good with computers but this is all way over my head :eek: :rolleyes: :(
    WIP: A+
  5. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

    first of all take a five min break.. sit down and think? why is it i want a job in IT? to make money or cause you going to enjoy it? if its cause you want money then stop right now! okay you wasted 600 quid but if there is no desire to learn you will struggle.. the IT market is really tough and if you there for the money forget it!

    Now on the other hand if you want to get your A+ so you can get a support role then move on from there... then i suggest get the a+ book by mike meyers (as simon said) use that as your main source and your other material as 'extra' ... if you going to carry on with getting yourself skillls i suggest you look around for books cause for 600 quid you could have got yourself alot more IMO!

    just my cents worth! 8)
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  6. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

    Zimbo makes a really good point here.

    Is it your dream to work with computers because you love working with them? Is it natural for you to spend your spare time learning about them? IOW's, are computers a very central part of your thinking? Is it your idea of fun to figure out how to solve computer problems? Do you enjoy reading and researching the latest trends in computing so that you can understand them? Are the answers to the above questions, and ones like them, yes?

    If the answers to the questions are no, then IT is most likely not a career option for you because working in IT is constant learning, constant study, and long days spent solving problems. Achieving a certification when trying to get a job in IT is not the end of study in IT. It's the beginning. The technology constantly changes and it takes effort to stay on top of it. If that sort of effort sounds like a real drag rather than something enjoyable then it's time to reconsider your career path.

    However, many people get overwhelmed when they first start out. I can remember how much I thought I knew. LOL. Man was I woefully ignorant. I was so ignorant I didn't even know I didn't know anything yet. Then I got thrown into the deep end of the pool. I spent my time in my first job just trying to keep from drowning because I was so far over my head. I'm still a newbie after working for the equivalent of a couple of years and then spending 3+ years studying. But now I at least have a good enough knowledge base to work with so that I can tackle some pretty complex tasks without feeling overwhelmed or "over my head". I know how to recognize when to say, "Well, I can learn it, and I enjoy learning".

    With the above being said, I have to say that my goals in IT are pretty high. I desire to do much more than repair computers. I like networking, system administration, learning scripting and programming, and security, to name a few areas. There seem to be no areas that do not pique my curiousity and interest, at least I haven't run across any of them yet. However, I focus on what I need to learn first.

    So, if you desire a job as computer repair technician your learning curve will be shorter than mine and it won't take as much effort to keep up with the new stuff that comes out daily, but it will still be constant learning.

    The above is what I love about computing. The more I learn, each time I crest a hill on my journey, so-to-speak, I see more to learn. New vistas for future learning constantly open up to me. I'm never bored because I'm not being challenged. As far as I can see ahead there will always be something new to learn. This is an exciting career and way to make a living if you love learning.

    That being said it can be scary at first because there is so much to learn. However, the way I picture it the learning and the knowledge are sort of like a big puzzle. When you first start working on a big puzzle it takes a while just to sort out the pieces. Then you start to build a framework around the edges of the puzzle. The more pieces you fit into the puzzle the easier it gets to find the next piece. However, in IT the puzzle starts out small and as your interests expand your puzzle grows in size. But, it becomes easier to fit the pieces into the puzzle because you have a larger knowledge base. IOW's you have more of the puzzle put together. You understand how all the pieces fit together and and where the newer ones should fit. The learning becomes far less overwhelming because you have a framework of knowledge to fit it into.

    Fitting that first framework of knowledge and understanding together is actually the hardest part. So if your dream is to do this for the rest of your life, and you love to learn, don't get discouraged at how daunting it all looks and sounds at the beginning. The learning never stops, but it does become "easier" with time and experience.
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  7. Malnomates

    Malnomates Megabyte Poster


    Ask your friend to read the CompTia objectives for A+.While there is still some emphasis on legacy technology (legacy meaning 'old') you are entering a level of training that requires you to understand the basic levels of IT.You do need to have an understanding of these legacy structures in order to have a sound understanding of the workings of their replacement technologies and theories.

    The A+ certification is globally recognised and primarily represents an individuals abilities in the field of 'entry level' PC maintenance and configuration.I would certainly not consider it to be outdated.The certification does not replace experience in any way or form and I suspect the failed job application had more to do with experience (or lack of) than having an A+ certificate alone.

    Don't feel that you have wasted your money on the back of one comment made from one individual.You have taken the FIRST step in gaining the knowledge and requirements of an IT professional and I applaud you for it.
    Certifications: A+ Network+
  8. diiypopin

    diiypopin New Member

    I agree it's a basic grounding in the technology, it has to be worth while.

    WIP: A+/N+
  9. thunderbird

    thunderbird Bit Poster

    Hubby, I've just finished the ICS/Thomson course. I though it was pretty good, but then what do I know as it's the first bit of training I've done since leaving school 31 years ago. So I'm now revising for the exams. Everyone goes on about the Mike Meyers book, so I've bought that to revise with. Good luck with your course, I know it looks like it's a lot of reading and work, but it soon passes. I'll let everyone know when I've passed.
    Certifications: COMPTIA A+
    WIP: Network +
  10. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

    Hubby, The exam won't be out of date but your material might be. I've heard a few companies use out of date crappy material for their students to learn with. I'd agree that on it's own the A+ won't get you a job but used with other certs and experience then it puts you in a good position to get into IT.
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011

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