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A+ or no A+, that is the question.

By Rob1150 ·
I am presently working as a CSR for a software company, and working on my Degree in Computer Science. I dont have any certifications yet and because I dont have the dicipline for self study, I am going to be trained at a IT school in here in town.I had planned to pursue A+, and Network+, but I have about 7 years of helpdesk and onsite support experience, therefore, I am thinking that it may be better to go for Network+, and Security+ rather than spend that much money on my A+. I think that my work experience would validate that I have hardware and software support knowledge so why bother with the A+? My long term career goals are to work in network administration. Any thoughts?

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No A+

by areets In reply to A+ or no A+, that is the ...

If I may ask, where is 'here in town'? Yes, you are correct. Your experience to now will count for more than an A+. Network and security are vital knowledge packs for troubleshooting skills. Without, you'll not be able to improve those techniques, ESSENTIAL, but not enough is done in many companies towards greater in-house inter-networking analytic training. Good luck!!!

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Get certified in something

by Jim Phelps In reply to A+ or no A+, that is the ...

You need to have some sort of certification, be it A+, CNA, MCP, Network+, or whatever. If you have none, and you came to me looking for a job, I would wonder why you had no certifications.

If you and another candidate appeared to be equally qualified, and he was certified in something but you weren't, I'd probably go with the other candidate.

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Non-certified job seeker

by areets In reply to Get certified in somethin ...

The IT sector's recruiters must be able to match environment experiences to certification achievements. Not every employer is prepared to train his or her employees. Those with certifications are neither guaranteed a job.

You can achieve certification without terrain experience. Would you choose the established certified non-experienced or the experienced non-certified job seeker?

Your ROI on overall support can be rapidly achieved over the use of the non-certified job seeker. Industry experiences show that. What plays against the non-certified, is the lack of his immediate leader's ability to manage the team, which requires today a standard of people, business and technical skills.

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certified job seeker

by willpd13 In reply to Non-certified job seeker

Having strayed into customer support from network support/administration I am now looking to get back into the hands on side of things again and as such have done 2 certifications Network+ and MCP 2000 Server I am finding in my local area (Manchester UK) that I am not getting interviews because I dont have any recent experience.

So from my point of view the experience you have is more valuble than the certifications however if they are choosing between someone with them or someone without both having the required experience they would pick the one that did have them.

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I disagree 1000000%

by TomSal In reply to Get certified in somethin ...

Respectfully, I must say "HOGWASH!!" lol.

But really that's nonsense that you need to have a cert in something even if its just A+. Especially in the case of this thread's author -- who is working on a Computer Science degree (which I am assumingis a 4 year degree) AND he already has 7 years helpdesk experience under his belt PLUS he wants to go to an IT tech school for network training.

That's how I understood his educational background if I'm mistaken, then my post won't hold much water but I think I got the details right.

With his education he is leaps and bounds more qualified than anyone with a piece of paper that says CNA, MCP or A+ on it...oh sorry I mean "Certification". They are a dime a dozen. Today, especially those three certs -- the basic ones. A 100% non-IT person, so long as he/she has good study habits, could earn any one of those certs in a month's time or less.

Very few certs impress me at all. Some exceptions would be the CCIE and some highlevel industry certs by the likes of IBM or RSA.

Being that I *am* an IT manager, college degree holder and someone who earned a few certs himself some years back -- trust me. I'll take a well rounded college educated, hands on experienced applicant any day of the week over someone with 50 certifications and no experience whatsoever.

Bar none.

This guy is doing just fine. Looks to me he knows what he's doing.

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degree=long term - cert=short term

by Joshua1 In reply to I disagree 1000000%

I gotta disagree. Technical certs and college are 2 *completely* different animals. [First, let me say I have a 4 year degree in I.S. and I have certs and I'm in Networking/Systems admin]. College is conceptual & theoretical.
Certs are technical& applied.
If the job is to run a network...that's hands on. Knowing how to create a DFD, normalize a table, or perform JCL sorts are irrelevant. Give me the technically skilled candidate over the degree w/ no certs. I've seen the reverse in practice...it's not effective.

You only have to get a degree once, but you have to get certs every few years. So, (in vague generalities): A degree speaks of long-term skills, while certs signal short-term success.

So do you want success now, orlater? Well...probably you want both. That's how Certs & IT Degrees work together. A candidate w/ only 1 of the 2 has weaknesses. Of course, experience trumps.

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Experience is the key

by Jim Phelps In reply to degree=long term - cert=s ...

I have both a degree in Computer Science and some certifications. I also have years of experience as a technician in networking, hardware, software, etc, etc.

My degree gets me in the door (and did when I had no experience), because most people don't realize that a degree in Computer Science means that you've been taught to write programs, not to fix computer issues. However, having a programming background gives me a more complete perspective on computer issues, and helps me to figure some things out which I wouldn't have a clue about had I not had a few years of programming.

Certifications don't automatically mean anything. I knew someone once who claimed to be A+ certified, but I would have been surprised if he had ever toucheda PC! He knew NOTHING about computers!

The best thing to have is long-term, meaningful job experience. Not only will you know your technical stuff, but you are seasoned, and you will know about such things as logging calls, locking your computer when you are away from your desk, how to deal with users, etc, etc.

And if, in addition to the job experience, you have certifications or a degree, that would be like icing on the cake.

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Hmmm

by voldar In reply to I disagree 1000000%

Tom, then what about a job offer for me? I worked a lot as admin (4 years) in Ro, with W2K network of 300 users (any servers you want - you got them), alone, and now when I move to Ca (Mtl), it's not that easy to find a job in IT when u r W2K specialized. I am MCP, MCSA W2K (710,715,716,718), and guess what? I just passed my A+ exams ... LOL

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P.S. ... about A+

by voldar In reply to Hmmm

In a week, it's right, not in month :)) Real experience I think is the most important in A+.

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Certs can't hurt

by tjc In reply to I disagree 1000000%

Certification can not hurt in getting any job. If anything they look good on the resume to show you are on top of the technology.

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