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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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Professional Conduct is needed

by philospher In reply to I disagree 1000000%

For an ITmanager you have the wrong attitude about certifcation, It's this attitiude toward certifacation that is the problem. Tyring to devalue someone's education is apalling. It takes both education and experience to handle an IT workshop, not just certifications or just experience.How do you get experience when IT-managers like you won't hire someone with certifications. The IT community has to adopt some sort of professional code of conduct. And that includes not looking down on someone's educational background.

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I didn't

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

I didn't have ANY certs at all when I was hired as a fulltime Novell admin. The company paid for my CNE and MCNE training while I was with them but it was not needed to find work.

Somepeople RELY on finding certs and then looking for a career.

You can also decide WHERE you want to work and pursue a job just as successfully with enough determination and personal skill brought to the table.

I do agree though that unfortunately SOME people are too blind to see value in a person and simply rely on certs to aid in making important decisions. What makes them so sure that a certified employee will do a better job than a determined and driven employee?

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Check job requirements

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

You may want to check the job requirements in your geographical area. If they say they want A+ as well as other certifications, then not having it can be a hassle.

One of the biggest problems with work experience is that it may not provide solid'proof' that you have the skills. It is much easier to check a certification than it is to contact an employer and find out the details of a potential employee's prior job.

Then you have to consider whether the employer can release the information you request. I've run into instances where an employer can only verify that the employee worked for them for a given date range. The employer's legal staff advised them that offering more information would put them at risk for lawsuits.

A final problem with work experience is the fact that using your current employer as a reference can put your current job at risk. A lot of job applications take this into consideration when they ask if they can contact your current employer.

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by ghstinshll In reply to Check job requirements

That's wxactly why you never use your current job as a reference... You use people who you've worked with who you connected with on a personal level and keep in touch with. They should be individual professional references, not your current/previous employer. Don't lie on a resume and come across as a truthful person and you don't have to watch your back in the process...

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7 Years of Help Desk Experience?

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

Holy cow!!!! It's time to step it up a notch!

I spent less than two years in a help desk environment and had enough, so I pity the grey hair you have... an A+, Net+ aren't under you, and to get the ball rolling, you DO need to dedicate to self-preservation in the form of books and time to study. If you're so experienced, you should be able to purchase an exam cram book, purchase a transcender and go pass the A+ tests within 3 weeks. Just do it is all I can say... I've been re-cert'ing for a couple years now, and it sucks when y ou already work with it, but you have to do it no matter what. A mentor of mine told me years ago, that if you don't like reading, get out of the tech field, because you're going to be doing it for the rest of your life. 5 years later and a bunch of exams later, I'm 3 wks out from the CCNA and still at it. It's just the way life has to go. With yor experience AND the certs, you WIll get the job on top of any other candidate, provided you're a likable personAND interview well, guaranteed... Unfortunately, you DO have to begin somewhere, so knock out those two first, then go MCP (2k pro shold take you no more than 3-4 weeks as well) and then you're at a fork in the road. MCSA, CCNA, or other ranges of certs? Then you can really direct your career from there.

I'm not sure what experience you have in networking, but there's a barrier you'll have to break through to be able to get the jobs you want.
I'd like to hear a little feedback from you if you want some advice on how to handle that.

Again, 3 months our you Should have an A+, Network+, and MCP. That's only a semi-aggressive schedule, and you can do it with the experience you have! The Exam Cram books are an easy read, so one chapterper night isn't asking too much. Just leave your PC at home off and don't game!

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Degree is the right thing, finish the 4

by ghstinshll In reply to 7 Years of Help Desk Expe ...

As for the degree, you're doing the right thing there too! Keep it up and you'll be where you want to be in a few years. It'll get close in a year, but plan on making a move or two to get the job you want. Always keep your eyes open for jobs, and watch the markets to keep a grasp on what's out there too.

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Barriers to Networking Career?

by Rob1150 In reply to 7 Years of Help Desk Expe ...

I am curious as to what barriers you have come across in pursuing a career in Networking, I have anticipated the "Can't get into Networking without experience, but cant get experience without a job" I would like to know what your thoughts are though.

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Re Barriers to Networking Career

by Andy_Ex-UK In reply to Barriers to Networking Ca ...

I made the move over from tech support to networking by getting a tech support job with an ISP. Pretty lame and boring support stuff, but I got to mess around with the servers (well, adding, modifying and deleting user and mail accounts, but it was start). I then took a networking class, got my Network+, took a CCNA prep class and that was enough to get me into my present job administering a Windows 2000 domain.

As for the original question of this thread, I would say A+ is worth having. It's easy to get, lasts a lifetime and many companies require it.

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You can never be too Certified

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

I am currently a student, myself working towards a networking career. From everything I have heard and learned you can never have too much certification. And one of the "biggies" is A+. I am getting ready to take the core part within a week. From what I understand most do not accept that you are a tech unless you are A+ certified. If you are wanting to know how ready you would be for this test without study, you can go to and take the practice tests there. My suggestion would be to take it.

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A+ = Cert for Beginners

by TomSal In reply to You can never be too Cert ...

Just thought I'd shed my light, considering I've been working IT for about a decade now I think I have some worthwhile input to share on this. :)

First and foremost, I did the cert thing per request of my employer a few years back (btw, it was truly a REQUEST -- I didn't HAVE to get the cert to keep my job). I also have my degree in the IT field - so I've gone through the "college" route as well. (And I'm STILL going through the college

I've worked with A+ techs, heck I've been the manager of A+ techs. The cert in and of itself is worthless paper, pure junk.

Its the experience, aka "benchwork", the one going to get the cert that makes the difference.

Someone comes to me and all they can say is "I'm A+ certified" - in an interview, without a stutter in my voice I'll continue, "what kind of hands on experience do you have?" Then that leads into questions about "are you familiar with the installation of RAID controllers? Have you worked on XXXXX model/brand of servers before? " etc. etc.

A+ does not mean you are a real tech. A+ is you READ about the BASICS.

That's all.

Experience is what counts. Drive is what counts. Determination to succeed is what counts.

THAT is what makes a REAL tech.

Your cert is just a piece of processed wood pulp with ink on it.

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