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T O P I C     R E V I E W
Member # 2860
 - posted August 24, 2004 18:18
Hello everyone. [Smile] I have been playing with computers since 1997 and have grown alot and learned this and that. I have taken computer classes in college and am playing with Linux a bit. It seems that if you want to get an entry level job in the IT field you need your A+ cert even if it is help desk or a phone tech support job. I would like to get my A+ cert but do not want to read a 1200 page book to do so and I do not have $1,000 to take a few day class on it. What would your advice be for me to get certified? I do not want to become a "paper tech" but also do not want to waste time studying for things that are not even on the test. Iknow this sounds cheesey but for the purpose of passing the test...I want a cram course so to speak. After I have my paper in hand then gain the rest that I did not study for. Please do not think that I want the easy way out, I simply want the meat & potatos of the A+ cert...lean cut with no filler and all that useless blabbing. [Smile] I would ike advice, input and guidence from those who have taken it or those who have been out there for a while to tell me what if anything the A+ exam has done for them. Thank you for your time and help. [Smile]
Cap'n Vic
Member # 1477
 - posted August 24, 2004 19:50
Well, I personally think A+ is like the Wal*Mart of certs. On the other hand, it gives the employer a base line to weed people out during the hiring process.

Some employers like to hire seasoned vets (with or without certs) while others like the freshly ceritifed type who have yet to develop bad habits.

There are a billion cram books and websites that can offer up simulated exams but the only way to know where you stand, without formal training is to take the test and find where your weakness is and take it until you pass it.

Bear in mind A+ typically deals with hardware, and the industry is almost to the point of training chimps to do hardware trouble shooting. You may want to do A+ followed quickly by Net+ to give you a leg up.

The best way is to pick a stream (pgmming/network/design/engineering or the like) and go to school. Work in the school lab as a slave and polish your troublshooting skills. It takes longer, but the resluts and job possiblities are much better.

Good luck!
Member # 1941
 - posted August 24, 2004 20:26
Originally posted by Cap'n Vic:
The best way is to pick a stream (pgmming/network/design/engineering or the like) and go to school. Work in the school lab as a slave and polish your troublshooting skills. It takes longer, but the resluts and job possiblities are much better.

You got resluts? I haven't been offered my first ones yet [Wink]
Member # 2097
 - posted August 24, 2004 20:40
First of all welcome SimpleMan,

Now, the A+ is nice. And there are lots of cram and study sites out on the web that are free or very cheap. I am not talking about the brain dumps either. If you do have the hardware experience then you may only need to brush up on theory and terms.

As far as doing the whole computer lab thing. I knew a guy that could out-hardware and software me in a heartbeat and he did the whole computer lab thing. Last I heard he was working at a casino in the security department.(Just watching security cams)

I guess what I am trying to really say is that the A+ is not a guarantee, nor is anything else, that you will get a job. Though it helps.

Truthfully it comes down to what and who you know. Making the proper contacts is what is the best way to get in the business. And then having abilities keep you in.
Cap'n Vic
Member # 1477
 - posted August 24, 2004 21:56
csk: hehehe.....When you do get your resluts, just make sure you wash 'em good before using them
Member # 2603
 - posted August 25, 2004 05:11
A+ is overrated.

I got mine in 1999 and let it expire because I was no longer a noc monkey. Then, my employer offered an online course through some external contractor and I checked out some of the material and was suprised at how dated some of the hardware was. I also think that they focus on attributes of hardware and software items that are often unimportant.
Member # 2860
 - posted August 25, 2004 05:28
I have been through hardware, Net+, Apache, Linux...have installed OS'es from Win95, 98,2K, andXP. I am dabbling in Linux and also very basics of perl. I can build and take apart a PC. My trouble lies in those little itty bitty details that are on a test but in real life have little meaning...like the memory address of a printer port. I do understand what you are saying that it is who you know winning many times over something on your resume. I simply want the A+ because at least it looks good on paper. I understand that may or may not help me but as a newbie to the world of computer jobs. Like alot of geeks, I enjoy gaming, messing around with this and that, a case mod or two, reading about hacking for the benifit of understand it, and also enjoy the "culture" of being a geek. Unfortionally that does not mean but so much in the job world. I do not want a computer job to "just be a job"...I do not want a job to just be a way to get a paycheck. I want to have a computer career because of a passion for computers and technology. That is why I like the open source movement and the hacker movement because it is about the kive of technology....not the corporate crap of the industry. Yes I would like to get my NET+ and my Linux+ but at first I need to start with the basics and that is A+. I want to do something "different"...rather than just being another Microsoft tech...I would rather be a Linux or MAC tech. I would rather do something that is a bit more "geeky" than what seems to be "standard" or "normal". At my college you have people who are taking classes to "get a job" and they are not geeks nor have a passion for technology....they just want a paycheck. Sorry for going on and on, but I think you can see my case here. LOL Thank you for the help and also am open to more input. LOL Yippie
Member # 2814
 - posted August 25, 2004 06:27
Originally posted by SimpleMan:
I have been through hardware, Net+, Apache, Linux...have installed OS'es from Win95, 98,2K, andXP. I am dabbling in Linux and also very basics of perl. I can build and take apart a PC. My trouble lies in those little itty bitty details that are on a test but in real life have little meaning...like the memory address of a printer port.

I guess you mean I/O address of a printer port, not 'memory address'.

So, 0x378h-0x37Ah, more often than not, IRQ 7.

A+ cert here I come!

HA. I've never had a hard time finding a job, and I don't have any degree, cert, or diploma beyond high-school, and I'm pretty sure I've gone on this rant here before: the cert, I've found, means less than nothing. I've seen people with and without certs on both ends of the spectrum. The cert seemed to have little to do with their abilities.
Member # 2603
 - posted August 25, 2004 07:02
The I/O adress issue is just what I'm talking about. It's awfully rare that anyone uses win95 or less, these days, and even rarer for one to have to mess around with I/O addresses and IRQs. I don't see the need to test for these things.
Member # 2814
 - posted August 25, 2004 07:49
Yea, and unless you're writing DRIVERS to access the printer port, that part has become transparent to you aswell. On linux, you open /dev/lp0 or the like. The Windows API does most printer control for you too when printing documents.

I don't even know what's on the A+ exam though.
Member # 2860
 - posted August 26, 2004 06:40
OK, now it sure seems that we in here do not like the A+ for the useless info you need to know to pass the test, but the fact is that in order to take it and pass it we must know this pointless stuff that looks good on a test but in real life really matter very little. So, that being said....do you have any ideas on how to study for it in a cram session type of thing? I do not want to read a 1200 page book ful of history and useless facts...all I want is what is gonna be on the test and the info I need to pass it. [Smile] Thanks for the input and advice here. there are 1000's of books and such but which ones are worth reading? LOl Thanks again for the help
Member # 1234
 - posted August 26, 2004 07:09
As high school credit I recently became a CCNA (cool beans - 10 credits (5 per semester vs. 2.5 norm! [Smile] ). The writing was clearly outsourced to someone who didn't know how to write (many, many grammar mistakes), and actually pretty informal (in the Cisco Academy curriculum they called Microsoft microsucks IN PRINT!).

I do agree that on these things there is a fair bit of "useless" information. Why would one ever need to know if IGRP sends out routing updates ever 60,90, or 120 seconds?

Some of it is plain wrong. It classified quicktime as a layer 6 protocol (Presentation), but it's really layer 7 (application) because quicktime is not a codec in and of itself.

Good luck?
Cap'n Vic
Member # 1477
 - posted August 26, 2004 09:20
OK Simp, now you are just sounding lazy. The point of a test is to test . You are supposed to study a broad base of information and then be tested against that info. The questions would be selected in a way that would gauge home much if the material you have actually studied and retained.....if any at all.

There is no short cut here. Spend the time and money and do it right....you'll save yourself some heartache down the road.
Member # 1173
 - posted August 26, 2004 17:52
Certs are good for some things and bad for others, and I've been looking into which ones I should take... The advice that I got from a lecturer at the university is this:
Figure out what you want to do, find the companies you want to do it for and take the certs that are relevant to your field and required by the companies.

Personally, I'm leaning more towards banking on internships and co-ops than certs as I'd like to make money not spend it and real world experience counts more than "Ummm... I read about this once for a cert... but I have never done it." If getting the internship means a cert along the way, then great... Other than that I think I want to take the Java cert and what ever else seems relevant at the time.
Member # 2860
 - posted August 27, 2004 05:50
Cap'n Vic I will have to give you credit for what you said and in a way you are right. One of the reasons that I want the "lean cut" version is that I have already been through a Hardware class in college and have built a few computers and had to troubleshoot others but here is the most important one. I am visually impaired and reading alot for a long time is very hard on me. It takes me up to 5 minutes to read a page, so 5 minutes times 1000 pages, think about that. I am a handson guy and learn best by playing and learning. Am I gonna get this cert...you bet I will. I will do my best at it and if it means reading a thick book then that is what I have to do. I did not mean to come across like i want to easy way out but I do want the "easiest" way to learn what I need to know. [Smile] Thanks alot for all the help. [Smile]

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