CompTIA A+ vs. *

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venom77

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Post Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:12 pm

CompTIA A+ vs. *

This isn't directly related to security, but it is an entry-point that could eventually lead in that direction I suppose. Plus, I value the opinions of the members here ;)

I had a co-worker recently ask me about entering the IT world, and he was interested in taking some sort of A+ course at a local college. Someone had recommended this class to him if he wanted to get into IT. He asked me about it and I wasn't quite sure what to tell him. I don't know a whole lot about how the new (not so much anymore) versions of A+ are valued.

The old version was all about standard 'technician' type skills, and being able to replace hardware components and do some basic OS troubleshooting. These new paths seem to be a little more advanced, and would appear to be pretty decent entry-level certifications to obtain (either the 'IT Technician' role or the 'Remote Support Technician' role).

Does anyone have any advice on a path to take for just general entrance into IT? Probably some form of user support/helpdesk type role? How would you compare these new A+ options to something like the MCDST or the Helpdesk Institute?

Any thoughts/opinions/comments are appreciated :)

Thanks.

BillV
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vijay2

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Post Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:00 pm

Re: CompTIA A+ vs. *

From what I Have seen, there is no replacement for the actual hands on experience. A+ is the requirement for our company for the Techs but that they have to get within six months of their employment. I think if someone is very new to IT, a job as help desk tech for 3 months is a good start before he/she takes A+. But then there is chicken and egg situation. Well any thing to get the hands dirty would help a lots when studying for A+. as it will make more sense.

Just my opinion.

VJ
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venom77

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Post Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:16 pm

Re: CompTIA A+ vs. *

Thanks for the reply, VJ. I think, for this situation, the problem there would be how to get that first job with no current skill. I think I will see him again tonight, so I will definitely ask him what current experience he has, but I'm thinking that we're talking nothing beyond standard "end-user" type usage... Internet, email, office applications. Haha, though now that I think about it, I guess that's typically the stuff most users have problems with :P
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Mr. Roboto

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Post Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:13 am

Re: CompTIA A+ vs. *

I've recently taken a Sys Admin job.  I was fortunate enough to go through 5 interviews and receive 3 job offers within the last 6 months.  While most of the job descriptions were nearly the same, the different companies I interviewed with all highlighted different portions of my resume.

At least two of the companies were impressed with my HDI cert (which is very easy to pass with a little bit of study).  A program manager actually compared the HDI Support Center Analyst cert with his PMP cert (I think he was a little off, but I appreciated the compliment).

Another company was very inquisitive of my MCTS: Vista Configuring cert, but had nothing to say about my Windows Server 2K3 70-290, even though the position was a Windows Sys Admin.

As for someone wanting to break into IT, I'd start with the A+.  No matter what field of IT you go into, the A+ puts down a solid foundation.  From there I'd look into a soft skills cert from HDI.  A lot of companies are looking for someone with people skills, not just PC skills.

Oddly enough, out of 5 interviews, only one interviewer mentioned my A.S. degree...does anyone find that a little strange?
A+, Security+, HDI Support Center Analyst, MCTS: Vista
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iSmith

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Post Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:33 pm

Re: CompTIA A+ vs. *

A+ is a good place to start. You should take the "IT technician path. It is the recommended path.
In my eyes, your operating system is as solid as swiss cheese.
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p0et

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Post Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:44 pm

Re: CompTIA A+ vs. *

I agree. A+ is usually every techie's first cert.  It's well worth if if you're starting out. Most companies have this as a basic requirement or a requirement to obtain within 6mths of employment.
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sgt_mjc

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Post Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:13 am

Re: CompTIA A+ vs. *

That requirement isn't necessarily true. It is not required for where I work, but then we are doing mostly C&A work here. The cert just depends on where you are going to be working and what you are going to be doing. p0et is right though that it is often the starting point for many techies. Good luck.
Mike Conway
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venom77

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Post Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:15 am

Re: CompTIA A+ vs. *

sgt_mjc wrote:That requirement isn't necessarily true. It is not required for where I work, but then we are doing mostly C&A work here. The cert just depends on where you are going to be working and what you are going to be doing.


I think what he meant is that there are many companies out there that do say they require an A+ upon employment or within the first 6 months of employment, not necessarily meaning all companies require it. I know I have seen listings like this for that certification and others.

BillV

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