Starting with CompTIA suite...Where to begin?

PCProtagonistPCProtagonist Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello,

I appreciate the responses to my last thread, I have been given some direction and believe it's not a bad idea to start right out with A+, Network+, and Security+. I like the Linux, cloud, and server courses also offered. I've been doing a lot of fact-finding and I'm just a little lost on the most practical (and at least moderately cost effective) way to go about it. I didn't realize how much the testing/vouchers actually cost, so that's a big factor in the bottom line.

Initially I had found an online center (trainingcamp.com) that I liked, however just under $1000 for access to the materials is a bit steep with the actual testing cost factored in. I have enough general experience to where I don't feel as though I'd need a ton of options to pass at least these few initial CompTIA exams. I know a lot of people recommend Professor Messor, and I've been using that as well now.

I guess I'm just not trying to bankrupt myself on increasing my marketability with no guaranteed career change in order. I just came into some money, and I'm okay with dropping $800 - 1200, I just want to find the best way to allocate that money and obtain the most meaningful certs knowing how much they cost just to take the exam itself. Some training places out there are outrageous sums of money, then there are some (like a few I found on Groupon) with 96% some odd discounts for the big three CompTIA for 30 - 720 days, and so on.

Thank you,

Dylan

Comments

  • markulousmarkulous Posts: 2,389Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    If you're ok with dropping that much money then it's not a bad start at all. What type of knowledge/experience do you have? It sounds like you want to get into systems admin, which there are some more mid-level certs that would have a much better ROI, however it depends on your experience on how quick to jump into those.
  • PCProtagonistPCProtagonist Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I took A+, Server+, and Network+ courses back in high school at a vocational center, but that was 10yrs ago and they were relatively brief. Most of my learning just came from general experience later on, I had a business partnership where I managed e-commerce and general hardware/software repair to get things in shape for sale. I focused on a lot of mobile development as well. Over the past year in my current position I've been dealing with a lot of big data, so I've gained a lot of interest in database administration and security (because quite frankly we have nothing for networking security here).

    I've looked at some of the material for the networking and security certs and it's hit or miss, I know a good deal of the material experience wise, but the technical components fail me. I have a home office setup right now and just started getting back into server work, and I'm repairing on a regular basis for my own e-commerce, so I've been attempting to keep up with everything.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Are you currently employed in IT?

    I'd buy an A+ book and watch the A+ professer messer videos to start, then tke the A+ exam.

    If you have some previous hardware experience (which seems like you do, and have taken A+ classes in the past) I'd get the A+ Exam Cram book.
    http://www.amazon.com/CompTIA-220-801-220-802-Exam-Cram/dp/0789749718/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432487676&sr=8-1&keywords=a%2B+exam+cram

    The book will only set you back $30. The Prof Messer Videos are free. The A+ Exam is about $360 (but you can usually find discounted vouchers out there to bring the cost down some). Total cost of the A+ would be ~$400.

    If you're not in IT yet, you could polish up the resume and land your 1st IT job after completion of the A+. If you want to go further, honestly picking a vendor specific cert 2nd might give you more ROI - esp if you're only trying to spend $800 on certs.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • PCProtagonistPCProtagonist Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I work an IT related position, for all intents and purposes I state that it's IT to anyone outside of work because the actual position (Tactical Operations Specialist) people would assume it's military related. The few in our department find ourselves involved in a good many of the tasks our actual IT department handles.

    CompTIA website states the voucher is $194, I believe I have to take two separate exams for A+? 801 & 802? Not sure if they have to be purchased separately. I know there are some 10% discount vouchers out there from what I found earlier today. I'd like to invest in a vendor specific cert out there after, but honestly I'm just inundated with the sheer number of possibilities, I can't even begin to assume which one I'd actually want to take. I hear the Microsoft ones are a good choice, and Cisco is always good but on the other hand it's a fairly saturated field.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Focus on the A+ first. During the studies, try to see if there are any topics you'd like to dive deeper into. Or any topics that might help you in your current role or your next role. Then after completing the A+, go from there.

    You do need to purchase 2 A+ vouchers separately.

    You can often find an early expiration voucher w/ discounted prices. The follow website updates their voucher specials weekly. I usually check there in the few weeks leading up to me taking the exam and pull the trigger if I find something good.
    Discount Exam Test Vouchers for CompTIA, Microsoft, Oracle, Novell, Cisco, and more
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • markulousmarkulous Posts: 2,389Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I work an IT related position, for all intents and purposes I state that it's IT to anyone outside of work because the actual position (Tactical Operations Specialist) people would assume it's military related. The few in our department find ourselves involved in a good many of the tasks our actual IT department handles.

    CompTIA website states the voucher is $194, I believe I have to take two separate exams for A+? 801 & 802? Not sure if they have to be purchased separately. I know there are some 10% discount vouchers out there from what I found earlier today. I'd like to invest in a vendor specific cert out there after, but honestly I'm just inundated with the sheer number of possibilities, I can't even begin to assume which one I'd actually want to take. I hear the Microsoft ones are a good choice, and Cisco is always good but on the other hand it's a fairly saturated field.

    Nothing wrong with Microsoft or Cisco certs. If you have the technical ability to jump into a CCENT or CCNA or a MCSA Windows 7 then those are going to be much more beneficial than these CompTIA certs. However the CompTIA certs give you a good knowledge base if you need to learn that.

    The A+ is an expensive cert and by no means guarantees you a job. But if it's knowledge you're lacking and you can afford it then going that route is solid.
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