Who offers the best (online) training courses for certs?

MpstylerMpstyler Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello everyone. My name is Michael and I have a couple questions.

To start off, I'm new to IT and I'm trying to break into entry-level IT work. For the past couple months I've been going through a training program with a web-hosting company that taught the basic fundamentals of DNS, the Linux command line, how to use PHP, FTP, SMTP, POP, IMAP, and a large host of other processes and applications used in a web-hosting environment. I never had experience in the Linux command line and was completely new to DNS, so the course was extremely helpful. As well, I have around 10 years of experience building and tinkering PC's (like any PC gamer would lol). I took an A+ cert sample test, and it was surprisingly easy, just to mention.

Unfortunately, during the interview process with the web-hosting company I was training with, about a dozen other applicants WITH experience applied, but I have none, so I was rejected. It sucked majorly because, again, I put in a little under 6 months into the program only to get tossed, but I'm not going to give up. I want to break through into IT and am determined to do what it takes. I've already put in around 30+ applications to random companies in my area (I live in Virginia Beach), but 95% of them want experience. Pleh.

Which brings me to my next point and my most important question: Who or what offers the best online courses for training towards a certification, and which are the most cost efficient? (I'm looking to spend around ~$500, maybe more if it's really good). I'm not just looking to memorize a bunch of knowledge either, but this will be a legitimate education and I want to comprehend the material.

As of now, I'm eyeballing a Network+ cert as it seems the best stepping stone for where I am, and then maybe a Security+, Linux+, CCNA, AWS, etc. as I advance. What's important though is I get at least one well-respected cert so I can get some experience and start making some damn money lol. I'd be giving myself to this course like a part-time job. Just a sidenote: I'm thrilled with the idea of getting a certification vs. going to school, because I love the idea of condensing my education into a neat package vs. having to jump through the hoops of the college experience.

But where should I go? Who offers the best online courses? Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.


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    NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,407 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Do you have a college degree?
    Having a college would definately help, even if the degree isn't in IT.
    As far as training for certs go I prefer IT pro tv and Plural sight. Both have trials.
    If you're unemployed, you coukd try comptia's creating Futures Foundation.
    They provide training for unemployed jobs seekers

    To gain experience in IT you could try volunteering your IT skills.
    You could search on volunteer match.

    Good luck
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
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    MpstylerMpstyler Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the reply.

    No, I don't have a college degree. I have some college experience, but never followed through for a degree.

    I went ahead and contacted ITproTV and Pluralsight and asked them if they had any assignments, quizzes, tests, etc. you can take along with the program to gauge how much you've learned and get some hands-on experience. Their prices are very competitive and would fit perfectly with my budget.

    I also looked into CompTIA's "Creating Future's Foundation" and they seem to offer their programs by location. I live in Virginia Beach, VA and their nearest is Charlotte, NC. I emailed them anyway.

    What's really important to me is honestly just learning, not testing what I already know, so volunteering is out. What I "really" want is to watch videos/read material and then follow up with assignments, the way you would in a normal classroom setting. I learn best this way. If ITproTV and Pluralsight offer these, I will be in heaven and will be a sponge of IT knowledge lol.

    Any other recommendations? Thanks in advance.
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    piedthepiperpiedthepiper Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Pluralsight and CBT Nuggets do video training and its very good
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    jt2929jt2929 Member Posts: 244 ■■■□□□□□□□
    So you want an education and all the benefits of an education, but don't want to go to school....Ok. Honestly, I think getting your education is the best route. At a school like WGU, you'll get a degree and certs, and you can work through it as quickly as you want. If you're going to put the time into an online course to get a cert, you may as well put the time into education so you have something at the end, in addition to the certs.
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    BlackoutBlackout Member Posts: 512 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Current Certification Path: CCNA, CCNP Security, CCDA, CCIE Security

    "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect"

    Vincent Thomas "Vince" Lombardi
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    asroc7asroc7 Registered Users Posts: 1 ■■□□□□□□□□
    INE.com has really good training and is very similar to CBT Nuggets. Comparable in price and training
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    nelson8403nelson8403 Member Posts: 220 ■■■□□□□□□□
    INE is great for Cisco! CBT has a little broader selection though. It depends on what you want to do, and I'd definitely jump on the get your degree! That degree will open way more doors than a Network+ with no experience.

    Get your degree, look for volunteer projects or internships you can work on in the mean time to get experience up.
    Bachelor of Science, IT Security
    Master of Science, Information Security and Assurance

    CCIE Security Progress: Written Pass (06/2016), 1st Lab Attempt (11/2016)
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    MowMow Member Posts: 445 ■■■■□□□□□□
    For general stuff I prefer Pluralsight and Udemy
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    MpstylerMpstyler Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks. I'll be looking into all those recommendations.

    From all the listed examples, and keep in mind I'm looking to get a A+ and Network+ (and maybe a future Security+), which would provide the best "classroom" experience, i.e. quality video training AND practice assignments, quizzes, etc.

    This is what's going to really narrow it down for me. Quality video training and practice tests, quizzes, etc. to test what I've learned.

    On a side note, I received a message back from ITProTV claiming they have the most comprehensive program, and I quote: " Along with our show content, some of the courses have virtual labs you can access as a sandbox environment so you do not have to come out of pocket for the expenses of building a testing environment.You can use these in the method you've described to access them for review or even to test a concept you want to try.

    You also have access to the forums which is our membership's community environment for you to post and ask questions. Hosts answer questions posted as well as other members. If you watch our shows during the live broadcast of them, you can use the chat interact live with the hosts too.

    We do not have a "complete" environment for you to come into facilities though for you work on computing equipment. For this we have to rely on your resources to do the best you can.

    If you're interested in A+ and Network+ particularly. I will tell you this hands down. No other provider out there provides 90+ hours of content for A+ and 70+ hours for Network+. We cover every exam objective. I wouldn't hesitate to say not only do we cover it but we do it well! If you're looking to learn from actual professionals who have worked in the field and want you to be successful then we are the content provider for you.

    We also include the access to practice exam provider, MeasureUp. You will receive access to get one exam voucher per month for the duration of the membership. "

    Unless you folks have something to say about that, chances are they've sold me on what they offer.
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    OfWolfAndManOfWolfAndMan Member Posts: 923 ■■■■□□□□□□
    For Linux+, check out Linux Academy.

    Other than that, CBT Nuggets has good stuff for CompTIA certs. Supplement it with some reading material and you're set.

    Another one for CCNA is Udemy. They have a lot of good material, and moderately priced (Wait for the deals to come around. They do like once a month)

    I've briefly gone through some Pluralsight material. It's good... if you have the right instructor :).

    Oh yes, and one of the biggest ones no one mentioned: Google. There is plenty material for Linux/Net+/CCNA on the internet. Just make sure you know where not to go :).
    :study:Reading: Lab Books, Ansible Documentation, Python Cookbook 2018 Goals: More Ansible/Python work for Automation, IPSpace Automation Course [X], Build Jenkins Framework for Network Automation []
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    CodyyCodyy Member Posts: 223 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Cybrary.it ..free and awesome.
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    TechGuru80TechGuru80 Member Posts: 1,539 ■■■■■■□□□□
    CBT Nuggets is my preference for certification training. Their instructors write certification books for pretty much anything you could think of ($99 per month). Train Signal is another one and is a little less cost but I have never done any of their courses.

    The nice thing about CompTIA exams is that they do not require hands on knowledge for Net+ and Sec+...and Linux is free to mess with for Linux+. With Network+ and Security+, one month of CBT Nuggets, and books you are gonna be $600-700 but those are basic certifications that almost everybody starts with. Those would get you on a good path. After those you can focus on increasingly harder certifications (Cisco, Microsoft, VMware, etc.) and you will have a better idea of what responsibilities you want to have in a job.

    Your view of certifications vs college is off as far as where it can get you, but to each their own.
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    MpstylerMpstyler Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I would go to college if I had the cash. Unfortunately, it's something I'll have to consider in the future. Right now what's important is getting in somewhere at entry level and getting some experience. I have no qualms about starting off at the bottom. I want to learn as much as I can and earn my way to the top.
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    anhtran35anhtran35 Member Posts: 466
    You are a in tough situation. Most companies I work for require a college degree.

    However, entry level IT positions = help desk does not. You would probably need to get a A+ or Windows 7 and Security+( DOD required ). If you want FREE video training then you can use

    Professor Messer IT Certification Training Courses

    No need to spend a penny with the exception of his study notes.
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    thomas_thomas_ Member Posts: 1,012 ■■■■■■■■□□
    +1 for LinuxAcademy. They have quality videos, PDF copies of their presentations, PDF study guide, labs and quizzes as you go through the course material. They have sections for Linux essentials, Linux+/LPIC level 1 exam 1 & 2, RHCSA 7, AWS certs, and training covering other things like DevOps and Openstack.

    For Network+ I just used Mike Meyer's All-in-One book and the practice exams that came with it. I had purchased access to Comptia's flash card system, I think it's called CertMaster or something, but it really wasn't for me.

    CCNA I used Wendell Odom's books to go the two test route and also purchased the full Pearson Simulator to practice with.

    I've heard a lot of great things about the resources other people have mentioned, so if you're tight on money it's probably better to start with the training resources you can get for free.
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    TheFORCETheFORCE Member Posts: 2,297 ■■■■■■■■□□
    You will not learn enough material or get any experience from watching online CBT nugget videos and taking online training courses. Trust the people that have told you so far that in order to get an education, being a degree or a certification, you will also need to open some books on your own! Those CBT nuggets are used as supplemental study material

    I would suggest since you have no experience with vendor related products, you should start with reading some Microsoft books, like Active Directory books, Exchange books or basically any Windows books. You want to get into IT but most likely right now you do not know how to setup a user's mailbox. That's something basic that everyone in IT knows. Start with the Microsoft books, and you will have it easier on your cert path.
    Below you will find 100s of FREE Microsoft books, you can use CBT nuggets and the online training courses after you have read some of the below books in order to maximize your return on the online training courses.

    Largest collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks ever, including: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Office 2013, Office 365, Office 2010, SharePoint 2013, Dynamics CRM, PowerShell, Exchange Server, Lync 2013, System Center, Azure, Cloud, SQL Server, and
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    beadsbeads Member Posts: 1,531 ■■■■■■■■■□
    The lack of a college level degree will slow you down until you accomplish the task. Why? Well, first of all it provides some assurance you can accomplish a long term goal. Second, unless you went to a diploma mill, you should be able to competently read, write and analyze fairly complex information and present the results without appearing to be an educated idiot.

    I understand there are exceptions to the rule but this is why one should strive to get a good education or stay at the service desk for the rest of their careers.

    Certifications are nice but should never be used in place of a formal education. That's why most higher certifications expire after two or three years as well - degrees never expire.

    - b/eads
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