CBT Nuggets vs PluralSight vs Youtube (Professor Messer)

JesseinprestonJesseinpreston Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
Greetings and apologies for the long post. I did use the search field but while I found reviews for CBT Nuggets and Pluralsight I wanted to ask for a comparison.

I have been in IT for almost 20 years, healthcare IT for over half that and I have been lax on getting actual certifications in that time. I have worked as a technical help desk technician, team lead and manager. Then an EMR trainer, from there I went on to a job as the sole IT person at a 60+ user doctors office. After that I took a job as a desktop support engineer at a large hospital(the best paying job in my career) but due to needing to move closer to home for family reasons I took a risk at an up and coming company that let me go after less than 6 weeks due to financial issues (and me calling out the head of IT when he tried to swap the only DC on the network by copying the settings from the physical DC including name and IP, to a virtual one and thinking this was going to work. Long story short, I warned him before and during and then followed up with the I Told You So after we had domain trust issues with every machine on the network and had to work all night, and then for days after to fix it). After 6 months of unemployment I found a crap job at an MSP as a quasi desktop support/application analyst role that is dead end and pays nil. While I am happy to be employed I am constantly looking for better.

I always said I was going to get my certifications but due to having great jobs I have to say I never focused much on it. I am now in a situation where I feel one of the barriers to finding better employment is not having any certifications. I feel that I have enough experience with hardware, software, and networks that I might could pass the A+ and possibly the Net+ without much training/studying however I would prefer to know I am capable of passing going in which brings me to my question.

All of that long winded preface is to ask which of the online training options are adequate or best. I have perused Professor Messer on Youtube and it seems ok. I have also looked at CBTNuggets and PluralSight. CBTNuggets does seem to be the best and their price seems to reflect that they believe this. I am fine with paying what they ask, but I am under-employed at the moment so if one of the lesser costing options will work (at least for the A+, Net+, and possibly Security+) then I would prefer to go that route.

As I said before I plan to get my A+ first then on to Net+. After that possibly Security+ and/or Microsoft or VM Ware.

Thanks for your time, any responses are appreciated.

-Jesse

Comments

  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,647 ■■■■■■■■□□
    So, first I will say, hang in there. I went through a bout of frustration early in my IT career; I have to think it feels more difficult later, but I think you are doing a good job by sticking in there and working to improve yourself and your marketability.

    Next, the imperfect routine that you can stick with is far better than the perfect routine that you can't. So, whatever you find that works for you and allows you to keep moving forward, that is the best.

    That being said, I think both programs are hit or miss. I have work provided access to CBT Nuggets and have used them for nearly everything that I have studied for since 2010 (CCNA Security, CCNP Security, Exchange 2010, Exchange 2013, Lync 2013, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, and some other odds and ends). For the most part, I don't really like them. Many of the instructors are distracting from their own content by their personalities, IMO. They laugh at their own jokes... and they aren't "pleasing" laughs. It really gets in the way... I know it may seem petty... but it loses my attention and that is something that more and more people are concerned, lately. Now, which programs did I like? The CCNA & CCNP Security courses were fantastic, IMO (both taught by Jeremey Cioara). Also, I really like the Windows Server 2012 [R2] training for the MCSA cert. The worst of the bunch, for me, are the Exchange courses... some of that could be shaded by it being my "specialty" but this is the one that I am most distracted (taught by Jason Helmick).

    I had a self-paid subscription to Pluralsight for quite a while (about two years) and I found many similar things. I see many of the same things.

    I have no familiarity with Professor Messer.

    What I look for is something that is engaging that allows me to remain focused and get through it is a quicker pace (I think this comes down more to the material and coverage being interesting than things just being "fast"). Also, I want something that fully covers the material from both a certification perspective and a real life perspective.

    This is mostly found with books, in my experience. There is usually a "go to" book for each certification, and many times it isn't certification focused. I want to be an expert, not just someone that is proficient. Maybe the videos help to familiarize you with the material. That "go to" book will take you to the next level. Sometimes they are hard to get into, as well, because the intro chapters (especially for someone experienced) are often light and are things you already have a familiarity with.

    I know that these don't apply to your certs, but maybe they will help others... and maybe others can add to the list (and include those books that correspond to your certifications:

    Exchange - Microsoft Press: Microsoft Exchange Server YYYY Inside Out (these have been good for every version that has been released, hands down)
    Lync/SfB - Sybex: Mastering Microsoft [Lync|Skype for Business Server] YYYY (again, great reputation for several releases)
    Windows Server - New Riders: Inside Windows 200Y (great... unfortunately it is dated and there haven't been releases past 2003)
    CCNA - Sybex: CCNA Routing and Switching Study Guide (this one may be more debatable as the Cisco Press books have come a long way... but this one THE book back in the day when I was going for my CCNA) CCNA material will more than cover you for the Network+... to the point where I am not sure I would even recommend the Network+ unless it is part of a degree program (I have the Network+, for the record).
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  • cknapp78cknapp78 Member Posts: 213 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have to say that I am going through the same thing as the OP in this case. Have used CBTNuggets and Pluralsight both off and on for years just as a way to increase my knowledge. I personally am more biased toward Pluralsight just because I feel the monthly cost can be more easily justified.

    Another site to look at for IT books would be to look at Safari Books Online. Been using it off and on for years as a great place to find most IT books you need online. Their monthly fee seems to have gone up recently but still not bad for unlimited reading at 39 per month.

    Best of luck to you.
  • joeswfcjoeswfc Member Posts: 118 ■■■□□□□□□□
    powerfool wrote: »
    That being said, I think both programs are hit or miss. I have work provided access to CBT Nuggets and have used them for nearly everything that I have studied for since 2010 (CCNA Security, CCNP Security, Exchange 2010, Exchange 2013, Lync 2013, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, and some other odds and ends). For the most part, I don't really like them. Many of the instructors are distracting from their own content by their personalities, IMO. They laugh at their own jokes... and they aren't "pleasing" laughs. It really gets in the way... I know it may seem petty... but it loses my attention and that is something that more and more people are concerned, lately. Now, which programs did I like? The CCNA & CCNP Security courses were fantastic, IMO (both taught by Jeremey Cioara). Also, I really like the Windows Server 2012 [R2] training for the MCSA cert. The worst of the bunch, for me, are the Exchange courses... some of that could be shaded by it being my "specialty" but this is the one that I am most distracted (taught by Jason Helmick).

    I found the first exchange course with CBT nuggets as well as the third server 2012 r2 ones to be the best of the ones I have used (taught by Greg Shields), he was very to the point and covered a lot in his videos as he spoke quite fast at time.
    Have to agree with your comments on Jason Helmick, I used his videos for the second exchange exam and found it pretty useless to be honest.
    I found a bit of both with the first 2 server 2012 r2 courses (James Conrad), he was good at times but also went off topic a lot of times showing you pictures of Goats on hills that he had taken.
  • ThomasITguyThomasITguy Banned Posts: 181
    I use both.

    When I took my Sec+ I watched the professor messer videos and bought a Sec+ book. I followed a long in the book while watching the videos... and then a month before testing I watched the CBnuggets.

    it really depends on you.
    do you read and understand the concepts?
    or do you need a video that seems more like a class and follow a long in a book.

    Each person has their own way of learning so IMO there is no way to really say which method is best.
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