Passed Security+ SY0-401 Today - Personal experience with certifications and careers

rolando3321rolando3321 Member Posts: 36 ■■□□□□□□□□
Passed today with a 788. I used Darril Gibson's Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead.

I studied for two weeks and didn't use any practice exams, aside from the chapter questions in Gibson's book. Normally I like to use two books for a certification and study for about 3 months. I bought Gibson's book because people on this site were recommending it and I'm glad they did. What I really like about Gibson's book was that he would actually say "This protocol is not really used anymore" or "this isn't good because of blah" You still need to know the protocol, but it helped knowing when something was a legacy protocol.

As for taking the test with two weeks of study, well you will have to bare with a bit of my back story. If you don't care for stories you can stop reading here :P but someone who is trying to get into a IT career might find some sort of value out of it.

In short, I decided that my life wasn't going to get better unless I did something, so I went back to college at 27 for IT-Networking (this was 5 years ago). My interest in the IT world were wide, I just knew that I didn't want to be a programmer. I quit my $12.50 an hour Wal-mart job to work at a "ma and pa" computer repair shop for $7.45 a hour. I worked there for three years and never got a single raise. The experience was worth a lot to me ... well for the first year, but even thou I had flat lined in my learning opportunities; I was still adding IT related experience to my resume. (The owner was a real "B" but I stuck it out)

By the time I was done with my Associates I had 2 years of repair experience, my Net+ and Security+. I had taken classes in both subjects, along with a A+ course but felt that my work experience in computer repair was good enough. I never bothered taking the A+ certification but I did study for it. I wanted to prepare myself for positions that would not be help desk forever. I had my set to get into a help desk position and have opportunities to grow from there. Well with those certs, my two years of experience and my associates; I could not land any jobs. I saw that the Bachelors was becoming more of a required thing, so since I couldn't land a job, I decided to continue with my school so I could get a piece of paper that said I was educated.

I went on and got my bachelors in Technology Management and also got the Win-7 680MCTS cert. Guess what, still no fricken job! Well after 6 months of graduating I got a position as a IT/ITS Operations Technician. I support a WWAN for the department of roads.

This is a Security+ thread, not a life story thread! (I know, I know)

My Security+ and Net+ for that matter, were going to expire tomorrow (7/17/16) I was really set on never renewing them because I felt that they did little for my career; other than the knowledge gained from earning them. Two weeks ago, I thought.... Even thou I'm done with just doing bulk studies to earn a certification that I have absolutely no career experience in, I didn't want to let my Net+ and Security+ go yet. I think in the future I will stop doing the ce program, unless I get a DOD position. I will say that going after the cert again, it was really nice to refresh myself on it. I actually feel like I did very bad on the test because I didn't know the answers right away and was doubtful on a lot of them. The only thing that saved me this time around was the fact that I had IT related experience to draw on and make the best decision based on that. The first time taking the Security+ (3 years ago, tomorrow) I had little experience and was very well prepared in the subject (Studied for 3 months, used two books, and did a lot of questions).

Sorry for writing a mini book, but I hope some people find some value in it. I know when I started my IT path - I always thought if I get this degree, or if i go and get this cert---that something will come out of it. It is just not always that simple, but I'm grateful that it pushed me to go for higher education and to try harder.

On a final note: I found that the A+, Net+ and Sec+ all tie into each other. The A+ mainly overlaps a bit with the Net+ and the Net+ overlaps a good amount with the Sec+. if you didn't know, earning your Net+ will also renew your A+. Earning Security+ will renew the A+ and Net+ if you have them. So if you are looking to earn certifications, there are a view advantages to doing the A+ or Net+ before the security+. When I passed the Security+ in 2013 it renewed my 2012 Net+ certification, but it did NOT add 3 years to it. The expiration date of the net+ became the same as the security+.


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