Need Advice

GeekyChickGeekyChick Member Posts: 323 ■■■■□□□□□□
I'm just getting back in the industry after a break raising my kids and I'm going to take the Network+ exam to help me find a job. I'm currently studying for it and my problem is I'm an Apple user (gasp). Anyway, I do have a BS in CS and have worked on Windows before, of course. I'm looking for advice on whether to just buy a Windows laptop or buy a kit to build my own PC. I thought if I built it I would learn so much more than just buying one. (I do have hardware and network experience, it's just been a long time.) Is it even worth it at this point to build my own?? Thanks and I hope this isn't a stupid question.

Comments

  • Infosec85Infosec85 Member Posts: 192 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Network+ has nothing at all to do with building PCs, that would be A+. Furthermore the certification is vender neutral so does not matter what OS you are using as you'll be learning about networking and not hardware and software.
  • GeekyChickGeekyChick Member Posts: 323 ■■■■□□□□□□
    That's good to know. I thought I would be totally behind without brushing up on all of the hardware specs. Comptia does recommend passing the A+ first before taking the Network+, which was why I was thinking about building my own PC. However given what you said, I'm going to try to pass the Network+ without taking the A+ because I think I have a fairly good, but rusty, understanding. I'm about half-way through studying for the exam and I think I was freaking myself out. Thanks Infosec!
  • quickman007quickman007 Member Posts: 195
    Do you have any other certs? Are you getting the Network+ to get into the networking field? If so, skip it and go with the CCNA. The CCNA will give you a skill set while N+ will give you some general knowledge.

    That's just my 2 cents.
  • GeekyChickGeekyChick Member Posts: 323 ■■■■□□□□□□
    No other certs. I was in the networking field years and years ago, but things have changed a lot since then and I'm just trying to get back in the field. Quite honestly, I don't know if I could pass the CCNA. I heard it was hard. I'm enjoying and understanding the Network+ stuff so far, but it's certainly a learning curve for me. I miss being in the tech field and I want to get back into it. I don't need a super, high-profile job. I just love technology and networking. I almost don't care what I do. But hey, I'm comparing that to raising kids. Ha!
  • cmztechcmztech Member Posts: 55 ■■□□□□□□□□
    First of all, congrats on being a mother. Secondly, congrats on being interested in technology because tech rulez!

    My friend once told me that no matter what you study, this cert or that cert, it isn't really about which cert is better but instead it is about filling in knowledge gaps. So, if you want to start with A+ or Net+, I think the most important thing is to keep that desire and curiosity to learn and play with the tech!

    I see you use Apple, that's cool. Here is an idea, you could go ahead and download VMWare fusion for MAC (free version) and then use that to install a Windows OS. That's always cool. Of course, you will need to get your hands on a copy of Windows with a key. Aside from that whether you do that or not, learning the Net+ or A+ is going to be about staying focused, looking at it each day, and day by day it will come together.

    I would also recommend checking out a pawn shop (or maybe Craigslist?) and get a really cheap (I mean less than $100 computer or cheaper) box just to open up and see the parts. You want to put your hands on a real motherboard and RAM and see the processor and fans and that sort of stuff if you are more of a visual/hands on learner.

    Of course, this cheapo box is probably not going to run Windows. Which is why after you get done taking it apart and putting it back together, you will want to get a copy downloaded of Linux Ubuntu and put that on there and maybe learn some Linux?! Whoo hoo!

    wish you the best on your tech journey, stay thirsty my friends! icon_study.gif
  • tmtextmtex Member Posts: 326 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Stuff on the A+ is on the Net+, stuff on Sec+ is also from Net+ and A+.
  • GeekyChickGeekyChick Member Posts: 323 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks cmztech for your well thought-out advice!
  • GeekyChickGeekyChick Member Posts: 323 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Do you have any other certs? Are you getting the Network+ to get into the networking field? If so, skip it and go with the CCNA. The CCNA will give you a skill set while N+ will give you some general knowledge.

    That's just my 2 cents.

    Hey quickman007, I've been thinking about your advice and I'm wondering if passing the N+ would get me almost/closer to the point of passing the CCNA. It seems like I would have to study the info for the N+ and then just add to this knowledge base for the CCNA. Is that correct? Also, are you thinking that the N+ isn't very beneficial in getting a job? Are there just a lot of people with N+ certs? Thank you.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Member Posts: 2,753 ■■■■■■■■■■
    When I was working in a pure technical role I very rarely found N+ coming up on jobs, it seemed the positions wanted A+, but never N+. This might of changed in the last couple of years however. The obvious ones were always sought after, MCSA/MCSE or CCNA/CCNP.
  • quickman007quickman007 Member Posts: 195
    GeekyChick wrote: »
    Hey quickman007, I've been thinking about your advice and I'm wondering if passing the N+ would get me almost/closer to the point of passing the CCNA. It seems like I would have to study the info for the N+ and then just add to this knowledge base for the CCNA. Is that correct? Also, are you thinking that the N+ isn't very beneficial in getting a job? Are there just a lot of people with N+ certs? Thank you.
    It would get you closer, but not much in my opinion. I felt like Network+ covers maybe 20-30% of what's on the CCNA, so you've still got a fair amount to learn. I'd say study for the Network+ but don't get the cert, then study and pass the CCNA. The Network+ is weird to me. It's got good information but I can't see getting a job with just that. I feel like it's something you need to pair up with the A+, Security+ or some other cert because you just don't seem to learn how to do anything. The CCNA teaches you how to actually configure networking equipment, which is something someone would pay you for. This was the gist I got with these two certs.
  • Moldygr33nb3anMoldygr33nb3an Member Posts: 241
    Personally I think the Network+ is a more suited for a networking focused customer service position. You're not doing any networking configurations, but working with the customers to trouble shoot the issue and working with the network team to get it resolved.

    If you want to get into the meat and potatoes of networking, I'd recommend going for the CCNA.

    However, someone may have said before, if you feel you are lacking a lot of the knowledge, starting with the N+ is a great step. This will get you caught up, and then you can expand on it.
    Current: OSCP

    Next: CCNP (R&S and Sec)

    Follow my OSCP Thread!
  • GeekyChickGeekyChick Member Posts: 323 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I wasn't expecting this answer. I guess I'll reevaluate what I'm going to do. However, it's been very helpful studying for the N+ though and I need to have that foundation. I hadn't even checked into studying for the CCNA so it's probably best for me to check on the Cisco threads. I need to get my hands some routers and switches I guess. Thank you! I appreciate the advice!
  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,077 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'd second the advice that Net+ would be primarily suited for either a stepping-stone to the CCNA or as a requirement for a networking-related help-desk. Like helping people configure their cable modem.

    If you do go down the Cisco route, take a look at VIRL. It does require that your workstation support virtualization in the BIOS but if yours does, the 20-device option allows you to configure up to 20 virtual routers/switches to practice with and it will run on several virtualization platforms, including some that are free.
  • quickman007quickman007 Member Posts: 195
    Not sure exactly what equipment is needed for the new version of the CCNA, but GNS3 will have you covered for routers. You can try to get switches to work with GNS3 as well, but I've no idea how it's done. or you can just pick up three of them on Ebay and not have to deal with the headaches. Last I checked they were pretty cheap.
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