Comptia A+ cert has the greatest ROI? (entry-level)

techN0techN0 Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello, I am a BIS major graduating in May. I need to know from people with experience which Entry level IT cert would have the greatest ROI. After research I am pondering about the A+ and thats what I will work toward most likely but.... I would like to see if there are any counter arguments or any other career paths people have taken. Thanks :)


  • packetphilterpacketphilter Member Posts: 85 ■■□□□□□□□□
    A+ can help get your foot in the door for hardware repair and helpdesk jobs, but I don't know that I'd say it has the best ROI. I'd recommend it for someone out of HS who doesn't know a lot about IT, but wants to get a foot in.

    For you, though, with a BIS, I'd jump straight into something like CCNA. It really depends what you want to do, though.
  • yoba222yoba222 Member Posts: 1,237 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Best ROI? I think no. Best gateway drug cert though. If I could go back in time I'd still start with the A+ again. But I'm pretty sure that the A+ by itself didn't land me any jobs. It's one of many layers that gives the ROI.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
    In progress: OSCP
  • hxhxhxhx Member Posts: 41 ■■□□□□□□□□
    It depends a little bit on what you want to do. If you want to do any kind of support, systems administration (including IaaS type cloud), or anything technical that requires you to know what computer components are, then A+ makes a lot of sense. If you are planning on doing offensive or defensive security, A+ makes sense because you need to know what you are attacking and defending. If you want to be involved with networking and operating systems, A+ makes sense.

    If you want to be a developer that doesn't rely on HW, software tester, sales person, BRM, etc., then it makes less sense.

    It's always difficult to recommend people spend 6 months reading a 1000+ page book and taking two tests, but if you are building a career in IT, the A+ is probably the way to start. It will give you an understanding of computer components, technologies, operating systems, networking, basic security, and how to behave (one of the books says "wear deodorant").

    The A+ is a beast, but you have to look at it as part of your journey. Getting through it is a significant milestone in building a career. The ROI is endless because you will use the knowledge from it throughout your career. The topics may seem like overkill, but they make you aware of the things to be careful about. A classic example is memory. There are many different types. They come with notches in different places. And if you're not aware of that, you can buy the wrong thing or break a machine while trying to install it. How many times have I had to deal with "thermal paste?" Probably less than 5 in 18 years. But I happened to have a discussion about it this week, and I know about it because of my A+ from back then.

    I just took a quick look at the objectives. Exam 901, objective 1 is tough because there is a lot of hardware detail. How much you use that depends on what you want to do. Objective 2 is networking. You must know that. Objective 3 is mobile. It's similar to #1, but might be more relevant to modern day life. Objective 4 is troubleshooting which is a core skill regardless of your role in IT.

    A large part of 902, Objective 1, is pretty much a requirement for any technical IT role because it covers Windows. Objective 2 depends on what you are going to be doing, but some important cloud stuff is in there. Objective 3 is security. Must understand. Objective 4 is Software Troubleshooting. Must understand in any technical role. Objective 5 teaches you how to behave in IT.

    So I've done a lot of preaching here, but I guess my point is that if you want to build a career in IT, then it's a good way to go. It will make you a more complete person.
  • stryder144stryder144 Member Posts: 1,684 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Here are a few suggestions:

    1. Since you are still a student, consider signing up for a student account at They will give you access to Skillsoft video courses and SafariBooksOnline ebooks. Much cheaper to get that and use those resources to help you prepare for your IT future.

    2. Get in touch with your school and find out if they have a Dreamspark account that you can sign up for. This will give you free access to a variety of Windows OSes to play with, along with VMware Workstation Professional. You will be able to use those resources to build practical labs for your certification journey. See if your school has access to discounted certification exam vouchers, as well. You could save a considerable amount of money with the discounts.

    3. Instead of the A+ certification, I would suggest getting the ITIL Foundation certification. Here in the Denver area ITIL certification gets more hits typically than the A+ does. It will likely be similar to where you live. That one certification will cost a bit less than the A+, as well, saving you some money. Use the Sybex book for your main studies then consider using the Claire Agutter ITIL Foundation Essentials book a week or so before your exam.

    4. After you attain your ITIL Foundation certification, review the CompTIA Cloud+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, and Security+ materials at, Skillport, etc to determine if any of the materials in those books/videos interests you. If Server+ is interesting, consider pursuing the Microsoft Server 2012/2016 certification exams. If Linux+, you might even consider getting the MCSA: Linux on Azure certification. If Network+, consider getting it and possibly the CCNA: R&S certification. If Security+, get it, the (ISC)2 SSCP, and/or CCNA: Cyber Ops or Security. If Cloud+, then consider it and the VMware VCP.

    Your degree will open up some doors and certifications even more. Remember, they only open the doors for interviews, not jobs. You must have developed the appropriate soft skills. If you can't comfortably, respectfully, and tactfully deal with the needs of your customers, then a career in IT will be more difficult than it needs to be. Develop those skills, along with interviewing skills, and you will do great.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

    Connect With Me || My Blog Site || Follow Me
  • techN0techN0 Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks guys, I I will go for the A+ because I didnt realy learn anything about hardware and networking in my courses so A+ sounds like the best entry level cert for me. Just looking at the Objectives Ive never even heard some of those terms before.
    stryder144 Thanks Ill look into those resources
  • OnitaOnita Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Study for it while applying for jobs. If you can get an entry level job without, you can read the material and not take the test. I was able to get my first job with it, but haven't used it since. Some of the material was useful though.
Sign In or Register to comment.