The possibility of a free education

wwpranmawwpranma Posts: 116Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
I've tried college and had to drop out to non college related reasons which kinda put me in a dark place. So I am hoping that this test will help me to get back on my feet in the long run. I'm not looking for instant gratification from passing this test in the form of a new job or the possibility that'll make my life better in any way, but I've been wondering. I ended up spending close to 500 dollars for testing material on the A+ alone and that was before I found this site and discovered all the free online material which lead me into feeling like a complete iddiot. One of the bigger things I've noticed is the fact that through the free online prep tests, forum notes as well as web sites devoted to free information to guide one on preparation for the A+ exam alone, I'm highly wondering if one were so motivated they could use the internet and the internet alone, spending lil to no cash in the long to allow them to get pretty much almost any exam that they wanted passed.

I only ask this because of the fact that I do plan on going back to college one day, but in the mean time I want to get my A+, Network+, and quite possibly MSC out of the way before I go back to college. And if I can somehow figure out a way to do all this (minus the college part) without spending alot of money, wouldn't that make me smarter than your average joe?
Artificial Intelligence is nothing compared to the power of Human Stupidity.

Comments

  • sthomassthomas Posts: 1,240Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    It may be possible to pass some certification exams like A+ with just using the internet alone if you have experience in IT. But for most certs it is better to get a book and then play around with whatever product you are trying to certify in. Usually you don't have to spend a lot of money to prepare to get certified (depending on the certification). Like with A+ you can get a good book from amazon.com for $40 or less and get a couple of old PC's for free or cheap, also you could volunteer to work on your friends/family's computers if they have problems to gain experience.
    Working on: MCSA 2012 R2
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    Yup, buying the books tends to be essential to passing most certification exams. Then again, it's not such a bad deal to spend $40 - $65 on a book that you can potentially use for reference in the future, so the investment pays off in more ways than just helping you prepare for an exam. The internet, and sites like this one in particular, is definately a good source for additional material. You could, conceivably, pass each of your certification exams with just a single book, additional resources from the internet, and the most basic of equipment. In the case of MS certifications, you can usually scrounge up parts for a couple of servers from friends, family, and/or work. With Cisco exams, you can find cheap routers on eBay, or you can check out other listings along with bugging the IT departments at your local colleges and businesses. The same thing goes for software you might need, see who's got what, and see what you can scrounge. Another thing to remember is that you don't always need to get your hands-on work done in your own lab. Offer your services, volunteer time, and take on projects at work and at school, and you'll be working with things you need for your exams in no time. Nothing beats breaking. . . err. . . "troubleshooting" someone else's network when you can't afford to build your own.

    In the end, you might end up spending a few hundred bucks on becoming MCSE certified, (minus the cost of the exams, themselves,) and the same amount to build a lab to obtain CCNA and any number of the other certs. Simulators and testing software is also helpful, and you can usually find that for cheap or for free if you talk to people in the IT department at your work or people in the Computer Science/CIS department at your school. You have to accept that you'll be spending some money there and there, in order to complete your studying, and that's a fact of life. You just have to remember that you're investing not only in getting certified and learning about these technologies, but you're buying equipment you can use and training material you can reference as you advance through work and school.

    I hope that helps some, and good luck on your studies. I know it can be tough to keep yourself going and keep motivated while you're struggling to learn and to make ends meet, but it can be done. Don't hesitate to ask people on the forum for help, advice, and in some cases, freebies. (You never know what piece of software or what useful piece of hardware people are willing to part with if you just ask nicely, they might simply not need it anymore.)

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  • wwpranmawwpranma Posts: 116Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
    I totally agree with the asking for help portion. I ended up geting the meyer's cd's at a rebated price. But at the same time, the hands on experience is a struggle for me what with trying to make ends meet to even pay rent. But that doesn't defer me, it just makes it harder in some ways. Are there virtual labs per say that one could use for an MSCE possibly? I've seen people talk about virtual boot up programs and what not. Cause there are methods I can use to procure some of this stuff, I just wish to keep alot of these methods to myself in fear of being frowned upon by certain individuals. But all joking aside, I am all about getting the materials needed.
    Artificial Intelligence is nothing compared to the power of Human Stupidity.
  • wwpranmawwpranma Posts: 116Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
    Uhm, for some odd reason the links that were posted just take me to more links that I click on to get descriptions of virtual labs. I signed up and logged on, and yet every time I click on one of these links that is supposed to allow me to enter the lab from what I could tell. Any idea why I'm an iddiot and the links don't work or am I just doing it wrong which is what I'm believing.
    Artificial Intelligence is nothing compared to the power of Human Stupidity.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Posts: 5,057Mod Mod
    Sometimes they can be busy and you'll need to try back later.

    I haven't logged in several weeks, but I'll try now to see what happens.
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Posts: 5,057Mod Mod
    Just logged in no problem.....well...little problem as I'm using Safari and cannot complete the lab, but I can get to the lab manual as well as was 'logged-in' for the 90 minute window.


    Which lab were you trying to access? I tested Group Policy and didn't have any trouble.

    You do have a passport correct?
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • wwpranmawwpranma Posts: 116Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
    Oh well, I successfully got to it, and it turns out that I need to install active x controls which one of my many security features is for some odd reason blocking. I will fix this soon.
    Artificial Intelligence is nothing compared to the power of Human Stupidity.
  • wwpranmawwpranma Posts: 116Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
    Ok, I've downloaded and installed the required plug in. But with that installed, I go to the site and well.... quite frankly.... this is driving me insane. What exactly is a virtual lab in the first place. Is it something that is web based or is it a program that I download. I have absolutely no clue as to how to use microsoft's web site. I am taking a break from trying to let microsoft push itself closer and closer towards allowing me to commit suicide. So if someone could just explain what a virtual lab is without trying to help me understand how to access it, that would be much appreciative.
    Artificial Intelligence is nothing compared to the power of Human Stupidity.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Posts: 5,057Mod Mod
    Take a break.


    It's not difficult or at least shouldn't be. I just signed in an hour or so and it should be this:

    1. go to the site.
    2. sign in with your passport
    3. select your lab
    4. work your lab
    5. do another lab or go do something else (you've already spend 90 minutes on the site ;) ).

    Perhaps you can locate a 'mentor' type person you can work with face-to-face in your area?? A virtual lab is just that...."Virtual" acts like a lab but exists in the realm of the I
    Internet hosted on the MS site in this scenario.

    MS offers this as means of an educational tool to allow IT-type people a means to work through their software by the guided book (PDF). Download the book or read it on-line as you are working throught. They tell you HOW to peform the work exactly.

    If you wanted, you could build a real lab. You will need to invest in the hardware AND software to do this. You need space and you will need to deal with the hardware issues you may run into. This may delay your specific area of study.

    The virtual lab is 'safe' but also stiffles the creativity.

    ****

    It may time to look at a college/university course to help you out?
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • wwpranmawwpranma Posts: 116Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
    Thanks, I'm gonna follow your instructions and if I run into any problems I will just message you directly so I don't run this thread into the ground. Funny side note, I was so frantic at trying to figure this out that I actually had to force myself to stop and take a breath in the form of a very long walk. A walk that took me around the four corners of my town at an hour that was most unbefitting to be walking out at night. I probably ended up walking roughly around ohhhhhh, 30 miles (give or take). It's a good thing that I had a friend who lived at the half way mark. His politeness in the f0rm of free food and smokes combined with the new xbox 360 they got pretty much made my day. So I'm going to give this thing another wack and I will be getting back to you with the details. Thanks for all the help.
    Artificial Intelligence is nothing compared to the power of Human Stupidity.
  • wwpranmawwpranma Posts: 116Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
    Well, sorry to say this. And I hope this doesn't make me look like an iddiot, but after reviewing what labs they offer for ms server 2003, I'm a lil lost as to what they're trying to teach me. I saw so many different terms being used that I had never seen referenced anywhere in any of my teachings before that I was almost afraid that I wouldn't have a single clue no matter what. So I am going to stay away from virtual labs for now until I can figure out what the hell half of them were implying. Hopefully this doesn't make me look like a complete jack ass.
    Artificial Intelligence is nothing compared to the power of Human Stupidity.
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