Order of Certifications

Hello everyone. I am new to this forum and hopefully will use it a lot. I am currently 17 soon 18 and still a senior in high school. My question is regarding what certificate to tackle first. Ive always liked computers and love spending time around them and its the path I want to take. My question is what certificate would you recommend I train for first and go from there to another one. I ask this because I am afraid of starting to study for something like cisco when I need to know some other basics before getting there. I had Comptia A+ in mind as the first one to tackle but dont know if there are others better to take first. Thanks, Darian.

Comments

  • astorrsastorrs Member Posts: 3,139 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Have a look at this thread: http://www.techexams.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=35733

    Personally, I would start with the A+.
  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    I would also recommend A+ for a starting point. Then from there try and decide if you're wanting to be more on the networking side or the server side of things and go for Cisco or Microsoft or Linux certs depending upon what you decide.
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  • xwesleyxwillisxxwesleyxwillisx Member Posts: 158
    A+ and Network+ are good stepping stones. They are not going to land you a job on their own most likely, but they form a solid foundation (as well as an elective requirement for MCSE).

    If you are going the Cisco route, they are also a good starting point but not really necessary. I would recommend starting with the CCENT. This will give you a good introduction, much like Network+ would, but with the benefit of vendor specific skills. You could then move on to CCNA, and eventually pursue whatever track you prefer (data, voice, security, design, etc...)

    Just my .02 cents
  • Tyrant1919Tyrant1919 Senior Member Member Posts: 519 ■■■□□□□□□□
    A+ is a great start period. I would say start with that just to get used to the testing environment and how it feels to 'test for real'. I don't take tests to seriously, but some people do. I personally started with Net+.

    You could start the CCENT as well depending on what you want to do.
    A+/N+/S+/L+/Svr+
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  • meadITmeadIT Member Posts: 581 ■■■■□□□□□□
    A+ and Network+ are good stepping stones. They are not going to land you a job on their own most likely, but they form a solid foundation (as well as an elective requirement for MCSE).

    A+ and N+ will work as an elective for the MCSA, but a different elective will be needed for the MCSE.
    CERTS: VCDX #110 / VCAP-DCA #500 (v5 & 4) / VCAP-DCD #10(v5 & 4) / VCP 5 & 4 / EMCISA / MCSE 2003 / MCTS: Vista / CCNA / CCENT / Security+ / Network+ / Project+ / CIW Database Design Specialist, Professional, Associate
  • Darian929Darian929 Member Posts: 197
    Wow thanks guys for so many replies and so quick... liking the forum. Yea I am going to do A+ first i guess and then Net+.... then try go for ccent and get into cisco security. I am going to work in my school with the pc technician fixing teachers computers and stuff and after school/work i will be studying for these things. Anyone have a guess at around how long it could take to get A+ and then the Network+? just want to see what time I have. Thanks Darian.
  • Darian929Darian929 Member Posts: 197
    Also another question I had was any recommendation on books? should i get the CompTIA books or other books? thanks.
  • learningtofly22learningtofly22 Member Posts: 159
    For A+ I liked the Mike Meyers book... I used the passport but hear that the full Mike Meyers A+ book is better - the Passport is a bit more abbreviated. If you're already experienced in basic PC stuff, the passport should suffice, along with the technotes here. That's all I used and did pretty decently.
  • Daniel333Daniel333 Member Posts: 2,077 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Well, college would be the first thing you should be doing. And if you have that kind of spare time, I would probably start with MCDST or CCENT, then after that maybe start in on some Linux to keep your knowledge base rounded and entry level.

    Both are great options since they lead to higher level certs and their skills are in demand today. It's worth mentioning I am not a fan of Comptia so my opinion is a bit bias against them.

    Reality is though, it's a Microsoft/Cisco world and both of those exams are made by those juggernauts to get your foot in the door.

    A+ is good though, for Geek Squad/Call Center style jobs though. Also nice since it's a life long cert.

    Don't over certify now, but line your selections up to grow as you gain experience. If you ever question the value of a specific cert check out monster.com/dice.com and see what is in demand.
    -Daniel
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I'm going to go against the grain and say forget the Comp TIA exams. They are overpriced and undervalued in my opinion.

    If you want to go the MS route I would just go that way and same for Cisco or what ever path you decide to go down.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • Daniel333Daniel333 Member Posts: 2,077 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I'm going to go against the grain and say forget the Comp TIA exams. They are overpriced and undervalued in my opinion.

    If you want to go the MS route I would just go that way and same for Cisco or what ever path you decide to go down.

    Agreed!

    Although a spalsh of Linux now, will help out a lot in college and in the future as legacy Windows systems are disappear.
    -Daniel
  • scheistermeisterscheistermeister Member Posts: 748 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm going to go against the grain and say forget the Comp TIA exams. They are overpriced and undervalued in my opinion.

    If you want to go the MS route I would just go that way and same for Cisco or what ever path you decide to go down.

    I mostly agree on this. I did the Linux+ mainly to see what a CompTIA test was like.
    Give a man fire and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
  • TalicTalic Member Posts: 423
    I'm going to go against the grain and say forget the Comp TIA exams. They are overpriced and undervalued in my opinion.

    If you want to go the MS route I would just go that way and same for Cisco or what ever path you decide to go down.

    I think its still best to get A+, it has a high value and its a good starting point. As for Network+, I say just read a book on it and forget doing the exam, Comptia does to much word twisting with their questions on their exam. If you're going Cisco make sure you read up on N+ or you might be lost when it comes to CCNA.

    Linux is a hard to really decide for what certifications to go after, Red Hat has a good industry recognition but it isn't cheap. I'm not sure how recognizable Linux+ is but I'm sure no one looks for LPI certifications.

    As for Microsoft, you'll need to decide if you want to go for the older server 2003 MCSA, MCSE or newer server 2008 MCTS, MCITP. The Microsoft forum should help you on that one.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I did the Linux+ mainly to see what a CompTIA test was like.

    I did it because I hate myself.
    Talic wrote:
    Linux is a hard to really decide for what certifications to go after, Red Hat has a good industry recognition but it isn't cheap. I'm not sure how recognizable Linux+ is but I'm sure no one looks for LPI certifications.

    I've actually seen a few places mention LPI recently. I was surprised. The RHCE is definitely the Linux cert to go for, but it's far from a starting point.

    I think the most important thing you need to decide is what technology to work with. You don't need to do any certs, but you should do something like read books on CCENT, 70-290, and Linux+. I think that'll give you a decent overview. After that, go with what interests you.

    Some people, such as myself, overdo it and go for everything, and that's teetering on stupid. However, I'm also willing to get a divorce and/or put any accidental children up for adoption if it comes down to it. You can't have it all icon_cool.gif
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure / Core Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016 Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    dynamik wrote:
    I did it because I hate myself.
    You too, huh?
    dynamik wrote:
    Talic wrote:
    Linux is a hard to really decide for what certifications to go after, Red Hat has a good industry recognition but it isn't cheap. I'm not sure how recognizable Linux+ is but I'm sure no one looks for LPI certifications.

    I've actually seen a few places mention LPI recently. I was surprised. The RHCE is definitely the Linux cert to go for, but it's far from a starting point.
    I've found the same thing, that LPI certifications are being asked for more and more. While RHCE is still king in the job-market, having LPIC-2 or LPIC-3 will earn you instant respect when you go out and interact with the open-source community, like attending or speaking at LinuxWorld for example.

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  • NetAdmin2436NetAdmin2436 Member Posts: 1,076
    Slowhand wrote:
    dynamik wrote:
    I did it because I hate myself.
    You too, huh?
    dynamik wrote:
    Talic wrote:
    Linux is a hard to really decide for what certifications to go after, Red Hat has a good industry recognition but it isn't cheap. I'm not sure how recognizable Linux+ is but I'm sure no one looks for LPI certifications.

    I've actually seen a few places mention LPI recently. I was surprised. The RHCE is definitely the Linux cert to go for, but it's far from a starting point.
    I've found the same thing, that LPI certifications are being asked for more and more. While RHCE is still king in the job-market, having LPIC-2 or LPIC-3 will earn you instant respect when you go out and interact with the open-source community, like attending or speaking at LinuxWorld for example.

    Well if it makes you guys feel any better, I hate you both as well. You and your big linux brains.

    .....kidding, totally kidding. You guys are A+ in my book

    Speaking of A+, my vote would be for that if it hasn't been mentioned (8 times) already.
    WIP: CCENT/CCNA (.....probably)
  • jbrown414jbrown414 Member Posts: 230
    I also recommend A+ even if it is pricey. If you are going to be working with the pc tech from your school, it should be easy. Nothing beats hands on experience for the A+ test. After that, it is your choice. I can't make a recommendation because I am one of the few on here that is going for database administration.
  • LarryDaManLarryDaMan Member Posts: 797
    I'm going to go against the grain and say forget the Comp TIA exams. They are overpriced and undervalued in my opinion.

    If you want to go the MS route I would just go that way and same for Cisco or what ever path you decide to go down.

    I would agree in theory, but even snotty HR Reps and dimwitted recruiters have heard of A+.

    CompTIA's marketing has been effective and A+ is a defacto requirement for a lot of IT and even non-IT jobs.

    It is worth getting for the recognition factor alone, people know what it is. Someone might pause to read the rest of your resume when A+ shows up in a keyword search.

    Besides, it is a pretty good thing to have in that it certifies that you know your way around a computer.. or atleast you know what a computer is. :D
  • Darian929Darian929 Member Posts: 197
    Thanks a lot everyone. Great support and information. I am going to head out with A+ first and am leaning towards Security on the cisco stuff so prob CCENT and then something with cisco security.
  • brad-brad- Member Posts: 1,218
    I think I picked up about 1/2 of the A+ knowledge by studying on the toilet over about a 3 year period...then crammed incessantly for about 3 solid weeks when I finally got an opportunity to take it. After that its just a snowball.
  • motogpmanmotogpman Member Posts: 412
    Good info from all. I know Comptia takes a beating... I have 3 certs from them know all to well about their "issues", but at his day and age as well as the way younger minds absorb material, they would give him the basic foundations of PC's, networking, and security. Once those are down, then putting the MS certs or even CISCO stuff should be a lot easier and help connect the dots.

    I guess I am looking at this as being "a well rounded person" instead of vendor specific. Jack of all trades I guess, a lot of people don't start in a large corporation, metro area, so having a solid foundation and at least having the basics would help in landing/consideration for a job or even temp work should someone lose their job. Just my 2 cents....
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  • Darian929Darian929 Member Posts: 197
    Hey guys I just got the A+ book by michael Meyers but its the 5th edition. I got it from a friend who was nice enough to give it to me since he didn't use it. Is there much difference between 5th edition and 6th edition? Will studying the 5th edition be good enough to pass the exams or are there a lot of changes between editions? thanks, Darian.
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Member Posts: 2,687 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I would start with A+, then Network+, then Security+. These will give you a solid foundation and also give you a taste of the different directions you can take. Plus Security+ will work as an elective for MCSA:Security if you went that route, or you could use A+,N+ together.
  • ScottyPLoScottyPLo Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    If you manage to get Sec+ Net+ and A+ then you can get a credit in almost any Microsoft Certification Route. MCSA or MCSE

    Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)
    To receive an elective credit toward the MCSA certification, candidates must earn the CompTIA A+ credential and either the CompTIA Network+ credential or the CompTIA Server+ credential. Alternatively, candidates can earn the CompTIA Security+ credential.

    • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
    To receive an elective credit toward the MCSE certification, candidates can earn the CompTIA Security+ credential.

    • MCSA: Security
    To receive a specialization credit toward the MCSA: Security certification, candidates can earn the CompTIA Security+ credential.

    • MCSE: Security
    To receive a specialization credit toward the MCSE: Security certification, candidates can earn the CompTIA Security+ credential


    Info from
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/partners.mspx
    Who wants to die and leave a good looking corpse I want to slide across the finish line with a shot of Jager in my hand, bruised battered and beaten saying that was one hell of a ride :)
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