What are the Best Certifications?

s0c0s0c0 Member Posts: 76 ■■□□□□□□□□
I was recently turned down for an interview (well they said they would consider calling me back for an interview in a week) because I do not have my A+ certification. I view the A+ certification as inferior and a waste of money, come on $300! Am I wrong in thinking this. Is the A+ cert a viable certification? I thought my 8 months in technical support, 3 month network internship, and the amount of college coursework I have completed in networking would show I know just as much as any A+ certified person would know.

I am also wondering what the best certifications are to have. My teacher told me to get my Linux Certified Professional Cert, my CCNA (which I am working on getting), and then the MCSA. After that he told me I would have my bases covered along with my Associates and I could decide which path I wanted to go on from there. He told me the A+ was a waste of time, but not more then 3 days later I am virtually denied an interview!

Anyways, my teachers is really smart and I trust what he says. I would just like to get some more opinions. Anything you can tell me will help in my decision to pursue an A+ or not.

Comments

  • johnnynodoughjohnnynodough Member Posts: 634
    get your A+, it is the most standard and recognized certification you can get. That probably has a lot to do with why you were turned down.
    Go Hawks - 7 and 2

    2 games againts San Fran coming up, oh yeah baby, why even play? just put then in the win category and call it good :p
  • MunckMunck Member Posts: 150
    s0c0,


    When you have your CCNA and M$ certs., the A+ is a waste of money. But if you're trying to land your very first job, it might be useful.
  • 3000GT3000GT Member Posts: 212
    A+ and Network+ can make up your MCSA if you decide to go for it. They are deamed as entry level certs for all IT jobs. You can say you have got all the experiance to do the job, but they like something to prove it and not take someones word for it as i have found out. Most jobs have a tech test now to prove you have the knowledge if you dont have the qualifications.
  • johnnynodoughjohnnynodough Member Posts: 634
    getting your A+ will make you more well rounded and marketable, and help you get your foot in the door. Even if you get your MCSE and CCNA, you can still find the unemployment office more familiar than a network, getting your A+ will allow you to do more work. You couldnt even work for Best Buy or CompUSA with a MCSE CCNA, and no A+, hell, you could have your PhD and you still couldnt get a board swapper job. Vendors like HP, Dell, IBM demand that you have it to work on their equipment. You gotta eat and have a roof.
    Go Hawks - 7 and 2

    2 games againts San Fran coming up, oh yeah baby, why even play? just put then in the win category and call it good :p
  • /usr/usr Member Posts: 1,768
    I was recently turned down for an interview...because I do not have my A+ certification.
    Is the A+ cert a viable certification?

    Seems as though you answered your own question.

    In all seriousness, if you were turned down due to not having it, that seems like reason enough to get it. Especially if you already have the experience/knowledge. Just buy a study guide, save the cash for the exams, and pass it. You'll be happy you did if/when you land a job because of it.
  • jacev1jacev1 Member Posts: 107
    s0c0 wrote:
    I view the A+ certification as inferior and a waste of money, come on $300! Am I wrong in thinking this.
    Anyways, my teachers is really smart and I trust what he says.

    You might want to go here:www.getcertify4less.com/hotdeals.asp. You can buy a voucher for $79.00 or maybe less. If you sign up with their site, they'll email you early expiry deals. If you're going to buy a voucher off their site, remember to support us (as in techexams.net) and use the "exam vouchers" link found on the left to get a extra $1 discount. http://www.getcertify4less.com/techexams.asp
    Wars not make one great. Coffee makes one Great!
    - Master Yoda
  • s0c0s0c0 Member Posts: 76 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hmm...I guess I will have to seriously consider getting my A+ certification once I am done with my CCNA. Thanks for the feedback guys.
  • strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528
    If your going for your CCNA then A+ is a waste of time. Depending on which job your going for A+ does not help every time. I have never once been turned down for a job without my A+. I had my MCP after starting my first job and thats all I needed for a few jobs after that. My decision to get more certs was both for personal achievement and to work my way up the ladder. A+ never helped me there.

    However if you want to be a PC Tech then do A+. If you want to do networking then do CCNA, or MS servers do MCP, or Linux do Linux+. All are nice entry level certs to get you into the area you want.

    By the way I'm not bashing entry level or vendor nuteral certs (as I have CWNA myself) but unless you are going to work in a small business where you have to do all support functions (Help Desk, Network Admin, Server Admin, PC support, Hardware fix) then having ALL entry level certs seems a bit pointless.
  • garv221garv221 Member Posts: 1,914
    A+ is a must have for a bench tech. If you have an MCSE or CCNA or just have alot of experience as admin or/in networking you don't need an A+. That cert most of the time is on the lower end of the pay scale & experience scale.
  • s0c0s0c0 Member Posts: 76 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I am considering the A+ now for three reasons. 1) The certification can't hurt anything (except my wallet). 2) I am sure I would learn some usefull things. 3) It counts as an elective for the MCSA/MCSE. (which is the main reason).

    I think those reasons are worth it.
  • garv221garv221 Member Posts: 1,914
    s0c0 wrote:
    I am considering the A+ now for three reasons. 1) The certification can't hurt anything (except my wallet). 2) I am sure I would learn some usefull things. 3) It counts as an elective for the MCSA/MCSE. (which is the main reason).

    I think those reasons are worth it.

    The answer seems pretty obvious, good luck!
  • bighuskerbighusker Member Posts: 147
    Like it or not, the A+ is becoming a defacto certification for most entry-level IT jobs. If one candidate for a job has an A+ and the other doesn't, often times it will make a difference, if all other things (education, experience, etc) are held equal.

    You can get A+ certified for $182 with vouchers from getcertify4less. If that's still too expensive, watch their "hot deals" section for vouchers that expire early. They had A+ ones on there a few weeks ago for like $67 per test, which comes out to only $134 to get certified. That's a damn good investment, IMHO.
  • techboyjktechboyjk Member Posts: 46 ■■□□□□□□□□
    honestly, if you think you know enough that you dont need the A+, why not just run in there and take it and prove yourself right. You walk away +1 and if anybody challenges what you know, you can at least say you have it. If you really need the work, and want a job at $10 per hour on up, the cost of the test is like 3 days work. Each week you go without a job is a week that could have paid for the exam and then some. $200 for the test in the "big picture" of your career isn't sack jhit.

    I love it when people say they know enough from experience that they dont need the cert. Its not like getting a college degree that takes years. Know enough for the cert? Sign up and take it and prove it. Otherwise, as a potential employer, I tend to call BS on those that say "they know enough"

    Maybe I'm just competitive, but I like knowing that I have even the littlest of things that will set me apart from the rest. Since I started taking them, I've averaged a new cert each month. I'll keep going until I have 50. I wanna be rich.

    btw, my previous roommate went to the local college for Cisco. He graduated the Cisco Networking Academy. The local college gave me a certificate for CNA(cisco networking academy). His teachers said he didnt really need his CCNA and that the CNA is enough. I think thats total bs, because in the industry, the CNA is recognized as Certified Novell Admin, and he's been rejected jobs because he didnt have his CCNA. Bottom Line, many local college teachers aren't that smart. Don't bank on what they tell you.
  • s0c0s0c0 Member Posts: 76 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think there is such a thing as being over certified, but I could very well be wrong. I will go for he A+ Next, the an MCP, then my LCP, and then finally finish my MCSA before deciding which certification path I want to pursue (cisco, linux, or ms).
  • StarterStarter Member Posts: 169
    techboy, you make a good point about the A+ but I'm not convinced about the piling up certs idea.
  • /usr/usr Member Posts: 1,768
    i mean i teach taekwondo for a living and have learned how to teach and make buisness presentatiuons. to be honest i cant just put that on an IT resume

    I most certainly WOULD put that on an IT resume. Teaching others a form of martial arts, or anything for that matter, shows patience and dedication, with yourself and your students. I would hope that any hiring manager or HR department would take this into consideration.
  • skully93skully93 Member Posts: 323 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I got my A+ a while back and that combined with some experience got me a darn good job.

    I got to see the resumes of the people that I beat out, and I felt a little overwhelmed. Several had degrees, others had a host of higer certs. I think most were asking for way too much $$$ (I'm paid well but not rich).

    They said the biggest things were willingness to learn and basic knowledge of hardware, end user support, customer service skills, and simple stuff like troubleshooting a peer-to-peer network in win98/XP.

    Amazing how some with degrees or higher certs didn't know how to get into safe mode.....

    A lot of people shun the A+ as too 'low' for them, but I think it's an interesting starting point. Even if you have higher certs it might pay off to at least thoroughly study the material, just to refresh a few things.
    I do not have a psychiatrist and I do not want one, for the simple reason that if he listened to me long enough, he might become disturbed.

    -- James Thurber
  • Fu LoserFu Loser Member Posts: 123
    A+ is a waist of time there is no question about it. N+ is a waist of time to. i havent even bothered testing for my A+, N+ yet. I have never trained in A+ but every practice exam I have taken I get nearly 100%


    The fact is that the employer you interviewed at seems to think that A+ is absolutely needed.

    Honestly their is nothing that you can do about it. it really depends on who is the man who is in charge. Someone in charge has a 4 year degree, so everyone he hires better have a 4 year degree. At another company the big guy has various certifications, so everyone he hires has various certifications.

    You should not be held up on just this interview. You should be applying at well over a hundred places. Remember that almost every industrial/commerce biulding you see will have multiple IT personal.

    You might as well complete your A+ and N+, everyone knows its not going to hurt you.

    Best of Luck and never give up.
  • garv221garv221 Member Posts: 1,914
    techboyjk wrote:
    Bottom Line, many local college teachers aren't that smart. Don't bank on what they tell you.

    True. If they were so smart what are they doing teaching for 40k a year. If it doesn't make dollars it just don't make sense. icon_lol.gif
  • /usr/usr Member Posts: 1,768
    If they were so smart what are they doing teaching for 40k a year. If it doesn't make dollars it just don't make sense.

    Perhaps they simply enjoy teaching? I would personally choose job satisfaction over a bigger paycheck any day.
  • Non-Profit TechieNon-Profit Techie Member Posts: 418
    Fu Loser wrote:
    A+ is a waist of time there is no question about it. N+ is a waist of time to. i havent even bothered testing for my A+, N+ yet. I have never trained in A+ but every practice exam I have taken I get nearly 100%
    .

    it is not a waste of time if you learn from studying it.
  • BaredorBaredor Member Posts: 99
    /usr wrote:
    Perhaps they simply enjoy teaching? I would personally choose job satisfaction over a bigger paycheck any day.

    That and the fact that they can do freelance consulting on the side. I know a guy that does just that because he can't find anyone willing to pay him more than he can make teaching and consulting.
  • garv221garv221 Member Posts: 1,914
    /usr wrote:
    If they were so smart what are they doing teaching for 40k a year. If it doesn't make dollars it just don't make sense.

    Perhaps they simply enjoy teaching? I would personally choose job satisfaction over a bigger paycheck any day.

    Thats why you need to find something you like that pays good.
  • mikey_bmikey_b Member Posts: 188
    The company I work for won't even talk to you unless you have your A+, and they're a very, very big IT company. After A+, the most valuable certifications are premier certifications. Small time stuff is good when you're starting out and applying for junior positions, but always indicate you are working towards bigger and better things, like MCSA/MCSE or CCNP/CCIE. Then you might be considered for higher-level jobs based on initiative and how well you do in the interview.
    Mikey B.

    Current: A+, N+, CST, CNST, MCSA 2003
    WIP: MCSE 2003
  • KarolinaKarolina Member Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    A+ to me is the basic starting ground for any computer techie/IT worker/network administrator - anyone in the business. What good is being an MCSA - a Systems Administrator!! - if you can't swap out a NIC?? What good is being certified in Linux if you can't get the OS to recognize your CD-Rom?? I don't get it.

    I guess it just depends on how you look at things - I would rather hire a certified mechanic to help me design & build a car than someone who has papers coming out of their ying-yang who can't tell a spark plug from an air filter by looking at it.

    A+ is important - that's why it is what so many employers are looking for in their future employees. Things are not always as easy as resetting an employee's password - sometimes things actually need to be fixed/replaced to get things up and running again; and an Administrator that can't tell that the problem is a failing power supply in a certain system shouldn't be "administering" anything!

    Just my 2 cents worth.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,542 Admin
    Swap out a NIC? I wasn't aware that the A+ exam now tested for skills like that. I've met A+-certified people who couldn't figure out how to open a CPU case.
  • KarolinaKarolina Member Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I think a lot of the certifications are the same - it's not just the A+ certification. I too have encountered people that should not have earned their A+ cert because they look at a motherboard and are completely blank, don't have a clue; I've also met people that have written the 70-210 & 70-215 that don't know how to re-set a password!

    A+ is not only about hardware, it's also about the OS - which too me is important. I think anyone with any IT certification, I don't care what it is, should be able to navigate through an OS without having to go to the "help" section to figure out how to do a task, especially any task having to deal with actual administration duties.

    There's always going to be the same old arguement with certifications - they are valid if you earn them - nice pieces of paper hanging on the wall if you passed the cert but don't have a clue.

    I still think if you go for a job interview, even with 10 certifications behind you, and you can't tell a NIC from a video card - you're done!
  • jmc724jmc724 Member Posts: 415
    "I still think if you go for a job interview, even with 10 certifications behind you, and you can't tell a NIC from a video card - you're done!"

    That is so true....better yet someone who cant tell thats there's no difference b/w word and Microsoft Word....

    Lots of you all say that a good admin should earn their credential some of them obviously dont. I worked with an IT manager who cant even navigate around winxp but yet is the IT manager. Besides, he's probably only there to kiss ass than to actually do some work.

    I was faced with OE mailboxes crashing after getting to almost 2Gb, my work around always involved creating new identities, importing old emails, then doing maintenance. So when the VP of Sales OE crashed, I told the IT mgr of the fix I will do, he said to call M$ in which i wasted 4 hrs just to be told....

    M$ dont support OE since its a free add on to IE, you can find a solution in the KB which is the same solution I've been doing, I had to report word for word and CC everyone all the way up to President of the company of what M$ said was the solution. I felt like an ass since my work wasnt good enough for the VP of Sales, hence the IT mgr felt like an ass too since time was wasted and apologized later on...

    Just my 5 cents...
    What next?
  • AshenweltAshenwelt FIP, CDPSE, CIPP/E, CIPT, CISM, PSM I, MCSE x3, MCITP x3, MCTS x16 Member Posts: 266 ■■■■□□□□□□
    This seems like an old thread... but I figured I had my own spin, so would drop it in here.

    1. If your looking for a full on IT job, 99% of the time, I consider A+ to be a waste. For example, I have never picked it up (though I started certing recently).
    2. I have been told, and never verified, that many companies require an A+ if you do any hardware work on a third parties machine, in order to keep the warranty. For example, Fry's Electronics used to say, this (had a friend who was a repair tech there). If true, this could explain a lot.
    3. If your new to IT, it is kind of expected. Honestly, I would look at someone more for something like a help desk job with an MCDST, but that is just me.

    Just my thought, YMMV.
    Ashenwelt
    -Always working on something...
    -The RepAdmin Active Directory Blog
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Groan, how many times have we seen HR people with no commonsense on these things? This brings up a funny job posting I saw on Monster for a Security Analyst. It had these certs together: A+, CCIE, and MCSE.

    If for nothing but the HR people I think A+ is important. I will eventually get it, though I find the material as dull as can be. I am not a hardware person.

    Oh, and looking back the beginning of my comment! I can understand the HR person wanting you to have an A+ cert. I was just humored by other jobs that require the A+
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