Soon-to-be college student looking for cert advice

ThePeonThePeon Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey all, I recently found this website and was impressed by the membership. I am considering working towards getting certifications, and I am wondering if it is worth it for me.

Some background: I am a recent high-school graduate who is going to community college for a year or two for core classes before transferring to a four-year university (l could have gotten into any university in my state with my grades in high school (Colorado) but opted to go to CC first for personal reasons). I hope to pursue a degree in IT when I transfer to a university. So, I thought that it might be helpful if I pursue some certifications in IT in my spare time while at CC in order to hopefully get experience of any kind in IT before I get a bachelor's degree.

My only real experience in IT besides frequent ordinary computer use (gaming, word processing, internet browsing, etc) is building my own gaming PC a few weeks ago.

I do not have much depth of knowledge of computers (though probably more than your average 18 year-old), but because I use them so frequently, and have from a very young age, I am a relatively quick learner.

I do not know exactly what I want to do in IT, but I figure that some basic certification could prove useful (either the knowledge gained, or even the piece of paper itself when job hunting), even on the off chance I don't major in something IT related.

I have been looking at the CompTIA A+ certification to start, as it seems fairly general. Should I be looking at other certificates instead? Is it worth my time (the cost will likely not an be issue) to pursue any certs at all? I have not done extensive research into IT certification, so any advice is welcome.


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    NotHackingYouNotHackingYou Member Posts: 1,460 ■■■■■■■■□□
    As a great into and resume builder, the CompTIA triad is a good start. That's the A+, Network+ and Security+. From there I would get a CCNA. You would have a strong foundation in networking and experience with hardware and security. Good start to learn a lot and demonstrate that you are serious to any employer looking for an entry-level tech.
    When you go the extra mile, there's no traffic.
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    the_hutchthe_hutch Banned Posts: 827
    You would probably be most comfortable starting with A+, given that you built your own system and are probably at least vaguely familiar with hardware.
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Mark another down for A+
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    Patel128Patel128 Member Posts: 339
    I am current college student studying for the A+ also. So I also agree for you to start there.
    Studying For:
    B.S. in Computer Science at University of Memphis
    Currently Reading:
    CompTIA Network+ Study Guide - Lammle
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    FloOzFloOz Member Posts: 1,614 ■■■■□□□□□□
    yah go for the a+ for sure. I passed mine last year (during my senior year of colege)
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    RoguetadhgRoguetadhg Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■□□
    A+. Go for it.

    It's better to have that and then say "I passed, and I am certified" then saying "I can pass" It's a good rule for everything.

    There are a couple of "Rites of Passage" for IT persons, it seems:

    1) Build your own computer using parts that aren't sold, and people would not want really want to use. I dare say - Find and build a computer around a pair of Voodoo 2, in SLI Mode.
    1a) Build a computer with specs that would rival IBM's Roadrunner.
    2) Bleed on your own computer - or someone else's computer case.
    3) Build a network. Gloating you've used hubs, instead of switches. Knowing that everyone knows what a "Switch" and "Hub" is... Because you just want to watch the world burn.
    4) Make everything crash, and everyone unable to work - Not on purpose.
    5) Daisy Chain surge protectors to extend the reach of your computer goodies.
    ... The more Daisy Chaining you do, the better.
    6) Host a LAN Party. Spend all night fixing your watercooled computer because a moth flew into one of the intake fans...
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
    TE Threads: How to study for the CCENT/CCNA, Introduction to Cisco Exams

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    EV42TMANEV42TMAN Member Posts: 256
    I agree with A+ as well after the A+ Net+ Sec+. you can either go cisco or microsoft at that point
    Current Certification Exam: ???
    Future Certifications: CCNP Route Switch, CCNA Datacenter, random vendor training.
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    kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    I agree with others that A+ will teach you how a computer works. At least give you the knowledge and certification to show you know how a computer works hardware wise.

    I however recommend that you also look into taking an operating systems test such as Windows 7. By certifying in this it will allow you to get a help-desk job to get some experience when paired with your A+. With that you are now gaining experience.

    Why not Windows 8? Companies are just getting things settled with Windows 7 and won't be jumping to Windows 8 too fast. Home users will but companies will take it a bit slower. The windows 7 will allow you to support corporate PCs more than home users.

    Then follow through with your other certifications (Like Security+ or Network+) if you choose and decide if you want to go Cisco or Microsoft (So you can go CCENT or CCNA or Start something like MCITP:SA). If you grasp things quickly you don't even necessarily need to do the Network+ but if you are very new to networking it will help you get a basic grasphold.
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I agree with Kohr

    A+ > Windows 7 685/680 > 686
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    beadsbeads Member Posts: 1,531 ■■■■■■■■■□
    When you say you want to pursue a degree in "IT". do you know what focus you wish to pursue? With everyone suggesting infrastructure certifications you may wish to pursue purely developer or "dev" certs like java certified developer or MS SQL and the like instead.

    Pursue those certifications that will help you in the long run, be it infrastructure, development or DBA (the three pillars of IT.) Also keep in mind that Comp-TIA certifications are good for three years before re-certifying by way of a new certification(s) or simply retaking the same test. You may want to wait til you junior or senior years to take these tests as not only does the money but the time limits add up. In other words welcome to our "certification hamster wheel". Nothing wrong with the hamster wheel - its something we all deal with in the industry.

    Just go with your passion and you'll do fine. Its the folks who go into IT because "theres a job in it" that generally don't last long. ;)

    - beads
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    gdeusthewhizkidgdeusthewhizkid Member Posts: 289
    A+ is good but for a college student I recommend getting the microsoft MTA's also. You possibly could get a IT job with your university with those certifications. Look into the 98-349, 98-365, 98-366, and 98-367. To complement your a+ and the rest of the comptia triad...
    WGU Progress: Progress | Completed | Start Date: 9/1/2012 B.S. Network Management & Design
    Courses Transferred in: BBC1 LAE1 QBT1 IWC1 IWT1 DHV1 CSV1 CWV1 CRV1 DEV1 - 28 cu :roll:
    Down: AXV1 CPV1 WFV1 CLC1

    Technical Diploma from Lincoln Tech.
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    DevilryDevilry Member Posts: 668
    Roguetadhg wrote: »
    4) Make everything crash, and everyone unable to work - Not on purpose.

    The true right to passage in this sector. icon_thumright.gif

    However, to the OP: A+, Net+ and Sec+. Do those 3, then follow the path of the one you enjoyed the most.
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