N+ Exam question: is A+ needed?

DeathmageDeathmage Senior MemberBanned Posts: 2,496

I'm a IT Manager for a large 800 user company with extensive use of 2008 R2. I normally do System administration work (AD, DHCP, DNS, TS land, network design and switch/router installation, yadda yadda yadda you get the picture...) and the normal (jack-of-all-trade) work load during a usual day. I'm a one-man IT department.

I've been around computers in the aspect of all things related to A+ for like 10+ years however "Networking" is new to me plus "Security" interests me a great deal. I'm curious if I could simple skip A+ and go straight for N+ and Sec+?

I've had my job pay for both of the voucher's for the A+ yet with the re-design of our Moonachie NJ location (Hurricane Sandy wiped it off the map, rebuilt a 400+ user network from scratch including DNS, DHCP and SAN on a brand-new 10Gbit network) I'm just wondering if going for the A+ cert is like way over my skill level? - Bear in mind our Middletown, NY location is our main facility and we have roughly 32 servers at this location in a 1.5 million sq. foot corrugation factory that runs 24/7. I've pretty much been a A+ oriented guy my whole life and I'm now 26. Microsoft based NOS's I've self-taught myself from reading books yet never got certified.

I'm curious if I should go for a MCSA/MCSE cert but that's still up in the air.

What do you guys think? - I mean I've read two A+ books and I know the knowledge blindfolded, is it truly worth it? icon_confused.gif:


  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    First, the A+ exams are fairly straight-forward (and relatively easy).

    Second, do you need it? Nope. Few do, except it makes a great start point for many and give a confidence boost for the whole exam track ahead.

    Lastly, if you already have a plan in place for the types of cert track you want to take (and I trust it is one more in line with where you are headed), I don't find that not holding the A+ cert will hinder you...I will be surprised if it does hinder you. Particularly if you are looking at moving into the higher level certs.

    Bottom line, either take it now and be done with it. Or mentally pass on it, and focus on Net+ and Sec+ which you will likely find will match your goals better long-term.

    I've worked with many brilliant folks who have never taken any CompTIA certs, and could all have passed them without study. They held out for a while some caved and began to take the MS exams and some started looking at Cisco exams because that was the technology they worked with and it holding a few MS exams opened a couple more doors.

    You will likely be fine without it. Just get busy on the next cert and get those completed. (or do the little confidence booster and take the exams, and dive into NET+).
    "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?
  • DeathmageDeathmage Senior Member Banned Posts: 2,496
    Thank you for the advice and the response. :)
  • DarrilDarril Registered Member Member Posts: 1,588
    Welcome to the forums Deathmage. I agree with Plantwiz that you don't need it and it probably won't hold you back not getting it. Many people start with an A+ to build a foundation of IT knowledge which helps them get an entry-level IT job. But you already having a job.

    Then again, if your company is paying for the exam vouchers and you know the knowledge blindfolded, it sounds like it would be a good idea to follow through and get the certification. In addition to giving you confidence booster mentioned by Plantwiz, it will also let you see how the CompTIA exams and questions are formatted which will help on your prep for Network+ and Security+. Also, if your company is willing to pay for the certification, they likely value it and it might add to your value to the company if you have it.

    Good luck.
  • VikingSeanVikingSean Junior Member Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Take as many as you can. There's 2 benefits that anyone can get.

    1) You can command more pay at a IT-related Job
    2) You can get used to the way CompTIA sets their tests up to help familiarize with future CompTIA exams.
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