Has only having an A+ helped anyone?

kalnokykalnoky Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
I'm in a bit of a pickle right now as the company I work for is shutting down. I'm in customer service (which I've done on and off for 3 years). I started studying for the A+ back in late May. I have always liked computers and have a friend in IT who has been helping me throughout the years (helped me build my pc, has taught me some commands, etc). Anyway, that's probably enough background information on me. I have no experience in IT and want to get into it. My current study tools so far are the Comptia A+ 8th edition by Mike Meyers and the videos from Professor Messer. I'm HOPING to take the test by the end of July (when I'll be out of work) but wanted to ask if any of you were able to get into entry level IT by just having the A+ and no experience. Feedback is appreciated. :) Thanks.Also, I know study time is different for everyone, but would like to hear how long it took to study and what materials were used.
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Comments

  • bigmantenorbigmantenor Member Posts: 233
    I can't speak to the A+ and no experience, but I will say that IT has a large customer service aspect to it, especially in entry level positions. If customer service isn't your thing any more, you may want to rethink going down this path.
  • kalnokykalnoky Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I guess I forgot to mention that every customer service job I've had has made me do a sales pitch. So I guess what I said was somewhat misleading as it's usually trying to sale someone something that I hate. The personal experience that I've had has been like a friend or family member having a computer problem come to me. And everytime i've been able to fix their problem, I've loved being able to do that.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    An A+ and a customer service background could take you down the Help Desk or PC Repair route, which are both computer technical customer service jobs.

    The Mike Meyers book is great. Also see if you can get your hands on a desktop to play around w/ to solidify the hardware knowledge. The Professer Messer videos are a wonderful complementary resource. Also try to sign up for PM's daily e-mail practice questions. And after you're done w/ all that, if and only you think you need more help, the A+ Exam Cram book is good as well.

    The A+ isn't a hard cert at all. The difficulty is in the amount as well as breadth of knowledge you're expected to know for it. Try to study whenever you can as the long-term studying will give you a better chance of remembering and understanding all that material.

    Welcome to the TE forums. And good luck!
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • kalnokykalnoky Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks, DoubleNNs! :D I do agree that there is a lot to absorb with the A+. I'm about halfway through the Mike Meyers book and it's easy to grasp. The hard thing for me so far is remembering what certain commands do. I find myself going back and also typing the commands over and over so that I can remember them. I recently started the Professor Messer videos and I liked him on facebook so that I can get his daily questions. Out of the 12 or so questions I've done, I've probably gotten about 7 or so right. The ones I've gotten wrong have been on chapters I'm not to yet so it's refreshing that I'm getting the areas I know right. I think the path best fit for me is what you said. The Mike Meyers book, PM videos, and the exam cram. I guess the question has been asked around here a lot if the A+ is worth it with no experience and I notice it's about 50/50. I guess I just wanted to check to see if anyone on here has done so and would like to share how they did it.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    @kalnoky

    Do you have a copy of the objectives?
    CompTIA A+ Certification

    Meyers book is terrific, but have a current set of the objectives to help you sort out areas you know and areas where you will want to invest a bit more time to review,

    Best of luck and ask any questions about the topics in the forum, we have plenty of members with the expertise to break the material down for you if need be.
    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?
  • SouljackerSouljacker A+, Network+, Security+, Server+, Linux+, Project+, CCNA Route and Switch, CCNA Security Poconos PAMember Posts: 112 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I started my career without the A+ cert - so don't put too much weight on whether you will land a job based on it. It might get you more looks at your resume, but even if you put "studying for A+ expected - whateveryourexamdateis" employers will see you are a self-starter with clear goals. Just make sure you actually meet those goals after getting hired.

    In the IT industry and especially in customer service, the most important thing is a willingness to learn and go the extra mile for the customer. I had a boss once that told me he could teach anyone anything about the job, but the important stuff had to come from within - he meant that anything technical was something he could teach me, but the commitment to excellence and the adaptability to changing situations was all me.

    As far as studying - Mike Meyers does seem to still be the go-to. Make sure you get the ExamCram questions books as they are very similar to the exams - or at least they were back in 2010 when I took the test. Relax and enjoy the learning process, and get your hands on hardware to mess with. You'd be surprised how many computers people just throw away - especially if you live in a medium to large city. You can also get a lot of hardware to play with on craigslist for cheap or at yard sales. I can't recommend enough the value in being comfortable with actually getting your hands in the hardware. Videos are great as how-tos, but getting your hands dirty is what separates the "test takers" from the "techs".

    Good luck!
  • danny069danny069 Member Posts: 1,025 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I believe the A+ certification should be the foundation that everything lays upon. I got my A+ in 2003 and it certainly made me more marketable in getting a position in IT as a hardware technician at JPMorgan Chase. I didn't have any hands on work experience before my A+ other than tinkering with computers and having a deep interest and enthusiasm for it. Getting your A+ will put you above others without it with no experience. In this day and age after you attain your A+ keep on going and get more certs, it will make you even more marketable. Once you get your foot in the door, every day you gain experience will be invaluable. I've seen level 3 guys that couldn't even change a hard drive on a desktop, it's worth working your way from the bottom up and don't ever listen to anyone who says you can't do it because that just gives you fuel and motivation to prove them wrong.
    I am a Jack of all trades, Master of None
  • NytrocideNytrocide Member Posts: 225
    Yep! Got my foot in the door at 20 years old at a full-time Helpdesk job in Boston making $17/hr. All I had was the A+ certification and 2 years of experience at Stop & Shop as a meat/seafood clerk. icon_lol.gif
    Goals for 2014: CCNA: Voice / CCNA: Security
  • kalnokykalnoky Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the feedback, everyone! :) I feel like after maybe a few months and plenty of studying, I should be ready. I went on to purchase the Exam Cram today and still reading Mike's book and watching Professor Messer. As far as hands-on goes, the only experience I have is I built my own desktop, replaced RAM in a laptop, and I'm always tinkering with my computer. I guess a good question would be should I look for an older PC or PC parts to try and make work? In my parents house, there are laptops and desktops that run XP, Vista, and 7 so when I've been reading through Mike's book and there is a section on XP, I'll boot up the computer with XP and just do what he says. I don't know if that's enough hands-on, but I feel like it helps. Thanks again for the replies. They're very motivational and keep me driven :)
  • Snow.brosSnow.bros Member Posts: 832 ■■■■□□□□□□
    kalnoky wrote: »
    Also, I know study time is different for everyone, but would like to hear how long it took to study and what materials were used.

    It took me about a month before i took the exam. I used only the study guide for the first exam which i failed at my first attempt, then i started using the CBT nuggets together with the study guide went again and wrote the two exams then i passed.

    And i also have the customer service certificate which i obtain in my leaner ship program that i am in right now, so i think your customer service experience keeps you somewhat in a good direction into getting employed. Wish all the best man good luck!!!icon_thumright.gif
  • kalnokykalnoky Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    There are CBT Nuggets for the A+? I guess I'll check those out as well. Thanks! And yeah, I was thinking the end of this month I would be ready, but with how much time I put towards studying, I should be ready by like end of August or mid September. Also, what part of the A+ did you guys find to be the hardest or the area where you spent more time studying?
  • Snow.brosSnow.bros Member Posts: 832 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Honestly anything that has to do with throughput, measurements, distances sizes of a device is boring on my side therefore i find it difficult to remember or memorize it. Topics like different connector types, printers, monitors, did i mention printers, but its important that you know them any way.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Honestly, I'm not too sure you need to pay for CBT nuggets for any of the CompTIA trio. Sure, if you have the money or get free access from work, it'd most likely be a great resource. But really, the Professer Messer videos are free and do the job well.

    If you finished the Mike Meyers book, take 1 of the practice tests included w/ the book to gauge how much of the material you've retained. It'll give you a good idea on where to focus on in the Exam Cram and give you a good idea on how long to wait before scheduling your test. I think the Mike Meyers has 2 practice tests included, so then you'll still have 1 in the bank after.

    When I did my A+ not too long ago, Printers was my weak spot - which is actually a pretty large part of the A+ curriculum. As wel as all the Windows trivia.
    Honestly, I knew it was a bad attitude to have, but I had absolutely no intention of memorizing how much RAM Win 2000/XP/7 needed min/recommended.. so I simply didn't. But those questions were def on the exam lol.

    Edit: For anything you're required to memorize, especially if it's boring to you or something you're unfamiliar w/ in a real world setting, I recommend making a chart and simply reviewing it once or twice a day. You'll be surprised how easily it'll stick in a few short days.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • Snow.brosSnow.bros Member Posts: 832 ■■■■□□□□□□
    DoubleNNs wrote: »
    Honestly, I'm not too sure you need to pay for CBT nuggets for any of the CompTIA trio. Sure, if you have the money or get free access from work, it'd most likely be a great resource. But really, the Professer Messer videos are free and do the job well.
    .

    If we had to compare CBT's and professor messer's free videos which between the two meets the objetives that put you in line with understanding and preparing you for the exam? I am not asking this question for the sake of the argument but because i use CBT's webinars i do sometimes watch professer messer's videos on you tube when i am at work and i am not seeing any problem.
  • SponxSponx Member Posts: 161
    Kind of an open ended question... If you have no relative experience it will help you, if you have a lot of hands on relative experience it will be of little help.
    Personal Website | LinkedIn Account | Spiceworks Account | Field Services Engineer

    Certifications (Held): A+, CWP, Dell Certified
    Certifications (Studying):
    Network+, Security+
    Certifications (In Planning): Server+,
    ICND1 (CCENT), ICND2 (CCNA)
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Snow.bros wrote: »
    If we had to compare CBT's and professor messer's free videos which between the two meets the objetives that put you in line with understanding and preparing you for the exam? I am not asking this question for the sake of the argument but because i use CBT's webinars i do sometimes watch professer messer's videos on you tube when i am at work and i am not seeing any problem.

    Honestly, I've never watched any of the CBT Nuggets for any CompTIA exam (as of yet). I'm sure they're great. I'm sure if you have access to them, they'd definitely help.
    All I'm saying is, they aren't necessary - especially for the CompTIA level. There's no reason to spend a lot of money getting a CompTIA, especially when there are so many cheap/free materials out there.

    The professermesser.com videos are adequate when combined w/ a good book or 2 and some hands on. Unless money (and time) is not a concern at all, then I just don't see the need for CBT Nuggets once you're aware of the alternatives.

    Simply my own opinion. Your mileage may vary.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • Snow.brosSnow.bros Member Posts: 832 ■■■■□□□□□□
    DoubleNNs wrote: »
    Honestly, I've never watched any of the CBT Nuggets for any CompTIA exam (as of yet). I'm sure they're great. I'm sure if you have access to them, they'd definitely help.
    All I'm saying is, they aren't necessary - especially for the CompTIA level. There's no reason to spend a lot of money getting a CompTIA, especially when there are so many cheap/free materials out there.

    Thanks for clarity man, the reason i asked this question is because i wasn't sure what professor Messser can offer. But thanks i do get your point.
  • IsmaeljrpIsmaeljrp Member Posts: 480 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Combine professor Messor videos, with a good study guide, like DoubleNNs suggests Mike Myers, I had one of his books before and it's not a chore to read. I've always found combining multiple ways of study to be very motivating, and re-energizing, sometimes I'd be tired of reading, watching a video is almost like being in a classroom. And our minds learn much better when utilizing multiple senses for learning, meaning audio, and video, and touch ( getting your hands on actual equipment ).
  • kalnokykalnoky Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the feedback, everyone :D So far I've been watching PM's videos (which I have found the best source for me) and still reading meyer's book. I got the exam cram book and was going over some questions and they seem a lot harder than the ones in the book and also the questions PM provides. Does anyone who has taken the test know if these questions in the exam cram are used on the test? I feel like the book and PM are easier but it could be just me. Thanks
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I'd say just make sure you know all the material to the best of your ability. Don't worry about which is harder or easier; if you know the material intimately you'll find each source to be easy.
    At the same time, remember that the Exam Cram is meant for people close to taking the exam so would have more specific questions to gauge readiness. The questions from PM and the questions inside the Mike Meyers text are meant for learning. Mike Meyers has his own practice tests w/ appropriate difficulty in the CD-ROM included w/ the text.

    Try to keep from looking at too many questions at the beginning of your studying. The exception are the questions during the chapters.
    You want to keep from looking at the practice exams because you don't want to exhaust the pool of questions before you reach the end of studying.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • kalnokykalnoky Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks again, Double. I think I got way ahead of myself getting into the ExamCram right away with only having gone through half the book and about half of PM's videos. So far everything seems to be going smooth. I get anywhere from 80-100% on the section quizzes in the book and PM just added a new feature to his videos where there are like 3-6 questions asked about the section which I have been getting the same % right :D if this thread dies, I'll update with any questions or when I pass the exam. Thanks everyone for your help!
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I don't think you're getting far ahead of yourself by using another study source.
    Personally, I LOVED Mike Meyers Net+ book, but didn't like his A+ book. So I used the Exam Cram only, and used the PM videos to review.

    The important thing is simply that you understand all the material and do well on the objectives that the exam tests. However you go about reaching that level of competency is all up to you.

    Sounds like you've been making some decent progress so far tho! Nice.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • den1966den1966 Member Posts: 46 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I passed both exams last week after 4/5 mths of doing 2/3 hrs study most nights ..
    Meyers book is very good as is David prouse exam cram along with messers YouTube vids, there's a wealth of studying material out there ..
  • Snow.brosSnow.bros Member Posts: 832 ■■■■□□□□□□
    den1966 wrote: »
    I passed both exams last week after 4/5 mths of doing 2/3 hrs study most nights ..
    Meyers book is very good as is David prouse exam cram along with messers YouTube vids, there's a wealth of studying material out there ..

    Congratulation on pass!!! Well done!!!! icon_thumright.gif
  • den1966den1966 Member Posts: 46 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Snow.bros wrote: »
    Congratulation on pass!!! Well done!!!! icon_thumright.gif
    cheers mate, just get your head down and enjoy it, this forum is a hive of information as well..my 2pence worth is the 802 was much a lot harder than 801 (even though I scored better in the 802), know the trouble shooting parts like the back of your hand and you should breeze it , the 801 was mainly knowing your hardware and learn the acronyms and you should be fine ..
  • Tremie24Tremie24 Member Posts: 85 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Having an A+ cert will definitely get you some looks from employers, especially if you don't have experience or any other IT related education.
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+. Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■□□□
    A+ is definitely the key that helped me get my current position. Lets face it:
    1. You can "Say" you can pass.
    2. You can "Show" that you DID pass.
    Number 2 is definitely better.

    There's a couple cues that passing exams show, besides the obivious he knows book information... That is something more important than being able to nail off factoids from a book:
    - You're willing to train yourself
    - You're capable of focusing to study
    - You're motivated to work to better yourself for something that may NOT pay in dividends as soon as you pass.

    A+ is a entry level exam and should be presented as such.
    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

  • rolando3321rolando3321 Member Posts: 36 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I used Mike Meijers book along with a A+ college class where I had another A+ book. between the two I was scoring well enough on practice test to go and take it but never did. Six months later I started to take practice test again and scored really bad.

    Point is this!! if you study, don't stop you really got to cram it in. If you fail you always can retry, but use those practice test.

    For my Net+ I wasn't doing well with my studies after taking a college class and reading my book two times. Watched Professor Messer and he filled in the gaps that I didn't understand well. Use multiple sources.

    I never try to get my A+ because I have had a computer repair job for over a year now, but when I went to apply I had a resume in hand, was confident and the boss said " I don't care about certifications, or what you know. We will train you. It was true, what the class teaches you and real world are way different, but knowing the terms and concepts helps a lot as well.

    All that said, A+ won't land you a job as much as people would like to think, but it shows dedication. Employers are going to put a application with certs on the top of the stack to interview.

    ALSO - do anything you can to gain experience. I intern at a place for free and no college credit, and did more back work than anything. I did get to learn a few new things. I worked so hard that I got hired in temporary for a year. (During that year I got to do technical stuff and learned a lot and have something nice t put on a resume.)

    Sorry long story, just like to share my experiences because there isn't one right path.
  • joemysteriojoemysterio Member Posts: 152
    I was just hired as a computer technician/delivery guy, and I've worked apartment maintenance my whole career so far. When I interviewed, I told them that I've got many years of PERSONAL experience working with computers, that I'm basically on a hobbyist skill level. When they asked me to rate myself on a scale of 1 to 10, I told them that to be honest, I'm probably a 3 or 4. but because I'm studying for the A+ exam and hope to start at WGU in the next month or two, I feel that helped me get hired.

    they still want me to become certified, and I have no problem with that! so i'm stoked. but yeah, if you can go ahead and get A+ certified, go for it. from what I've seen from people around here, some care for it, and some don't, but IMO it can't hurt to put it in your resume no matter your skill level.

    I also hope to take the A+ exam by july 30 or 31st so I can begin work certified already. I began studying in early May using 7th edition of Mike Meyers book but then moved to the 8th edition, along with Professor Messer's videos. i'm currently looking into finding some practice exams but not sure where to look. the practice exams on Meyer's CD are easy, I'm constantly getting 94% or above... but I think that's mostly because its repeating a lot of questions...

    Well good luck!
    Current goals: CCNA/CCNP
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Honestly, If you're getting ~95% on the practice exams, it might be time to just take the exam already.

    Besides, when you go to get your voucher for the exam, you often are able to get practice exams such as transcender and measure up at a highly discounted price. You might want to go that route.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
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