Is the A+ worth it ?

leonardgleonardg Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello everyone,

I am currently in the decision of taking A+ exam or not. I am not planning on doing exams to change my job or ask for a raise, but instead having more knowledge. I am wondering if A+ is worth it in my case. Let me tell you a bit about myself...

I am nearly 10 years in IT. I have a diploma/background in Programming but decided to go to the IT technical route instead for jobs. Within the past years, I have setup multiple servers (physical and softwares), setup entire VMware vSphere environment from scratch, build simple networks (switches, routers, firewalls, vpns), setup Exchange and Active Directory servers/domaines, provided support to end users and played around with Windows deep settings such as registry, COM+, DCOM, DLLs. I also have some knowledge in Linux as I have setup many servers including HTTP/Apache/Proxy/MTA servers.

I am thinking about the Network+ exam later on, because I know I need to take my networking knowledge to the next level. But for the A+ exam, I am not sure if my current knowledge would cover A+ and would be a waste of time. Thinking about it, while I am writing this post, the A+ exam would only confirm my current knowledge I guess. The most recent diploma that I have on my resume is a diploma in programming done many years ago. There's nothing to confirm my technical knowledge. But, at the same time, as I said above, I am doing this to leverage my knowledge and not to change job.

What do you guys think ?

Thanks,

Guillaume.

Comments

  • IvanjamIvanjam Member Posts: 978 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Nope - not worth it. Go for one of the Server MCSA's either 2008 or 2012. You can add a VMware cert to it to boot.
    Fall 2014: Start MA in Mathematics [X]
    Fall 2016: Start PhD in Mathematics [X]
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Unless you can justify the cost, skip it. Esp since you already have 10 years of experience.

    I think the important thing to ask is what do you want to do in the future - near or far?
    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
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  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Look at the other certs that cover more of your day-to-day activities. A+ is great for someone who works with actual PC hardware and PC system issues, but beyond that, there are likely more advanced certifications that will highlight your knowledge level a bit more clearly.
    Plantwiz
    _____
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    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • leonardgleonardg Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Ivanjam wrote: »
    Nope - not worth it. Go for one of the Server MCSA's either 2008 or 2012. You can add a VMware cert to it to boot.

    About 2-3 years ago, I did start to read the 70-640 book from 2008 R2. I eventually stopped due to a lack of time (birth of my child), but I still have it at home. I have a lot of knowledge in 2008 and Active Directory, it might be worth continuing that training.
    I did think about VMware certification, but it is quite expensive. My employer is not willing to pay for that training, even if VMware is the core of our infrastructure here. I am the more knowledgable of the employees in VMware, but I learned VMware using Google and Youtube 3 years ago. I love the product, but I think a certification in VMware at the moment is not that useful for my job. Maybe in a few years.
    DoubleNNs wrote: »
    Unless you can justify the cost, skip it. Esp since you already have 10 years of experience.

    I think the important thing to ask is what do you want to do in the future - near or far?


    That is a question that I am having a hard time to answer. I love doing many things. While I love playing around with SANs, Blade Centers and servers, I also enjoy creating Active Directory GPOs and debugging weird DNS issues. Networking is one thing that I really like, but lack of knowledge. This is one of the reason why I would like to get a cert in networking, maybe Network+ or even CCNA. Our network is entirely Cisco with a Nexus 1K in our vSphere environment. I am able to do basic commands in IOS, but I won't be able to create a VLAN for instance or even understand how a Nexus 1K works properly.

    There is one thing that I really like, but this is not really specific. I like to be given a problem and I must find a technical solution. I like when my boss comes to me and present an issue to me and I must find a technical solution to it. This might implies multiple systems and be quite complex. This is why I like doing many things. While I like Active Directory, I enjoy working in Linux and create a Proxy server.
    Plantwiz wrote: »
    Look at the other cents that cover more of your day-to-day activities. A+ is great for someone who works with actual PC hardware and PC system issues, but beyond that, there are likely more advanced certifications that will highlight your knowledge level a bit more clearly.

    My day to day consists of networking, Active Directory, printers (if I could burn these things, I would), support calls, Outlook support, Exchange, Office...I support about 500 users and my principal function is to answer the call when someone calls because its Outlook won't work properly or its keyboard turned to English and he doesn't know how to revert it to French. To be quite honest, technical support is not what I enjoy the most during the day. When the phone rings, most of the time it is something really easy to fix. It does not challenge me as much as I would like. Working on projects to setup new systems which implies networking, system configs and other specific tasks is more my thing.


    I think you are right about A+ in my case; it is not worth it. I don't think I would learn enough to justify the cost and I think an employer should be able to tell that a 10 years of experience (good experience, of course) is worth an A+ or more. I think experience is the most important between the 2, but a cert could confirm your experience and give you some knowledge that you haven't discover yet.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    You seem to have a similar scenario as myself. I don't need certs and it's more of an interest which I self-fund. For myself, what works is to find some subject area that I enjoy which is tangentially related to my job. Perhaps do something different like CCNA or CISSP?
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I think you'd be a great candidate for the MCSA or CCENT/CCNA.

    But I def think you should skip the A+ - especially since the price of the A+ would be as expensive, or more expensive, than those other 2 options.
    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
  • DMVDMV Member Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Leonard, don't go for CCNA until You will not get Microsoft Certs. Other way You will waste a lot of Your time and Money. Microsoft first, Cisco Second. A+ & N+ it is totally useless certs.
  • leonardgleonardg Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    paul78 wrote: »
    You seem to have a similar scenario as myself. I don't need certs and it's more of an interest which I self-fund. For myself, what works is to find some subject area that I enjoy which is tangentially related to my job. Perhaps do something different like CCNA or CISSP?

    I am thinking about CCNA, but I might start with Network+. I don't think I am good enough to jump into CCNA right away. That is just a feeling, but although I am playing around with Cisco devices, there are still basic networking concepts that I don't understand or even not aware.
    DoubleNNs wrote: »
    I think you'd be a great candidate for the MCSA or CCENT/CCNA.

    But I def think you should skip the A+ - especially since the price of the A+ would be as expensive, or more expensive, than those other 2 options.

    MCSA is currently one of the certs that I would like to do eventually. As said in my first post, I read about 1/3 of the 70-640 (2008R2) book. Since I've been working with Active Directory networks for more than 6 years, there are many concepts that I understand already. I still have the book, but since I didn't pass any exams, I might just start over the MCSA with Windows Server 2012 instead. Concepts are similar between 2008 and 2012, only the UI is different.
    DMV wrote: »
    Leonard, don't go for CCNA until You will not get Microsoft Certs. Other way You will waste a lot of Your time and Money. Microsoft first, Cisco Second. A+ & N+ it is totally useless certs.

    Why do you feel that the A+ and N+ are useless ? According your profile, you have A+ and N+. Why did you pass them if they are useless ?

    I understand that the CCNA and MCSA are considered to be "higher" and more valuable than A+ and N+, but I wouldn't consider them useless. They are good first steps for people with nearly or no experience.
  • DMVDMV Member Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    leonardg wrote:
    I am thinking about CCNA, but I might start with Network+. I don't think I am good enough to jump into CCNA right away. ...snip....
    If you have a years of IT experience, than You probably know how to deal with customers in different situations. So I don't know what else A+ can teach you. N+ will not teach you more that just plug cable From PC to Data port and run Ping or tracert. I have those certs, because those Certs was my first. Second it was much easy to get them. Third, because people on this web site or similar was talking about it all day long. But now after few years later I can say A/N+ useless. Believe or not but real IT Guru is not reading this web site. (it is not about me yet)So you are on the boat with similar people with same needs. I am here again because I need to pass two more exams, and I am looking for the best way to accomplish my goal. :) Maybe I am wrong, but that was my few cents.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion DMV, but not everyone starts out w/ high level knowledge. As you mentioned, you got your CompTIAs because you were starting out and were unfamiliar w/ the knowledge.

    Leonardg - I think there's no point in you getting the A+. If you're interested in Networking, the CCENT/CCNA seems like a great start for you. However, if Cisco is intimidating for you, feel free to go the Network+ route prior to going into CCENT/CCNA. Whereas it def isn't a necessity, and to people short on cash I normally would recommend skipping it, I do know that I personally learned a lot about networking fundamentals from my N+ and it has helped me going forward into CCENT/CCNA (which I'm studying for now.)
    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
  • leonardgleonardg Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you gentlemens for your answers. I have decided to not take A+ due to my experience in the past years. Since I want to "level up" my networking knowledge, I am looking at either a Network+ or CCENT and eventually move up to a CCNA. I am not in a hurry and I have limited time per day to do this. I like that Network+ is not vendor specific and focus on the basics of networking. It could be a great start for CCNA. I might just read some Network+ books, skip the N+ exam, then go directly to CCNA books and training if I feel fine for it. As I said, I am not in a hurry and I don't mind reading a N+ book and take few months more to make sure I got the basics right before moving to CCNA.

    I guess my employer could use a CCNA here. We have a quite complex network, all Cisco switches, firewalls and VPNs. Unfortunately, no one here is comfortable with advanced networking. We always rely on third parties to do the network projects or when we have complex issues (which costs $$$). If I could fill this gap in the company, I might become a great asset.
  • vaughan905vaughan905 Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I don't know about where you guys live, but here in Toronto, I see a lot more tech/office jobs asking for 'A+' as a requirement than other certificates. In fact, and ironically enough, A+ is what helped me get my current job (IT/Business Coordinator) and not my degree (Economics and Psychology)

    So I say go for it, it is the foundation for everything else IT.
  • Moon ChildMoon Child Member Posts: 182 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Since you have already 10+ years of experience I would say no. I think many people getting certs are either people trying to get into IT or workers in IT with just a few years of experience trying to get a better paying job. I took the A+ years ago for 1 reason, to get an IT job. I had been on dozens of interviews and a bachelors in a computer related field without any certs or experience seemed useless to many employers I interviewed with. After I got the A+ certification all of sudden I had no problem landing an IT job. Since I only have a few years of experience in IT I am upgrading my skills with more certs so hopefully I can land an IT job to supplement my primary job now, teaching. Just a few years ago the A+ was good enough for landing an entry level job, now employers are listing A+ , N+, Security+, MCP, etc. all for just an entry level IT job. Hopefully I will have all those certs by the time summer is over.
    ... the world seems full of good men--even if there are monsters in it. - Bram Stoker, Dracula
  • WafflesAndRootbeerWafflesAndRootbeer Member Posts: 555
    The A+ is a mandatory cert in the IT industry. Get it. Even if you have 10 years, it's still mandatory for a lot of companies and they won't keep you for longer than 90 days without it.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Mandatory in IT industry? You're kidding I hope. I have never come across a company in 25 years that has such a policy.
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAMember Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I picked up my A+ and it helped in getting my first IT job as all I had was my college degree and an internship for experience at that point.
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
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  • Tremie24Tremie24 Member Posts: 85 ■■□□□□□□□□
    If you can get it without having to pay for it, then I would say you should, just because I know there are some people that do have experience like in your case. Then get laid off or whatever, and can't get another job or stay employed because they don't have certs. Its just nice to have, because its not really going to hurt you, only help you. With your experience you should be able to blow right threw it.
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