How useful/difficult is this certification?

Arm4L1t3Arm4L1t3 Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
I apologize; most of you have probably seen a million threads like this. But I'm currently stressing out (don't have a thought out career plan for life) but I know I want to do something with IT.

How tough is it to pass the two tests required for this cert? I know all the basics with assembling PCs and laptop/desktop repair, and even some security/network stuff concerning DoS attacks, malware, RATs, etc. (from my days attempting to be an ub3r 1337 hacker when it was cool) but I'm not familiar with older CPU architecture, sockets, printers (finer details) or firewire.

Also, how useful is the A+ cert for acquiring a job? Honestly, I would take nearly ANY position in IT. Even near minimum-wage customer tech support or something like that. I just want to start on a career path ASAP and currently I'm most interested in InfoSec. I'd also appreciate any advice on getting an entry-level job, especially without a college degree. If a credible college degree is required for anything decent-paying, I suppose I'll have to go to school (I did not register any classes for Spring term) but if I can get by with only CompTIA, Microsoft and other certs I'd rather do that.

Thanks in advance for any insight guys.

Comments

  • stryder144stryder144 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,675 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Here is the problem, the CompTIA certs have value only to those who know about them. As such, some employers couldn't care less about them and some require them. So, as the saying goes, your mileage may vary.

    From my experience, getting the A+, Network+, and Security+ certs helped to land me my first job in IT. They also helped with my second one. In order for me to go forward in my career, though, I will be getting Cisco certified, as well as finishing my degree.

    I will insert two caveats here. One, my two employers are military friendly. This helped me get interviews. Two, my communications skills are well-developed. This helped me nail the interviews.

    Cheers
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    The tests aren't difficult. But there is a lot of material to memorize and a lot of concepts to understand. The width of the exam is the only problem.

    And knowing printers is very important for the exam. (My least favorite part.)
    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
  • Legacy UserLegacy User Unregistered / Not Logged In Posts: 0 ■□□□□□□□□□
    "(I did not register any classes for Spring term)"
    May I ask how old are you?

    The usefulness of the A+ can vary per individual. When I went on countless job interviews it was only addressed once "I see you got your A+". In my case it didn't hold any weight whatsoever and it was something everyone looked over every time.
  • Arm4L1t3Arm4L1t3 Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    dmarcisco wrote: »
    "(I did not register any classes for Spring term)"
    May I ask how old are you?
    I'm 18. I pretty much dropped out of every class from last term so I'm not sure what to do now.

    Just wondering with if I get a bunch of certs, like MTA, A+, Security+, Network+ relatively quickly, if I would be able to get a full-time job without a degree or experience :\
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    No degree and no experience, I think A+ is a good one to get. Honestly if you are diligent that alone can get you a job and that's all it takes sometimes. Work effort and personality can move you along. I wouldn't get network + or security + right now to be honest and the MTA is something I would overlook. With the A+ alone you can get a help desk job or desk side/top position. That's what I would do personally. What market are you in? Just make sure stay diligent with your studies and you can and will pass A+.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I think you could get a job relatively quickly if you get a few certs. I think the A+ then MCTS Win 7/8 might be your best best for short-term ROI (Help Desk/Desktop Support and/or Migration Projects). However, it may be different in your area.

    Are you taking the semester off and deciding to get some experience before returning, or are you planning on skipping college and going straight into the workforce?
    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
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    @ Double NN I think the Win 7 certification would be a nice find too, but that might be an overkill to just get started. I do agree though if they start to work him or herself up into a company as a senior helpdesk or desktop tech the Win 7 680 would be a great cert to get to help fill in the knowledge gaps and expand your knowledge.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Yup. In regards to my suggestion - the OP should start applying now. (S)He may get lucky and land an entry-level job based on personality and drive alone. However, while applying, they should work on their A+. When completed, update the resume and start working on the MCTS.

    Even tho I think it's possible to get an entry-level job w/ just the A+, it may take some time. It would only be beneficial to be working on improving your chances while waiting for the job to be landed. Even if the MCTS isn't finished, they could talk about their studies and additional knowledge during any interviews.
    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
  • Legacy UserLegacy User Unregistered / Not Logged In Posts: 0 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yea I figured you were fairly young. My advice to you is finish your degree now. If you find the classes to hard there should be tutors available to help you out. There are also plenty of resources available online that you can use to help you out.

    I essentially did the same as you I was 19 and in school for 3 semesters. During the 3rd one I figured its no point to go to school for BS in computer science since they outsourced all of the jobs. Considered changing majors but end result is that I tripped myself up and quit all together. Biggest mistake I ever made I should've sucked it up and finished it then. I'm 28 now working on finishing my degree.

    First of all I can't say I've personally seen any jobs ask for MTA certifications. When you say relatively quickly do you mean dumping? If you think just having the certifications will be a guarantee of getting a job you are mistaken its the knowledge one acquires that makes certifications in general valuable. With the comptia certifications you may be able to get a help desk job.

    You are 18 go back to school and have that college experience. Get good grades and have fun. It supposed to be the best 4 years of your life. Why do you want to rush into working a 9 - 5?
  • Arm4L1t3Arm4L1t3 Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'd like to work while going to school (been browsing through here, a BS from WGU seems like a plausible options, because I can work at my own pace). But what I mean by quickly is focus all my time (as if it were going to school full-time) studying and passing the certs to get a job.

    I'm not completely opposed to going back to school but it would be tough to transfer anywhere with my grades. If I could wipe that first semester clean and just apply using my HS transcript it'd be a different story, but I can't. The classes are not hard, but I just feel as if college isn't for me. I can't study or complete assignments for classes I don't want to, and I really despise those general classes required for a degree. Of course, if attaining a BS is the only way I can get a stable job then I will have to go to college, but if there's a way out then I'll look at those options first.

    I just looked at the MCTS exam 70-680 (configuring Windows 7) and from the exam objectives alone it seems incredibly simple.

    I'm only looking for something to do until I'm 21; I'd like to join the NYPD or FDNY with credits from CLEP and any crappy school but it's not a reliable plan because of the huge number of applicants and low acceptance rate. I'd like to have an IT background to fallback on. I'm perfectly happy with making $50,000 a year eventually, and without a college degree (that I plan on earning sometime later in life). If anybody thinks I'm crazy or that this is impossible, please tell me.

    Also, sorry if this thread has gotten a little off-topic.
  • Legacy UserLegacy User Unregistered / Not Logged In Posts: 0 ■□□□□□□□□□
    You are not crazy. Its very possible to make it in IT without a degree. Theres even a current thread about it:

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/general-certification/96595-certs-without-degree.html#post814141

    Just so you know your time at college is not all lost unless they put you on academic probation then dismiss you for a year for not performing well. If the school hasn't done that yet you could still take other classes to bring your gpa back up and once you retake those classes from the 1st semester and do well it will overwrite those previous grades.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Curious,

    ArmL1T3 why are you dropping classes?

    Have you considered a military route? You will acquire skills, server your country and in return earn a reasonable amount of money to invest back into yourself when you get out (or make a career of the military and get out at 3icon_cool.gif.

    Back to my question, what is causing you to drop school? When the post above me you mention that you would like to work and go to school or try WGU or such. WGU will be difficult if you do not have focus and the discipline to get the work done. WGU works really well for those who are hyper motivated and have other outside obligations (family and work) so they are permitted to work as quickly or slowly as they see fit. Working too slowly though will be counterproductive.

    And your comment of "I'm only looking for something to do until I'm 21" has me worried that you do not have a real plan, but are instead hoping to fall into that perfect 'job'. The comment of "I'm perfectly happy making $50K a year eventually" well, who wouldn't be? That's a decent amount of pay in most parts of the US and at most companies depending upon one's skillset...but why settle for $50K when, if you bothered to earn a degree (any degree most of the time) and picked up some experience and certifications you could find yourself more valuable than $50K

    A+ is a pretty straight forward set of exams to pass. By nature of the other exams, they are likely going to be the easiest ones you encounter. That said, they are geared toward a candidate WITH experience. Though many take the exams without any experience, you will be much more comfortable having some background in the materials that you will be tested on. Volunteer, set-up a lab, practice with older and newer equipment, job shadow to gain some experience.

    IT vs. NYPD or FDNY are not the same game. Your looking at world with bits and bytes and theory vs a lot of physical, social, and psychological know how to handle most situations.

    Perhaps sit down with your counselor from high school or an adviser form college and have them help you figure out what direction you should take. A bunch of strangers on a forum cannot possibly know you as well as someone who can sit with you and be objective to your face.


    One thing I can safely toss out there (because I a laundry list of folks who did this) is that if you are planning today to get a degree 'later in life' you might as well just start saying that you will not need a college degree. Life happens later in life. You will run into other 'important' things that will occupy your time and the likelihood diminishes. You did not specify if you were a guy or gal, but marriage, pregnancy or simply parenting if your the guy, vacations, mortgage, cars, braces for kids, illness, retirement etc.. will suck the money you thought you might use for 'going back to college' and college will go by the wayside.

    So, I do not think your last paragraph is 'impossible'. I rather think it very possible especially if you have contacts to help you get into the academy training. However, I do think you are looking ahead as an 18 year old and not seeing what a few years of 'pain' from college will bring you down the road if only you can hold on and finish. So by 25 you have more opportunities rather than fewer.

    Yes, I think your plan would work, but knowing what I know today, I would not do it myself, nor will I let my kids take that path.
    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?
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I had the same problem when i was a freshmen in college. I went to a school I hated, and it reflected in my grades.
    Try to have a convo w/ an academic adviser about transferring. I think it IS possible to transfer somewhere as a new applicant and just forfeit any credits you got your 1st sem. If not, you could always bang out the spring or summer semester and transfer using those improved grades.

    I think WGU might be a bit hard for someone w/ little-to-no experience and w/o any prior knowledge. Even tho you get to go at your own pace, there is still a minimum that you have to keep up w/, which is still pretty brutal. That's why you see a lot of people in this forum transferring in problem classes before starting at WGU.

    Regarding the certs - it is very possible to get the A+ (or any of the other entry certs) quickly if you can study full-time (multiple hours every day). But know that the 2 A+ exams cost ~ $375.
    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
  • Arm4L1t3Arm4L1t3 Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Okay, to clear the air, I'm a guy.

    @Plantwiz

    I've been thinking about joining the Army or Navy, and receiving college credits and studying for certifications while serving. Last year I was planning on doing ROTC, but I'm not so sure now.

    In response to your first question, I don't even know why I dropped everything in the first semester. The work wasn't difficult, there was no stress at all, but I just could not go to many of my classes or complete non-essential assignments. My father wants me to go to college this semester (obviously) even if just so I can keep my health insurance; he's retired NYPD and I don't get insurance if I'm not a full-time student.

    But in regards to the military route, do you have any experience or info you could share?
  • LittleBITLittleBIT Member Posts: 320 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Experience, charisma, and the willingness to learn and do all the grunt work will earn your way into a job. Starting from the bottom and working to the top.

    I got my first PC Repair shop gig with no experience in IT, but I had work experience in another area (retail). I told him I was willing to learn, more importantly, I am a fast learner.
    Kindly doing the needful
  • UkimokiaUkimokia Member Posts: 91 ■■□□□□□□□□
    If you're having problems with school and get frustraited doing the work for classes that you don't like. Then you may have a hard time in the entry level posistions, because it's all not very interesting grunt work, and you're going to be stuck doing it for at least a year or more. I'd whole heartedly suggest going back to school.

    I made the mistake of not wanting to go to school and straight into the workforce, and now I'm stuck with a car bill and can't afford to go to school full time anymore which is what I really want to do now.
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