Starter job - Which free/cheap certification and suggestions?

EdenSBEdenSB Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
I'm looking to do a career change into I.T. after my current contract in a non-computing sector ends.

That said, I have 3-3 issues;

1) My only certification is CompTIA A+. I have a couple computer-relating modules in my BA degree (regarding MySQL and making a game in Dreamweaver).

2) I've never worked in my home country (U.K.). Ever. I've only worked ESL positions abroad. That's what my degree is in. It seems like employers (and even universities) are disregarding any work done, since it's more work to verify reference letters and the like.

3) I'm weak on networking knowledge.

4) A Computer Msc conversion course is something I'd really like to do. I think this would help me get my foot in the door. It costs far too much though and grants/scholarships which apply to Computer Science for postgraduates are incredibly rare.

As such, I'd like suggestions for which of the free certifications from the sticky list would be most useful to me for working in a starting position such as help desk? How about cheap ones? Which are good for networking/can you recommend good resources to learn?

I don't have huge amounts of time these days, but after my contract finishes I'll likely be without a job for enough time to study these things in depth.

One more question;

What are the most common versions of OS used for Servers? Including version. A project when I have time would be to track down a copy. I've barely touched servers.

Someday I'd like to go the System Administrator route, but that's a long way off.


  • Options
    ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I don't know of any free certs that hold any value.

    Look into the MTA for cheaper certs. The MTA doesn't hold much value, but the knowledge you would gain from doing the OS, Server, and Networking exams would help you with a help desk position along with getting you the MCP. Net+ and Sec+ have a better reputation, but they are more expensive and although the knowledge is helpful, I think the MTAs offer more practical knowledge for a beginner.

    CCENT is cheaper then the Net+ and I feel it has a better ROI because it includes most of the material of the Net+ and an intro to Cisco.

    Windows 2008 R2 a more popular server OS with Windows 2012 becoming more popular and Windows 2003 fading away. There are also versions of Linux that are popular.

    2020 Goals: 0 of 2 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
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