Is it common to study for multiple certs at one time?

N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
Here is my example.

I have probably over 70 IT books and some of them are certification driven study material.

Well the last few months I will casually pick up a book read a chapter or two and then set it down. I might continue on for a few days, but then move onto something else. I am learning no question about it, but it's not leading to certifications. I would say within 2 more weeks I will have my server + book read. I may or may not take the server + exam, but with that being said I am in the midst of reading Comptia Linux +, Security + from Darril Gibson, and another ITIL book.

Do you all find yourself doing this? I'm not particularly driven to go for a certification, but I am interested in the material. The Comptia books are pretty light and easy to read and digest. The ITIL book not so much, however I still really enjoy the material. It helps me fill in a lot of the knowledge gaps.

Anyway I just wanted to see if any of you have done this before. And if so how did it fair for you? Again this is my way to relax and the Comptia books are fairly short, especially compared to the Cisco and MS books.

Comments

  • ehndeehnde Member Posts: 1,103
    I sort of studied for the 70-680 (MCTS:Win 7) and A+ at the same time. I say "sort of" because I didn't put hardly any effort into A+ and devoted hours on end to the 70-680 labbing till my eyes felt like they were going to bleed.

    ...other than that I'd rather just take it one at a time from now on. It's my money going into those tests icon_lol.gif
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  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    ehnde wrote: »
    I sort of studied for the 70-680 (MCTS:Win 7) and A+ at the same time. I say "sort of" because I didn't put hardly any effort into A+ and devoted hours on end to the 70-680 labbing till my eyes felt like they were going to bleed.

    ...other than that I'd rather just take it one at a time from now on. It's my money going into those tests icon_lol.gif

    Money is a huge issue for me as well.

    I have MS 270, 271, 272, 290, 291 and several other MS books I have read through, others just certain sections, but never took the exams.

    $$$$ is a huge constraint lol

    My stint with the USDA via contract had some major perks. Like a training budget to get my certifications. That's when I hit ITIL V3 foundations and ISO 20000 foundation.
  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    It sounds a lot like what I do. I'm generally reading on several technologies at the same time i.e. Hyper-V, XenServer and Exchange. I'm not necessarily working towards certification at the time but it is something that sits in the back of my mind. Usually when I decide that I am going for a specific certification I'll have an exam scheduled for the end of the week or the next week at which point I'll focus in on that particular material a bit more. I learn best through hands on though, so I'll spend more time labbing a particular topic than reading on it.
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  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    I'm usually reading several different books, sometimes I need a change of pace, but I'm only ever really studying for one exam at any given time. Right now, in addition to my CCIE library, I've got a few VMWare books I'm working through as I toy around with my lab cluster for the times when I just can't look at network configs anymore. Once the Kindle edition of Nightshade03's RHCE book is available, I'll be reading through that as well.
  • colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,568 ■■■■■■■□□□
    This is so upside down... the nerds are making me feel like I'M the nerd for NOT liking to read IT books every day. :)

    There's a thousand other types of books I would rather read than IT, even IT security... but I do when I have to, mainly for cert studies.

    I have a degree in Scottish History, I'd MUCH rather read any history book than Microsoft. :)
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  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,647 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I tend to do multiple things at once, but they overlap significantly. I put hardly no effort into my Windows Server 2003 studies last year, but I had enough experience to push through it quickly, but I did study for multiple exams simultaneously, ensuring that I was studying a topic thoroughly enough for each that covered it. In addition, I did the MS Security exams for 2003 and then dabbled in the CCNA Security at the same time. Ultimately, I didn't take the CCNA Security for several months after the 70-298/299, but the efforts overlapped, especially PKI and VPN concepts.

    Also, I use my studies for my graduate school work, as well. Any time I have the liberty to select my topic, I will use whatever cert I am studying as a basis for my papers.
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  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    colemic wrote: »
    This is so upside down... the nerds are making me feel like I'M the nerd for NOT liking to read IT books every day. :)

    There's a thousand other types of books I would rather read than IT, even IT security... but I do when I have to, mainly for cert studies.

    I have a degree in Scottish History, I'd MUCH rather read any history book than Microsoft. :)

    I feel you. I was one exam away from my MCSA (ironically, the network exam), but I couldn't do it. I just couldn't do handle any more microsoft reality altering crap.

    Cisco is hit or miss, their books tend to be either really dry, or really well written
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    Thanks for the replies.

    Ironically enough I scheduled my server + exam. I finished the book and started taking notes on the chapters I am least comfortable with.

    Anyway back to the topic, I appreciate the responses. I just feel if I am given a variety of material to read I will stay on top of it more. If I am forcing myself to read one book consistently, I find I don't retain as much. However, if I have 4-5 books to read through, I always have a book I am interested in reading and/or labbing if the material is structured that way.
  • earweedearweed Member Posts: 5,192 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Personally I've found that I do better concentrating on one particular technology at a time. I'm currently studying for the CCNA but I have been doing some reading in a CCNP Switch book as it's helping me to pick it up better. I've set a time limit of 1 month for the CCENT and should be able to do it.
    Not to go too far off topic but I remember a discussion a while back comparing studying for the CCENT and the Net+. Most of what I studied for the Net+ it's kind of assumed you already know it while studying for the CCENT. I'm only on Chapter 5 of the Odom ICND1 book and have already learned a lot (but actually have only learned that I don't know SQUAT yet) and have a lot left to learn. I tried to start studying for the CCENT while doing my MS certs and found it impossible.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    Depends what your goal is in my opinion. If I study for a certification then I typically just focus that down.

    If I'm studying for a cert I'll just pick up whatever book interests me.

    For example when I first wanted my CCNA I read probably a dozen CCNA books one right after the other.. After that I took a few years off from getting certs and read a lot of other books at the same time pertaining to whatever I needed/wanted to know. Then after a while I figured I might as well go back and get the certs..
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  • rfult001rfult001 Member Posts: 407
    I am currently studying ITIL, COBIT, ISO20000, CCNA, and trying to finish my last couple tests for the MCSE all at the same time. I have been toying with CISA and CGEIT as well, but not looking at the certifications yet.

    When you have a love for what you do and you aspire to be great at everything, it is probably normal behavior. ;)
  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,048 ■■■■■■■■■□
    If i were to just read the material to grasp an understanding then yes i could probably do 3 different things. I am doing it right now studying for my CCDP and some business entrepreneurial books for my business i plan on putting up late next year. With the business side of stuff i dont need to master it or memorize everything like i would have to do for a cert exam.

    Now that being said, NO i cannot study multiple materials for multiple exams. 1. I cannot focus 100 percent on an exam if I have to focus my attention to other topics. 2. I feel personally cheated towards myself if i cannot give a full 100% focus on one exam. So i never study for two exams at the same time. I just cannot do it mentally, plus i work full-time with a lot of late night after hours projects, others may be able to.
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  • Geek1969Geek1969 Member Posts: 100 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I do it all the time. Taking Sec+ tomorrow actually and have been working on CCNA:W, CWNA, VCP certs for a few months now. I read whatever I'm in the mood for....when there isn't a good baseball or football game on that is. I agree with ehnde and N2IT, the $$$ can be a hindrance sometimes also. That is the beauty of self stufying certs, you can go at your own pace and in whatever direction you want to.
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  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    Geek1969 wrote: »
    I do it all the time. Taking Sec+ tomorrow actually and have been working on CCNA:W, CWNA, VCP certs for a few months now. I read whatever I'm in the mood for....when there isn't a good baseball or football game on that is. I agree with ehnde and N2IT, the $$$ can be a hindrance sometimes also. That is the beauty of self stufying certs, you can go at your own pace and in whatever direction you want to.

    Yeah the money part can be a problem sometimes.

    My gal is going through nursing school full time so money is tight for a few more months.

    GL BTW
  • newmovenewmove Member Posts: 108
    Now,I know I'm not abnormal. I tend to read like 5 books together, cos I just yearn for the knowledge.

    I'm currently reading on Cissp and then looking into VMware. Couple of days back, I was reading a book on software testing.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    newmove wrote: »
    Now,I know I'm not abnormal. I tend to read like 5 books together, cos I just yearn for the knowledge.

    I'm currently reading on Cissp and then looking into VMware. Couple of days back, I was reading a book on software testing.

    icon_lol.gif

    Next to me I have Server+, Linux+, ITIL, Six Sigma, Leadership (several), IT Business (MBA book), Security +. lol (Not to mention all the books I mentioned earlier).

    It can get weird sometimes.
  • MickQMickQ Member Posts: 628 ■■■■□□□□□□
    N2IT wrote: »
    icon_lol.gif

    Next to me I have Server+, Linux+, ITIL, Six Sigma, Leadership (several), IT Business (MBA book), Security +. lol

    It can get weird sometimes.

    Similar books here, then electromechanics, more project management, electric motors, hydroelectric, water tech, air con, architecture. Then there's the non work related icon_study.gif
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    earweed wrote: »
    Personally I've found that I do better concentrating on one particular technology at a time. I'm currently studying for the CCNA but I have been doing some reading in a CCNP Switch book as it's helping me to pick it up better. I've set a time limit of 1 month for the CCENT and should be able to do it.

    I do better if I concentrate on a particular technology, the problem is that when I go focus on the next technology, my retention of the previous technology sucks. That was fine when I was stuyding for professional level exams, but it's a factor now that I'm studying for the CCIE. Since it covers so many different technologies, I have to keep circling back to stuff I've already done just to keep it fresh in my mind. It doesn't make much sense to refresh myself on layer 2 at the beginning, and then study for a year only to find that I need to refresh my layer 2 knowledge hehe

    So I treat it as a marathon instead of a sprint, and my goal is to integrate the knowledge rather than simply memorizing it. For highly complex subjects, I don't even bother for long term retention, I just try and make sure that I know where to find the answers when I need them.
  • tbgree00tbgree00 Member Posts: 553 ■■■■□□□□□□
    This thread makes me feel behind because I can't summon the strength to study for one test (MCITP:EA upgrade). I have an out of date book and feel like it is a waste to read and then sit the Microsoft test. I just did a year of thinking of problems the microsoft way and don't know if I can stomach more. I wish I could give someone else this last voucher and start studying something else. I'm feeling pressure because the test and second shot have to be taken by June 30 but I have essentially 10-12 hour days from April 29 - June 24. It's hard to find time to study with huge, all consuming projects.

    I just need to suck it up, put the ipad down (or delete/hide the games and safari) and get it done. I've worked with 2008 R2 so much this month at the new job that I am comfortable in it. I just need to learn the MS way to answer questions, not exactly the correct way.
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  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    tbgree00 wrote: »
    This thread makes me feel behind because I can't summon the strength to study for one test (MCITP:EA upgrade). I have an out of date book and feel like it is a waste to read and then sit the Microsoft test. I just did a year of thinking of problems the microsoft way and don't know if I can stomach more. I wish I could give someone else this last voucher and start studying something else. I'm feeling pressure because the test and second shot have to be taken by June 30 but I have essentially 10-12 hour days from April 29 - June 24. It's hard to find time to study with huge, all consuming projects.

    I just need to suck it up, put the ipad down (or delete/hide the games and safari) and get it done. I've worked with 2008 R2 so much this month at the new job that I am comfortable in it. I just need to learn the MS way to answer questions, not exactly the correct way.


    Good luck with your last exam.

    I personally stop fighting that a long time ago. I have ADHD and move on to things quite a bit. Most regular members know this, in fact you might :)

    I personally would rather read 4-9 books at one time or throughout a period of time and then certify in the ones I like. I find everytime I lock into a certification and get ready to take the test another opportunity comes up that require different skills sets lol.
  • zerglingszerglings Senior Member Member Posts: 295 ■■■□□□□□□□
    N2IT wrote: »
    Do you all find yourself doing this?

    While it is tempting to read several books to gain more knowledge on a particular technology, I always concentrate on what I want to accomplish even in my early days in IT. It helps when you are trying to reach your goal in mind and when your job is not forcing you to learn something outside your goal. I've been fortunate enough to be able to concentrate in Cisco and in one particular specialization, routing and switching. We have Nexus in our data center now and it has been very tempting to familiarize myself with NX-OS and its technologies. I have this ebook but never really opened it. I am still concentrating in trying to pass the CCIE R&S Written this July during Cisco Live. We'll see how it goes, I am not very confident that I'll pass it in July but since it's free, why not take it?
    :study: Life+
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