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crguy
02-26-2009, 04:40 PM
Hello,

Would an A+ cert prepair someone for entry into an IT career or prepair them to open a small computer repair business? Any tips would be great.

Thanks:confused:

usacvlr
02-26-2009, 04:51 PM
Certifications merely prove that you can memorize a bunch of stuff that may or may not ever be relevant in real life.

Learn by doing. If you do want to take a class somewhere you should talk to other people who have taken the same one and see if it was any good. The quality of it education will vary widely just like with anything else.

seedubya
02-26-2009, 05:04 PM
Yes, it will prepare you for entry. That's all, mind. It might help you get a trainee position. It's a good start but experience is king in this business. As for preparing you to run a business, absolutely not. How could it? It's a technical qualification not business.

arrow_runner
02-26-2009, 05:42 PM
Certifications merely prove that you can memorize a bunch of stuff that may or may not ever be relevant in real life.

I agree with that to some extent. However, if you use a certification as a LEARNING benchmark, it's useful. For example, I wanted to learn a lot more about Linux, so I bought 2 Linux+ books, studied, took notes, did a lot of experiments, and got my Linux+.

The cert by itself might as well mean 'I memorized the practice tests', but I believe I learned a lot by following the 'curriculum' in the books and Linux+ overview. I'm still no Linux guru, but I went from knowing practically nothing to knowing something and I had something to gauge my knowledge by.

The A+ cert however, it is just an entry way to IT. I'd only get that if I had absolutely NO professional experience to put on my resume.

acs
02-26-2009, 07:08 PM
A few years ago I was made redundant from a non IT position. I retrained and got the A+ That got me an interview which then lead to a job with the company paying for me to do further training. After getting CCNA and experience I ended up as desk top support manager. The A+ in it's self is only just worth the paper it is written on, it what you do with it after that is important.

R Husak
02-27-2009, 04:06 PM
Thanks everyone, hey acs it sounds like the A+ cert helped you get a job.:D

thor999
03-03-2009, 02:52 AM
Ha I'm working on mine right now! About halfway through TrainSignal's A+ training cd and gotta say, haven't learned much yet (about present technology, at least) but if I can save $2,400.00 by doing this, I'm okay with that, 'cuz thats just a huge pile of scoobie snacks, okay? Also, prepare for absolute, suicide inducing boredom. If I did a certification training cd it would have kung-fu and explosions, and Steve Seagal, of course. Is it worth it? If I can successfully pass the exams w/ my method, oh hell yeah. Instructor - lead classes, probably not. This has actually been covered here, and quite nicely! :)

Compbck
05-11-2009, 08:39 AM
I have a theory about IT or any other certifications for that matter. I agree with the comment you need real world experience to be a good technician whether you run your own business or work for another company, and in the past both have applied to me.

I cut my teeth working for other organisations and am now running a small support company in North London. However, to have any chance of getting your foot on the IT ladder you have to get noticed among the competitors, and this is where the IT Cert can play a part in that process. It tells a prospective employer that at least you are prepared to commit to learning and passing an exam, it does not however, necessarily make you a better technician, that can only come with experience.

Finally, when you have a reasonable amount of experience, and you never seem to stop learning, the good old certificate can sit on the wall in your office or on your website and can act as fairly good marketing tool, expecially to the public who tend to look at names like Microsoft as the wonder of the world, but that's another debate.

It works for me - Quite often I get asked by propective clients "What are your qualifications", but I rarely get asked what is your experience in the field, so the certification has a role to play in any professional technician's toolkit.

eric76
05-11-2009, 02:33 PM
I say go for the CompTia A+ certification. There are a lot of businesses that require an A+. That's not to say that you're an expert if you get one, but it does take a lot of studying to pass both tests.

Personally, I think Mike Myer's is the best at teaching this subject. I received my certification in 2005 -- and his books and videos didn't bore me to death.

deutschnaftula
05-31-2009, 04:03 PM
I hope somebody will answer my question, I prepared myself for the A+, and I feel that I would be able to take it, but what else do I have to know to be a good computer technician, when I open the Microsoft website and I look around the website, a simply gat lost, I have no idea what all the word's mean, so my question is, if I want to be a computer tech. do I have to know this 'SQL Server' 'BizTalk Server' 'Identity Management' 'Scripts' ' Exchange Server' 'Microsoft Virtualization'?

nj_computer_repair
05-31-2009, 10:30 PM
Hello,

Would an A+ cert prepair someone for entry into an IT career or prepair them to open a small computer repair business? Any tips would be great.

Thanks:confused:

School and certs are not for everyone. If going to school is your thing, go for it. If you want a career in IT, practice computer support skills every day. If you are a cashier, help your co-workers with register issues. Computer repair is about analytical thinking so the more you develop that skill, the better off you will be.

I do not recommend opening up a computer repair business as an "entry level" move. Develop your skills for a few years and see how the industry actually works before you try it on your own.

thor999
06-01-2009, 04:19 AM
Certainly don't invest in a brick and mortar right now. As far as mobile tech goes, its always good to be prepared, and thats not just software, be prepared for everything that could be thrown your way: ide hd needs transferred to sata, new pc has no ide, ALL the testing equipment, go to dealextreme.com and load up on replacement ribbons and cables, etc. its all been mentioned here before, trust me. And only go to a Microsoft website when absolutely forced to:)

rtrahan
06-02-2009, 06:29 PM
For what its worth, I worked for the Government on an Air Force Base and I needed the A+ just to get an interview and then they sent me off to get my Network+..so yea depends on the situation but that piece of paper gives you some credibility in the general public's eye, and some companies set a minimum educational requirement so they don't get any joe blow off the street applying..

basic
06-10-2009, 07:46 AM
It is my opinion that it is far more beneficial for you to concurrently study for the certification and practice the practical applications of what you learn while you study. A lot of people seem to just buy the study material, study for the test (aka memorize), and then take the exam. Then the next thing they do look for jobs without ever having tried to apply the knowledge that they have just gained. This is of course assuming you are a relative newbie. If you are experienced...then the cert will help you when the HR people scan over your resume.

Edit: Oh, and no, this cert will not prepare you to open a small business. There are so many aspects to running a business that you may not have considered and is not at all covered in the certification. I'd, HIGHLY, recommend you work at a company first and see how a business is run. If it's well managed, then you learn. If it's poorly managed, you make a mental note of what not to do and you learn.

krutoi
06-13-2009, 02:57 AM
A lot of people seem to just buy the study material, study for the test (aka memorize), and then take the exam.

Sure, look at all the "boot camps" for MCSE and other certs. It's all about getting the piece of paper.

About 6 or 7 years ago I did a two week MCSE training course which was very interesting, though most of the information evaporated within a month or so. Unless this is stuff you are exposed to on a daily basis, it is not going to stay with you for long. A+ represents a range of knowledge you should know if you are in the computer repair business. Memorizing it isn't the same as knowing the answer to a problem when confronted with it in the field.

There are two reasons I can see for getting A+ and say, MCP - to get your foot in the door of a job and/or to put on your business card and website. I have been toying with the idea of getting these myself for years, but have still not made the time or expended the effort as yet :-)

hondablaster
06-13-2009, 03:07 AM
Sure, look at all the "boot camps" for MCSE and other certs. It's all about getting the piece of paper.

About 6 or 7 years ago I did a two week MCSE training course which was very interesting, though most of the information evaporated within a month or so. Unless this is stuff you are exposed to on a daily basis, it is not going to stay with you for long. A+ represents a range of knowledge you should know if you are in the computer repair business. Memorizing it isn't the same as knowing the answer to a problem when confronted with it in the field.

There are two reasons I can see for getting A+ and say, MCP - to get your foot in the door of a job and/or to put on your business card and website. I have been toying with the idea of getting these myself for years, but have still not made the time or expended the effort as yet :-)

Out of curiousity did the MCSE help you with anything? On the field or getting a good job?

krutoi
06-13-2009, 03:45 AM
Out of curiousity did the MCSE help you with anything? On the field or getting a good job?

I did the course but didn't take the exams... seems like a waste I suppose, but it gets back to my argument about it not really meaning much if you don't know what you are doing already. After spending the two weeks and learning a lot of great stuff about active directory, security policy in corporate networks, and tons of other stuff, I realized that even if I passed with flying colors and got my cert there was no way I could BS my way into being able to perform in that kind of environment. The people who were getting real value out of it were system admins who did this stuff on a daily basis and would take that knowledge back to the job with them and be even better at it than before the course. I am willing to bet I could figure it all out by being an intern in a corporate setting for a few months - hands on experience is my learning method of choice.

So to answer your question, I learned that just taking a course wasn't going to make me an MCSE - although if it had I wouldn't have complained :-)

Generally my clients tend to be small businesses and individuals, and the MCSE stuff is all about corporate products like Windows Server, Exchange Server, Active Directory, SQL Server, etc.. none of this really applies outside the corporate environment, so although I learned some new tricks, they weren't ones that had any meaning outside that classroom.

hondablaster
06-13-2009, 05:19 AM
Thanks for the follow up. I wondered that myself. Im glad I came to the conclusion before I dropped some bills. I made a sacrifice to go to college. And I feel more confident I did the right thing. Thanks.

anonymous Mac Tech
06-13-2009, 06:56 AM
hands on experience is my learning method of choice.

So to answer your question, I learned that just taking a course wasn't going to make me an MCSE - although if it had I wouldn't have complained :-)


Thanks for the follow up. I wondered that myself. Im glad I came to the conclusion before I dropped some bills. I made a sacrifice to go to college. And I feel more confident I did the right thing. Thanks.

I'm not gonna bash college. I recommend you do it because it does provide a foundation and teaches you to learn if nothing else. But krutoi is right. I've got an associate degree in networking, yet it didn't make me an admin. I've got another associate degree in programming, but it didn't make me a programmer. I've got another associate degree in computer repair, but that didn't make me a tech. Hell, I've got a bachelors in tech management but that didn't make me an project manager. Its taking what you got in college as a foundation to get your foot in the door and hopefully under someone who has been doing it for a long time, who will teach you the ropes until you get experience enough to do it yourself. Then beyond that doing it day after day for years.

ProTech Support
06-13-2009, 02:20 PM
hopefully under someone who has been doing it for a long time, who will teach you the ropes until you get experience enough to do it yourself. Then beyond that doing it day after day for years.

Honestly, I think that is one of the best ways to learn in the industry. Grant it, you're going to need some sort of background to get in with them, but you wont believe the tricks, tips, advice, and skills you will gain from working with a seasoned tech.

@ncient geek
06-14-2009, 12:00 PM
Your certifications ultimately determine your type of clients and this has a direct influence on your income.

It is absolutely true that you need experience more than certification in this business, but experience comes from knowledge and knowledge has to be learned. If learning comes from college, a collegue, a book, a video or a course is completely unimportant.

You do however need an environment which allows you to gain experience, and here is one of the great difficulties for people wanting to learn the business. You have to work on thousands of computers, make many mistakes (not too big mistakes or your career will be very short :) ), work on different systems, under stress, without stress, without sleep, bad conditions, bad clients and much more to aquire experience and, please don't laugh, a feeling for what you are doing. This means generally that you have to start out working FOR someone, and here your certification becomes important.

Many employers will nor even look at you if you don't at least have an A+ cert. This is the absolute minimum every tech should have if he is looking for employment.

Once you are a good techy, you will know what is of interest to you and thus will know which certs to go for. E.g. many shop technicians do not ever need more than basic networking knowledge, enough to set up a router or a peer network. Why would he need MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCNA, Network+, CIW, and Linux+ ?

But, without these certs there is NO WAY you will ever be called for work in the industry, and you will limit your scope of intervention and thus the number of potential clients and the revenue which goes with these jobs (don't forget that such revenue for outside consultants runs between three- and ten thousand dollars per day !)

seedubya
06-14-2009, 12:21 PM
I also believe, now (although I didn't when I was younger) that the type of person who, off their own bat, goes and gets certified is more likely to do well as a technician. That's not to say that someone uncertified won't do well, just that it's less likely

EDIT Another thing; most of the certifications are relatively easy to study for and pass so WHY NOT do them? You may not ace them but that's not of utmost importance.