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A+/Network+ Certifications Worth It?

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October 18, 2006 11:17:46 PM

OK so its not in the right thread, but at least its not in the CPU thread.
Anywho, I imagine a lot of you posters here have an A+ and/or Network+ certifications and many more. I am an avid computer enthusiast and builder like many of you, but I went to college for Music Industry. I wanted computers/networks to be my backup plan.
So when it comes time for me to say "OK I want to start an IT career." I have no credentials besides a year I worked at the College Helpdesk. So, I'm seriously looking into starting by taking a week training/exam of A+ and Network+ certifications. Is this a worth-it experience? Whether its worth it or not, I feel like if I want to get anyone to look at my resume for more than 1 second I need some certifications on there...Then maybe over time I'd get an MSCE2003 here, and Security+ there. Any comments or stories to tell? Any advice? Thanks!
October 23, 2006 9:49:35 AM

A certificate will open you door from to the market. However in the real world, working experience is what matter in the IT world.

I graduated as a CS major and i'm working as Network admin. I started without any experience and through 7 months I did network planning, server maintenance, went through several raid failure servers, etc. I feel like a handy man though.

What is good about my job is you get to play with best stuff. ie: expensive hardware and actually installing them and make it work. Migrating Raids, servers, etc.

Now, I need to get my MSCEs. When I started working as IT, all the books I bought for MSCE doesn't make sense to me but now it does.
October 23, 2006 10:08:17 AM

sorry to ask this, you can PM me if u want, but a degree in CS, is what i want to get, how much do u make a year, your job sounds like something i want to do, no joke.

i was seriously considering joing the air force as a computer communications expert and go for like 8 years and come out with degrees and licenses and go and work for a big company with education and experiance under my belt, doing what i love, what yeah think?
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October 23, 2006 10:09:21 AM

Yes, they're worth getting.

However real-world experience matters more.

A certification will get you entry-level jobs.

Of course, the best combination is to have certifications *and* real-world experience, but...
October 23, 2006 10:24:12 AM

Yeah get them they dont really mean much since its just a paper saying hi i went to school. In my exp no one really cared i had the papers they wanted to know if i was able to do the job and have done it before. most people never asked and i normaly had to point it out. Thier responces were ahh cool and yeah. But hell im not saying to not get them its something nice to have. You never know when youll run into someone who wants to see them. Real world Experiance is what gets the job. All my friends went the school route and still cant get a job in thier fields i never went to school for any of it and get the jobs. Someday ill test out of some courses and get the papers i dont care about but yeaaaaaaah ill stop now.
October 23, 2006 11:11:26 AM

I have an A+ cert, but I got it as more of a review of info I already knew. If you just take the course/test for the sake of taking them, you may not retain all or any of the info, especially if JOB X doesn't involve any of it. My next certification I'm pursuing is of the Cisco line. I have a new VoIP system in place and now I want to get certified in it. Its a long road though. First I have to get my CCNA, then go take about 5 courses, each with their own tests to get the voice cert.

You should check our www.certmag.com. Many subscribe to that magazine, and its free.
October 23, 2006 2:54:03 PM

Thanks for all your opinions guys. Yeah I figured that was the case...Real world experience is always what they want. But like I said, I don't have too much so I've gotta start from the ground up. I didn't even goto school for Computer Science or Engineering so, I believe the certs. DEF are needed for anyone to even consider me for an entry lvl job. I just hope its enough. :-)
October 23, 2006 3:28:53 PM

I've had my A+ Since 1999, and my Net+ Since 2001, I cant really see where either one got my any jobs that i couldnt have gotten without them. I didnt spend the money on the course, Just went down and Tested out of it only paying for the tests.
October 23, 2006 3:43:12 PM

A+ is a joke, if your building your own pc's then you know more then the teacher. A+ is like trivial pursuit for pc's. The certs that you want to get you in the door is Cisco & MCSE, the last chapter in Cisco covers the Network+. I really liked my Cisco course it was well worth the money.

my 2 cents.
October 23, 2006 3:44:19 PM

Go into the Air Force, and have them pay for your training. That what I did excpet I went into the Marine Corps right outta high school. I worked with ground commuications mostly when I got out I started working for a small telephone company in the outside plant. I had a friend who did networking and the Marine Corps paid for his certs.
October 23, 2006 3:48:12 PM

I own a PC repair store and I call tell you that you need several things before an employer will take your resume seriously.

1.) A+ cert. This really doesn’t mean much to me or another store owner, but its a start and usually a minimum. Having your A+ means you are willing to invest time and effort expanding your computer career.

2.) Network+ cert. This is just an added bonus and it does get attention.

3.) EXPERIENCE EXPERIENCE EXPERIENCE. All Best Buy Geek Squad employees must be A+ (net+ ?) certified and they aren’t worth a damn. I realize you must start somewhere, but experience is worth more then the basic certifications.

This rule of thumb really just applies to local repair shops and large company ITs. If you start working for major companies, such as Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, all you really need is a good attidude and your cirtifications.

I have said a few times, that reguardless of my name, I do not currently hold any computer Certifications, except Norton Ghost's IT Cert. I do however, have much experience, which has lead me to where I am at now.
October 23, 2006 3:50:27 PM

Certs can help get you hired.
Certs won't help you do your job :>

1) Get your MCSE - Required

Differentiate yourself.

2) Get a CCNA - Easy and this will get you noticed.
3) Get LPI - An entry level Linux Cert.

My Degree is in Philosophy.
However, no person in the Philosophical field knows my name.
In the IT field, folks have asked me if I am the "insert my name".
So in the long run it is what you do.

If you want to differentiate yourself on the job, learn VBS or some other form of scripting. I am always amazed at how few admins, many companies have none, that can do any type of scripting.
October 23, 2006 3:57:14 PM

DOS Scripting all the way baby.

BTW, its more helpfull to get certs related to the job you are looking for.
October 23, 2006 3:59:10 PM

You need certs for entry-lvl jobs. You need entry-lvl jobs for expereience. So, yeah, go for it.

~Ibrahim~
October 23, 2006 4:05:51 PM

I have to agree with Comptia_Rep on point 1 at least. It gives you a starting point. It isn't hard, but there ARE people who fail those tests. It also demonstrates a bit of dedication on your part. If you are serious about getting into the industry, it's not a bad place to start.
October 23, 2006 4:11:59 PM

I'm glad at least one canned bird agrees with me. Now where is that jarred Parret?

Anyway, wolfman140, What is your current experience with computers? I might be able to help you out with what you should be expecting.
October 23, 2006 5:08:59 PM

Well when it comes to repair shops i dont see the certs meaning anything. In fact a few i have worked at saw the A+ and sent them out the door. Not sure about everywhere else but people get handed A+ anymore with out doing anything. The people who worked on comcast support through a company here called stream international all got A+ for finishing thier rep training. Seriously if you showed me a A+ i would simply dissmiss it. Those bestbuy compusa ext techs were some of hte biggest retards when it came to computers. They requiered you to have a A+ but apperantly not to know jack about computers. We use to build computers for compUSA and the techs there screwed up alot of them and sent them back saying they went out the door broken. I was the manager of the tech department where we built those comps i never let any computer go out un tested and burned in. Funny thing is they would come back changed and i would simply change them back to how i built them and they worked just fine. Get the certs im by no means saying not to. Just learn what your doing by doing it not by reading a book.

I'm also one of those people who likes the tech department jobs its fun and i get to play with all kinds of hardware. Doesnt pay alot but o well my bills get paid and i have fun i get to do a job i love doing. I do plan on getting net+ but not really sure what else would be benafitial for me. All depends on where you want to go get what suits your field or field you want to be in. And whatever yo do dont trust those companys with your computer!
October 23, 2006 5:13:29 PM

My experience thus far is as follows:

1) I know desktop hardware like its my job. Of course, we all, do since most of us built our own computers to every spec and do research on new technologies, timings, etc.

2) I read these forums dailey, so I am aware of and see the solutions of so many computer problems. PSU failures, video cards, RAM instability...All that stuff. So I believe I'm just as good as the next guy for diagnosing what is wrong, and what you need to do to pinpoint it, and replace.

3) I got a lot of virus/spyware experience working at my college as a Desktop Tech. Students/faculty called in a with a problem, most often it was spyware/trojans/viruses, and we went to their rooms and cleaned them. 90% of the time the anti-virus program didn't work so we used other utilites, registtry edits, etc. to get rid of them.

4) Of course there's a lot of other little things/problems that myself, or my friends.family have come across that they call me to fix, etc.

This course I'm going to take is 7 days of training, then we take the A+ exam and the Network+ exam. The A+ I'm not worried about. Network+, is another story. I know how networks work. I read about them a lot, I know how they're setup, the different functions of the different hardware, etc. But I never have had physical, hands on experience with them. So....
In a nutshell that's my experience.

So I'm hoping that with these certfs...I can at least get a simple Desktop Tech job at a company, then learn more about the network and maintenance, and move onto that after a couple years. Then finally, I want to take the experience I've gotten here in NYC, and move back to Upstate NY and be a server admin for a college or high school (cuz my gf's a teacher hehe)
October 23, 2006 5:23:06 PM

Quote:
My experience thus far is as follows:
So I'm hoping that with these certfs...I can at least get a simple Desktop Tech job at a company, then learn more about the network and maintenance, and move onto that after a couple years. Then finally, I want to take the experience I've gotten here in NYC, and move back to Upstate NY and be a server admin for a college or high school (cuz my gf's a teacher hehe)


You need to learn networking.
Setup one in your house.
Reading will not do squat beyond letting you pass tests.

Most tests have little to do with reality.
Example - On a MS Exam, What is a printer?
Hint: Neither HP nor Lexmark Sell them!!


A product like VMWare can let you setup multiple "Virtual Computers" on a single computer. If you have 2-4gb of memory on a system, you can create an entire virtual network on 1 PC.

Many vendors do this to demo their products.

Just "Hang Out" in some of the Microsoft Support Forums.
Read all the posts.
See if you can understand what problems people are having.
See if you can understand the solution.

w/o Experience (even all the self-training will not create much w/o a foundation) this is the best way to start to understand the challenges that network admins face and the tools they have to solve them.
October 23, 2006 5:37:27 PM

Quote:
My experience thus far is as follows:

1) I know desktop hardware like its my job. Of course, we all, do since most of us built our own computers to every spec and do research on new technologies, timings, etc.

2) I read these forums dailey, so I am aware of and see the solutions of so many computer problems. PSU failures, video cards, RAM instability...All that stuff. So I believe I'm just as good as the next guy for diagnosing what is wrong, and what you need to do to pinpoint it, and replace.

3) I got a lot of virus/spyware experience working at my college as a Desktop Tech. Students/faculty called in a with a problem, most often it was spyware/trojans/viruses, and we went to their rooms and cleaned them. 90% of the time the anti-virus program didn't work so we used other utilites, registtry edits, etc. to get rid of them.



First off, I disagree with EnFoRceR22. Having A+ cert is good advertising for a store, so its not meaningless.

As for 1.) You dont know desktop hardware untill you work daily at a repair shop. The comptuers on these forums are FAR FAR from typical. You will learn how to reinstall an old compaq OS, something you most likely dont know how yet. And the cases... oh the computer cases are evil.

2.) As for using these forums to fix issues, such as dead PSU, bad ram... thats somewhat ok. As a desktop tech, you will (or should) have access to the tools that WILL tell you what wrong, such as a PSU tester, a PCI diagnostics card, phyical ram testers.... These things are what you will learn to use... not advice over a forum. However, these forums are a good judge of what to expect, and what to look for when a problem arises.

3.) I wont even go into virus/spyware issues. You have not scratched the surface of what a spyware infection is. This is to be expected as you dont get 50k different spyware programs on your computer every day. As people bring in their computers, you will become familer with many forms of spyware and in many combinations. Viruses are not much of an issue these days (for the public non-networked comptuers).

And in your case, Network+ will be very helpfull. Good luck and keep us updated.
October 23, 2006 5:42:32 PM

Yes its a good advertisment because people just accept things at face value. However the places i have worked they cared more about your ability then your paper. The aspect i was reffering to was ability. having a A+ doesnt mean anything in that effect.
October 23, 2006 5:45:07 PM

We already agreed on that. I was refering to the fact that basic customers dont know how to determine skill. Some of them know the A+ cert.

Just like when I get my car fixed... I dont know enough to determine skill, so at a minimum, i make sure the technitions are certified ANS*** what ever its called.
October 23, 2006 5:50:25 PM

I'm not dissagreeing he should get them in fact i hope he does.
October 23, 2006 6:15:28 PM

Aye I know my experience is limited to the desktop. My network knowledge is limited to my own personal one at home. I familiar with VMware yes. But I don't know jack shiite about Linux, or AIX, or MSCE. Well anyway...I'm only 22, and just graduated from college 6 months ago in a field that is in now way related to computer technology. So...like anybody starting on the bottom rung, I'm just hoping to land a desktop job first. Then learn what I can, and work my way up from there. And the general notion I've gotten from all these posts are "Yes do it. It won't make a big difference in knowledge, but it at least looks good on paper."
So thanks for the support, advice, and comments.
October 23, 2006 6:23:15 PM

You need the certifications to be considered for a good job in the industry. Experience will land you the job, but many employers wont consider you unless you have the certifications. I have a BS in Technical Management and 7 years of experience, but my applications get rejected because I dont have the certs. I've had a few tell me that they just cant consider me becuase I dont have them. A+ doesn't mean much, but it's an industry standard baseline. We all need it.
October 23, 2006 6:25:10 PM

What type of job do you want?
That may be another question.

There is a huge difference between computer repair and network administration.

IMHO, I would presume Network Administration considering the college degree. PC Repair does not lead to Network Administration in general and is far more limited.

In "Network Administration" your servers are generally under contract from a support vendor with quick response. Your PCs are under warranty from the vendor and you have a spare pool to work with. Oh you may swap the occassonal HDD or Video card, but your primary area of expertise needs to be the Desktop OS. The secondary area would be the server OS. As a Jr. Network Admin you will spend more time working on Client PC OS issues. As you progress you will handle more server related issues.

You speak of MCSE which is nice.

Security+ does not relate to your career level.
This would be valueable to somebody to progress.
You will not be doing much with that w/o experience.

Basic configuration of small switches may be done by jr technicians.
Hence a CCNA would look good.

There are often small Linux boxes in many companies and few people that now about them. If you can show basic Linux knowledge that will help.

I actually think an A+ may hurt you indirectly.

As a college graduate, I would want to steer you away from a hardware repair position. This could lead to a more dead end job. Therefore you do not necessarily want the job that wants you to have the A+.
October 23, 2006 6:39:15 PM

Personally its a load of crap, concidering my experience and that I have a degree in Network and Communications Management from DeVry University and that I am persuing my master's means that I'm gaining more computer knowledge. If i can tear down a PC and put it back together and have it run better than it did before, it means that I've got some idea of what i'm doing. If you don't have a CS related degree, it will get you in the door. It amazes me how companies think a certification is better than a BS or Master's degree....... If someone is persuing knowledge, i'd rather have someone who had no degree at all, than take someone with an A+. It means i can teach them the way we need it done, instead of the way A+ teacher/Idiot wanted it. Its good to get your foot in the door, but if you've spent 50k$ on a CS degree, then i would expect the CS degree happens to have a bit more knowledge than the A+......

Sorry about the rant, i just had someone turn me down do to the fact i didn't have my A+ but i've got more than enough experience to do the job. And its ground level at a school, so there is a chance at advancement.
October 23, 2006 6:52:29 PM

I know how you feel. BUT you must remember.... if they are turning you down, they dont understand their own business and what it involves. A business owner who doesnt know his/her business, must rely on related certifications, such as the A+, for thats all they know. These people are called MORONS.
October 23, 2006 7:07:09 PM

In my personal experiences, certifications do help. Post graduation many years ago, myself and a few other graduates applied a few of the same positions in the area. For the most part, those with applicable certifications got interviews, those without did not.

What may seem weird though is I have never been asked to reveal my certifications mid interview (although I have been asked to bring them along when scheduling the time). It seems they are mostly a means of creating the short-list. In terms of educational usefulness, as most have found with computers, its either you're apt or your not, which is developped largely through hands on experience. When I first had little to no experience, work was much harder to come by, versus now its a toss up on making slightly more money or a shorter commute.

I wouldn't bother getting certificates just to have them, only get them as you need them unless time and money are in abundance. It's quite easy to dump $500-5000 on a single cert, and quite frankly, if you're applying for a $50k+/yr position, for the most part they could care less about the entry level CompTIA certs.

If you have a significant interest, try to specialize in that in certs assuming you can find work in that area. Desktop support is not something you can really specialize in, however routers, security, redundancy, etc you can.

Aim high, don't sleep, and you'll get there.
October 23, 2006 7:15:57 PM

Quote:
I've had my A+ Since 1999, and my Net+ Since 2001, I cant really see where either one got my any jobs that i couldnt have gotten without them. I didnt spend the money on the course, Just went down and Tested out of it only paying for the tests.


Same here except 1998 for A+ and 2000 for Net+... and I added an MCSE on top of that in 2000 as well. In 2000, that MCSE DEFINITELY (I cannot stress this enough) did help me get a job... but since then the market seems to have shifted... in the pre-dot-com bubble burst days, certifications and skills were the things to have... with the job market considerably tighter now, it seems many job postings are starting to require college degrees as well... thus I got my BAS in Technology Management in 2004 and my MBA in 2006. If you're not adding SOMETHING... ANYTHING... to your resume, you're just falling behind. Don't for a second think you're standing still... you're going backwards.

Just my 2 cents.
October 23, 2006 7:16:08 PM

Which makes me sad, because this is a school district were talking about here. I wish it was some ones personal business, but i'm glad i don't have kids in school there.
October 23, 2006 7:21:56 PM

They are only there to prove that you know lingo... useless otherwise, information is outdated. Just another piece of paper that says "hey i wasted my time and money, hire me you assholes"

from what others are saying, experience is best ,but it is just another thing to put down.

most of these tests mean ya i can study and learn information, THEY do not mean in anyway you know what your doing. any chode can memorize answers for a ccna. that doesnt mean u know anything just shows that you have a relativly good memory.
October 23, 2006 7:25:21 PM

i might not post that i agree normaly but! i know someone who does just that. he has certs for computers out of his... well you know. but he dont know jack about them he normaly calls me to do it. accourding to his papers he should be able to get the best job in IT in almost any area. He would NEVER be able to do it though even though he got vary high scores in all of his tests.
October 23, 2006 7:30:25 PM

Also remember another key to working in this enviroment... POLICY. A great deal of repair shops invoke standards of repairing, like a mini ISO standard way of doing things. You are limited at how you fix and troubleshoot problems. This is a pain, and it really hampers people with good problemsolving skills. The number 1 thing you will learn when working for a computer related company, is how to folow policy. Its more paperwork then actualy fixing computers.
October 23, 2006 7:33:38 PM

Certs are great for getting you a job a larger companies where HR people do the hiring. These people know next to nothing about IT and are trained to look for certs.

For smaller companies certs are less important because the people who look at your resume and interview you are most likely going to be your immediate boss and coworkers who know that there are many people out there with certs who know nothing and many people without certs who know a lot!

I graduated with a CIS degree 3 years ago and have made it pretty far without certs, I have worked quite a bit with desktops, servers, and a little infrastructure work but I am now finding that I need to work on certs if I want to get my hands on routers, firewalls, switches etc (which by the way is where all the $ is to be made).

I am working on my CCNA, I would say start with your MCP and then work towards your CCNA. The MCP is better respected than either A+ or Net+, believe me I interview and help hire people at my company. After you've been in the industry for a bit you'll know if you like it enough to continue on with the Cisco stuff. Cisco VOIP certs are also huge and something you could start with. VOIP's popularity is exploding and people who know Cisco VOIP are in huge demand.
October 23, 2006 7:33:44 PM

Quote:
i might not post that i agree normaly but! i know someone who does just that. he has certs for computers out of his... well you know. but he dont know jack about them he normaly calls me to do it. accourding to his papers he should be able to get the best job in IT in almost any area. He would NEVER be able to do it though even though he got vary high scores in all of his tests.


Just like in college, there is a difference between memorizing the material and the answers, and knowing the material and HOW to answer the questions. Many college degrees are like this, and in many fields, a college degree is as usefull as your A+. A college degree is nolonger proof that you can do the work and know your stuff. Experience and recomendations from those you have worked under is really the new degree (of worth). Very Backwards.... but its true.
October 23, 2006 7:46:44 PM

ill have to agree with ya.

my question is what cert do you need for working on switches?
i am part of networking group at a university(only cisco) and im on the damn things constantly, i have full acces to everything including the routers. I work on the ap's 1200-1400 ,3750's,2950's 6500 series swicthes for the most part.

I have no certs. absolutly none.
but hey i might get one so i can be like the rest of the bad asses here ;) 
October 23, 2006 7:47:04 PM

"Show Me" is not backwards at all.
I totally agree with the "Show Me" attitude.

References will get you where you want to be.
You get good ones by being good.
Of course he is not there yet.

Computers more than any field make formal education and certs less important. The industry changes very fast. New technology is always coming down the pipe. You need to be able to learn on your own, analyze new problems, and find solutions to problems that did not exist yesterday.

Degrees are about what people can teach you.
A skilled professional creates knowledge where none existed.

What you "know" is of little importance.
Knowing where to look and how to analyze what you find is critical.

When a well paying job is advertised, there will be 1,000 applicants.

The first thing the HR person will do is try to hand select a small number based upon some things she can quantify. This is often a cert or a degree.
If you are weak here, write a good cover letter. Don't write a cover essay, it will not be read. Make it short, sweet, and to the point.

Explain how the mathematical analysis of music has taught you to analyze problems in a unique fashion that will complement traditional analysis. Mention that you are willing to work for a very small salary to start to prove your worth under the condition that after 12 months are salary is adjusted to industry standard. Mention you worked as a crisis counsellor at your college. Strong interpersonal skills are as key as technical skills in many cases.
October 23, 2006 7:50:08 PM

Quote:
ill have to agree with ya.

my question is what cert do you need for working on switches?
i am part of networking group at a university(only cisco) and im on the damn things constantly, i have full acces to everything including the routers. I work on the ap's 1200-1400 ,3750's,2950's 6500 series swicthes for the most part.

I have no certs. absolutly none.
but hey i might get one so i can be like the rest of the bad asses here ;) 


Get your CCNA.
It is easy to get.
You will have people lined up in the streets to hire you.

I can't tell you how many Cisco recruiters pound my door because of this cert. I kindly term them away because that is not my area of expertise. It is simply a Cert I maintain as a means to ensure I keeply loosely up on changes in that field.
October 23, 2006 7:51:51 PM

if dell is what your talking about , well then your right...... i would no way in hell work for someone who said this is what i want you to check nothing else. i am not a drone/robot. If i cant use my skills then i want no part of it.
October 23, 2006 7:53:44 PM

Quote:
Quote:
ill have to agree with ya.

my question is what cert do you need for working on switches?
i am part of networking group at a university(only cisco) and im on the damn things constantly, i have full acces to everything including the routers. I work on the ap's 1200-1400 ,3750's,2950's 6500 series swicthes for the most part.

I have no certs. absolutly none.
but hey i might get one so i can be like the rest of the bad asses here ;) 


PS - Check E-Bay. You can often get inexpensive routers and switches for home testing. If you have access to a more Sr person there, ask him to help you find one on E-bay to make sure it has a recent enough OS as well as sufficient ethernet ports for testing.
October 23, 2006 7:56:04 PM

Dell, or inhouse repair, or government. It is there to protect the employer as well as allow for beter work flow when your working with 3-300 other people. You wont get away from it that easily unless you own your own shop... and even then, I must enforce policy because it allows me to walk up to any comptuer and know exactly whats wrong and what has been done thus far. Its a give and take... and yes... more paperwork.
October 23, 2006 7:59:37 PM

heh, every switch we use has the most up to date firmware/os on it. im the guy who gets to matain all the damn things and see if there are any bugs with current releases (considering how we have things set up). I have acces to test eveything, its just the fact of getting around to wasting a month or two of my life to study for the damn test (me = bad test taker). school,work...... fun stuff.....
October 23, 2006 8:03:43 PM

different story, there is no problem with keeping track of whats been done. and what is being done. paperwork isnt a bad thing, im bitching about the "dell support" basically, you get someone who will read off a list and then proceed to MAKE you try several things, rather then listening to you and figuring it out. Sure checklist can help but it is nothing compared to someone who really knows their shit.
October 23, 2006 8:14:35 PM

I hate to say this, but it should only take a couple days to study for a cert test.

The actual tests and answers are on the internet.
This is why certs are real BS.

The funny thing is, the more you know about a topic, the harder the cert test may be. Often the answers are nothing more than a marketing answer to a question written by a marketing dept. This is very true for MS exams. Less so for Cisco.

This is why certs are of little use.
Get your cert if you are serious about working with these devices.
I would not hire you if you did not have one.
Since it is so easy to get, it would show a lack of work ethic.
October 23, 2006 8:24:59 PM

as i said ealier bad test taker...... how about this really bad test taker
again knowing how to work with the equipment n such doesnt mean i know lil bullshit q's & a's
October 23, 2006 8:34:44 PM

Then get lots of good references.
Write a very good cover letter.

I understand the ability to memorize information is less important in the real world with reference guides at hand.

Tests often lack analytical skills.

The truth simply is that a CCNA will help.
It will earn you $10,000s more a year than not having one.

Without it, I would recommend finding a job and working your way up.
Within an employer certs are less important since they can more clearly see your skills.

It will be far more difficult to start at a higher position elsewhere.

I don't make the rules.
When I have my first billion, maybe I will start :>
October 23, 2006 8:56:12 PM

What are the average $p/h wages in your area for computer repair services... as well as corporate $ for desktop support.

Just to give you a general idea of what this type of labor is worth (in my area).

Minimum Waidge: $5.15
Best Buy: $8.50 / $10.50
Local Shop: $12 - $25
Corporate: $15-$25
Contract: $85-$135 (best jobs)

These are all for desktop support / troubeshooting and nothing more.
October 23, 2006 9:34:17 PM

wolfman140 with you not having that much computer experience or networking experience I'd advise getting the certifications. Yes, the value of them isn't what they used to be, but it does say, "Oh, this person spent the time to actually get certified." That shows initiative and willingness to learn.

I myself actually got my job I have now because of getting my certifications (was in the middle of getting my Network+ cert (just like a networking class I had in my university) and I had a few weeks before acquired my A+ cert (very easy for me with my experience). Not because I had the certifications, but because my employer was looking for employees where I was getting my certifications at. Use the tools that the cert places provide for job placement, it can be valuable.

I had a four degree from a generic university as a Computer Systems Administrator and 4+ years of desktop troubleshooting and small business server administration working for a small computer company that supported over 20 other small business' servers and desktop users. With that fair amount of experience and no certifications it still took me a while to get a job (several months; I avoided the "Best Buy" type jobs).

Other non-computer skills that people may look for is good writing and interpersonal skills (are you able to understand what a "dumb" user is saying and find out what the real problem is even though they don't know what they're talking about?)

Troubleshooting skills obviously are important. Can you eliminate from any number of variables which is the most likely cause for a problem? Desktop troubleshooting or tech support is the entry level computer job that you'd be likely to get at first.

One last thing I'd advise is to start playing around with various server OSes and see what you can do with them. Get familiar with the Windows Server OSes becasuse you very likely will encounter it. Additionally get familiar with the applications that are commonly used on them like backup software, web server software, FTP software, email software, Microsoft Office apps and their associated server counterparts.
October 23, 2006 10:20:36 PM

I am A+ Net+ certified. I think they help to get you interviews, but other than that they mostly just keep stuff from rolling off the back of my desk xD They are not very expensive and if you have some experience you can get a good study guide, study for awhile (I studied for my A+ over the course of 3months, 1month for Net+ while working as a bench tech at a small computer store) and pass them without any problem. Once you're at the interview (or on the jobsite) you have to actually demonstrate proficiency, and that comes from a combination of study and experience.

Comptia Certifications are meant to certify that you have proper depth and breadth of knowlege of the areas you already have experience in. They are not a training course. Without the experience they are meaningless and a good employer will know that. Irregardless, it will get you in the door ahead of people who don't have it. There are a lot of technicians out there they have a very narrow depth of understanding of their job and never learned to do some things the correct way. Studying for and passing a certification such as A+ and Net+ ensures that you actually know what you're doing and you won't be broadsided by questions you have no clue how to answer. However, they are pretty low-level certifications. Together they are only meant to validate something like 1-2years of experience doing only entry-level stuff.
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