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I would like to know where to start in IT world.

Last response: in Business Computing
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September 19, 2011 4:15:30 PM

Hi,
I hope to get some brains from u guys.

I would like to know where to start in IT. I have some ideas, but they are dated by now...

I do understand PC hardware to build, fix and upgrade , Win7, XP,some linux and Mac computers. I have been always able to troubleshoot and fix those problems that comes with it. Thanx to google. I don't have any friend who does IT so I am asking here.

I was told to skip on Comptia and go for

MCTP > (Comptia Security opt) CCNA > 5years later PMP or whatever I decide.

Guy was my customer and we talked about it and that is his recommendation. He works for 14 years for Health care IT company. He is 1of2 owners of the company.

Because I am to decide with in 2-3mo. I don't know if I would like programming better. Not sure what to choose. I know nothing much about programming.

I don't know anybody in IT so I am clueless how long it takes and so on ....

Any advice appreciated.

Thanx

I looked at this post, what a bonanza of answers.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/86-71-comptia-certifi...

More about : start world

September 19, 2011 10:28:15 PM

So CompTIA is important for foot-in-door. You will need a way to tell non-technical people you know what your doing and A+ / Network+ is an easy way to do that. At a level higher, the other certs become more useful.

Help desk is your easy in for larger companies. As long as you know your way around PCs and good with people, it will give you an in to a company and mobility to do more with your certs.

Programming is a different animal. pick yourself up a Visuall C++ or what ever language book with CD an projects and see if you like it. All languanges are equal at the base level. Its just common sense, organization, and rational thinking that is required. Of course, if your going to start, pick something useful such as C++ or PHP or Perl or Java or get yourself a kit with Apple and write a simple program for iOS.
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September 19, 2011 10:43:17 PM

CompTIA_Rep said:
So CompTIA is important for foot-in-door. You will need a way to tell ........................C++ or PHP or Perl or Java or get yourself a kit with Apple and write a simple program for iOS.



OK, fair enough. Whats the difference between MTCP and CompTIA A+.
I taught it is more of the same to make the first step.

As programming goes what about Python? Can u program the same things like with C++ or Perl or Java? If I have an idea for phone app.? Can I use any of them or it is specific to OS or system or else...?

Thanx
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September 19, 2011 11:06:54 PM

So programming is first learning how to think like a programmer. After that, it doesn't matter what language you find useful or fun to program in. Get a book on any starter / how to (C++, Python is fine) and try it out. Don't work about the language, worry about the methodology.

A+ is far more recognized at the bottom.

Note: as a business owner myself, it is very hard to get your foot in the door without enough proof that you are good and dedicated to the IT field. Either through schooling, experience, or some other means, this is necessary for any decent pay. Mom/pop shops as a grunt is another good option. Use this as a stepping stone while you build up certifications, or be prepared to be there a long time.

A general rule of thumb is for every level of a degree, your looking at 3-5 years field experience equivalent. I.E, a bachelors degree or 3/5 years applied experience. Masters for up to 10... (without certifications anyway).
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September 20, 2011 6:27:30 PM

Hi,

Thanx for the reply. I do have a bachelors degree in digital arts (I do photography, but today everybody calls themselves "pro photographer" and stock agencies take every picture that is usable, so business suffers for everybody in pays.)

And I don't like to chase after >cheap< jobs, where I just take "snapshots" and get payed for that, and to explain myself to someone clueless. Waist so much time doing that to keep decent living.

I still wants to do my photography, but I know how IT guys are busy sometimes.

Is there any difference?

How much do u get home when u start something new, like I want to?

I can do both, so which one I should go after? Where do u need to get more certifications to function, do u have to travel necessarily in those jobs? I could do once a week for week. Is it reality? Or I will not have a choice?

BTW, can I test myself how would I do on these tests? To see where I am. Or how long it takes to do it through some schooling. I don't even know where to take it. On line is so much info and when u research, the links take u to nowhere sometimes.

How time consuming is it from scratch? Both about the same?


Thanx CompTIA_rep again. I know u cannot decide for me, but I am just collecting info together.


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September 20, 2011 8:21:43 PM

If you want to learn how to program, I advise you not to start with C++. It's much easier to learn Java for example. The language and the resources you'll find on the net are much more beginner friendly. Not that you can't do anything interesting with Java. Here would be a good place to start:

The official Java tutorial

enjoy !
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September 20, 2011 8:43:02 PM

Thing is, you need to know where in IT you want to go. IT can be defined in a TON of categories such as Networking, break-fix, server administration, programing, helpdesk, Security, Project management. You cant just do the shotgun approach and collect random certificates. You need to find the ones you need to get into the job you want.

Take my history for example. I started with Comp-TIA A+ in HS. Got my AA in Networking. Went to undergrad school for Network Administration while getting my Network+ and landed a job even before i finished my Bachelors. The AA and A+ got my foot in the door with this Fortune 500 company and i'm on my way to becoming one of there Network Engineers. From here, i'm working on CCNA and lastly MCSE. Finish with these will guarantee me an awesome job for life and the complete knowledge of everything there is to know about networking.

Don't take that path if you dont want it. You need to find out which field of IT you want. Do research on what you need to know for that path, and then do it. you can even try the waters with things with the Comp TIA certs. A+ for hardware, Network+ for networking, Security+ for well.. security... Dont just skip the small certs.. every bit counts.

Experience is also something thats helpful. Like mentions before, mom and pop computer stores and give a lot of knowledge and field experience. Previous jobs in my history include a Mail House, Staples Technician, mom/pop PC repair shop, and a job in the banking enterprise tech industry before landing this job.

Let us know what you want to do. Whether it be programing, networking etc and we can give you a pretty good idea on what certs. you need.
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September 20, 2011 8:51:41 PM

I started on the help desk, I thought it was a fun job, but it did not pay the bills. So I was forced to take the promotion now after a decade or so they call me a specialist, or an analyst. If they only knew!

Seriously though many of the guys I worked with on the help desk are now managers, or network admins, or programming leads.
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September 20, 2011 9:39:01 PM

rozz said:
Thing is, you need to know where in IT you want to go. IT can be defined in a TON of categories such as Networking, break-fix, server administration, programing, ................................................. Whether it be programing, networking etc and we can give you a pretty good idea on what certs. you need.



Thanx for replying. I don't wont to skip anything or just hunt for cert., for u its easy to speak about the industry as for me is easy to advise on photography and digital arts carrier.

I would not even know that I am skipping on something. I am past 37 yo, so I am not trying to waist a time mine or anyone's. I know about PC troubleshooting and I like it. I can find my own solution for different problems. I can build things from scratch. I am more technical type.

I don't thing programming i for me at this point - I would have to start from absolute zero.

OK, one can say now what?

I can see myself doing some entry level help desk, as u have to start somewhere. Once while ago I checked some CompTia A+, and I don't have a clue what score u need to pass, but it was nothing hard to me. I know it is level 0. I learned everything by myself, maybe not by the book, but I understand what it is all about.

So, if u would have to do everything again, would u start with Comp-Tia A+?

And since I am starting new, I have choice to go to ....

Hardware, Network or Security - are these reworded about the same? Sure, everyone wants to make lots of money. I am willing to educate myself down the road to make more, but can u make in all of these Hardware, Network or Security make in today's money US$100K w/o overtime? I was making that till late2008 and it wont be there for me anymore in what I do now. How long it takes in this business? Maybe 5-6 years? Or more?

Thanx a lot.
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September 20, 2011 9:41:08 PM

tomvertommen said:
If you want to learn how to program, I advise you not to start with C++. It's much easier to learn Java for example. The language and the resources you'll find on the net are much more beginner friendly. Not that you can't do anything interesting with Java. Here would be a good place to start:

The official Java tutorial

enjoy !



Thanx I look in to it, I still would like to learn how to.
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September 20, 2011 9:42:48 PM

bucknutty said:
I started on the help desk, I thought it was a fun job, but it did not pay the bills. So I was forced to take the promotion now after a decade or so they call me a specialist, or an analyst. If they only knew!

Seriously though many of the guys I worked with on the help desk are now managers, or network admins, or programming leads.



I guess, that's where it all starts, doesn't it?
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September 20, 2011 9:55:25 PM

Well, does networking interest you? or does working on servers? Security? A+ is a great stepping stone no matter what. It a cheap step to take and i would take it either way you go.

You have to also realize, this is going to take a few years to do. If you are needin the $$ now, you will need to start at the low totem pole. Call centers, Mom/Pop stores, even bigger companies like telephone/cable/ISPs would be good starters as they have entry level tech positions available.

Again let us know what interest you, we can probably find you a path or at least point you in a good direction to go.
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September 20, 2011 10:21:33 PM

rozz said:
Well, does networking interest you? or does working on servers? Security? A+ is a great stepping stone no matter what. It a cheap step to take and i would take it either way you go.

You have to also realize, this is going to take a few years to do. If you are needin the $$ now, you will need to start at the low totem pole. Call centers, Mom/Pop stores, even bigger companies like telephone/cable/ISPs would be good starters as they have entry level tech positions available.

Again let us know what interest you, we can probably find you a path or at least point you in a good direction to go.


I am in no hurry, I still have income coming as I have almost 40K images in various stock agencies. About grand a month if I work or not. I have to go through another 6TB of data to capitalize on it some : )

I know it will be no less than few years, I jus like to know the time frame. This is industrie that will still need people, no matter what economy. Every venture I had, 2 of them, have been killed by "crushed" economy 2001, 2008. And I am not to old to advance in to IT yet, I hope.

I also hear something about the certifications, some are expensive and it is truth, that when u start, lets say cable company, u have Comp-Tia, than they may pay for more cert's as time go, if they like/need u? Or is it a myth?


"Well, does networking interest you? or does working on servers? Security?"

I have no idea what do u do in those jobs. Well, networking I do...
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September 20, 2011 10:26:31 PM

Don't do it! Run away!
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September 20, 2011 10:38:42 PM

pacioli said:
Don't do it! Run away!



Did u?
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Best solution

September 20, 2011 11:27:09 PM

Yeah, the company i work for will actually pay for part of my college if it benefits the company - in other words, if i finish school with a bachelors in network management, they will pay up to $3500 a year to help pay for it. Also, they will pay for certificates if i pass the tests. I still have to pay for the certificate up front, but as long as i am working with the company when i take the test, they will pay for it. In fact, they are even willing to pay for training courses (again, if i pass and get the certificate). These are usually with high end corporations, dont expect these types of benefits from all companies.

Network engineers work on switches, routers, cables and manage the network as a hole. they monitor traffic and keep the line of communications running. They are also responsible for upgrading and maintaining network cabling when need be. If you like your work to be 50% labor and 50% desk, these are the guys. Half the time they are in the field, in network closest punching down network cables and mounting racks and the other half they are at there desk programs switches and routers.

Server administrators do many things with.. well servers. LOL they maintain domains, print servers, exchange servers. If you a computer geek i love fiddling with OS's, they are pretty much you wet dream.

Security administrators help with the network security of things, they work with the server and network engineers to catch virus, protect domains and users computer from infections not only from viruses but also intrusions. 90% of the time your at your desk on this one. They do some interesting stuff and learn a ton about how operating system work. You have to learn how to be a hacker to be these guys. they are, so say, the good hackers ;) .
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September 21, 2011 12:15:55 AM

Since you already do Digital Photography, have you thought about something in the Scanning/Document Management area ..I started out working for a very large Insurance company , doing well, Insurance, lol. sometime around win95 ..someone said 'Paperless Office' and well, insuance is drowning in paper..so naturally they went nuts at this idea. I had some computer experience already , and as the company went more and more towards this 'Paperless Office' ..I became more and more involved in the actual fielding and testing of and setup of these systems ..I started out basically as a customer service rep (everything from taking payments and claims, to selling policies) and over 20 years evolved (morphed) into the guy who fixes the computers for the office. and I can setup just about any kind of 'Paperless Office' a business might need, including scanning, document manage, faxing, networking etc ..one ofthe reasons I mention this ..the Insurance often takes pictures of items ..a Home, a fancy car, sometimes jewelry or art, etc etc ..and these pics need to be scanned in and documented etc .. I just mention this because it relates to your first career and might be of interest of to you ..and you could explore the both the hardware aspect and software aspect of it. and the need for pictures and their 'accessability' , not sure how to word this ..but say from pics from accidents or even for the news , or whatever ..There's also graphics arts , or 3d modeling or rendering, CAD, etc , though I dont think it will hurt you to have a variety of certs or knowledge ..just for foot in the door purposes , and a lot of it will depend on what the companies needs are.
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September 21, 2011 12:26:41 AM

I've yet to hear one legit technical response from any of the above guru's. "They do some interesting stuff" "catch virus" "protect domains"

R U KiDiNg mE

The below is not telling you which way to go, but its information you need to keep in mind. I know nothing, really. I am just like you.


#1 rule in all of IT..... never act like you know everything.
#2 Most companies don't give a SHI* about certs, anyone can quickly learn to pass a test. (weirdly, make sure you get certs, its a good way to learn)
#3 You better not get into IT unless you know you like something in IT.
#4 It's very hard to get into the door but once you do you're in.
#5 Never alter someone's icons. (lol)
#6 Programming ='s MATH & Starring Screen Syndrome, but usually pulls the most money, especially if you can build and support an internal app.
#7 Please know the difference between visual and C++, never say visual c++
#8 IT ='s lazy, learn how to create scripts/batch files, "windows powershell is also growing fast"
#9 Build a server right now and then build it again, then make it fail, then use your backups.
#10 Documentation sucks, but create it. Always update your versions when new data is needed.
#11 PORTFOLIO <--- actually showing them what you can do. USE a projector with a laptop to prove it.

"Half the time they are in the field, in network closest punching down network cables and mounting racks and the other half they are at "there" desk "programs" switches and routers" Another sweet quote.
As if the engineer isn't under contract and the company is constantly updating their closets?

If you say you have the background in hardware you might as well try the COMP test now. By the way, as of this year, you have to follow up every 3 years, that is unless you were grandfathered in.


It's weird in the IT field. You tend to bounce around a bit in the beginning. It's a blast though. So many directions and so little time. Enjoy the ride as you may find yourself administrating 3500 users via 6 locations some day. Another direction someone forgot to mention which is on the programming side, "DATABASE/SQl".

Get yourself into Epicor, they are buying companies left nd right.


My advice to you, try to get into a public school, they have a low budget on IT but man, you will deal with many different situations that will give you a sense of direction plus the learning experience. Then take all that you consume and sell yourself in your interview....
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September 21, 2011 1:26:48 AM

Are you really going grammar nazi my reply? Im helping the guy out. And yes, any respectable company does all their networking in house. And who says he has to go that route?? Its his choice. Who says he wants sit and be a script junky in front of a server all. Certs do matter. Any teenager can google scripts and bring it to an interview. Corporation want certs.. They are proof of knowledge, just as good as vocation school, if not better.

My point I was trying to get across he has options.. Sure, I know crap about server admnistration and network security.. But I know what they do at my company and their history.

no offense he has no idea how IT operates. He need to get his foot in the door. An employer is gonna toss an application out if his only experience is "uh I built a server and broke it". He need an interview.. Things that catch the eye of employers are experience at other jobs and proof of knowledge.. The rest is icing on the cake for an interview.
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September 21, 2011 2:35:49 AM

^^^ Proof of what I was explaining...

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September 21, 2011 2:45:47 AM

"uh I built a server and broke it"

That wasn't in my 1st message as a experience additive to a resume but rather a self project to better one's knowledge.

Dude, don't reply to message when one asks for help if you haven't had the experience nor the commitment to re-read what you type.
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September 21, 2011 6:51:20 AM

Just curious, what exactly are you "explaining?"

You only thing you have said to the guy is learn all you can and bring a projector to an interview to prove it. What exactly is he going to prove?

My explanation is the the IT field is vast. Like you said "never act like you know everything" because you will never know everything. There is no shotgun approach the IT field. Instead, you need to find a path and take it.

I have successfully found my path in networking. I have my dream career and it was because of the knowledge I have achieved through not only certificates, but starting from scratch in a mom\pop PC repair shop, moving my way up the IT ladder with 10+ years experience.

"Most companies don't give a SHI* about certs"

This is complete crap. Certs stuff your portfolio and give you the biggest boost in not only knowledge, but in the interview. They are a guarantee to the employer that this guy, knows his stuff relating to that cert. I want to see you "quickly learn to pass" the MCSE. That takes years of commitment and training. Sure A+, N+ and S+ are quick and easy. That's why they are at the bottom of the IT certs. It's the big certs, the one that take months/year to learn you want. They are, as I said, the ones that are just as good, if not better than a degree.

Like you said, getting his foot in the door of a respectable IT company needs to be the OP's goal. Certs and experience are the tools he needs to do that. The types of Certs he needs to get depends on the field he wants to go into. That is the original question i was asking the OP. Knowing this, we can help point him in a direction he could take.
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September 21, 2011 7:42:30 AM

I think Rozz hit the nail on the head, with answers that show what I wanted to see, because IT is somewhat like study of "medicine". So many fields to opt for, but for someone like me, whose outside - u just don't know what is inside, what u can focus on. Its hard to find any useful info that tells u in plain english, info that actually matters to beginners.

I think it was exactly what I needed to hear. I learned something new from all of u, if I had not asked, I still would be guessing.

Its in every field, things that u know and nobody publishes them, but these are points that help me to decide on the new carrier. And each of u are telling details with your own language and experience. U know these details, but u don't talk about them the way u did today. U hardly explain in depth to anyone, right? It sure does matter to me.

Unless u worked together the info must be different. But in the nutshell, things are similar .

Get the foot in the door : ) Like that phrase already. I'll do CompTia and will see.

Thanx to all of you.


Only one thing, MCTP is not equivalent of CompTia?
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September 21, 2011 1:25:33 PM

I wouldn't say equivalent - but more defined. A+ is a pretty generic cert covering anywhere from power voltages on a PSU to operating systems. MCTP is a beginners cert specializing in Microsoft OS's, Exchange, SQL and I believe Visual Studio (software as opposed to hardware and software A+ provides).
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September 21, 2011 1:52:53 PM

Yeah you should get A+ AND NET+ They are not useless and look good on your list of certs.
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September 21, 2011 4:48:32 PM

Yes, I will get CompTia A+ NET+ too. I'll read some more on where to get it.

Do u guys know a good place where to look for it?

I don't even know how much is it. Need to read some of the other posts.

Just moved to AZ.


Thanx
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September 21, 2011 4:55:19 PM

I don't know the exact pricing now days. When I took them, they were around $300 each. The CompTIA website should have testing locations for you.
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September 21, 2011 8:14:42 PM

And if you have any tips for a good photographer "the so called pro" to break into respectable business, I'd take that :)  I've never been one for studio photography and would much rather do in the moment events, just never found an in to do that except weddings.
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September 28, 2011 10:09:09 PM

CompTIA_Rep said:
And if you have any tips for a good photographer "the so called pro" to break into respectable business, I'd take that :)  I've never been one for studio photography and would much rather do in the moment events, just never found an in to do that except weddings.

Hi,

Its not an easy thing to do, these days. Everybody has the digi. camera and promises the skies and shining promises. They still get they pay, even for shady work.

Portfolio is the key to get to be known for wedding and everything else. I love to do outdoors photography. Gets u out to nice places. But tell me, wherever u go u can spot these people with the newest cameras and lenses, and u see the way they are using the tools, u know. Just like u can spot "know-it-all's" in your field.



And thanx to all for their responses.
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September 28, 2011 10:10:07 PM

Best answer selected by nikorr.
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September 28, 2011 10:30:01 PM

nikorr said:
Did u?


Yes... I did run away.
Now I play with fish for a living.
I still like technology and in particular building myself awesome gaming rigs but that has become recreational and not a professional endeavour.
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September 28, 2011 11:52:30 PM

I fish to... for northern pike and walleye.. favorites...

Not much in Phoenix area.
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September 29, 2011 4:23:08 PM

Walleye are delicious... so are there cousins the yellow perch.
Pike are fun to fish for and there are few things as mean looking.
My father and I have always found great fishing for trout in the Sedona area. There is great striper action in the large dammed rivers in AZ too. The downstream parts of those rivers is great for trout too.

On a side note (and on topic) it's all about doing what makes you happy. Going to a job you hate, like when I was administering databases, makes you a sad person...
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September 29, 2011 7:29:17 PM

Nothing makes u sad like selling cars, u grow some gray hair there... I sold 129 cars in 5 1/2 mo. and it probably have cost me 10 years of my life.

I made so many telephone calls, that I was also selling in my sleep : )

Imagine that...
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January 27, 2012 8:31:58 PM

Some certs u have to have CompTIA A+ before u can get other certs.
Some parts of the A+ cert. Is common sence stuff. I would highly recomend you take both test at once to get your A+. Every IT Pro I've talked to said the same thing. It sounds like I was in the same place you are a while back. There was aguy In my class that has been im IT for 15 yrs. and he found out that he had to have A+ to get a good $. Any more it seems it don't matter how much experience you have you gotta have it...
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January 27, 2012 8:42:20 PM

Like others here are saying, CompTIA is important for foot-in-door.

I just wanted to hear more opinions, because some people told me different things about it.
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January 28, 2012 6:18:51 AM

I made 17 an hour a while back and i haden't even passed my A+. just had taken the class. Got A+ cert made more $. The more certs the more money.
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January 28, 2012 6:51:11 AM

ITAL69 said:
I made 17 an hour a while back and i haden't even passed my A+. just had taken the class. Got A+ cert made more $. The more certs the more money.

That is what I found and it should be like that.

I do photography and since all is getting digital now, the world competition is making me to make less and less.

But I have to start from scratch in IT, so now I am almost done with my photography and its almost time to get the info how to go about all the testing and where to get it done : )

Feb is the month of change, for me.
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January 29, 2012 6:10:30 AM

Mike Meyers CompTIA A+ is the best book to get if you don't go to school. Check out the videos @ Professormessor.com , It gets great reviews.....
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January 29, 2012 6:15:23 AM

I'll take a look.

Thanx
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January 30, 2012 5:36:51 PM

Cool, i have not seen those seminars yet. I'll be watching more and registering for the ones not shown yet.........Thanks......
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