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A+ Certification worth while?


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iRock

 
Member Since: Feb 09, 2005
Posts: 842
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Hey everyone,

Im interested in getting a bitof feedback on this topic.


I am a first year business student in Ireland with a great interest in technology/computing.... anyway, my aim is to set up my own IT business after finishing my degree and gaining a few years of experience.


For now though, I think it would be a great help to be able to work part time/in the summer in a related sector... even if it was just a small computer repair store etc.


From what I hear, the A+ cert seems to be a good place to start.... I would be studying it myself.


Can anyone help with this? Maybe some advice from people who have done or who are interested in doing A+?


Thanks


Shane
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trpnmonkey41

 
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I'm A+ Certified. It really isn't that tough if you work with computers a lot. I haven't really had a need for the certification yet.

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iRock

 
Member Since: Feb 09, 2005
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Cool,


Im definately interested in doing it anyway.

So did you study for it by yourself? What material did you use?
I take it studying for it requires no practical, hands on training once you have a reasonable understanding of computers and OS's?
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mcsenerd

 
Member Since: Feb 25, 2005
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If you only have great interest and not great experience...then by all means...take it. Training never hurt anyone that I know of. Now...if you have verifiable experience and are already competent in the subject matter...then ignore it. I've never seen nor hired myself a person without experience over some with experience due to any (and I mean any) cert.
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kaidomac

 
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The only place that I've ever heard of that requires it is CompUSA's tech/repair lab (or was it Best Buy?). I took a hardware class a few semesters ago that focused largely on following the A+ study path, but I never really felt it justified in spending $145 for a test that nobody cared about to learn information that I'd never used. One of our test questions in the hardware class was "identify the pinouts of a PCI card slot". I mean, seriously, when are you ever going to use that? In real life, you take a PCI card, stick it in the slot like a Nintendo cartridge, and screw the backplate on. If a motherboard is fried, simply buy a new one; they're only $100 (compare that to getting it repaired!). And so on. Everything is so integrated now that there are very few things you personally can do to repair them without extensive training and tools. I've been working with computers seriously for over six years now and the only things I have in my toolbox are a screwdriver, a can of air spray for dust, and a USB stick with stuff like AdAware, Spybot, XP's Service Pack 2, etc. That's it.

The real kicker is experience. If you're not confidant with computers, buy an old junky PC off eBay and screw around with it. When it breaks, fix it. Computers are mostly about determination; you fix nearly anything, it just takes the patience to keep playing with it until it works. Nearly all of my knowledge comes from plain old experience; I've owned just about every computer widget you can imagine and now all I do to keep my knowledge current is read Anandtech and a few other computer news sites once in awhile. Once you've established the knowledge base of how computers work and you get a feel for how to run them, you're set for life because you can learn any new piece of hardware, software, or firmware very easily.

With all of that said, if you are interested in pursing an A+, then by all means get it. I'll probably get it eventually just for resume fodder and to increase my knowledge. Any knowledge you gain is a Good Thing, and the A+ study materials are excellent resources for learning all about hardware. One of the things I struggled with when I first started college was the way I learned things from books. Everything seemed so methodical and organized; the A+ book I had was well over a thousand pages and it seemed like I would never learn how to work on computers very well. I decided that I really wanted to learn how computers worked and so I spent tons of time and most of my paychecks on computer stuff, building my experience and having lots of fun along the way. In my opinion, that's the best way to do it. Just develop your passion and give it time; you're not going to become a computer guru overnight, there's just too much out there!
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trpnmonkey41

 
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I didn't study for it at all. I work in an IT department when I am home from school and my boss said to me at one point "You could probably do the A+ exam with your eyes closed after doing all this stuff for me" so I took it and got the certification

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