Four specialist training areas feature in the complete CompTIA A+ course, but you’re just required to achieve pass marks in 2 to gain A+ competency. Be aware though that limiting yourself to 2 of the four specialities could expose flaws in your knowledge when applying for a job. At least learn about all four – for greater confidence in the world of work.
Alongside being taught how to build PC’s and fix them, students on A+ courses will be shown how to operate in antistatic conditions, along with remote access, fault finding and diagnostics. If you feel it appropriate to add Network+ training, you’ll additionally be equipped to assist with or manage networks of computers, meaning you’re in a position to command a higher salary.
Including exams up-front and offering an ‘Exam Guarantee’ is a popular marketing tool with a good many training companies. But let’s examine why they really do it:
You’re paying for it one way or another. It certainly isn’t free – it’s just been rolled into the price of the whole package. Evidence shows that when trainees fund their relevant examinations, one after the other, there’s a much better chance they’ll pass first time – since they’ll think of their investment in themselves and therefore will put more effort into their preparation.
Does it really add up to pay your training course provider in advance for exams? Go for the best offer when you take the exam, rather than coughing up months or even a year or two in advance – and do it locally – instead of miles away at the college’s beck and call. Why tie up your cash (or borrow more than you need) for exams when there’s absolutely nothing that says you have to? A lot of profit is secured by training companies getting money in early for exam fees – and banking on the fact that many won’t be taken. Re-takes of any failed exams with training companies who offer an ‘Exam Guarantee’ inevitably are heavily regulated. You will be required to do mock exams to make sure they think you’re going to pass.
Exam fees averaged approximately 112 pounds twelve months or so ago via VUE or Pro-metric centres in the UK. So why pay hundreds or thousands of pounds extra to have ‘an Exam Guarantee’, when any student knows that what’s really needed is a commitment to studying and the use of authorised exam preparation tools.
Chat with almost any practiced consultant and they’ll entertain you with many awful tales of how students have been duped by salespeople. Make sure you deal with an experienced advisor that digs deep to find out what’s right for you – not for their bank-account! Dig until you find a starting-point that will suit you. Often, the training start-point for someone with some experience can be substantially different to the student with no experience. It’s usual to start with some basic user skills first. This can set the scene for your on-going studies and make the learning curve a bit more manageable.
IT has become one of the more thrilling and changing industries that you could be a part of. Being up close and personal with technology is to do your bit in the gigantic changes shaping life over the next few decades. We’ve barely started to get a feel for how technology is going to shape our lives. Computers and the Internet will profoundly transform how we view and interact with the world as a whole over the next few years.
Let’s not forget that on average, the income of a person in the IT industry over Britain as a whole is significantly better than remuneration packages in other industries, therefore you will probably gain much more as an IT specialist, than you’d expect to earn elsewhere. The need for properly certified IT professionals is guaranteed for a good while yet, because of the continuous expansion in IT dependency in commerce and the vast shortage still in existence.
Commercial qualifications are now, without a doubt, starting to replace the more academic tracks into IT – why then is this? Corporate based study (as it’s known in the industry) is far more effective and specialised. The IT sector is aware that such specialised knowledge is what’s needed to meet the requirements of an increasingly more technical workplace. Microsoft, CompTIA, CISCO and Adobe are the dominant players. Vendor training works through honing in on the particular skills that are needed (together with an appropriate level of background knowledge,) instead of going into the heightened depths of background detail and ‘fluff’ that degrees in computing are prone to get tied up in – to fill a three or four year course.
Put yourself in the employer’s position – and your company needed a person with some very particular skills. What’s the simplest way to find the right person: Wade your way through reams of different degrees and college qualifications from various applicants, asking for course details and which vocational skills they’ve acquired, or choose a specific set of accreditations that precisely match your needs, and then select who you want to interview from that. You’ll then be able to concentrate on getting a feel for the person at interview – rather than establishing whether they can do a specific task.