CompTIA A+ computer training comprises of 4 specialised sectors – you’ll have to qualify in 2 different areas to be A+ competent. Because of this, many training establishments only offer two of the four in the syllabus. To us, this isn’t enough – yes you’ll have qualified, but knowing about the others will give you a distinct advantage in industry, where you’ll need a more comprehensive understanding. This is why you should train in all 4 specialities.
Courses in A+ computer training are about fault finding and diagnosing – both remote access and hands-on, in addition to building computers and repairing them and operating in antistatic conditions. It could be a good idea to consider adding Network+ training to your A+ as you’ll then be in a position to look after networks of computers, which is where the bigger salaries are.
Quite often, students have issues with one area of their training which is often not even considered: The method used to ‘segment’ the courseware before being physically delivered to you. Usually, you’ll join a programme requiring 1-3 years study and get sent one module each time you pass an exam. It seems to make sense on one level, but consider these issues: Many students find that their providers usual training route isn’t as suitable as another. Sometimes, varying the order of study will be far more suitable. Could it cause problems if you don’t get everything done in the allotted time?
To be honest, the best option is to have a copy of their prescribed order of study, but make sure you have all of your learning modules right from the beginning. Everything is then in your possession should you not complete it at their required pace.
Only consider learning courses which will move onto industry accepted qualifications. There are far too many trainers promoting their own ‘in-house’ certificates which will prove unusable in today’s commercial market. You’ll find that only recognised certification from companies such as Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco and CompTIA will be useful to a future employer.
Consider the following facts in detail if you’re inclined to think the sales ploy of a guarantee for your exam looks like a reason to buy:
Thankfully, today we tend to be a little more ‘marketing-savvy’ – and most of us realise that of course we’re actually paying for it – they’re not just being charitable and doling out freebies! Students who take each progressive exam, paying for them just before taking them are much better placed to get through first time. They’re conscious of their spending and revise more thoroughly to be ready for the task.
Why pay a training company in advance for exam fees? Hold on to your money and pay for the exam when you’re ready, rather than coughing up months or even a year or two in advance – and do it locally – rather than in some remote place. A lot of extra profit is netted by a number of companies that get money upfront for exam fees. For quite legitimate reasons, a number of students don’t get to do their exams but the company keeps the money. Believe it or not, providers exist who actually bank on it – as that’s how they make a lot of their profit. Don’t forget, in the majority of cases of ‘exam guarantees’ – you are not in control of when you are allowed to do a re-take. They’ll only allow a re-take once completely satisfied.
Exams taken at local centres are currently clocking in at an average of 112 pounds in Britain at the time of writing. Students should be very wary of forking out hundreds of pounds extra in ‘Exam Guarantee’ costs (most often hidden in the package) – when good quality study materials, the proper support and exam preparation systems and a dose of commitment and effort are what’s required.
People attracted to this sort of work can be very practical by nature, and won’t enjoy sitting at a desk in class, and endless reading of dry academic textbooks. If you identify with this, use multimedia, interactive learning, with on-screen demonstrations and labs. Learning psychology studies show that long term memory is improved when all our senses are involved, and we take action to use what we’ve learned.
Programs are now found in disc format, so everything is learned directly from your own PC. Utilising the latest video technology, you can watch instructors demonstrating how something is done, with some practice time to follow – via the interactive virtual lab’s. Always insist on a demonstration of the study materials from any training college. You should ask for expert-led demonstrations, slideshows and virtual practice lab’s for your new skills.
Select actual CD or DVD ROM’s whenever you can. This then avoids all the potential pitfalls with the variability of broadband quality and service.
Looking around, we find a glut of work available in computing. Arriving at the correct choice out of this complexity can be very difficult. What are the chances of us grasping the tasks faced daily in an IT career when it’s an alien environment to us? Often we don’t know someone who does that actual job anyway. To come through this, a discussion is necessary, covering several different aspects:
* Our personalities play a major role – what gets you ‘up and running’, and what tasks really turn you off.
* Do you hope to achieve a specific goal – for example, working for yourself as quickly as possible?
* How important is salary to you – is it of prime importance, or is day-to-day enjoyment further up on the scale of your priorities?
* Considering the huge variation that computing encapsulates, you’ll need to be able to absorb what’s different.
* It’s wise to spend some time thinking about any sacrifices you’ll need to make, as well as what commitment and time that you will set aside for your training.
In these situations, your only option to research these issues is through a chat with an advisor or professional that has a background in Information Technology (and specifically it’s commercial requirements.)