Suscipe Domine Traditional Catholic Forum

The Parish Hall => The Geek Forum => Topic started by: Gardener on May 14, 2014, 06:59:15 PM

Title: CompTIA A+ Certification
Post by: Gardener on May 14, 2014, 06:59:15 PM
I'm happy to announce I have taken and passed both exams for the CompTIA A+ Certification.

Next I'll try for Networking+ and, hopefully, Security+.

Title: Re: CompTIA A+ Certification
Post by: Lynne on May 14, 2014, 07:02:42 PM
Title: Re: CompTIA A+ Certification
Post by: Heinrich on May 14, 2014, 07:32:34 PM
Title: Re: CompTIA A+ Certification
Post by: Cesar_Augustus on May 14, 2014, 07:49:48 PM
Title: Re: CompTIA A+ Certification
Post by: Gidge on May 14, 2014, 07:51:25 PM
Congratulations !   :)
Title: Re: CompTIA A+ Certification
Post by: Gardener on May 14, 2014, 08:22:42 PM
Got a PM asking about this cert, why CompTIA, the level of rigor for study, what I did, etc.

here's my reply, in case anyone else has similar questions and is thinking about pursuing something similar for a second career or even as a first.



As far as CompTIA, it is an industry recognized certification. Other companies offer their own version of certifications, and probably are just as competent in testing knowledge, but the industry has decided to view CompTIA as the trusted certifying company. The school (XXXXXXX), for the aforementioned adherence to industry standards, has chosen to focus on utilizing the CompTIA curriculum.

As far as the level of rigor, the A+ certification covers a wide berth of information. It's a foundational certification for Computer Technicians, from hardware to software, basic networking, security, etc.

It's all very logical, being computer based, and so while memorizing certain standards and concepts is time and labor intensive, once the principles are grasped it comes together -- sort of like learning a language.

My study was a combination of classroom and online, with the self-study being online in a format designed to cover different blocks of instruction. I also did a lot of ad-hoc study and immersed myself into the culture of computers. Virtualization helps a lot with anything not specifically dealing with hardware, as if you mess up you just reset it and voila, you're back in business. I believe XXXXX from XXXXXX parish does work on developing virtual systems, so he could probably get ya set up on how to utilize them. If he is too busy, I can point you in the direction of a lot of online tutorials.

At some point, for A+, you really do need to dive into a physical machine. I had the opportunity to do this in lab times at the school, but I learned how to do so via the lab simulations online. I also bought used computers at the thrift store and ripped them apart to see the stuff in person without compromising a production machine or my personal laptop. You can pick up old used desktop towers for like 5 to 10 bucks.

The industry is moving away from Computer Science degrees as necessary, particularly the Bachelor degree. The reasons for this are myriad, but succinctly put they realized that they need technically competent people and certifications accomplish this. As such, the degree path is not as initially lucrative as having a cert. A good buddy of mine works as a senior Security engineer for a large telecom and has a degree in Electrical Engineering. He has about 10 years experience in the field and makes just as much as the guys who have no degree and only have certifications. He straight up told me when I started this to not worry about a Bachelor degree, and if he had it to do over he would have pursued nothing more than an Associates and just gotten certs otherwise.

The path I'm following is the path which has been recommended to me by my buddy, his coworkers, and my brother (20 year IT vet with a minor in Computer Science and MBA): A+, Networking+, Security+, and Microsoft certification paths. And for the love of continued industry relevance: always be learning.

With just the A+ you could get a job, though it would be an entry level job. From there, after doing your time, from 6 months to a year, you will move up, progressively through different skill levels, and eventually get higher pay, a better position, etc. With continued education, given the changing nature of technology, and continued certification paths, you could easily be making over 60k in a few years. The ones who stagnate in IT, not learning more, are the ones who stay stuck at 40-50k. A 5-7 year path in IT should see one easily making 70-100K if they went after it with a vengeance. And the cool part is IT ain't going away. If computers go away, society has changed so drastically ain't no one gonna be sitting pretty anyway. Job security is therefore a given.

Being a second career path, you'd find yourself amongst many peers in this regard.

It's just like anything else: find the successful people in the field, pick their brains, be respectful, and do what they say to do to be successful like them. I went through this process with a bunch of people who decided to embark on a successful, more potentially lucrative career.

One thing that really helped me to make sense of things was to apply the model of the Faith to the curriculum. An example would be EFS permissions. Let a Drive (C:, D:, etc.) be a parish. A file be a person (priest). That priest has certain permissions in his parish. If he moves within the parish, from room to room (folders), he retains those permissions. If he moves to a different parish, he no longer has those permissions set. That's a quick example, and probably not well thought out, but suffices for what I mean. In this sense, I was able to maintain an awareness of Catholic thinking, which is absolutely logical, and apply it to something else absolutely logical -- computers.

Another example, certificates to ensure authenticity. We are given certificates by the Church to say we are indeed Baptized, Confirmed, Married, etc. We can go to any Catholic parish and if there is dispute, we can present this certificate. There is no Protestant "just trust me", if called on it. Thus, the priest can engage with us in a Sacramental transaction without reserve as to at least our Catholicity. And if lost, the certificate can be reissued, because the registration authority of the parish of our baptism, or the diocese if the parish is no longer around, can say, "ah, yes, on 5 March 1975 James Patrick Smith was baptized at this parish according to the Rite prescribed by the Roman Catholic Church". Similarly, we see this in computers for authenticating websites as trusted commercial entities.

The examples are cursory and could be better written, but they suffice for what is intended to be conveyed.

I could go on and on about this so I'll cut it short.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Title: Re: CompTIA A+ Certification
Post by: Chestertonian on May 14, 2014, 08:25:27 PM
Mazel Tov!
Title: Re: CompTIA A+ Certification
Post by: Ascetik on May 15, 2014, 09:44:19 AM
Good job.

I have worked in IT for 10 years, if you want any advice PM me. I have worked for a lot of companies.

The most important thing is just learning from experience really I have found. A lot of the stuff on those tests you'll never see in real life.