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A+ vs IT fundamentals which to choose

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#1 cmb271


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Posted 08 February 2015 - 01:37 AM

I was recently fired from my dead end minimum wage job which is going to give me alot of time and I feel like it's the perfect movement since I'm still very young to put myself officially into the Information Technology field. I need to start somewhere and people suggest I should start with A+ certification and move up over time but there's another course I'm interested in called IT Fundamentals.


What are the pros and cons of each, should I learn one before the other, I've been exposed to technology my entire life and I tend to know the basics of how to fix and diagnosis most of my own issues as well as my families issues but I can't say for sure I know everything there is about the computer world, I want to move into Networking but I know I need to know the basics first and I would like some feedback on which I should invest in first, The IT fundamentals course from CompTIA or the A+ certification by CompTIA, I know alot of people are certified in todays world and only a single certification would help me land my dream job but I need a place to start and it seems like CompTIA is that place, any suggestions to someone who wants to progress in the IT world and the best place to start.

Edited by Orange Blossom, 08 February 2015 - 01:51 AM.
Moved to more appropriate forum. ~ OB

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#2 rsol


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Posted 08 February 2015 - 04:05 AM

Glad to hear you are thinking of doing some certifications.  I have an A+ certification and am now trying to specialize in security.  Like you, before I decided to get really into the tech field, I was pretty good with computers.  I could usually fix anything and even built my own computer.  After I recieved the A+ cert, I realize I was very lucky that first computer I built worked.


Looking at IT fundamentals, I honestly think that one may be too easy.  Like it is a stepping stone to a stepping stone.  I am not trying to downplay it but if you get that certification, you would still probably need to take the A+ exam.  CompTIA has this great career pathway tool and if you look at the networking path, IT fundamentals isn't even on it.  Here is the CompTIA career pathway link for networking.


What you will see in many pathways is CompTIA recommending A+ certification.  From my experience and research, the A+ exam is widely seen as the first stepping stone to a lot of other certifications. It covers PC parts, operating systems, networking, security, customers service etc.   You get a lot of knowledge in each field to really build your foundation.


You also said you would only need one certification.  If you want to progress to specialize in networking, I think you may need to also look at the CompTIA Network + certification.  A+ is really just a foundation to build upon.  Although I have met some moderate level IT people without certifications, so who knows.


So in short, if you want  just one certification right now, look at A+.  It is not difficult if you study for it.  I know for me, it helped to strengthen a lot of areas of my knowledge.  The A+ looks better on a resume too and if you want to specialize or get more certifications later, you'll be ready.

#3 Kilroy


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Posted 08 February 2015 - 11:19 AM

As JSol said, IT Fundamentals is a very basic certification, basically for power users.  This would be great for a manager or administrative assistant, but isn't going to doing anything for you if you want to get into IT.


The CompTIA A+ is supposed to demonstrate six months of IT experience.  A+ is considered the base level certification to get into IT.  If you have your A+ you should be able to get an interview for an entry level / Help Desk role.  You can then use that role to move up in your IT career.


I will tell you that doing IT work for friends and family is very different from doing IT professionally.

#4 Taikoh


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Posted 18 February 2015 - 09:58 PM

Man, Kilroy hit the nail on the head with that last sentence. Even the most basic repair tech or helpdesk job makes friends/family repair work seem like child's play, but you learn fast in IT.


I too have my A+ certification, and while it may not be the most difficult certification to obtain, you'll definitely be glad you got it. A big advantage of vendor-neutral certifications like the A+ is that not only are they applicable nearly everywhere, but they've become somewhat of an industry standard in terms of desired qualifications.


Definitely go for the A+, you won't regret it one bit. My A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications landed me the job I have now, and it definitely feels good to be a gangster awesome to know that the A+ is what kicked it all off for me. I wish you good luck in your IT endeavors!  :lol:

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