Anyone here A+ Certified?

Sorry this isn't really a hardware question but here it goes...

i've been studying to become A+ certified for a little while and I think I could easily pass the test, but I was wondering if anyone here is A+ Certified and if it's helped anyone here career wise... I kind of think of A+ certification as the GED of IT certifications. Is it worth it?
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I am A+ certified, I am currently working on other certs (cisco, ms, etc).  They are pretty easy, and are considered a great start to the IT world...
I'm sure there are some people that may say that an A+ certification does nothing, and sometimes they are right. It's unfair to say that it's the GED of IT certifications, rather it's more comparable to a High School diploma. It's your first step on a very long road of learning.  I recieved my A+ more than 5 years ago, and I am very grateful to have it. I still carry my card to this day. If nothing else an A+ will show to a prospective employer that you have at least some of the knowledge needed to work with computer systems, but to be honest with you, just having an A+ isn't enough.. You also need the experience.

So in short, it can't hurt to have it. Especially if you've already been studying it for a while.

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PoeticAudioAuthor Commented:
Well I definitely still plan on getting it. I was just hoping to see some success stories. I too agree that A+ isn't enough to just hop on the IT train. I have plenty of experience troubleshooting and fixing systems. What would you say is a good next step after I get my A+ certification? I plan on being a computer tech a little later on in life so I am guessing my next best bet would be to get Windows certified...

The only reason I say it's the GED is because it's really not very hard at all. I haven't been doing any intense study yet I believe if I went for my certification right now I would have no problems passing the test (its just a money issue right now). I bought a book that is nothing but practice A+ exams and they are rather easy. I want challenge, what would be my next best step in your opinions?

Thanks for the input.
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If I were you I'd get some A+ testing software trancender I think is an ok one but I know they have changed the test from when I took it. (I had the old DOS/Windows/286 tests) But I didn't think it was supposed to be any easier. I think your next best step would be a Network+. To be quite honest, there's not a whole lot of money to be made in hardware anymore. The market is oversaturated since the .com bust, and most of the hardware stores have turned into high-tech versions of McDonalds. (Would you like RAM with that?)

You could start with the microsoft tests, but I suggest the Network+ because it gives you a broader vision of networking, and from there you can decide what route to go... Microsoft, Linux, Novell, Unix, Cisco... Blah blah blah blah.. The list goes on forever. The trick is, don't stop.. If you are to survive in this field, and be good at what you do, You MUST make it your life.. Live it, breathe it, love it... The road to the IT market isn't as nicely paved as it used to be, nowadays you have 600 other people competing with you for the same job, 400 of which are over qualified, 100 of which have no experience, and 100 of which have the same talents and knowledge as you..

It's a hard life, but it's fun to live it...

So in short, Network+, then decide where to go.
PoeticAudioAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the suggestion. BTW i'm not looking to make money, that's not why i'm going for all of this... I just want to do what I love. I just need a good stepping stone so I can find a job doing something in the computer field, for experience. Money is not my top priority, it's experience.

I would be happier making $10/hr as a computer tech, rather then working at this law firm making much more then that. The hard part for me is finding a good start. The only real experience I have is setting up this 140 user network here at work (we moved to Denver) and a bunch of odd jobs helping people fix their computers (for free! -=)
The certification is very handy to have and it shows that you know, i've had some people i work with fail the exams due to lack of experience, but its deffinetily worth it. I have lots of material that can help you with the exam if you are interested drop me a line.

Well if being a hardware tech is what you love, then by all means go for it. As for myself, I started off as a hardware tech, but found that working for a consulting company was much more enjoyable. In that job I traveled from company to company working in diffrent environments, solving all sorts of problems. Some were just break and fix hardware, some were networking problems. In the end though you could say I've settled down into my current job where I serve as the network administrator, taking care of all the hardware problems and networking problems for the same company.

I've always said I'm not in the buisness to make a whole lot of money, but more to help people with the skills that I have. The best advice I can give you is to keep a strict code of ethics, treat every customer as if they were your best friend, and always remember that it's better to say "I don't know, but I can find out." than it is to pretend you know something you don't. Keep those things in mind and you will be able to do accomplish any goals you might have, and make many friends along the way. Some of my best friends are some of my old customers from previous jobs. They still call me at home with questions, of which I'm happy to answer because I've had such a wonderful relationship with them.
PoeticAudioAuthor Commented:
mrochac I  really really appreciate that offer. First I will see if I can pass with the knowledge I have, if that doesnt work then I might just drop you a line -=) thanks again man. Right now I am just using the newest version of A+ Complete the deluxe version which seems to cover a good array of subject matter (I never really knew how laser printers worked before this book and I must say AWESOME! AMAZING!) I am also using the book Upgrading and Repairing Computers 15th edition because I found a great buy on it (found it for 30 bucks at Barnes and Noble) I got this book because it gets into very very intense detail about virtually everything you might find in a computer (plus a pretty cool 2 hour dvd rom)

DarkHound, my real goal in life is to just work with computers. First i started out programming, I did that for a few years and really enjoyed it but ever since I was little I always enjoyed fixing computers so that is the route i'm eventually going to take. My real goal is to own a little computer repair shop, even though it probably will not net too much cash. Being an administrator would be really neat too! of coarse setting up networks would be cool, too... hmm Delphi programming has always been fun for me... I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO!!!! AHHH! I want to do everything! darn it! =)
Well, having just played the job market, I'll offer this:

Unless it is really impressive alphabet soup (e.g. CCIE), it's just alphabet soup.

Will having an A+ open grand doors for you?  Probably not.

What it can do is help you qualify for positions.  Many people involved in IT hiring should not be involved in IT hiring.  They tend to want someone with high level networking certifications to crimp network cables.  The more certifications you have, the more likely you are to have what they're looking for, or at least can argue "But I do have this!"

Besides, I've never had anyone say "You're A+ certified?  I'm sorry but I would never seriously consider someone who's A+ certified."

Bottom line:  Much like any other certification, if you have the money, and the knowledge, it's not a bad thing to have.
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