The CompTIA A+ training program covers four areas of training; you’re seen as competent at A+ when you’ve passed the test for just two specialist areas. This is the reason that it’s usual for colleges to only teach two specialised areas. In fact you’re advised to have the teaching in all areas as many jobs will demand the skills and knowledge of each specialist area. Don’t feel pressured to qualify in them all, however we’d advise that you take tutorials in all 4 subjects.
A+ computer training courses cover fault-finding and diagnostics – both remote access and hands-on, as well as learning to build, repair and fix and operating in antistatic conditions. Should you want to work towards looking after computer networks, you’ll need to add Network+ to your A+ course. This qualification will enable you to apply for more interesting jobs. Alternatively, you may prefer the networking qualifications from Microsoft, i.e. MCP, MCSA MCSE.
So, why might we choose commercial qualifications and not traditional academic qualifications obtained from tech’ colleges and universities? With fees and living expenses for university students spiralling out of control, along with the industry’s increasing awareness that corporate based study often has more relevance in the commercial field, there’s been a dramatic increase in Adobe, Microsoft, CISCO and CompTIA authorised training programmes that create knowledgeable employees for considerably less. In a nutshell, only that which is required is learned. It’s slightly more broad than that, but the principle remains that students need to concentrate on the fundamentally important skill-sets (along with a certain amount of crucial background) – without overdoing the detail in everything else (as universities often do).
Imagine if you were an employer – and you wanted someone who could provide a specific set of skills. What is easier: Go through reams of different degrees and college qualifications from several applicants, asking for course details and what vocational skills they’ve acquired, or choose particular accreditations that precisely match your needs, and make your short-list from that. You can then focus on how someone will fit into the team at interview – rather than establishing whether they can do a specific task.
You have to be sure that all your certifications are commercially valid and current – don’t even consider programs that only give in-house certificates. From a commercial standpoint, only the top companies like Microsoft, CompTIA, Adobe or Cisco (for instance) will open the right doors. Nothing else makes the grade. Can job security really exist anymore? Here in the UK, with industry changing its mind on a day-to-day basis, it seems increasingly unlikely. Whereas a marketplace with high growth, with a constant demand for staff (through a massive shortage of fully trained workers), creates the conditions for real job security.
Reviewing the computer sector, the most recent e-Skills analysis demonstrated an over 26 percent skills deficit. Quite simply, we only have the national capacity to fill three out of every 4 jobs in the computing industry. This one idea alone shows why Great Britain urgently requires considerably more people to enter the industry. It’s unlikely if a better time or market settings is ever likely to exist for getting certified in this rapidly expanding and budding industry.
Many trainers will provide a useful Job Placement Assistance service, designed to steer you into your first job. Don’t get overly impressed with this service – it’s easy for training companies to make too much of it. The fact of the matter is, the need for well trained IT people in the United Kingdom is what will make you attractive to employers.
Advice and support about getting interviews and your CV might be provided (alternatively, check out one of our sites for help). Ensure you bring your CV right up to date immediately – don’t leave it till you pass the exams! It’s possible that you won’t have even got to the exam time when you land your first junior support job; but this won’t be the case unless you’ve posted your CV on job sites. Generally, a specialist independent regional employment agency (who will, of course, be keen to place you to receive their commission) will perform better than any sector of a centralised training facility. They should, of course, also know local industry and the area better.