There are a total of 4 specialist training sectors in the overall A+ programme, of which you'll need certification in two subjects to gain A+ competency. But restricting yourself to two of the specialised areas is likely to leave your knowledge base somewhat light. At least learn about all four - for greater confidence in the world of work.
As well as being taught about building and fixing computers, trainees involved in this training will be taught how to work in antistatic conditions, along with remote access, fault finding and diagnostics.
If you would like to be someone who works in a multi-faceted environment - in network support, add Network+ to your CompTIA A+, or alternatively look at doing an MCSA or MCSE with Microsoft as you'll need a more advanced experience of the way networks work.
It's not uncommon for companies to offer inclusive exam guarantees - they always involve paying for the exam fees up-front, when you pay for the rest of your course. Before you get carried away with a course with such a promise, why not look at the following:
You'll be charged for it ultimately. It's definitely not free - they've simply charged more for the whole training package.
If it's important to you to get a first time pass, then you should avoid exam guarantees and pay when entering exams, focus on it intently and be ready for the task.
Do your exams as locally as possible and don't pay up-front, but seek out the best deal for you when you're ready.
A lot of current training course providers make huge amounts of money through getting in the money for exam fees early then hoping you won't see them all through.
Don't forget, with 'Exam Guarantees' from most places - they control when and how often you can re-take the exam. Subsequent exam attempts are only authorised at the company's say so.
On average, exams cost approximately 112 pounds twelve months or so ago via Prometric or VUE centres around the United Kingdom. So why pay hundreds or thousands of pounds extra to have 'an Exam Guarantee', when common sense dictates that the responsible approach is study, commitment and preparing with good quality mock and practice exams.
The somewhat scary thought of finding your first job is often eased by some training providers because they offer a Job Placement Assistance service. With the huge skills shortage in the UK right now, it's not too important to get too caught up in this feature though. It isn't so complicated as you might think to secure your first job as long as you're correctly trained and certified.
Advice and support about getting interviews and your CV might be provided (if not, see one of our sites for help). It's essential that you update that dusty old CV straight away - don't leave it till you pass the exams!
Various junior support jobs have been offered to trainees who're still on their course and have yet to take their exams. This will at the very least get your CV into the 'possible' pile and not the 'no' pile.
If you don't want to travel too far to work, then you may well find that a specialist locally based employment agency may serve you better than a national service, as they are much more inclined to be familiar with the local job scene.
In a nutshell, if you put as much hard work into securing your first job as into studying, you're not likely to experience problems. Some people strangely put hundreds of hours into their learning program and just give up once qualified and seem to expect employers to find them.
We need to make this very clear: Always get full 24x7 instructor and mentor support. Later, you'll kick yourself if you don't.
Avoid, like the plague, any organisations that use messaging services 'out-of-hours' - where an advisor will call back during office hours. This is useless when you're stuck and need an answer now.
The very best programs tend to use an online access 24x7 facility utilising a variety of support centres throughout multiple time-zones. You'll have an environment which switches seamlessly to the best choice of centres irrespective of the time of day: Support when you need it.
If you fail to get yourself support round-the-clock, you'll quickly find yourself regretting it. It may be that you don't use it throughout the night, but you may need weekends, early mornings or late evenings.
We're regularly asked to explain why traditional academic studies are now falling behind more commercial certificates?
As demand increases for knowledge about more and more complex technology, industry has been required to move to the specialised core-skills learning that the vendors themselves supply - in other words companies such as CISCO, Adobe, Microsoft and CompTIA. This usually turns out to involve less time and financial outlay.
Vendor training works through focusing on the particular skills that are needed (alongside an appropriate level of background knowledge,) rather than spending months and years on the background 'padding' that academic courses can get bogged down in - to pad out the syllabus.
Put yourself in the employer's position - and you required somebody who had very specific skills. What should you do: Go through loads of academic qualifications from graduate applicants, asking for course details and which vocational skills they have, or choose particular accreditations that perfectly fit your needs, and make your short-list from that. The interview is then more about the person and how they'll fit in - rather than establishing whether they can do a specific task.