A+ Certification

  Completealias 18:23 19 Aug 2005

Hello all,

I've just been looking through my local college courses and they are offering the A+ certification course. Now as I get housing benefit I won't have to pay any course fees just the exam fees which through the college were about a £130.

I know my way around a Pc fairly well and have done some basic IT courses but would like to do something more technical. Ideally I'd be quite happy with a job in my local college helping to maintain there Pc's which would suit me just fine and eventually maybe go self employed.

So will an A+ certification be a worthwhile course to follow. Part of the reason for doing is to expand my own knowledge but I would also like to expand my employment prospects.

I left school with no qualifications so its been a bit of an uphill struggle and you can only wash dishes for so long.

Any thoughts or comments welcomed,


  Sir Radfordin 19:27 19 Aug 2005

The A+ Certificate is a recognised course and will add some value. If you have the time to study and can afford the £130 for the exams then you have nothing to loose by doing this.

Don't however expect it to open endless doors. Have a flick through the local job paper and see how many jobs asks for this kind of qualification/experience and I doubt it will be many. That alone shouldn't put you off doing it - just go in with the realistic expectations of what it will acheive for you.

  LastChip 21:32 19 Aug 2005

It seems to me (having done an A+ course) that taking the exams are a complete waste of time.

The knowledge you gain, is always useful, though in real terms, it a pretty rock bottom type of course and much of the knowledge within the course, can be found here for free on PCA.

When I did the course, the intention was to continue and do the exams, but frankly, once I researched the usefulness of the qualification, it seemed to me that A+ is simply not recognised as being anything significant in the UK, and so I decided not to waste my money.

If that sounds very negative, sorry, but that's the way I see it.

As regards employment, it's the who you know syndrome and of course you have know something as well, but all employers want experience. You can't get experience without that first lucky break (the who you know), so I wouldn't hold your breath!

Keep in mind, there are degree qualified people out there (with no practical experience) that can't find work in IT. Further, although probably the UK is not quite as advanced as the USA in this, outsourcing is a real threat to home grown employment and with the advances in "virtual desktops", it matters little where you are based; Brighton or Bengal, it's all the same to a computer.

  Forum Editor 22:47 19 Aug 2005

and sum up the situation pretty well. Having said that, I share Sir Radfordin's view that you have nothing to lose by taking this course, and at least you'll have a certification at the end of it. If nothing else, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you've attained a certain standard.

It won't be the key to a job in IT though, and you should be under no false illusions about that.

  Completealias 23:46 19 Aug 2005

Thanks for the comments I was looking at it to extend my own knowledge firstly, as its something i am interested in. The employment prospects would be a bonus but...

I think I probably will go for it as you say I have nothin to lose and will gain a qualification out of it and the personal satisfaction.

Just another quick question could the A+ certification be used as a stepping stone to a more reconised qualification? and what would anyone recommend given that I'd like to do technicians work.


  Skills 02:43 31 Aug 2005

Well I went for it start on Monday, had a chat with the tutor and looks like I can do a cisco networking course along side it as well or maybe some of the microsoft quals.

Thanks for all the responses

  118-118 Got Your Number 16:47 31 Aug 2005

Well done. My mate is Cisco qualified and he is treated pretty well by his company for being so.

  Doire_Bhoy 15:48 05 Sep 2005

"When I did the course, the intention was to continue and do the exams, but frankly, once I researched the usefulness of the qualification, it seemed to me that A+ is simply not recognised as being anything significant in the UK, and so I decided not to waste my money. "

Well i ahve done both A+ and Netowrk+ and everytime i go for an IT job these hlep me get an interview.

I see you didnt complete the A+...why not? and whos word did you take that it isnt worthwhile.

Check out click here ...go to the forum and ask them if its worthwhile?

A+ goes deep into both hardware and software areas of the PC and i learned a lot from it.

  LastChip 18:51 05 Sep 2005

I did complete the A+, but chose not to do the exams.

To say it goes deep into both hardware and software, in my view is an exaggeration. It is a good grounding in computers, but that's about it. I have gained considerably more useful (practical) knowledge, from day to day problem solving and researching the answers to problems via the Internet - a skill that many help desk professionals use consistently, as nobody knows it all!

In terms of professional knowledge, I have no reason to change my mind; it is right at the lower end of the knowledge spectrum.

As regards who's word did I take; I didn't. I researched a number of professional web sites for IT jobs and at the time, couldn't find a single vacancy asking for A+ in the UK. The absolute minimum, was MCSE. When the link you provided has a correspondent telling you he passed the A+ at 13, that says it all!

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the A+, simply that it is not the panacea that some training organisations would have you believe and if it's sold to you on the basis that it's going to be your key to a bright future; think again!

I see that Skills can do a CISCO course along side his A+. That is far more likely to open doors, but even with that, he is still going to need a little luck.

  Doire_Bhoy 09:39 06 Sep 2005

7 year olds pass A levels...does that make them useless and easy?

If you completed A+ why didnt you take the two exams? Its another cert you could have had on your c.v.

You may have practical knowledge...but i believe employers want to see proof you can do the job...ie a certificate....why should they just take peoples word for it?

In PC repair...which cert do you think is worthwhile having then?

  Yoda Knight 10:43 07 Sep 2005

While I have found that my A+ qualification on my CV has not been detremental to my job aspirations, I think any potential employer who has any knowledge of IT would fail to be impressed by this mickey mouse qualification.

I personally thought the course was a complete waste of my time. Some of the subject matter is no longer relevant in todays world, if it ever was... ?!?!? Who cares how you manualy convert hex to decimal to binary ??? Hello !!! Thats what calculators and PCs are for ! Although if you have a serious anorack type interest and loads of time on your hands... well its your call ;)

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