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 Post subject: MS Certification vs. A+ Certification
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:54 pm 
8086
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:18 pm
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I was just wondering if someone could compare and contrast the two, because, as much as I don't like to admit :P, I have no clue about those two things. PLEASE, if you have any information about the two, please post it or email it to aaroltz@gmail.com, thanks a lot,
Aaron


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 5:09 am 
King of All Voodoo2 Cards
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Which MS certification?


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 Post subject: Thanks for the reply
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:15 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:18 pm
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The basic one for XP


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:23 am 
SON OF A GUN
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Depends on what you want to do... from what I know, A+ is a bit outdated, but covers a LOT of stuff, even really old tech you *might* run into. So if you want to 'generally' cover your bases, that would be the way to go.

As for the MS one, if you want to work supporting MS tech, or for a company that is an MS shop, then you would be better of with as many MS certs as you can aquire.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:45 am 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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They are apples and oranges.

A+ is two exames...systems hardware, and OS (including windows and dos).

Windows XP actually has 3 exams...one is 70-270 which is one of the electives for MCSE/MCSA, and 70-271 and 70-271 which are for MCDSD...Micrsoft Certified Desktop Support Dickheads (okay...that's a play on words, but close).

70-271 is all about configuring, installing and support Windows XP for preparation and integration into a corporate network, preferably using Active Directory, by trouble shooting basic support, doing system preps for installations, as well as some minor security stuff.

The other go more indepth, directly supporting Windows XP and windows clients in both a stand alone (peer to peer) as well as a Domain/Active Directory environment but deals more with troubleshooting problems using case studies. They also deal with mix environments, such as where Windows NT domains are still around.

70-270 just assumes you are supporting an Active Directory domain environment only.

If you want to be an effective tech have both your A+ and your 70-270...or write both 70-271/272 to get your Desktop support ticket (but in my opinion if your company isn't pay for it and supporting desktops isn't your main, job then it's a waste of money).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:25 pm 
8086
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:14 pm
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Location: Illinois
You might want to google the 2 and compare them.

Since, I am in the mood to type I will break it down for you.

In a nutshell, A+ n MCP are very different in that A+ is a CompTIA vendor neutral 2 part exam that if you pass, proves to an employer that you have a foundational background in the hardware department of computers. What this means is that you have at least the 'know how' of troubleshooting any Dell, Gateway etc;...computer regardless of who manufactured it. Among a few other things a pc technician would do , like making system wide changes in the BIOS and soforth.
The A+ is where most noobs start to learn about computers and its heck of a lot easier to pass this exam.

On the flip side, MCP exams can be tough depending on which one you are taking. You can be an MCP by taking and passing any single one of the Microsoft exams. 210,270,290 etc;... Most people don't stop at MCP status and they are more than likely working towards a higher level cert like the MCSA MCSE or MCDBA. Some are following the 2000 track and others are onboard the more difficult 2003 track.

2003 exams = 20% fail rate first attempt
The MCSE 2003 server and infrastructure exams with their new testing methods that include simulations have become a bit more difficult and the exams are very much gaining back credibility in the industry. You should not take these exams thinking you can pass by simply memorizing questions b/c you will fail[/color].

Passing the 270 client operating system exam would certify you as an MCP in XP Pro and declares you an expert. This is just the beginning of the MCSE 2003 track that requires 7 exams and the MCSA which you can earn (in the middle) requires passing only 5 of the 7 total exams.
MCSE is the most popular IT certification on the planet.

The exams do a good job of measuring product knowledge of a person working in the IT field. Any microsoft exam is worth getting if you work with that product on a daily basis supporting users in a domain environment.
If not, then you will be handing over bill gates 125 bucks for nothing. :D


Last edited by itpro on Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:12 am 
Klamath
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wow that last one rocked....kudos


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:54 am 
Northwood
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The A+, as mentioned earlier, is a two part exam. It's not hard at all but they do throw a bunch of questions regarding specifications. A portion of the specs/info they expect you to regurgitate are antiquated.

One question I had on the test back in 2000: (not sure if they still ask)
What was the first CPU to include a math co-processor?
A: It was the 486DX2. (48-wha? lol)

A+ by definition is meant to establish a baseline of competency for bench techs in their first 3-6 months. If you don't have any other certifications, it's a decent place to start. If nothing else, it gives you a good foundation of hardware/software to work from. It was my first IT cert and I've never regretted it. You'll gain understanding of somewhat boring but critical technology concepts, like the OSI model.

The MS certifications are a different animal. As also mentioned, they really took a dive in the early 2000's. People were taking crash courses and passing the full MCSE line and still couldn't find the IP of a system from the command line. They've been working to change that image since they can't charge money for exams nobody cares to take since they seem worthless in the market.

Microsoft certifications, (I've got a wall full) like to focus on the gritty details. For instance, if you take the Windows XP exam, you're likely to find that nearly half the questions will be related to deployment and unattended installations. In the real world, that's probably not what the bulk of your XP work will be though. Microsoft is also fond of throwing in questions that expect you to access different windows or control panels in ways other than those you normall use. For instance, knowing how to open the Add/Remove Programs control panel by typing control appwiz.cpl from the run box, instead of just clicking control panel.

Having earned a score of certs over the years, from many vendors and organizations, here's the best advice I can offer:

Plan your certification path. (not just with one vendor) Begin at the base, earn your way through your plan. As your career and/or aspirations change over time, adjust your certification plans to accommodate them.

Myself - Two years ago I was hell bent on earning my CCIE. As fortune would have it, the PMI certifications are much more in line with what I do for a living. My path has changed but I've adapted the plan.

Before you start studying for ANY exam, ask yourself what aspect of IT interests you most. Then chart the path to get there. Certifications shouldn't be the goal - they should be milestones of achievement along your trail. Good luck!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:04 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:14 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Illinois
Yeah that math coprocessor question was on every practice test imaginable. 2001 I recall seeing the same question for my A+.
I thought that exam was real easy but I heard that people actually fail the A+ now. :shock:

Microsoft certs did lose a ton of respect back in the day but I think they are turning things around for the better. Like making it harder to cheat or memorize brain dumps to become an MCSE.
That's a good thing for both employers and MCSE's :o
CCIE will always be the most feared, most praised and most paid breed of tech geeks known to man but you won't catch me taking that exam any time soon. Can you say boring?


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