Hi there, I've been reading the forums and have just enrolled in the MCSA course encompassing A+, Network+, Microsoft, Cisco and Linux.
I have enrolled with a private college, although I'm not sure if this was the right thing to do or not. I'm at CDI College in Canada, they seem to be on the right level for me.
Can anyone tell me what they thought of the course over all, if it has benefitted them, what kind of chances this gives you for a job/career without any actual experience and anything they did or read that helped them through the course outside the listed textbooks and material?
I've seen short answers, yes and no and so on, but since I'm paying over $10,000 (admittedly only over 7 months) for this course I'm trying to be as clear as possible going in.
Thanks very much in advance, look forward to being an active member here,
EDIT: also, what kind of options have people gone on to with reference to further certification, preferably without anymore time spent in education?
Wow, $10,000. It only cost me $16,000 for my bachelors degree in computer science. For that amount of money you could probably set up one hell of a home lab and get the same results. In fact thats what I did when I got my student loan. I used some of the money to set up my own home lab for CCNA and CCNP study.
This is exactly why I'm posting, so far I've only heard the college's point of view (and they're essentially trying to sell me a product) and a few other people I've entioned it to in passing.
I understand I could go and sit the A+ and Network+ exams without too much prep (I have worked with computers for 8 years) but the cisco, MCSA and linux exams I wouldn't have a clue.
As far as I'm aware, some exams require preparation, you can't just book the exam. And surely I'd benefit from gaining a diploma, hopefully from a reputable college?
They've told me the course is expensive because it only takes 7 months and there are additional benefits, like they offer classes on careers and advice for getting and keeping a job in the IT market, which I'd value because I've never had an IT job before.
EDIT: also, this is $CAD, not $USD, so there probably will be some degree of currency fluctuation.
yup you are right in saying exams really need some kind of preparation and in doing so, it really depends on you on where you would be comfortable preparing for the exam. some people like to have like a classroom environment wherein there is a teacher and students interacting other folks like it to have as a self study and then digging each answer for questions that they find either interesting or difficult to answer and they are doing this at their most convenient time and own pace. either way, you wiil feel that you are ready for the exams when you feel like it. i would suggest that you get alot of hands on with regards to whatever exam you wish to take. it is better than just learning theories since you get to sink in details.
also, having a certification might be an added plus on your job hunting and career but the true test is still in the work place where you are given real live networking scenarios wherein you are expected to deliver.
I spent $11,000 on a A+\Net+\MCSE\CCNA combo deal, I'm happy with it. There wasn't a set time frame, it's a training school, so they have the classes 8 hours a day, daily for a week, when they get one full. So there's at least one class I would like to re-take (2150) that I won't get to, since it was so hard to get anyone to take it to begin with.
Does your schooling come with exam vouchers? *THAT* makes a big diffrence. MS Exams average $125 a pop, so that's 7 x $125, or $875. The 2 A+ Exams are $145 each, or $290 for it. Net+ $207. and CCNA is $125. So....
$1,497 Total USD.
And with free retakes of any failed exams (If I score over 90% on my MeasureUP pratice exam) this isn't that bad of a deal. The classes really helped me, and since I get free retakes of them I took most of them twice. So if your packaged deal has exam price in it, remember to subtrack that. Also, books to study ccna are not cheap, so that subtracks from the cost too. Also, having a teacher right there to answer questions can help, and so can even listening to other peoples questions in class.