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Studying for IT - News - Computers - Certification

In total, there are 4 A+ examinations and areas of study, but you're just expected to achieve certification in two to qualify for your A+. Because of this, the majority of training providers only offer 2 paths. But allowing you to learn about all 4 options will help you to build a far greater perspective of your subject, which you'll come to realise is an important asset in industry.

Once on the A+ training course you will learn how to work in antistatic conditions and build and fix computers. You'll also cover fault-finding and diagnostic techniques, both remotely and via direct access. Perhaps you see yourself as the person who works for a larger company - supporting, fixing and maintaining networks, you should include CompTIA Network+ to your training package, or consider an MCSA or MCSE with Microsoft as you'll need a deeper understanding of how networks work.

The age-old way of teaching, with books and manuals, is often a huge slog for most of us. If this describes you, look for learning programmes that are multimedia based. We see a huge improvement in memory retention with an involvement of all our senses - educational experts have expounded on this for years now.

Find a course where you're provided with an array of CD and DVD ROM's - you'll learn by watching video tutorials and demonstrations, and be able to use virtual lab's to practice your new skills. All companies must be able to demonstrate samples of their training materials. Make sure you encounter videos of instructor-led classes and many interactive sections.

Many companies provide just online versions of their training packages; and while this is acceptable much of the time, think what will happen if your access to the internet is broken or you get intermittent problems and speed issues. It's preferable to have physical CD or DVD discs which removes the issue entirely.

Many trainers will provide a useful Job Placement Assistance program, to help you get your first job. With the growing shortage of skills in Great Britain today, it's not too important to get too caught up in this feature though. It isn't such a complex operation to secure employment once you're properly qualified.

Help and assistance with preparing a CV and getting interviews may be available (alternatively, check out one of our sites for help). Be sure to you polish up your CV today - don't leave it till you pass the exams! It's not uncommon to find that junior support jobs have been offered to trainees who're still on their course and have still to get qualified. This will at the very least get you into the 'maybe' pile of CV's - rather than the 'No' pile. Normally you'll get better results from an independent and specialised local recruitment consultancy than you'll get from a training company's centralised service, as they will be more familiar with the area and local employers.

Just make sure you don't conscientiously work through your course materials, and then just stop and leave it in the hands of the gods to secure your first position. Stand up for yourself and get on with the job. Put as much energy and enthusiasm into securing your first job as it took to get qualified.

The area most overlooked by trainees mulling over a new direction is that of 'training segmentation'. This is essentially the breakdown of the materials to be delivered to you, which can make a dramatic difference to the point you end up at. By and large, you'll join a programme taking 1-3 years and get sent one module each time you pass an exam. This may seem sensible until you think about these factors: With thought, many trainees understand that the company's standard order of study is not what they would prefer. They might find a different order of study is more expedient. And what if you don't get to the end within their exact timetable?

Ideally, you want everything at the start - enabling you to have them all to return to any point - as and when you want. Variations can then be made to the order that you complete your exams where a more intuitive path can be found.

Adding in the cost of exam fees upfront and offering an 'Exam Guarantee' is popular with a number of training colleges. But let's examine why they really do it:

You're paying for it one way or another. It's definitely not free - they've just worked it into the package price. People who take each progressive exam, funding them one at a time are in a much stronger position to qualify at the first attempt. They're mindful of what they've paid and take the necessary steps to be up to the task.

Don't pay up-front, but seek out the best deal for you when you're ready, and save having to find the money early. You also get more choice of where you do your exams - so you can find somewhere local. A great deal of money is netted by many training colleges who get money upfront for exam fees. For quite legitimate reasons, a number of students don't get to do their exams but no refunds are given. Surprising as it sounds, providers exist that depend on students not taking their exams - as that's how they make a lot of their profit. Additionally, you should consider what an 'exam guarantee' really means. Many training companies won't be prepared to pay again for an exam until you have demonstrated conclusively that you won't fail again.

With average prices for VUE and Pro-metric tests coming in at around 112 pounds in the UK, by far the best option is to pay for them as you take them. Not to fork out thousands extra in up-front costs. A commitment to studying and the use of authorised exam preparation tools are actually the key to your success.





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