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CompTIA A+ Strata

CompTIA A+ Strata

(OP)
Hi everyone,

this is my first time on the forum so please be kind!  I am an IT newbie with limited experience but work as a Locum and spend too much time in hospital accommodation with only my laptop so am thinking about undertaking some distance learning IT courses.

My hair is the colour of Irn Bru (a scottish fizzy pop / soda drink and my nick-name is Fizz but someone else is using this handle so I opted for IrnFizz which I know think sounds sort of hostile - like iron fist so please don't hold this against me!

Apologies if this question has already been answered.

I would like to undertake a distance learning course pathway for CompTIA A+ essentials but read that the CompTIA Strata+ is the precursor to this.  However, I cannot find any distance learning courses in the UK which offer this.

Also, after the Strata, should I proceed to the A+ essentials or go for the A+ Computer Maintenance course first?

Any advice would be appreciated.

PS - I Live in the South Side of Glasgow, Scotland, UK (when not being a Locum) and am pretty horrified at what other people have said on this forum about the problems with the testing centres in Scotland and the US.

RE: CompTIA A+ Strata


irnfizz,

Welcome to Tek Tips !!!

I just looked at the prices for the E-Learning at CompTIA and WOW, kind of high IMHO!!!

From a quick read the CompTIA Strata + just appears to be a Computers 101 type course telling the world you have a basic understanding of computers and IT. Whether you need this or want to pay $179 for this E Learning depends on your computer background and knowledge.

I just checked Amazon and you can get a Strata + book with CD by Mike Meyers, who is the industry's leading authority on CompTIA A+ certification and training for about $33.

Now, as for A+, CompTIA wants $539 for this E-Learning course - WOW, again, you can get a Mike Meyers CompTIA A+ book and an older PC off eBay to practice on for less than $100.

I have been in an IT/education field for 15 years, EVERYONE who bothers to get the A+ certification does exactly that - get an older PC to practice on and the latest Mike Meyers A+ study guide as well as the tons of free study material and videos already on the Internet - Google is your friend.

I would save your money for E-Learning for the big certs like Microsoft or Cisco, that tend to be much harder to pick up from just a book. You also might want to look into CBT Nuggets - www.cbtnuggets.com for video lectures for A+ etc, but you get to keep the videos, CompTIA E-Learning just appears to be for 6 months, what if you don't pass both exams in 6 months??

As far as testing centers, ALWAYS visit the center BEFORE you book the exam to make sure it is what you expect, no noise or distractions, good computers, clean, safe etc. have seen some very bad test centers here in the States - one place had a computer in an old broom closet, very small and cramped - found a different place to test smile

Good luck

E.A. Broda
CCNA, CCDA, CCAI, Network +

RE: CompTIA A+ Strata

(OP)
Many thanks for all the info.  I will look into all the resources that you mention.  However,  the thought  of taking apart a computer  fills me with dread although I know that it is a necessary component to my learning and I had just better get on with it.

I recall some of techs at the hospital taking machines apart and always ending up with extra screws left over!

RE: CompTIA A+ Strata

Quote:

I recall some of techs at the hospital taking machines apart and always ending up with extra screws left over!

Nothing to worry about there, as screws are not integral parts of the functioning of a computer.  Besides, there are some vendors who have tool-free case designs that can also accommodate screws, so when working on them I always pulled the spare screws so it would be easier to work on going forward.

At any rate, working inside a PC is cake.  There's really only a limited number of pieces inside, and they can really only fit together in one way.  It's the configuration/software side that's complicated.

I'm not sure which of the Strata certificates you are looking at (Healthcre?  You mentioned a hospital), but from what I see they are of fairly dubious value, especially compared to the A+ (which is about as entry-level as if commonly found).  I'd be tempted to skip Strata altogether unless it is a specific job requirement.

________________________________________
CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCTS:Windows 7
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Server Administrator
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator
MCITP:Virtualization Administrator 2008 R2
Certified Quest vWorkspace Administrator

RE: CompTIA A+ Strata

(OP)
thanks for the information and advice.

Sorry for the confusion - I don't work in IT at all and have no experience of the field or industry.  I have always had an interest in it and like the thought of following a structured course.  

There is no external exam in the UK any longer for the CompTIA Strata course, just books and DVDs etc.  It looks like they may have withdrawn it for the reasons you offer i.e. that it is just too basic.

I will look more closely into the CompTIA A+ as you suggest but it may be way over my head.  As previously mentioned by CISCOguy, there are loads of YouTube videos for free on the subject by Mike Myers and Professor Messer so I will run through those before committing to a more formal distance learning regime.

Thanks for the advice about taking a computer apart.  I am going to start asking people for their old machines and start tinkering with the parts.

You guys are sooooh qualified in IT that I am humbled that you have taken the time to respond to my query.

Kind regards,

IrnFizz


 

RE: CompTIA A+ Strata

Quote:

You guys are sooooh qualified in IT that I am humbled that you have taken the time to respond to my query.

We all started somewhere.  I still remember building my first PC and how exciting (and nerve-wracking it was).  This was many years ago, back when Plug and Play wasn't even a consideration, and I had just spent several hundred dollars on a CPU (which was a lot of money to me back then) that I was deathly terrified of frying with static electricity.  After I installed it I thought to myself "That was nerve-wracking, now I need a drink."

________________________________________
CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCTS:Windows 7
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Server Administrator
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator
MCITP:Virtualization Administrator 2008 R2
Certified Quest vWorkspace Administrator

RE: CompTIA A+ Strata

(OP)
Oh thats funny - thanks for sharing!

RE: CompTIA A+ Strata


kmcferrin,

That is exactly how I felt when I got my own first computer in 1995 from Gateway 2000, I did not want to even touch it for fear of screwing something or frying something.....

Then I got a job at a college taking care of about 500 Gateway 2000 (and later Dell) computers in my department, now 16 years later I have learned a lot and it does not even make me think for a moment to go inside one smile

We all start somewhere, just don't do it with your main computer, too many on eBay for $25 or even at a local thrift shop or in some cases just asking around - seems you can always find old PCs to practice on and practice makes perfect smile

I found several Dell P4 Optiplex 260, 270 and 280s on eBay for about $40-$50 with shipping included, so you can find a decent older computer that allows you to add several hard drives, network, video and sound cards and get it all to work, just don't get the super small cases with no room inside.

Have fun and learn lots!!  

E.A. Broda
CCNA, CCDA, CCAI, Network +

RE: CompTIA A+ Strata

(OP)
Oh thanks!

I will try e-bay for old computers so that I can take them apart and have a nosey inside.

Many thanks for the tips!

RE: CompTIA A+ Strata

Hey s, I'm currently studying the CompTia A+ certification book. I think I'm doing ok so far.
I just got this thing in my head.
Do you guys know if the questions on the exam are the same as the practice questions on the book?
I will really appreciate it if you could help me out.

Thanks in advanced.
Bob Ramos

RE: CompTIA A+ Strata

I haven't seen the official book, but I'd be pretty sure that they are not the same.  They may be similar in style, but there's no way they're going to give you the questions in advance.  If they did then the exam would have no credibility whatsoever.

________________________________________
CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCTS:Windows 7
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Server Administrator
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator
MCITP:Virtualization Administrator 2008 R2
Certified Quest vWorkspace Administrator

RE: CompTIA A+ Strata

Makes a tone of sense. That's what I figured.
I read somewhere in the CompTia website after I posted, that the questions on the book just prepare you to what's coming on the real test and that they very similar.

Thanks kmcferrin

Bob Ramos

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