3rd Edition Meyers book?, and no CS degree. Questions inside.

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Jeremy Powlick, Oct 3, 2003.

  1. Greetings all,

    First post here.

    By mid December I plan to take the A+ exam, and wanted to challenge
    myself a bit more with waiting for the updated, linear 2003
    objectives.

    Because I am on a tight budget (rubbing pennies here) thanks to
    student and private loan repayments and scaling back "Wally World"
    work hours to study, I've opted to use the library's system of trading
    books throughout the state. More exactly known as
    http://accesspa.state.pa.us/

    The most up-to-date Meyers All-In-One A+ Certification Exam book I
    found to borrow was the 3rd Edition. What is the difference between
    the 3rd edition and the 4th edition? Is there that much signifigance
    that I would be advised to purchase the 4th edition?

    I logically figure if the 3rd edition makes up most of the test, all I
    need is supplemental information to make sure I know Windows ME and
    XP, and the most recent hardware changes. I currently run Windows XP:
    Home Edition. So I'm familiar with that at least and Windows 98 SE
    (though not familiar with Windows ME). As for hardware changes, I
    read articles on the net and in Maximum PC magazine. Plus, I
    inherently have a tech lust that I cannot afford. So that's a bonus.
    Any suggestions to cover the updated 2003 hardware and OS objectives?
    In other words, any books to recommend (even older ones)?

    Then again, I am tempted to simply purchase Sybex's and David Groth's,
    "A+ Complete Study Guide, Third Edition (220-301 and 220-302)", which
    covers, of course, the new 2003 objectives. Any thoughts here?

    Lastly, the CS degree question: I took up schooling at
    http://www.fullsail.com for Game Development and Design, dropped out
    before I could crash, burnout completely, and fail. Thereafter I
    realized through that experience, in hindsight, that I should have
    remained patient, gone for a normal college BS in Computer Science,
    which would have give me more options. Are certifications such as A+,
    outside of a 4 year college education *enough* to at least get my foot
    in most IT interviews?

    Bottom line: My goal is to become an application programmer either in
    Java or C++, pay off my loans, and then maybe get fully into
    professional game programming (AI, graphics). First step, segueing
    into the IT industry through various certs, since I cannot afford a
    college education for at least close to a decade. Second, step aquire
    $8-$10 job as a PC tech, starting out as I study programming on the
    side (thereby working up the IT ladder) Is this, albeit rough and not
    fleshed out strategy sound thus far?

    Brief background experience:
    PC owner since 1999 (home built by a friend, which helped me learn the
    inner workings of hardware) and Maximum PC reader (love that
    magazine!). I love troubleshooting software and hardware for other
    people.

    Lastly, I've perused through many of the previous forum posts here and
    have found the exchange of information valuable. Thank you to those
    who have previously contributed. Maybe I can be of some help in the
    next few months? ^^
     
    Jeremy Powlick, Oct 3, 2003
    #1
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  2. Jeremy Powlick

    RussS Guest

    The new objectives will be covered in the 5th edition.
    I would say that if you are competent with what is in the 3rd edition you
    can pick the rest up from various study resources available.
     
    RussS, Oct 4, 2003
    #2
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  3. Jeremy Powlick

    Tony Sivori Guest

    Welcome. This group was indispensable to me when I was studying for the
    A+, I trust it will be valuable for you too.
    The most important difference between the 3rd and 4th edition is errata
    correction. If you decide to use the 3rd edition All In One, be sure to go
    to the Total Seminars website and correct the list of typos before you
    start studying.

    http://www.totalsem.com/support/errata/index.htm

    But since you have already decided to wait to take the new test (a good
    decision, IMO), my advice would be to wait and buy the 5th edition.
    Assuming the retail price stays the same (at $60), you could pay for it
    with a single extra day at Wally World. It will be money well spent.

    Also, you can usually get the book at a discount by several methods. You
    can get a discount by buying it straight from Mike, or from Amazon, or if
    you have a Books a Million nearby, get one of their discount cards.

    Mike's Passport to A+ is good too, and a lot shorter than the All In One.
    I used both books, and the All In One is a great in depth resource, while
    the Passport is a great no extras study guide. The Passport is cheaper
    too, at half the price of the All In One.
    Mike's books for the current (but soon to expire) test objectives; Mike's
    A+ books were considered by most to be considerably better than Groth's.

    This is not a put down of David Groth, for instance his Network + is
    considered by most to be much better than Mike's Network + book. I bought
    David's Network + book and I like it. But Mike's new A+, as far as I know,
    is yet to be released so no one knows which author will have the best book
    for the new A+ objectives.
    No. The A+ alone will not get you an interview for most IT jobs. In terms
    of expense, time and intellectual effort the A+ is trivially easy to get
    compared to a CS degree. It is treated accordingly.

    The IT sector is suffering terribly from the bad economy (I am assuming
    from your IP that you are in the U.S.), export of tech jobs to India, and
    the dot.com collapse. People with years of experience are sometimes
    competing for entry level jobs. This makes it particularly difficult for
    those with no experience.
    That is a realistic target wage for a beginning A+ tech. But if your
    ultimate goal is to be a programmer, it seems to me that the A+ track is a
    meaningless diversion of time and resources.
     
    Tony Sivori, Oct 4, 2003
    #3
  4. Jeremy Powlick

    David Hough Guest

    3rd edition All-in-one got me though it in 2002. But back then there
    were no questions on XP. At least on my exam.
     
    David Hough, Oct 4, 2003
    #4
  5. Hmm...agreed.
     
    Jeremy Powlick, Oct 6, 2003
    #5
  6. ----------------------------------------------------

    First off, thank you for reply to the post. In admitting I don't know
    it all, I figure I can learn something new, before delving into a test
    and path that I may or may not need or favor.

    Now to reply to some particular comments of yours....
    That deliberation seems to make the most logical sense. My impatience
    begs of me to further my studies *NOW* rather then wait. But seeing
    that Meyers' books is highly esteemed, waiting is the best option. My
    question is when, when, when will it come out?!

    Grr... !! Idea !! However, while I *do* wait, I can borrow the 3rd
    edition from the library. Yes! That's it! Thanks for your
    well-taken point here. :D
    Thank you for that point as well. Agreed. :)
    Concurred. Nothing outside of a CS degree replaces a CS degree.

    To be more explicit, I have at least two friends who can get me an
    interview with a big company with only an A+ certification. Being
    that I work at Wal-mart (earning $7 an hour), even if I earn a dollar
    or two more, I would consider it a "win" in that I am working in the
    IT field, getting paid slightly better as to pay off my loans more
    quickly.

    When my student and private loans *are* paid off, then I will
    certainly go to a 4 year college to attain a CS degree.

    Figuring between now and then, I can learn about hardware and OSes
    more in depth, attain the A+ certification. Study software
    programming, attain an MS certification or two. As I see it, skills
    + certifications = best opportunity for an entry-level job, in the
    interim (and without the CS degree, for now).
    Yes, I am in the U.S.

    I've not had the first-hand experience of seeing the tech sector
    suffer as much as people say, except to read what I see online and see
    the news on TV. Maybe my optimisim is merely a blindfold over my eyes.
    But simply, where I want to be and what I want to be involved with is
    computer technology.
    Well, I see the A+ certification as a "stop-gap" solution. I need to
    use my mind in some job facet instead of stocking freight and
    servicing customers in a Wal-mart deli.

    In fact, I've requested to be transferred over to their electronics
    department, simply because I'll be near technology, with a chance to
    answer technical questions, thereby using my mind at work as well as
    at home, rather then allowing it to atrophy during part of a day.
    Yet, I see that as not challenging enough. Henceforth, why I am going
    for the A+ certification. To at least have a shot, to be put into a
    better position at gaining something more intellectual.

    More graphically, my mind is like Pac-man, consuming and using
    information, because I love to explore the wonderous, curious maze of
    technology.

    Yes, programming is my goal. But I'll take what I can get, for now,
    and work my way there. A+ is but a small step, however tiny it may
    be. Again, I welcome your thoughts here, as well, for further
    discourse.

    Finally, since I'm rather new to Usenet, any etiquette advise or
    otherwise annoying things I have done here that need constructive
    criticism - feel free to make them known to me. I have an
    appreciation of efficiency for both the readers and user. ^_-
     
    Jeremy Powlick, Oct 6, 2003
    #6
  7. Well, I deliciously look forward to those new questions. So I shall
    wait, but use the 3rd edition in the meanwhile, waiting for the Meyers
    5th edition book to come out.
     
    Jeremy Powlick, Oct 6, 2003
    #7

  8. I can help you with this one. We're currently putting the finishing
    touches on the A+ All-In-One 5th Edition, and you can look for it to
    be available around the first of November.

    Best of luck with your studies,

    Cindy Clayton
    Total Seminars, LLC
    www.totalsem.com
     
    Cindy Clayton, Oct 6, 2003
    #8
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