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A+ for smaller businesses

An A+ certification and some experience will open doors at smaller companies. A+ for smaller businesses An A+ certification and some experience will open doors at smaller companies.

Dear Molly: I just read your article on the Cisco certifications and wanted to say thank you for such an informative and interesting article. I do have one question for you. Does A+ really mean anything in the IT real world? My thinking is that IT certification of any kind would or could be at least a foot in the door. Any thoughts?

Molly says: Ah, the IT “real world”–land of dense networking cabling and racks of routers that stretch clear to the ceiling, where the systems administrators are all above average … and any certification less strenuous on the wallet than an MCSE is looked down upon. Then we have the real business world where lots of small- and medium-sized companies need help with their computers and their ten-to-fifteen node networks. In this world, someone with an A+ certification and some hands-on experience can be a real hero.

I think you should carefully read the A+ certification information on the CompTIA Web site and talk to a few computer technicians before you make up your mind. You will find, for example, that more than 350,000 people have gotten their A+ certification. Make sure you read the information about the JOBS+ program that was designed for people just like you who want to get into IT and are searching for a workable starting point.

Bottom line: I think you are correct that the certification, plus at least six months’ experience should open some doors. Get the experience first and study for the exam while you are working.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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