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  1. Junior Member Registered Member
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    Default Question About Study Materials

    First of all I'm sorry for the incoming wall of text.

    Let me give a little background information. I am 43 years old and my mind isn't what it used to be. I am honestly feeling overwhelmed about all the information I will have to learn to get my certification. I have a Bachelors Degree in Business Information with an emphasis in Computer Information Systems. I got that degree in 2001 and have no work experience in IT so I have forgot a lot of that information. I am disabled with back problems which prevent me from sitting or standing for long periods of time so I spend most of my day in the bed since the only time my back doesn't hurt is when I am laying down. I applied for disability and was denied. They told me since I have a college education I can do work that a lot of other people can't. Well I don't see how I can do much since I can't sit or stand for very long.

    I have been very interested in computers my whole life and always wanted to get a job in the IT field so I did some searching online and it turns out that there are lots of job opportunities for computer programmers working from home. This has given me new hope that I can finally help support my wife and child even though I am disabled. I can work at home, from my laptop, while in bed. I did some more research and have decided to go back to school and get a degree in software development from Western Governors University. See Bachelor Degree in Software Development | Online IT Degree if you want more info on it. They have some requirements you must meet before starting the program. My prior education wasn't enough to get me in so the only other way I can do so is by getting my A+ certification. The certification is actually part of the degree program so getting it will mean I can get credit for a couple of classes and will be that much closer to graduating.

    I am currently reading the Mike Meyers All In One book. I'm just reading through it as fast as I can right now. After that I am going to watch the Lynda.com videos which are also done by Mike Meyers. After that I am going to watch Professor Messer's videos. Finally I plan on rereading the All In One book slowly while taking notes. At that point I plan on doing some practice test. I have several sites bookmarked that have free practice test and questions but I'm leaning toward purchasing the CompTIA A+ Exam Cram practice questions. There are over 600 questions. It's $19.19 for the ebook which also comes with access to the questions online and 10 real world scenarios.

    I'm wondering if I really need to purchase the practice questions. I like the fact that they come with the 10 scenarios but money is tight right now. I'm very worried that it's just going to be too much information for me to learn and the fact that I don't really have experience in IT will hurt me. I'd like to get some opinions on my study material. Does it sound like I have a good plan? Do I have to much or to little study material? Feel free to reply with your thoughts. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    By the way, I'm not trying to get anyone to feel sorry for me by giving my situation. I just wanted you to be aware of my reasons for getting certified.
    Last edited by Plantwiz; 01-01-2017 at 04:00 AM. Reason: consecutive posting
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  3. Member
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    #2
    Everyone's different. There are people here who can read a book and 2 weeks later pass the test. I don't fall into that category. I highly recommend that Exam Cram question book. I bought the book off of Amazon for under $18. What I like about it is the exams are downloaded onto your hard drive which means you can print out individual questions. Sometimes I'll answer it right but spot something in the explanation that I didn't know so I'll print it out.
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  4. Alligator wrestler Moderator Plantwiz's Avatar
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    #3
    Welcome!


    Okay, simply going to ask, why do you want to work in IT if you cannot sit or stand for any length of time? What sort of career objectives do you have? Are you planning to work for yourself and simply contract out jobs? Or are you hoping to land full-time employment?

    If you are working for yourself, many are self-taught, one does not necessarily need certifications to work, they simply give employers a baseline of what an application should know how to do in a given job situation.

    You mention computer programing from home, that sort of work doesn't typically need certifications that our members are seeking. They likely won't hurt, but if you want to create programs and such, you need coding language not typically an A+. And yes, I see you wan the A+ to get into WGU, but several of the folks I know who free-lance code work, simply make contacts or bid on some online boards and write the programs and move on. Do you see yourself liking that sort of work?
    Plantwiz
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    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
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  5. Junior Member Registered Member
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    Due to my disabilities I'm very limited in what I can do. The only time my back doesn't hurt is when I'm laying in bed. After being denied disability benefits I was very depressed. One day I thought of searching for jobs that can be done at home online. Turns out computer programming is one of the most popular jobs like that. I searched on several job sites and sure enough, there were lots of programming jobs that could be done 100% online. This is great for me because I can do this type of work while in bed and it's something I'm very interested in and have wanted to do my whole life.

    I plan on pursuing full time employment. I understand I don't need certifications for this type of job but like you said they won't hurt and it is a requirement for me to get into WGU. I have done a lot of research on WGU and they are very well respected. They do a great job of preparing you for work in whatever field you are majoring in. They are also 100% online which is a must for me due to my disability. They also have a very low tuition which covers everything from books to paying for certifications. The program has several classes which prepare you for certifications and then they pay for you to take them. I understand the jobs I will be trying to land will be hard to get as there will likely be many other people applying for them who will probably have several years of experience. I feel like having all the certifications will give me a competitive edge.

    While I am taking my classes at WGU I plan on doing some free-lance work so I will have some experience and have a nice portfolio of work to show potential employers. The courses I will be taking focus mostly on Java, which from what I understand is the most popular language out there right now. The program includes the certification in Java, from Oracle iirc.

    My options are limited because of my disability. Either I succeed at this or I am unemployed the rest of my life with no income. I have all the motivation I need. I just wanted to post here to make sure others thought I had good study materials and to see if I should purchase the practice questions. Thanks for taking the time to reply.


    merged:
    Don't see an option to edit my post. The sentence "The program includes the certification in Java, from Oracle iirc" probably could have been better worded to say "The program includes the certification in Java, which, iirc, is from Oracle".
    Last edited by Plantwiz; 01-01-2017 at 06:58 PM. Reason: consecutive posting
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  6. Member
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    #5
    On that WGU could have sworn I saw $6000 a year tuition. Did I read that wrong?
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  7. Junior Member Registered Member
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    That's correct. $6000 per year is cheap compared to other programs and you can take as many courses per term as you can pass. Many people have graduated in 2 years, some much less than that. Financial aid will completely cover my tuition.
    Last edited by Plantwiz; 01-01-2017 at 06:59 PM.
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  8. Alligator wrestler Moderator Plantwiz's Avatar
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    #7
    The plugs for WGU are great, and they are indeed a fantastic organization and many of our members have attended and graduated.

    That aside, I do not see in your post the answer to my question regarding, 'why IT?'

    IT is not programming. Programing is programing or writing scrip,etc.. But IT is Hardware, OS, NOS, storage, VOIP, Internet access databases, etc... Why do you feel this is the line of work for you? At this point, I am taking you off subject, for that I apologize.

    If you wish to obtain the A+ certification, go right ahead. You need the copy of the objectives from COMPTIA and a good text like Mike Meyers. Schedule your two exams and pass. done. And, no I personally would not invest in Q&A for A+ or any other CompTIA exam. Their exams are vendor neutral one needs to understand concepts and understand vocabulary/definitions to basic IT language.


    The majority of the folks I have and currently work with in IT never took the A+ because that is not the type of work they supported. A+ is more for benchwork type of support, or even some end-user support within a building (swopping out KB, Mice, Monitors, Print devices, etc...). While entities like to put that baseline out there for newbies, it is hardly a roadblock because there are so many other certs that carry more weight that once a candidate can prove their knowledge, the A+ might be will waived.

    All that aside, again, Why IT? What types of jobs have you held over the past couple decades? I see you listed you earned a degree, but what type of work prior to the degree and what did you do after the degree?

    Examples of flexible time jobs available: Teaching/mentoring online. Writer or even a technical writer. Graphic Design work. Tax prep or administrative accounting. Phone support. If you have the voice for it...radio or audio recording work (announcer, commercial voice over, book reader for books on tape (well, hardly on tape any longer, but recorded audio is still necessary). etc... there are many options available to folks, just frankly curious how you decided that IT work would be what you wanted to limit yourself into?

    And Yes, I have read your two detailed replies that you have some limitations, but many IT jobs (on location) offer desks with adjustable heights so folks do not get stuck in one position all day. A lot depends on your country and it sounds like you may be in the States, but you may need to work on some people networking in your community to locate opportunities that do exist, many employers are able to work out a variety of accommodations to quality talent, that does take making the contacts and investing in those conversations. You will likely need to build some sort of portfolio of work you have successfully completed though, and if you do not have anything yet, it will take time but will be worth the effort.

    Good luck
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
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