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  1. Senior Member shochan's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Certification Beta Exams

    So, how do you find out about these beta exams before they are already booked up? On here? or do you get notification emails? Post some links if you have any.
    thxs
    HI5!
    2017 -> Cloud+ beta (Oct), Linux+ 103 (Dec)
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  3. Senior Member wd40's Avatar
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    #2
    I passed 4 Beta exams , Failed 2 and dropped 2 "did not have the time"

    That was when Beta exams were free, now for many training providers "CompTIA for example", you need to pay a discounted price to take a beta exam, hence it is easier now to sign up for some beta exam "Because people don't like to pay for them".
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  4. They are watching you NetworkNewb's Avatar
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    #3
    I usually hear about them on here. People seem to be pretty good on posting about them right away when they see them.
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by shochan View Post
    So, how do you find out about these beta exams before they are already booked up? On here? or do you get notification emails? Post some links if you have any.
    thxs
    HI5!
    Palo Alto Networks is launching a new beta of its PCNSE tomorrow. The ACE exam and most of the WBT courses are already available online from Palo Alto Networks for free. Inexpensively priced lab access is also available through a partnership with NDG.

    How do I know about this beta exam? I'm subscribed to certain user groups. You should subscribe to some of them, too, as you move forward in the industry.

    That said, certification will not save you in a production environment if you have never used a firewall (Palo Alto, CheckPoint, Juniper, Cisco ASA, whatever) before - and even if you have, live on-the-job experience (otherwise known as trial-by-fire, the school of hard knocks, etc.) will teach you oh so many useful things that the certifications never can and never will be able to teach.
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  6. Senior Member shochan's Avatar
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    #5
    Cool Victor! Thanks...I've been through the trenches for almost 20yrs in IT...I just was curious about where to find beta exams, because since I am getting older I tend go after certs - 1) to stay competitive 2) for continuing education 3) & not going back to college
    2017 -> Cloud+ beta (Oct), Linux+ 103 (Dec)
    2018 ->Linux+ 104, CCNA CyberOps (July Cohort)
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    Quote Originally Posted by shochan View Post
    Cool Victor! Thanks...I've been through the trenches for almost 20yrs in IT...I just was curious about where to find beta exams, because since I am getting older I tend go after certs - 1) to stay competitive 2) for continuing education 3) & not going back to college
    One is never too old to go back to college.

    And, before you hit reply to prove me wrong, let me qualify what I just wrote.

    Today, one doesn't need to pay for 120+ credits of a degree. If you want a single class or a bundle of classes (typically called a certificate), especially in STEM fields, you can pretty easily take them through the Continuing Education or Non-Degree programs of many state universities.

    For example, next year, after I dig myself out of my "annus horribilis," I'm planning to work my way through 30+ credits of upper-level mathematics classes through the University of Idaho's Engineering Outreach distance learning program in preparation for applying to an M.S. in Applied Mathematics degree program later. (Note that one does not have to actually go for the degree; the knowledge in itself can be invaluable. Note also that I won't be physically located in Moscow, Idaho.)

    In fact, I would encourage techies to go beyond mere certifications and cherry pick relevant courses - for example, Idaho's CS/EE department offers undergraduate (and graduate) engineering courses on Fault-Tolerant Computing and Survivable Systems and Networks. (IOW...REAL engineering.) One can also consider courses offered through Coursera, edX, and Udemy. I personally like the Data Science specialization certificates on Coursera, as well as certain parts of the Cloud Computing specialization certificate, namely the Cloud Networking course. (As a network engineer, why this course is my favorite should be obvious.)
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  8. Member Panther's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by shochan View Post
    Cool Victor! Thanks...I've been through the trenches for almost 20yrs in IT...I just was curious about where to find beta exams, because since I am getting older I tend go after certs - 1) to stay competitive 2) for continuing education 3) & not going back to college
    Similar boat. I'm 10+ years. Recently laid off. Want to stay competitive. That sounds like a good strategy, beta exams, certs, continuing ed

    I remember beta exams. Can they not be a good idea too? Since material on them is not official and out as much? Versus focusing time on official certs.
    Last edited by Panther; 08-26-2017 at 12:05 AM.
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  9. Member Panther's Avatar
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    #8
    This. I want to cherry pick what I need. Not go through some whole program, and classes that I don't want/need. That's why WGU's commercials sort of appeal to me. They sell that you can target classes.

    Or, self-study and go after certs.

    I was laid off 15 years ago. I did worker's retraining education. I was young and inexperienced, so that education was good. However, I was out of the job market for 2+ years, while I did the retraining.

    Now, I'm laid off again and much older. I cannot be out of the job market for that long, if I was to do any sort of worker's re-training again. I'd rather be working and getting my education/certs.

    Quote Originally Posted by victor.s.andrei View Post
    One is never too old to go back to college.

    And, before you hit reply to prove me wrong, let me qualify what I just wrote.

    Today, one doesn't need to pay for 120+ credits of a degree. If you want a single class or a bundle of classes (typically called a certificate), especially in STEM fields, you can pretty easily take them through the Continuing Education or Non-Degree programs of many state universities.

    For example, next year, after I dig myself out of my "annus horribilis," I'm planning to work my way through 30+ credits of upper-level mathematics classes through the University of Idaho's Engineering Outreach distance learning program in preparation for applying to an M.S. in Applied Mathematics degree program later. (Note that one does not have to actually go for the degree; the knowledge in itself can be invaluable. Note also that I won't be physically located in Moscow, Idaho.)

    In fact, I would encourage techies to go beyond mere certifications and cherry pick relevant courses - for example, Idaho's CS/EE department offers undergraduate (and graduate) engineering courses on Fault-Tolerant Computing and Survivable Systems and Networks. (IOW...REAL engineering.) One can also consider courses offered through Coursera, edX, and Udemy. I personally like the Data Science specialization certificates on Coursera, as well as certain parts of the Cloud Computing specialization certificate, namely the Cloud Networking course. (As a network engineer, why this course is my favorite should be obvious.)
    Last edited by Panther; 08-26-2017 at 12:29 AM.
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  10. Member Panther's Avatar
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    #9
    Hahaha! Some of the problems presented in the real world never came up in books, certifications. Granted, the education provided a foundation.

    Quote Originally Posted by victor.s.andrei View Post
    Palo Alto Networks is launching a new beta of its PCNSE tomorrow. The ACE exam and most of the WBT courses are already available online from Palo Alto Networks for free. Inexpensively priced lab access is also available through a partnership with NDG.

    How do I know about this beta exam? I'm subscribed to certain user groups. You should subscribe to some of them, too, as you move forward in the industry.

    That said, certification will not save you in a production environment if you have never used a firewall (Palo Alto, CheckPoint, Juniper, Cisco ASA, whatever) before - and even if you have, live on-the-job experience (otherwise known as trial-by-fire, the school of hard knocks, etc.) will teach you oh so many useful things that the certifications never can and never will be able to teach.
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  11. Member Panther's Avatar
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    #10
    Interesting. Thanks for that point.

    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    I passed 4 Beta exams , Failed 2 and dropped 2 "did not have the time"

    That was when Beta exams were free, now for many training providers "CompTIA for example", you need to pay a discounted price to take a beta exam, hence it is easier now to sign up for some beta exam "Because people don't like to pay for them".
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  12. Senior Member
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    #11
    @victor.s.andrei - Aside from the prep work will those course have any bearing on you beiing accepted into the MS program such as they fulfill prerequisites?

    If you're just doing it for the knowledge you might as well just look at the required coursework, textbooks and syllabi for a particular program and just buy the books and do a self-study option. This would save you from having to pay tuition to take the class. If you're not taking them for the degree no reason to pay money to take the class. If you hit a wall you can use the money you would have soent on the cost of the courses for tutoring.

    I just don't think colleges and universities are the pillars of education and learning that they once were. Too often all you get for your tuition is some TA or lecturer reading slides that the publisher of a book provided. There is no engagement, so at that point you're about as well off doing self-study.
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