Last Wednesday, I took the second half of the CompTIA A+ certification test, and officially became A+ certified. OK . . . so what does that mean exactly? Well, essentially the CompTIA A+ certification covers basic PC hardware and Windows XP software knowledge.
While it has been nice to finally be done with this certification, (which I started two years ago but let languish for months at a time), this certification is probably the most basic certification out there for computer and IT jobs. So when people congratulate me for getting A+ certified, I always feel like I’m getting more credit for something that isn’t a terribly challenging accomplishment.
But now A+ is in the past. Of course, the certification will be very useful as a boost to my resume, and will add some demonstrable evidence to my technical abilities (however minimal they may be). And after paying a total of $336 for the certification tests (which didn’t even include the cost of testing materials), it better be worth something!
So with A+ under my belt, I’m now turning my attention to what my next certificaion should be. Now, CompaTIA does have other certifications out there. Most noteably, the Network+ certification is commonly paired with the A+ certification. But there’s another certification that carries more weight in the IT industry, and it’s no surprise given the company involved with the certification: Microsoft.
Seeing Microsoft certification as the next logical choice for me, I decided to check out their website to see what tests I would need to take to become an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer). To my surprise, not only was the Microsoft certification process significantly more complicated and convoluted than the CompTIA certification process, but also that the “MCSE” certification was no longer being offered as a certifcation track.
So after about an hour of deciphering the Microsoft certification process, I could finally understand what my first step should be: “MCITP” (Microsoft Certified IT Professional). There are two tests that are required to become an MCITP, similar to the A+ certifcation process. But given the comparatively bulkier study books for the MCITP certification, I have a feeling that this next certification goal of mine will require much more time studying.
Now, if you recall, I said that it took me two years to acquire the A+ certification. So you’d think that the MCITP would take even longer. But since I’ve already successfully obtained one certification, my hope is that I will be able to complete at least the first half of the MCITP certification before Christmas.
I guess we’ll see. Right now, however, my immediate concern is securing a job – since my current employment with PerceptIS will end as of July 31st. But that’s a topic for another post, methinks.