Monday, March 30, 2015

Certification or Bust

My field of study is Computer Support.  There's a lot of things I love about it.  One of those things is that it's goal orientated.  Employers want people who can actually maintain and repair the equipment.  That's why they place a large emphasis on certifications rather that just formal education.  A degree tells someone what you were taught, and what you know, while a certificate just certifies that you know it.  I have one degree in Computer Support, and zero certifications.

I took a class geared toward getting an A+ when I was in college.  Everyone but me took it, because I decided to take the two week break between semesters to continue studying for it.  About two thirds passed the test, which is about the same as the general population who take it.  I'm not sure what to make of that.  When I went to take it, the testing center was temporarily closed due to an illness.  It never reopened, and I never sought out another testing center.

The truth is, an A+ really is less important to employers than a degree in Computer Support, which I do have now.  I really should grab it, just for one more thing to stick on my resume, but it's not high on my to do list.  What I've been after for years, and continue to strive for, is my CCNA.

That stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate.  The starting salary for a technician with one is about 25% higher than what I currently make.   Not to say I need a new job, but I will have another one day, and now is the time to prepare.

My struggle began in college when I took the first and second of the classes using Cisco's curriculum.  I passed the tests provided by Cisco, and got A's in the classes.  I didn't feel like I understood it though, so I sat in on the second class a second time.  Needless to say, I still don't have my certificate.

My meaning behind all of this is not to say I've given up.  My current get-knowledge-quick scheme is to read the latest study guide by Todd Lammle, and accelerate my reading by pairing it with Text To Speech.  I'm using the Caitlin voice by CereProc on my Android phone in the @Voice Aloud app.

As always, I'll keep you informed.

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