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Walking The Talk Of CompTIA A+ Certification

Employment opportunities & your future after the CompTIA A Plus Exam

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A plus certification
The IT field has a virtually limitless arena for the serious individuals who obtain certification, including:
  • Manufacturing
  • Field Service Technician
  • In-House PC Technician
  • Data Warehousing
  • Internet Helpdesk
  • In-House Training
  • Programmer
  • Network Design
  • Freelancer
  • Business Owner
  • Teacher
  • Network Administration
The technician is not only limited to the field of computer science. There are other areas of employment where basic electronics knowledge gained through training can be useful. Telephone, cable, satellite, high speed data, and security systems installation are just a few of these fields.

Let's take a look at my career for example.

Living in one of the larger metropolitan areas can make for a challenging job search. Networking with friends and peers is an invaluable tool. Soon after passing the CompTIA A+ exam, a friend of mine told me about my first job lead. I managed to land a position with a local computer recycling company as their printer repair technician. While this was not the corporate Chief Information Officer (CIO) position I had hoped for, at least it was a beginning. If only I had paid attention to the section on printers. Fortunately for me the lead technician was very willing to spend some extra time with me, and as it turns out printers are not that complex. The top 5 problems I experienced with laser printers are:

  • Bad feed rollers (you know, the stupid machine won't grab the paper)
  • Bad Fuser (the printer spits out paper and the black toner just falls off the paper, what a mess)
  • Bad AC module (dull print or half fused)
  • Bad DC module (wavy or lined print)
  • Bad Corona Wire (no print at all - the -5000 volt charge wasn't present to get the toner on the paper before fusing)
  • Every now and then you could rub a compound called "ephedrine" on the feed roller to make it sticky again but this is only a short-term resolution. Bad AC/DC modules had very similar printing errors and troubleshooting these components is not easy. Luckily we had two full boxes of each from other recycled printers, so I usually just replaced both parts.
During my short stint in printer repair, one of the local cable companies started the first pilot program for high-speed data (otherwise known as cable internet). With screaming page loads and download speeds I could not turn down the opportunity to be a high-speed cable installation technician. My recent experience combined with my A+ certification were definite assets here, and the cable company knew it. When you can open any computer case you want to and not worry about the "warranty" tag, it is awesome. Face-to-face interaction with clients is a delicate skill that you must acquire somewhere along your IT journey.

My next position was manufacturing PC's for Compaq Computer Corp (before the HP merger). After 2 short weeks I was offered an assistant team lead position, and shortly after that I was asked to work in special projects. There is nothing like having 8 processors with 16 gigabytes of ram and 2 terabytes of 10,000 RPM SCSI hard drive to play with. While working 12hr shifts I decided to take my hobby to the next level. I was beginning to take my IT career seriously and decided to pursue an Associates degree. Working at Compaq during this time was a great opportunity. I had access to hardware and software that few of my fellow classmates had.

Needless to say, knowledge is power. I managed to use my CompTIA A+ as "applied knowledge" and test out of the beginning class saving myself $2,400 tuition. I must say, knowing that I had passed the A+ exam . . . continued

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