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datacarver
(@datacarver)
Active Member

Is the A+ Cert considered that reputable over the other certs out there. I personally think it is too specific in the questioning. It requires you to memorize stuff, some of which is outdated, that you don't need to specifically know and if you did, you could always look it up. I work on the corporate side of CF and E-Discovery and I do not want to take this cert, though my employer has this on a potential career path list. I am new to the CF realm, but I feel I would rather take something more related to the job (CCE, ENCE, ACE, etc). One that will give me the skills needed to perform my job better. Can I please get your opinions? What is a good cert to take for someone new to this field?

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Posted : 08/11/2007 12:52 am
 Anonymous

Is the A+ Cert considered that reputable over the other certs out there.

As someone who used to play the "certification game" (CNE, MCNE, MCP, MCSE, CCNA, CCNP, blah!) *and* as a hiring manager, I can tell you that A+ is considered an entry-level cert mainly for those who want to be PC technicians. Do you know basic PC technology? If so, put your time and money (or employer's money) on something worthwhile. If not, read something like "PCs for Dummies." With everything either integrated on the system board or plug-n-pray these days, there's even less value to the A+ designation. Do we really need to be certified in broadcast technology to use a TV?

I would rather take something more related to the job (CCE, ENCE, ACE, etc). One that will give me the skills needed to perform my job better. Can I please get your opinions?

You hit the nail on the head. EnCE is probably the most valuable cert, depending on what your current and intended career path is/are. The others you mention are also good.

Just my 2 coins of minimal value.

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Posted : 08/11/2007 1:27 am
ddow
 ddow
(@ddow)
Active Member

Is the A+ Cert considered that reputable over the other certs out there.

Reputable? Sure, very. Best cert for someone doing PC repair as AWTLPI indicated.

It requires you to memorize stuff, some of which is outdated, that you don't need to specifically know and if you did, you could always look it up.

Not unusual with many certifications. The more you've worked with the topic the less there is to memorize. As to being outdated, I really don't think it is if you remember CompTIA serves a wide industry base. Yes, there really are people who use modems, still.

I work on the corporate side of CF and E-Discovery and I do not want to take this cert, though my employer has this on a potential career path list.

Is the employer paying for the cert? If they are, I'd suggest taking it. To be honest, if you can't pass it, I'm not sure I'd want you doing my foresnic work if I were the boss. If they aren't paying, then you have a point.

I feel I would rather take something more related to the job (CCE, ENCE, ACE, etc). One that will give me the skills needed to perform my job better.

A sound view IMHO.

What is a good cert to take for someone new to this field?

A non-tool specific such as CCE is excellent plus one on a toolset that you use such as ACE or EnCE.

Certifications are one of those things that we just are having to do in this day and age. Bosses like them, HR likes them. Some courts consider them. Just a fact. That said, few certifications will ever hurt you. Those that might hurt in some cases because some fool in marketing was stupid enough to put the work HACK in the title of the certification don't need to be put in "the list" even if the knowledge gained from the exam prep is highly valuable.

Generally one tends to see the A+ certification listed among LE to demonstrate competance in hardware where it is less common among IT folks.

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Posted : 08/11/2007 3:54 am
datacarver
(@datacarver)
Active Member

That's the thing. I do not do PC Repair or act as a PC Technician. My job focuses on Computer Forensics/E-Discovery. My hope is to post this question, and if I get enough feedback that agrees that I should focus more on certs other than the A+, I will provide my employeer this feedback. The company will pay for this cert, but they would also pay for any of those other certs. I would rather have a company pay for a certification that directly relates to my job description.

I picture a few years down the line. Who knows if I will be working here. If I apply for a position doing CF and the employeer has two resumes Mine (with an A+ cert) and another candidate (with CCE)…..I doubt I would be his first pick.

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Posted : 08/11/2007 5:09 am
Chanko86
(@chanko86)
Member

Just a quick thought. . .

Not every job is solely based on doing forensic exams, e-discovery. Actually, most jobs I've seen entail things such as PC repairs, and other responsibilities.

I do agree with you about CCE or EnCE being the most useful at the present time.

While your company is paying, why not just grab some certs? It can only help your current company,resume and knowledge base.

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Posted : 08/11/2007 6:50 am
steve862
(@steve862)
Active Member

Hi,

I'd agree with ddow's comments that it is worth taking if it is not your time and money being spent. I'd also agree that you should at least have the knowledge relevant to that exam. Chanko86 is also right in that PC knowledge extends into pretty much every e-discovery or forensic job, or at least it probably should.

Another book worth reading is Scott Mueller's "Upgrading and Repairing PCs", it's a big book but I think a must read for anyone in the field. I would say about 10% of everything I know about IT came from that book more than a decade ago.

Having good PC skills makes you more adaptable particularly if doing any on-site work where there may not be time or opportunity to look anything up.

I personally think computer forensic practioners should be able to walk into most other areas of IT and have a good level of knowledge. After all if I turn up at a mixed Unix and Novell server site, I'm the one directing what we image and how and I will be the one asked in the witness box how it all works.

I do fear there are some practioners in the field who aren't concerned with general computing skills, which I think is their loss.

Just my two pence worth.

Steve

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Posted : 08/11/2007 2:54 pm
Hdollar
(@hdollar)
New Member

Hi another quick thought.
I would not even think about having someone on my team that could not repair a pc, as everyone else
Has indicated certifications play a role in our industry from A+ to CCE you can run the gambit. Having the right certifications does play a role in some areas in for forensics.

As far as the resume is concerned you are correct if I had someone with A+ only¬ on their resume and compare it to someone who had CCE on their resume of course I would choose the CCE, but you are looking at this to narrow. If I had someone with a resume with A+ and CCE and education and Encase or
FTK who do you think would win out on that one. You need to look at the totality of the certifications, experience and education that this individual provides.

My recommendation would be take the A+ you might learn something.

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Posted : 08/11/2007 7:09 pm
datacarver
(@datacarver)
Active Member

I guess I will just take it from what everyone else is saying. I don't want it to seem like I do not know hardware. I have repaired PC's before, I have done upgrades, etc….do I just didn't understand why I needed to be certified in that when it wasn't directly related to my position. Have any of your gotten your A+ certification, and if so, where is there a time where you can say, "If I didn't go for that cert, I may not have known that?" I'm just wondering for futher knowledge. I will continue on my A+ road though. Thanks for the thoughts everyone.

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Posted : 08/11/2007 7:38 pm
armresl
(@armresl)
Community Legend

Why would someone with a CCE be chosen over someone with A+? You said "of course I would choose the CCE"

What does the CCE tell you? That at a specific time, on a specific day, in a specific place, you were able to answer questions which someone else felt were relevant? That you could take a sample HD image and answer some questions about it?

Hi another quick thought.
I would not even think about having someone on my team that could not repair a pc, as everyone else
Has indicated certifications play a role in our industry from A+ to CCE you can run the gambit. Having the right certifications does play a role in some areas in for forensics.

As far as the resume is concerned you are correct if I had someone with A+ only¬ on their resume and compare it to someone who had CCE on their resume of course I would choose the CCE, but you are looking at this to narrow. If I had someone with a resume with A+ and CCE and education and Encase or
FTK who do you think would win out on that one. You need to look at the totality of the certifications, experience and education that this individual provides.

My recommendation would be take the A+ you might learn something.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/11/2007 10:21 pm
ddow
 ddow
(@ddow)
Active Member

What does the CCE tell you? That at a specific time, on a specific day, in a specific place, you were able to answer questions which someone else felt were relevant? That you could take a sample HD image and answer some questions about it?

True of any certification I'd think. And the bar, and orals, and many other bench marks we have to pass in life. Still, some find them useful.

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Posted : 08/11/2007 10:35 pm
Chanko86
(@chanko86)
Member

datacarver,

I got my A+ cert from CompTIA in January, the older version though. The newer version is a tad different. . they make you take another test on something like Ethical Hacking.

It is basically a troubleshooting certification, logical order of doing things.

I work at the University I attend, and you wouldn't believe how specific some of the questions from the faculty and staff are. There are plenty of times where I've been asked about performance, specifically speeds of things, that I would not have known exactly if I didn't memorize them for the test.

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Posted : 08/11/2007 10:37 pm
ddow
 ddow
(@ddow)
Active Member

I got my A+ cert from CompTIA in January, the older version though. The newer version is a tad different. . they make you take another test on something like Ethical Hacking.

Huh? The current test is still 2 parts the first is Essentials, the second is one of 4 specializations but none of the specializations have anything to do with hacking, ethical or otherwise. Ethical Hacking is e-council, not CompTIA.

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Posted : 08/11/2007 10:55 pm
 Anonymous

Ok, I can't stands it no mo'!

[rant]I know this is grist for a new topic, but c'mon, does no one see a problem with the designation of "Certified Ethical Hacker"? Puh-leeze!

'Hi, I'm not a Hacker, I'm an Ethical Hacker! And not just an Ethical Hacker, but a Certified Ethical Hacker. Won't you please hire me?'

Watch your step, folks. There's a large puddle of dripping irony here!
[/rant]

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Posted : 08/11/2007 11:06 pm
Chanko86
(@chanko86)
Member

ddow,

Yes I know. The first part of the test is Hardware with very limited OS questions. Second part you pick, like you said.

I took the test at the same time as a friend(He took the newer version, I took the older verison). He said he chose the Ethical Hacking specilization. . he even showed me the papers. .maybe they changed it? Or I'm just wrong, either or. . not that big of a deal, datacarver has to choose for himself and he will have to look up the specilizations anyway.

Bad example on my part. .

Just to clear the air. . here are the different specs http//certification.comptia.org/a/glancebox.aspx

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Posted : 08/11/2007 11:40 pm
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