Another certification out of the way!
Embarrassingly this one took me longer than i’d care to admit to complete. The A+ certification actually has 2 tests to become fully certified, widely regarded as a hardware part and software part (though I wouldn’t say that’s entirely accurate). The first test, the 220-901 I actually took back in June of 2018 (quite some time ago) and it wouldn’t be until Feb of 2019 before I got around to writing the second test, the 220-902. I had become the victim of not enough time and not enough focus, not to mention having studied for and passed the CCENT in-between while balancing schoolwork for the semester. I also maintain a policy where certifications are considered to be supplements to my college education, and therefor if I get bogged down in school work, that takes priority over more certification study.
So what can be learned from this?
Realistically not sticking to completing the second half of the certification probably cost me a lot of time in the long run. By only using intermittent studying and not being committed I probably spent a greater amount of time studying than if I had simply stayed focused for a couple months. Of course it is easy to state such things in hindsight. There is also the possibility that spending the extra time studying might have actually deepened my knowledge by going over the same material multiple times but staggered over a long time line. Recalling the same information a few times months apart can do wonders for long term memorizing and gathering of knowledge. If you simply blitz a certification over a month long period you may be able to pass the test, but a lot of the knowledge might be lost in the following weeks because it was never cemented in your brain to begin with. For some that might not be seen as a problem, but if you’re working on building a strong foundation of knowledge it is best that you take your time and remember as many of the important details as possible.
I have begun refreshing my knowledge from the CCENT and have been going over the content of the Network+ certification to get my brain back into networking mode. The ICND2 test is definitely on the horizon for me in order to get my full CCNA before I graduate at the end of the year. This should hopefully give me a little bit of a leg up when entering the job market. In the coming months I may also pickup the Comptia Network+ as well, which might seem like a strange choice at first given I already have a CCENT and am moving towards the CCNA. After browsing job postings there does appear to be demand for the Network+, and given I should already have much of the required knowledge it shouldn’t be too much of a leap to add that certification to help pad the resume a little bit further. I also think it would be nice to get the so-called Comptia trifecta, which is the A+, N+, and S+. Well, might as well get started…