If not A+, then where should someone start?



  • My friend wants to work computer support job. I dont ever see him being the type of guy to work on networking or servers.



  • @irj said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    My friend wants to work computer support job. I dont ever see him being the type of guy to work on networking or servers.

    If he doesn't have experience, and just wants to do call center/Geek Squad type work then an A+ is pretty much what he needs to get started if he is going in without any interpersonal networking.



  • What about MSCA: Windows 10?



  • Network+ would be my recommendation.



  • @irj said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    My friend wants to work computer support job. I dont ever see him being the type of guy to work on networking or servers.

    So helpdesk? Like taking calls and helping people? Or setting up computers physically like working on a bench or in the datacenter? Or working on an application support team or doing like desktop engineering?



  • As Kelly said, A+ is what he wants if he plans on only doing bench/Geek Squad type of work.

    Define "computer support" so we can answer better.



  • @scottalanmiller said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @irj said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    My friend wants to work computer support job. I dont ever see him being the type of guy to work on networking or servers.

    So helpdesk? Like taking calls and helping people? Or setting up computers physically like working on a bench or in the datacenter? Or working on an application support team or doing like desktop engineering?

    Either helpdesk (call center) or basic computer troubleshooting on site.



  • @irj said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @scottalanmiller said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @irj said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    My friend wants to work computer support job. I dont ever see him being the type of guy to work on networking or servers.

    So helpdesk? Like taking calls and helping people? Or setting up computers physically like working on a bench or in the datacenter? Or working on an application support team or doing like desktop engineering?

    Either helpdesk (call center) or basic computer troubleshooting on site.

    Network+ and the Windows 10 exams then, I'd say.



  • @scottalanmiller said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @irj said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @scottalanmiller said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @irj said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    My friend wants to work computer support job. I dont ever see him being the type of guy to work on networking or servers.

    So helpdesk? Like taking calls and helping people? Or setting up computers physically like working on a bench or in the datacenter? Or working on an application support team or doing like desktop engineering?

    Either helpdesk (call center) or basic computer troubleshooting on site.

    Network+ and the Windows 10 exams then, I'd say.

    I think you're right that those will stand him in better stead for doing his job, but it could put him outside of the HR filters. I know that we've had this discussion on here repeatedly, but if he doesn't have someone he has made contacts with in the organization any resumes that don't meet the minimums (A+) will just be binned, and he'll never even get a look.



  • @kelly said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @scottalanmiller said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @irj said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @scottalanmiller said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @irj said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    My friend wants to work computer support job. I dont ever see him being the type of guy to work on networking or servers.

    So helpdesk? Like taking calls and helping people? Or setting up computers physically like working on a bench or in the datacenter? Or working on an application support team or doing like desktop engineering?

    Either helpdesk (call center) or basic computer troubleshooting on site.

    Network+ and the Windows 10 exams then, I'd say.

    I think you're right that those will stand him in better stead for doing his job, but it could put him outside of the HR filters. I know that we've had this discussion on here repeatedly, but if he doesn't have someone he has made contacts with in the organization any resumes that don't meet the minimums (A+) will just be binned, and he'll never even get a look.

    Has anyone actually confirmed those A+ filters, though? I don't see them in the real world. And of course none of us would be affected by them, and even if we were, we wouldn't know. But it feels like the kind of thing that people say, but how would people know if they were out there commonly? What kind of company would have an A+ filter for a non-A+ job? that would be one foolish company. Sure foolish companies are common, so that's a great argument for why it might happen. But I think that there is a lack of evidence that it actually happens. Best Buy and other A+ job companies, absolutely it's required, but helpdesk for an SMB (that doesn't have HR) or a competent enterprise should not have the A+ problem.



  • There is no question that someone has an A+ filter, and there is no question that crappy jobs exist, and there is no question that having an A+ vs. not having one all other things being equal (which they can't be) having it would get you past a filter somewhere.

    But remember he needs a job, not every job. Even if half of all jobs require the A+ and he doesn't have one, that doesn't necessarily put him at any disadvantage.



  • @scottalanmiller said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    There is no question that someone has an A+ filter, and there is no question that crappy jobs exist, and there is no question that having an A+ vs. not having one all other things being equal (which they can't be) having it would get you past a filter somewhere.

    But remember he needs a job, not every job. Even if half of all jobs require the A+ and he doesn't have one, that doesn't necessarily put him at any disadvantage.

    And his first job isn't his last job either. If you do a simple search for helpdesk/callcenter/entry level bench jobs you will see A+ required in every single job. If he has a way to get his foot in the door at a company so that he will get looked at based on merits other than what is written on his resume then you're right, the A+ is a waste of time and money. Otherwise, it is going to put him at a disadvantage in applying for jobs that hundreds of other applicants are applying for and likely have an A+ or experience.



  • If he is looking at a specific job description for a job he wants, and one of the job requirements is the A+, then obviously they are looking for the A+. You are only guessing that HR will not disregard his CV if it doesn't show he has the A+.



  • @kelly said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    If you do a simple search for helpdesk/callcenter/entry level bench jobs you will see A+ required in every single job.

    Well those are three different things. We are only talking about helpdesk or maybe call center, but definitely not bench. Bench, yes, it would be a requirement.

    For those others, I deal with those and definitely don't see the A+ most of the time. Sometimes, sure. But there are two factors here...

    1. It's not a listed requirement all of the time.
    2. Listed as a requirement and being a requirement are not tied together. As HR departments have told me directly.... the industry standard is that nothing is a requirement, everything is just to indicate the common profile of a candidate.


  • @tim_g said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    If he is looking at a specific job description for a job he wants, and one of the job requirements is the A+, then obviously they are looking for the A+. You are only guessing that HR will not disregard his CV if it doesn't show he has the A+.

    Exactly. No matter what @scottalanmiller says about the A+, if it is a requirement for the job, the applicant should have it in order to get a foot in the door.



  • @tim_g said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    You are only guessing that HR will not disregard his CV if it doesn't show he has the A+.

    No, I'm not even assuming that HR filters at all.

    To believe the the A+ is required requires several things to ALL be true, none of which is known to be true and most are demonstrably unlikely....

    1. That the A+ is considered a requirement often enough to have a significant effect (most likely to be true of any of these, but even this I believe is marginal at best.)
    2. That HR is in the path and does filters. This is known to happen somewhere but also known for a fact to not happen in many cases... essentially no SMB even has HR to do filtering and I know that no F100 I've ever dealt with does this. This is considered horrific hiring practice from the business, HR, and IT sides. It's often used as an excuse for why someone didn't get a job because it sounds polite, but in the real world, people rarely produces examples of it.
    3. That 1 & 2 are true and HR decides to actively filter out on the A+. That HR filters for criminal backgrounds or whatever is far more likely, and still not all that true (or is done after interview not before) than that they filter for keywords that they can't find reliably (filtering on a cert is far harder than it seems as you have to be confident you can find it in all forms.)

    The theory is that all three of these are true, so often that they make it essentially "how things work." But it's not something that anyone really sees in the real world.



  • The problem with any cert is that it takes time and money. Time and money that could be used to get experience, job hunt, get a different cert, etc. There is a cost of lost opportunity with any cert process. The A+ is quite expensive and lengthy to get, making it extra problematic for people who shouldn't need it. It is also entry level, so if it does affect you, it tends to affect you only right at the beginning of your career and less and less after that until, quite quickly, it drops to zero.

    So consider the options... what if the A+ takes two months to get. It would require that he not be able to get a job in those two months and then to be able to get a job faster with the A+ than without it for it to have value. And it would have to get him that job enough faster (or which higher pay) to make up the cost of the cert, which is several hundred dollars.

    Will the A+ do that? Maybe. That's the question. If he wants helpdesk, or end user support, I bet he can find something without the A+ before he could find one with it, if he kept doing the same amount of work.



  • Now if he wants to also consider bench jobs in the mix, then the A+ is effectively required and that's just how it is.



  • @scottalanmiller said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @tim_g said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    You are only guessing that HR will not disregard his CV if it doesn't show he has the A+.

    No, I'm not even assuming that HR filters at all.

    To believe the the A+ is required requires several things to ALL be true, none of which is known to be true and most are demonstrably unlikely....

    1. That the A+ is considered a requirement often enough to have a significant effect (most likely to be true of any of these, but even this I believe is marginal at best.)
    2. That HR is in the path and does filters. This is known to happen somewhere but also known for a fact to not happen in many cases... essentially no SMB even has HR to do filtering and I know that no F100 I've ever dealt with does this. This is considered horrific hiring practice from the business, HR, and IT sides. It's often used as an excuse for why someone didn't get a job because it sounds polite, but in the real world, people rarely produces examples of it.
    3. That 1 & 2 are true and HR decides to actively filter out on the A+. That HR filters for criminal backgrounds or whatever is far more likely, and still not all that true (or is done after interview not before) than that they filter for keywords that they can't find reliably (filtering on a cert is far harder than it seems as you have to be confident you can find it in all forms.)

    The theory is that all three of these are true, so often that they make it essentially "how things work." But it's not something that anyone really sees in the real world.

    Let's rewind, and let's use "HR" to mean the person doing the hiring... whether it's HR, the IT manager, or whoever.

    If a given job description lists a set of specific job requirements, and an applicant's CV does not show it meets some or all job requirements, then it's anyone's guess as to whether or not the applicant would be considered.

    It's also anyone's guess as to why the applicant was not considered, but it's also logical to assume that an unmet requirement is a likely reason to decline an applicant.



  • @tim_g said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    Let's rewind, and let's use "HR" to mean the person doing the hiring... whether it's HR, the IT manager, or whoever.

    That's called the hiring manager and we know that they don't generally do this. The theory is that an idiot HR drone sits between the applicant and the hiring manager and screws the hiring manager.



  • @tim_g said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    If a given job description lists a set of specific job requirements, and an applicant's CV does not show it meets some or all job requirements, then it's anyone's guess as to whether or not the applicant would be considered.

    Not really, in the real world we know that people are hiring without requirements all of the time. What is known is that when talking to real people, real companies, and HR firms that deal with loads of both, that it is so unthinkable that it's assumed to not exist. You can prove that this widely doesn't happen.

    that it happens sometimes, while likely, can't be proven and is just a theory that people repeat, a lot. But there is little foundation for the theory. that doesn't make it wrong, but we can easily demonstrate that it widely does not happen. How often it happens, if ever, can't be proven. But there are super obvious and well known reasons why companies claim it happens when it doesn't to avoid legal problems.



  • @tim_g said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    It's also anyone's guess as to why the applicant was not considered, but it's also logical to assume that an unmet requirement is a likely reason to decline an applicant.

    It's reasonable, but not likely. If you examine the process, a useless requirement is not a likely reason for that to be the case. Overall not being a good candidate is far more likely. That a simple requirement not being bet would turn away and otherwise ideal candidate makes some pretty shocking assumptions about companies and the people who hire people that just aren't reasonable. People are simply not that stupid or malicious.



  • If every employer you have ever known that lists job requirements doesn't care whether or not applicants meet any of the job requirements... then why list requirements at all?



  • @tim_g said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    If every employer you have ever known that lists job requirements doesn't care whether or not applicants meet any of the job requirements... then why list requirements at all?

    To filter out people who emotionally feel less confident about their abilities.



  • If you owned a computer repair business, would you look over each of the hundreds of applications closely enough to notice someone who is qualified enough that doesn't list an A+ cert?



  • @tim_g said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    If you owned a computer repair business, would you look over each of the hundreds of applications closely enough to notice someone who is qualified enough that doesn't list an A+ cert?

    I don't think the point is to find the people without the cert(s). The goal is to simply eliminate candidates, because there is literally an ocean of candidates for any given position.

    By putting random requirements does the pool get a tiny bit smaller.



  • @dustinb3403 said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @tim_g said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    If you owned a computer repair business, would you look over each of the hundreds of applications closely enough to notice someone who is qualified enough that doesn't list an A+ cert?

    I don't think the point is to find the people without the cert(s). The goal is to simply eliminate candidates, because there is literally an ocean of candidates for any given position.

    By putting random requirements does the pool get a tiny bit smaller.

    I wouldn't list job requirements that aren't really requirements. I just assumed that's how it worked. But apparently in the real world, fake requirements are listed for no reason, and everyone should apply to any job they want even if they don't meet any of the requirements.



  • @tim_g said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @dustinb3403 said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @tim_g said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    If you owned a computer repair business, would you look over each of the hundreds of applications closely enough to notice someone who is qualified enough that doesn't list an A+ cert?

    I don't think the point is to find the people without the cert(s). The goal is to simply eliminate candidates, because there is literally an ocean of candidates for any given position.

    By putting random requirements does the pool get a tiny bit smaller.

    I wouldn't list job requirements that aren't really requirements. I just assumed that's how it worked. But apparently in the real world, fake requirements are listed for no reason, and everyone should apply to any job they want even if they don't meet any of the requirements.

    I wouldn't say the requirements are fake, I would say they are listed to eliminate candidates from the pool. Regardless if it is hurting the business because the people that they are hiring are way over qualified (or under) for the position.



  • @tim_g said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @dustinb3403 said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @tim_g said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    If you owned a computer repair business, would you look over each of the hundreds of applications closely enough to notice someone who is qualified enough that doesn't list an A+ cert?

    I don't think the point is to find the people without the cert(s). The goal is to simply eliminate candidates, because there is literally an ocean of candidates for any given position.

    By putting random requirements does the pool get a tiny bit smaller.

    I wouldn't list job requirements that aren't really requirements.

    Shouldn't, but it's the industry standard. It's generally understood that nothing is a strict requirement, so the entire concept of requirements are just a general picture of what someone should be like.



  • @dustinb3403 said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @tim_g said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @dustinb3403 said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    @tim_g said in If not A+, then where should someone start?:

    If you owned a computer repair business, would you look over each of the hundreds of applications closely enough to notice someone who is qualified enough that doesn't list an A+ cert?

    I don't think the point is to find the people without the cert(s). The goal is to simply eliminate candidates, because there is literally an ocean of candidates for any given position.

    By putting random requirements does the pool get a tiny bit smaller.

    I wouldn't list job requirements that aren't really requirements. I just assumed that's how it worked. But apparently in the real world, fake requirements are listed for no reason, and everyone should apply to any job they want even if they don't meet any of the requirements.

    I wouldn't say the requirements are fake, I would say they are listed to eliminate candidates from the pool.

    Well either they are fake and are just a guideline, or they eliminate good people and often the best people. So fake or counter productive are the options.


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