CompTIAWorld, Issue 6, Fall 2019

CompTIA Member Communities Matters

How One IT Pro Built a Career—and Confidence—Fast by Matthew Stern M atthewBrady’s job interviewat R&K Technologies was goingwell. He had beenworking elsewhere as a technician handling printer basics and hoped to move up the job ladder into a more technically demanding position. Sowhen his interviewer asked about his previous IT experience, Brady gave an answer he felt was accurate.

“I decided that even if I went back to school, that before I sat for any CompTIA exam, I was definitely going to get CompTIA CertMaster for it,” Brady said. Brady did return to school. Taking night courses at a certification-oriented IT training institute, he availed himself of video modules and other cert-targeted training tools. And while guided instruction certainly helped, CompTIA CertMaster reinforced that he had the skills needed to pass his exams. Brady quickly passed the 901 and 902 CompTIA A+ exams. From there, with study strategies he knew he could count on, he was already on his way to higher-level certifications. A Big Leap Forward Brady’s courses gave him the framework for understanding server management and maintenance. But as he began working through CompTIA CertMaster Server+, he found it to be more than just a test prep tool—it was supplementing, and even outpacing, what he was learning in class. Brady took the CompTIA Server+ exam and passed, again attributing his success in no small part to his self- study preparation. “I went into that test center a lot more confident after having gone through the CompTIA CertMaster program. I wouldn’t have done it without CompTIA CertMaster,” said Brady. Even though he wasn’t a server administrator, the information he learned was immediately applicable in the workplace. Assigned with setting up a client’s scanners to transmit documents directly to the company’s servers, he

“I thought, being young and naïve, I can go in and install a print driver and delete a corrupted print job out of a queue; I’ve had to troubleshoot software issues on printers, so you could say I have some IT experience,” Brady said. Brady had some experience, but not much. He started at R&K as an IT analyst and project manager and was thrown into the deep end. The company was updating its copiers to communicate with its servers, and the settings he was called upon to manage were nothing he’d ever seen before. Brady got the job done but realized that winging it in his new position wasn’t going to work long term. Fortunately, he had someone to guide him. Seeing his potential, R&K’s IT director became Brady’s mentor and pointed him toward CompTIA certifications. As Brady started down the certification path—first with CompTIA A+ and then CompTIA Server+—he discovered a study tool as critical as any other tech training he would undertake. Building Confidence Through Self-Study As Brady continued to learn on the job, he started to self-study for his A+ certification. He purchased the packet for the 901 exam, and among the materials he found CompTIA CertMaster. He logged in and began playing around. For Brady, the self-paced eLearning programmade studying feel less like memorization and more like being rewarded for building a real, working IT knowledge base. He still had a lot to learn, but he already knew this tool would play a central role in his exam preparation.

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CompTIAWorld | FALL 2019

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