When you are an IT professional, you had heard of certifications such as Cisco CCNA and Microsoft’s MCITP. When attending a two-year community or technical school, certifications is the popular kid on the block as every instructor would tell you that having a certification would make you stand out of the rest of the crowd. As much as having a certification helps you, is it something you can do as an individual who lacks experience in the field or never worked as an IT professional? Every year, vendors of these certifications constantly raise up the requirements and expectations out of these certifications, hence making it hard for just anyone to get it. The difficulty is more than just the intensity of the test. It also costs a lot of money to pass certain ones successfully. There is an about.com article of someone who took one of the hardest exams in the world and describes his experiences here. I can relate this experience when I was taking the Configuring Microsoft Windows 7 certification. They make the material to learn for exam based on business use. An example would be using a Microsoft Image tool and deploy it on multiple machines. There would be a lesson on what parameters you use to properly image an OS and deploy them properly. So if you think you can pass Windows 7 just because you use it on a day to day basis for simple things like homework and web browsing, you are dead wrong. Now that we have Windows 8 out in the market, getting a Windows 7 certification in this day and age is going to be useless. I strongly recommend before getting a certification, have enough experience in the IT field before taking it and if you feel like you are ready for a certification or two, make sure you have enough money to do it because if you don’t, you might waste money anyway because it might take more than one exam to pass. Not that I do not like the idea of trying to get a certification before working in the field, but I wouldn’t be in a hurry to get one yet. I have one certification (CompTIA A+) and as much as I want to get other certifications, I rather wait until I work in the field long enough (based on the experience of getting a Microsoft certification).
As some of you don’t know, I am into technology (one of the main discussions of my blog) and I use many different systems as an IT professional. From the very popular Mac OS X to Windows 7 as well as Linux OSes such as Ubuntu to OpenSUSE (Linux OS of choice). It is nice to have alternatives to Windows considering the features you look for. I have a Mac Mini that runs Mac OS X Lion and a netbook (Asus Aspire One) that runs Linux Mint. It took me a while to get a Linux operating system to run on my netbook. If you consider Linux as an alternative, I have to warn you that the biggest issue I would run into is getting the OS to function properly after installation. That is because Linux isn’t set up right away to run on the hardware correctly. In order to accomplish this, I would have to do a lot of google searching on why something with the OS isn’t working. Even though I am into IT, I don’t know everything that goes on in IT. One of the troubles I occur after installation is that I can’t adjust the brightness level of my netbook. I found on google search that I had to edit a “default” file located in /etc/default/grub and add a line in it using Vi (a common text editor for Linux). You are probably asking “What the heck is /etc/default/grub?” as well as asking “Why is there no C directory of some sort?” That is because Linux uses a different file structure unlike a Windows environment. I would get into that, but it is very lengthy and I will save for a different time. The point is if you don’t mind taking the time to learn your new operating system, then that is fine and dandy. Back to the issues with installation, even though I was able to figure out the problem, that doesn’t solve all the problems of having my netbook run normally on my netbook. I still have trouble using wifi on certain networks like my university network. If you want to test to see if Linux runs on your computer, I encourage you to create a LiveCD or a LiveUSB (http://www.pendrivelinux.com/). Has anyone tried using Linux on their hardware and did anyone experience the same difficulty of running it properly after installation?