Studying for Tech Certifications on a Budget: Page 2

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  • Check for aid at work and school: If you already have a professional job, check with Human Resources on the aid they can provide. Some companies may help pay for training classes, materials, and certification costs. Additionally, see if they have memberships to organizations that offer resources or discounts. If you are in school, check with your college to see if they offer any financial assistance or similar membership benefits to societies, organizations, or digital collections.

  • Subscribe to Safari Books Online: This is great if you are a book worm and don't care to join societies or associations that provide partial access to Safari, or you desire complete access. However, they don't just offer books. You'd also be able to access training videos, review short cut documents, preview upcoming titles, and search through technical articles. Their over 8,000 books in digital format are from numerous publishers, including O'Reilly Media, Addison-Wesley, Peachpit Press, Cisco Press, and Wiley. However, before you subscribe, you can always search or browse through the content and see what titles are offered. Then to get a real taste of what they offer, you can sign up for their 10-day free trail. If you choose to continue you can select the $42.99 a month unlimited access option, or opt for the limited $22.99 or $9.99 a month options.

  • Google for resources: Of course, you can always scour the web to find free resources. You might want to search for practice exams on the certification you desire, in addition to general content. Practice tests can give you an idea on whether or not you're ready to take the real deal.
  • After you've studied for tech certs

    If you haven't found out yet, you'll probably soon see that the cost of taking the exam you've studied so much for could be more than the amount you've invested in preparing for it. As I’ve already touched on, be sure to check with your work and school on any help they can provide. If you haven't already, you'll also discover that real hands-on experience trumps certifications and degrees. Thus I'll leave you a few final ideas on how to get real-world experience:

    • Explore internships to get training and experience.
    • Start with entry-level jobs if needed.
    • Take classes at a community college and explore the possibility of using financial aid.
    • Volunteer your time and expertise for any organizations you belong to.
    • Try hardware/software simulators if you can't get your hands on the real stuff.

    Eric Geier is an author of many computing and networking books, including Home Networking All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (Wiley 2008) and 100 Things You Need to Know about Microsoft Windows Vista (Que 2007).


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    Tags: Google, IT Jobs/Salary, IT certifications, Cisco, IT certification


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