Certification Training: Can
You Afford It?
What training program fits your budget?
If you are looking at obtaining a certification,
whether it's A+ or MCSE, training in one form or another is
essential to prepare you for your certification tests. The big
question is, which provider offers the best product at the best
price? There are quite a few organizations out there who offer
quality training and practice tests.
The following comparison will give you a quick
view of the costs associated with different types of training
and hopefully give you an idea of what training will fit your
needs and budget. I have used the A+ certification (2 exams) and
the MCSE certification (7 exams) for all price comparisons.
These two certs cover both the lower end prices for a
certification with few exams and the higher level of
certification which requires multiple exams.
Use your discretion as to the quality of all free
materials. That said, I have tried to find and link to as many
of the good sites as possible throughout this site. Find the
cert you are interested in among those on the left and see what
resources I have dug up for you.
The certification preparation tools you will find online range
from excellent to downright incorrect.
Depending upon the certification, you may need more than one
book. For the purposes of this example, the A+ book covers both
A+ exams. The MSCE books cover the core exams and two electives
so you must add the prices of the books together to get the
approximate cost of books for the MCSE exams.
$45 - A+ All In One Exam Guide by Michael Meyers
$120 - MCSE: Windows 2000 Core Requirements (2nd Edition) -
Includes 4 books to prepare for the core exams.
$35 - MCSE Exchange Server 5.5 Study Guide Exam 70-081 (With
CD-ROM) by James Chellis
$31 - MCSE: Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Proxy
Total = $186
Practice Test Downloads
Practice tests come in many forms. The following prices are
gathered from tests that can be downloaded or accessed via a
subscription service. All of these providers have been
reviewed on this site.
$139 - Selftest Software A+ Bundle
$169 - Transcender A+ Pak
$339 - Selftest Software MCSE Bundle Download. The bundle
includes only core exams. Elective exams are also available
at $99 each.
$356 - Whizlabs MCSE core exam downloads. Only core exams
are available at this time at $59 each.
Online or Video Training
If you don't have the time to attend a class, a training cd or
video may just be the thing you need to pass your exams. These
are more involved and more expensive than the practice tests
mentioned above. They are designed to teach the subject, not
just test you on it.
$199 - Transcender Transtrainer for both A+ exams on video
$199 - CBT Nuggets for both A+ exams on CD.
$348 - CBT Nuggets MCSE 2000 Package. Includes training for
the core exams. Additional exam packs for elective exams
available for $99 each.
$649 - Transcender Transtrainer MCSE Select Pak. Covers 7
exams (you pick the electives).
$1499 - ProTech MCSE Windows 2000 Self Study Course. Covers
7 exams and has a lifetime exam pass guarantee.