I was recently questing for a good foundational certification that might be appropriate to recommend for network technicians that are either new, or have yet to really go through the rigors of getting a certification. Given that our busy, complex environment spans LAN, WLAN, WAN, and the greater mobile environment, I locked on to CompTIA’s Mobility+ as a potential fit. Here’s the objectives:
Interesting mix, no? This seemed to have a bit more width than CompTIA’s Network+, but not to be so deep in one direction as CWNA or CCNA for staff who just weren’t at those levels yet. Combine the objectives with the “accomplishability” of most CompTIA certs, and I was ready to take it for a spin.
For me, I’ve done a fair amount of tech courses through the years. I was an early CWNA and CWSP (2002 and 2004), but those are both now expired (you might say I’ve been a wee bit busy living life). I’ve got lots of “wallpaper”, but it’s been a few years since I forced myself to go through the process of doing the work required for achieving a certification, so I was also looking forward to that part of running through the Mobility+ course as well.
What to Study
To get the journey under way, I had this bundle purchased- linked to off of CompTIA website:
I’ll spare you the details- but I absolutely cannot recommend this path, or LogicalCHOICE as source for this sort of course material. I ended up going with the low-cost alternative from Amazon. The book is very good, and the free practice test questions help (although it would be nice if there were than just the 200 questions that come with the book. Word on the street is that Pluralsight may be another place to look for courseware for Mobility+.
It’s CompTIA… How Hard Can It Be?
This is certainly no CCNA or CWNA when it comes to difficulty. But it’s not a gimme by any stretch. I put in legitimate effort, and did have to spend extra time in the material that dealt with the cellular-related networking specifics that were new to me. Some of the cellular stuff was as fact-riddled as WLAN can be, and you have to train your mind to accept the course’s versions of incident response and troubleshooting. The LAN and Wi-Fi content is shallow, but not without worth. When I was done studying and ready to test, I did feel like I had both gotten a worthwhile refresher in many basic network topics, but also did gain enough new knowledge beyond what I do every day for a living and what I’ve learned in past network courses to feel that it was a worthy time expenditure.
The test itself was bit wonky. I swear that at least a few questions had two legitimate answers. A few others were worded so poorly I couldn’t say with certainty I understood the scenario they were trying to describe. Then there were the couple of “Select the best answer” exercises that would have more aptly been called “select the least shitty answer because they all suck”. Yet despite the criticism that I’ll say applied to 10% of the test or less, I felt challenged at times. I had to think, and I had the butterflies in my stomach that people get when a test isn’t easy. I had little doubt that I’d pass, but it didn’t feel “automatic” by any stretch.
Continuing Education? Pffft. Shame on You, CompTIA.
Now that I have my Mobility+ for whatever that’s worth, I’m in disbelief that CompTIA has the gall to think their certs are meaty enough to expire in 3 years unless you do “continuing education“. I can only channel the immortal Bender Rodriguez here and say “bite my ass.” This CE thing is laughable at this level, and an obvious $$ maker.
Seizing the Moment (well, hopefully)
It was good to make myself work towards a goal again. In this regard, any cert is a good cert, and though Mobility+ won’t really do much for my career as a practicing LAN and WLAN architect (again, wasn’t why I took it), the exercise did create a spark of interest to get me going again after neglecting the certs that I really should care about. It’s a bummer that some of my proudest ones have expired, but i had fun doing Mobility+ and it got me back in the groove. That’s as good as the cert itself.:)