Get Your Hands Dirty: PC Build Lab for CompTIA A+

Get Your Hands Dirty: PC Build Lab for CompTIA A+

When it comes to getting hired in the IT industry, we know how important hands-on experience is. That’s why we include hands-on labs in our curriculum. For our CompTIA A+ Core 1 and Core 2 courses, this hands-on lab is focused around teaching students to build and configure a personal computer.

What is the PC Build Lab?

The PC Build Lab requires students to build a real working PC computer from scratch! LeaderQuest recently made a sizable investment in acquiring components and a lab to support students wanting to gain hands on experience that they can translate to tier I careers in IT. There are plenty of hands on labs that simulate building a PC computer virtually. However, nothing replaces the experience of holding computer parts and tools in your hands as you successfully build a PC from scratch. All learners are different and the PC Build Lab adds a tangible/tactile component to the CompTIA A+ Core 1 course, enriching the student’s experience.

Build the PC, then Configure the Operating System

Students registered for the CompTIA A+ Core 1 and Core 2 courses will be assigned their own PC computer to work on during class.

The A+ Core 1 students are assigned a pre-assembled computer that they first test to ensure it is fully functional.  Once the PC is confirmed as functional, the students take the computer completely apart. All tools and parts needed to participate are included in the cost of the class. Once disassembled, students follow a step-by-step PC build manual, with the guidance of a live instructor and completely rebuild the computer. No build is complete without testing the build. To wrap up Core 1 and to ensure that all steps were followed properly, the students will connect to a monitor and see a BIOS screen.

Students will then move forward with more advanced software application in Core 2. As the students enter the A+ Core 2 class they will load OS and work on problem solving scenarios that they would encounter in the field. Troubleshooting operational issues is an important part of what IT support staff does to keep PCs up and running smoothly, and we want to make sure that students gain real, hands-on problem solving experience in the classroom.

Why is the PC build so important?

Along with live instructors, lectures, virtual labs and robust curriculum, the students get to dive in and get their hands dirty by actually physically building what they are learning. The accomplishment of these labs allow students to confidently walk into potential employers and show the skills they have learned. These skills can be added to their resumes and LinkedIn and help students secure employment in IT more quickly.

Get the Experience You Need to Start an IT Career

If you’re interested in joining the IT industry, we can help you get the training and employer connections you need to enter the industry quickly.

Our Computer user Support Specialist program takes 5 weeks of daytime classes (or 10 weeks of half-time evening classes) to teach you skills in IT support, networking, cyber security an IT service fundamentals.We’ll prepare you to take certification exams including CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+ and ITIL. These certifications are highly in demand from local employers. That’s where our Career Services team comes in.

Each campus has a devoted Career Services team tasked with helping each LeaderQuest graduate find employment in the field. Your Employment Development Manager will work with you one-on-one to create a powerful resume, harness your online presence, and prepare for interviews. When you’re ready to go, we’ll connect you with local employers who are looking to hire our trained and certified grads.

With experience from your new job and four powerful IT certifications under your belt, you’ll be ready to launch into the next step in your IT career. So what are you waiting for?



Hands-on Experience with ITSM: An ITIL Case Study

Hands-on Experience with ITSM: An ITIL Case Study

When you’re learning a new skill, it’s important to get hands-on experience to make sure you really understand it. For classes like CompTIA A+, that means getting experience working with computer components and building working machines. But for other classes, like ITIL, it can be difficult to gain practical experience.

The official ITIL v3 Framework syllabus doesn’t contain a case study or ways of applying ITIL skills hands on. While this isn’t a stumbling block for experienced IT professionals with years of experience in the field, newcomers are another case altogether. For example, many of our students at LeaderQuest are new to IT, and in need of formal experience. It’s crucial they understand not just the ITIL, but also how to apply it.

To solve this problem, and better equip our graduates for working in the industry, LeaderQuest instructor Richard Petti adapted a case study designed for the Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) certificate to be used in our ITIL Foundation class.

Here is the case study, how we worked with it, and how newcomers seeking ITIL experience got what they needed.

Real-Life IT Application: The Banking Case Study

The seven-page case study is easy to read and understand. It takes one bank that is working on the challenge of becoming an interactional business. Through it, students were able to dig into the question of what ITIL looks like when it’s actually running in a company.

The case study covers the bank’s background, services, company structure, corporate vision/business strategy, challenges issues/risks, IT structure, IT infrastructure, IT services, and it’s overall IT service management (ITSM) situation. The ITSM includes 5 components, which are broken down and analyzed piece by piece:

  • Service Strategy
    • Strategy Management for IT Services
    • Service Portfolio Management
    • Financial Management for IT Services
    • Business Relationship Management
    • Demand Management
  • Service Design
    • Design Coordination
    • Service Catalogue Management
    • Service Level Management
    • Supplier Management
    • Availability Management
    • Capacity Management
    • IT Service Continuity Management
    • Information Security Management
  • Service Transition
    • Transition Planning & Support
    • Change Management
    • Service Asset & Configuration Management
    • Release Management
    • Service Validation & Testing
    • Change Evaluation
    • Knowledge Management
  • Service Operation
    • Processes
      • Event Management
      • Incident Management
      • Request Fulfillment
      • Problem Management
      • Access Management
    • Functions
      • Service Desk
      • Technical Management
      • Application Management
      • Operations Management
  • Continual Service Improvement
    • CSI Approach
    • 7-Step Improvement Process

Practical Experience in Class

Richard used this case study to create five exercises for the class. In each exercise, students broke into groups to analyze one aspect of the case study and how it related to ITIL’s framework for IT Service Management. Students completed a worksheet that analyzed the IT service elements, and then come back together as a class to compare notes and fill in any gaps.

These exercises provided a break from the more traditional instruction parts of the class and enabled students to explore the implementation of what they’ve been learning. Hands-on experience helped students increase their understanding of IT as a business for interviews and job readiness.

At LeaderQuest, we understand that many of our students have little to no IT experience. We go the extra mile to ensure that they understand the material, pass the ITIL certification exam, and have all the skills they need to perform well in their new job role after graduation. No other IT training company provides the kind of hands-on experience that LeaderQuest offers at all levels of study. Hands-on training is just one part of the package that we offer to help prepare those with little or no IT experience get hired in IT.

Get Trained & Get Experience With ITIL!

Do you want a chance to start your career in IT? Our hands-on IT certification training will give you the skills you need to get hired in this growing industry! Each course is 5-10 days with a focus on an important certification that can help you find employment in your field.

To make getting certified easy, LeaderQuest covers the cost of one certification attempt per course and hires instructors with years of industry experience who know the exam inside and out. If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, IT training could be right for you. Get a job you LOVE!


About Richard Petti

Richard has attained every ITIL v2, v3, & 2011E certification, including ITIL Expert, Practitioner, and Service Manager. He brings 13 years of teaching ITIL to LeaderQuest to help our students excel.

Richard is an an executive level ITSM/ITIL certified service/support manager and trainer, a conference speaker, and consultant with international experience. He has managed consumer support, sales, customer service, and technical service/support groups in call centers, as well as facility and HR departments.

Richard has consulted and trained IT executives, directors, managers, and service/support personnel in North America, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East. During that time he has developed new business, education, service, and support processes. He has also performed operations and process assessments and then proposed strategic road maps to accomplish his clients’ process improvement objectives.