Is the CompTIA A+ Certification Worth it?
The CompTIA A+ certification has laid the foundation for many a career in IT and is still considered to be CompTIA’s flagship certification. It’s popularity continues to grow due to the fact that it teaches the very fundamental aspects of IT and prepares students for their first role in the IT field.
But is it worth gaining the A+ certification? What are your options once you have completed your A+ studies? Below we will take a look at why CompTIA A+ remains the number one choice of entry-level IT certification and how it can help you to build a rewarding career as an IT professional.
What is the A+ Certification?
As the CompTIA A+ certification is aimed at entry-level students, the subject matter that is covered during the course will introduce you to personal computers and the hardware components that they consist of. You will also be introduced to operating systems with a larger focus on the Windows operating system, including the installation configuration and management thereof.
Beyond the introductory modules, the course delves deeper into the capabilities of computers and the management of a system. This includes the fundamentals of storage, connecting to a network, expanding on the capabilities of your internal hardware and peripheral devices such as your keyboard, mouse, printer etc.
Next, you will learn about mobile devices. This covers topics such as the components found in a laptop and expanding upon your laptop’s current capabilities, replacing portable device components, ports and connectors and teaches you more about additional mobile devices.
The course also breaks away from Windows operating systems and will teaches you how to utilise alternatives, such as Linux, OS and Mac. The focus here is on the different tools and features that each operating system possesses, the best practices that should be followed when using alternative operating systems and utilising network operating systems.
Moving onto more complex subject matter, the course then teaches a basic understanding of virtualisation and the basic concepts of cloud computing. System security is also covered and teaches an understanding of security threats, the more common prevention methods that can be applied, mobile device security, data destruction and disposal methods and security for SOHO and wireless networks.
How do I Become A+ Certified?
You are able to gain your internationally recognised CompTIA A+ certification by studying the course material and then undertaking the two exams that are associated with the course. The most convenient way to complete your studies is by undertaking a CompTIA A+ course which can be completed from the comfort of your own home or anywhere that has a secure and reliable internet connection.
What are the Benefits of the A+ Certification?
Choose Your Direction
Once you have gained your A+ certification, you will have established a reliable foundation from where to build your career in IT. As the A+ serves as a base of knowledge to many other CompTIA certifications, your options will now seemingly be endless. You will have the opportunity to choose the area of IT that you wish to specialise in and focus on branching your studies out in that direction.
The following CompTIA certifications recommend the A+ as a prerequisite to studying the course:
Increase Your Chances at Being Hired
When recruiters and employers look for a candidate that can fill a position within their organisation, they will list the criteria that need to be met before considering someone for that position. This usually takes the form of a certain amount of experience or specific certifications.
The CompTIA A+ certification is among the certifications that are most commonly listed as a prerequisite to being hired in the field of IT. This gives the employer the peace of mind that you have mastered the fundamentals of the trade and can start working without spending too much time and money on training.
Another factor to consider is that employers will see the fact that you have gained a certification as a sign that you are passionate about your chosen field and that you have the drive to enhance your career by working on your skill set and expanding on your area of knowledge.
Study in Comfort
The CompTIA A+ course is available to be studied online. This means that you are able to arrange your study time according to your own schedule, rather than having to attend to a strict classroom schedule.
The fact that you will be studying online will give you the option of reviewing your course material whenever you feel the need to. This will help you to identify any areas that you are not yet confident in and that need to be revisited in order to ready yourself for your exams.
You will also cut the cost of commuting to a classroom and avoid having to wait in traffic whilst you could already be studying.
The two exams that are associated with the A+ course are numbered as CompTIA A+ 220-901 and 220-902. You will need to pass both exams in order to receive your certification. The details for each exam are as follows:
The first of the two exams covers PC hardware and peripheral devices, the hardware found in mobile devices, networking and the troubleshooting of hardware and network connectivity.
The exam will consist of a maximum of 90 questions that are presented in multiple choice format with single and multiple answers, drag and drop and performance-based questions. You will be given 90 minutes (1.5 hours) to complete your exam and you will have to achieve a pass mark of 675 on a scale of 900. This exam is available to be taken in English, Japanese, German and modernised Spanish.
Residents of the United States and Canada have the option of taking the exams online with the use of a reliable computer, web cam, high speed internet and a web browser that has Adobe Flash player installed. Anyone outside these areas will, however, need to book their exams through Pearson VUE testing centres that can be found around the globe.
This exam covers the installation and configuration of Windows and alternative operating systems, and deals with security, operational procedures and fundamental cloud computing.
The exam is made up of a maximum of 90 questions that are presented in multiple choice format with single and multiple answers, drag and drop and performance-based questions. You will be given 90 minutes (1.5 hours) to complete your exam and you will have to achieve a pass mark of 700 on a scale of 900. This exam is available to be taken in English, Japanese, German and modernised Spanish.
From the points that we have listed above, it is easy to ascertain that the CompTIA A+ certification is well worth the time and effort it will take to acquire. It has been a starting point for many careers in IT and will continue to do so for many years to come. Once you have completed your course and passed the two associated exams, you will have started your journey towards a career that is laden with prospect and reward at every turn.