Difference Between CompTIA A+ and CompTIA IT Fundamentals


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Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) certifications are considered the world over to be among the most trusted and renowned in the IT industry. Certifications available from CompTIA range from entry-level to expert-level for more experienced professionals. For those that are just beginning their IT careers, the CompTIA A+ certification is a great starting point as it teaches a solid understanding of multiple areas of IT. The CompTIA IT Fundamentals course, however, teaches a very basic understanding of IT, and is best suited to those who have a role that is not closely connected to IT.

Although the CompTIA A+ and CompTIA IT Fundamentals are both geared towards entry-level students and do not require you to have any previous or educational experience, they each present their own set of merits. Below we will discuss the difference between the CompTIA A+ and CompTIA IT Fundamentals certifications and to whom each of these is best suited.

Who are the CompTIA certifications for?

CompTIA A+ Certification

The CompTIA A+ certification has long been hailed as the perfect starting point for anyone that has decided to begin a new career in the IT industry. Students who complete their A+ training will have built up the skills and knowledge that will allow them to build a career in virtually any sector within the IT field.

The foundational knowledge that the CompTIA A+ certification teaches makes it possible for further study to be directed towards a number of career paths, including networking, IT security, mobility and cloud-based computing, to name but a few.

CompTIA IT Fundamentals Certification

This is a certification that is geared towards those that need to have a foundational understanding of Information Technology, but whose primary role isn’t necessarily tied to the duties of an IT professional. It is also often used as a tool to promote general IT fluency among the workers in an organisation, whether their roles are IT related or not.

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Which online course should I study first?

The CompTIA IT Fundamentals certification is the less senior of the two qualification and will act as the perfect springboard to the CompTIA A+ certification. However, anyone that has some experience in working with computers would find the A+ certification to be better suited to them, as the course content would be geared towards their skill level.

What do the courses teach?

CompTIA A+ Online Course

The topics covered during the CompTIA A+ course include an introduction to personal computers, internal hardware components, the fundamentals of storage, working with mobile devices and networking. There is also a strong focus on the installation, configuration and management of Windows operating systems, using alternative operating systems, virtualisation and understanding system security.

CompTIA IT Fundamentals Online Course

The CompTIA IT Fundamentals course covers the basics of IT, structured around the topics of software, hardware, security, networking and basic IT literacy. This will help you gain enough knowledge to identify and explain what different computer components are and what their purpose is, set up a work station, install software, establish network connectivity, identify compatibility issues, perform preventative maintenance and identify security risks and their solutions.

CompTIA Exam Details

CompTIA A+ Exam Information

In order to gain the CompTIA A+ certification, you will need to pass two exams, namely CompTIA A+ 220-901 and 220-902. Both of these exams consist of a maximum of 90 questions that are presented in multiple choice, drag and drop and performance-based format. You will be given 90 minutes to complete each exam.

Exam Objectives

CompTIA A+ 220-901 objectives% of Exam
Mobile Devices17%
Hardware & Network Troubleshooting28%

Exam objectives

CompTIA A+ 220-902 objectives% of Exam
Windows Operating Systems29%
Other Operating Systems & Technologies12%
Software Troubleshooting24%
Operational Procedures13%

To receive your certification, you will need to score a passing mark of 675 (on a scale of 900) for the 220-901 exam and 700 (on a scale of 900) for exam 220-902. This exam is available to be taken in English, German, Japanese and modern Spanish.

CompTIA A+ vs IT Fundamentals Conclusion

As can be seen from the above, both the CompTIA A+ and CompTIA IT Fundamentals certifications are aimed at teaching students the basics of IT. The choice of whether to study one or the other lies squarely in whether you will be pursuing a career in the IT field, or just wish to gain a better understanding of IT operations and processes.

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