CompTIA A+ certification and training FAQAugust 1, 2008
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer support specialists and help desk technicians can expect approximately a 14 percent increase in job opportunities nationwide between 2008 and 2018. CompTIA A+ certification is a trusted way for IT workers to demonstrate that they're qualified for these emerging positions. Below are commonly asked questions and brief answers about A+ certification:
What is CompTIA A+ Certification?
CompTIA A+ Certification is a vendor neutral testing program that certifies the competency of entry-level (6 months experience) computer service technicians. The program is administered by CompTIA and backed by over 50 major computer hardware and software vendors, distributors, resellers and publications.
What does CompTIA stand for?
The Computing Technology Industry Association is a not-for-profit trade association of more than 10,000 companies and professional IT members in the rapidly converging computing and communications market. CompTIA has members in more than 50 countries and provides a unified voice for the industry in the areas of e-commerce standards, vendor-neutral certification, service metrics, public policy and workforce development. More than a quarter of a million individuals worldwide have earned CompTIA certifications in PC service, networking, document imaging, and Internet.
Who can earn CompTIA A+ certification?
The short answer is anyone, since A+ certification is an entry-level IT credential, but the study courses and exams will come more naturally to students who have a fair amount of experience operating and troubleshooting computer systems. CompTIA recommends around 500 hours of labor or field experience with PCs before undertaking certification.
Are there any prerequisites?
No, CompTIA A+ Certification is open to anyone. The exam is targeted for entry-level computer service technicians with at least 6 months of on the job experience.
Is CompTIA A+ widely recognized?
To date over 200,000 people have earned their CompTIA A+ Certification.
What skills are gained when training for CompTIA A+ certification?
Since the issues that may arise in an end-user environment are so various in number, A+ certification focuses on the fundamentals of several aspects of IT positions. Some of those areas of study are:
- Troubleshooting: identifying common user issues and applying effective diagnostic techniques to determine and correct the source of the trouble
- Networking: connecting computers to each other and to a service provider in such a way that data is transmitted quickly and efficiently
- Security: familiarity with basic network and terminal security measures such as firewalls and antivirus programs, as well as with the attacks they are designed to stop
Computer installation and maintenance are also covered on CompTIA A+ certification exams.
Will CompTIA A+ certification lead to an increased salary?
The BLS reports that computer support specialists earned a mean annual wage just shy of $50,000 in 2010. According to the 2011 IT Skills and Salary Report by GlobalKnowledge.com, professionals who hold CompTIA A+ certification earned a mean yearly figure of $67,608, which is about 35 percent greater than the national average for computer support occupations.
While no credential can be considered a guarantee for higher salary, the numbers are encouraging.