The CompTIA A+ certification is an industry standard for those who wish to pursue a career in IT. The A+ consists of two exams, one focuses on cloud computing, hardware, and networking technology, while the other teaches you about software, operating systems, and cybersecurity basics. Let’s take a look at what the CompTIA A+ is.
The information technology industry is expected to reach a global value of $5 trillion in 2021. It is one of the fastest-growing industries globally, with the most significant development expected to happen in the emerging technology sector – big data/analytics, IoT software, AR/VR, and similar. Other sectors, such as software, tech services, hardware, and telecom services, are not far behind.
To start your IT career, you will need at least a couple of professional certifications under your belt so that a potential employer can evaluate your knowledge and readiness to learn and improve. MyComputerCareer can help with that!
CompTIA is one of the best-recognized certification programs in the IT industry. It consists of several certifications categorized by skillset, including the CompTIA A+.
But what is CompTIA A+?
CompTIA Certification Groups
There are four groups that the CompTIA certs are divided into.
The core certs aim at building the foundational skills that any IT expert needs to have. You can choose from four core certifications:
- IT Fundamentals+ – for pre-career foundational knowledge focused on how IT frameworks work
- CompTIA A+ – for device connectivity and user support skills
- CompTIA Network+ – for system connections with endpoint devices that help you become a network support specialist
- CompTIA Security+ – providing entry-level skills in cybersecurity
If you enjoy the Network+ program, you may want to expand your knowledge on IT infrastructure with these three certifications:
- CompTIA Server+ – for server support and administration
- CompTIA Cloud+ – for deploying network storage resources, virtual system administration, and hybrid clouds
- CompTIA Linux+ – for the administration and management of Linux operating systems
For the advancement in the cybersecurity branch, CompTIA offers the following:
- CASP+ (CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner) – for designing and implementing security solutions
- CompTIA CySA+ (CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst) – for becoming an IT security behavioral analyst
- CompTIA PenTest+ (CompTIA Penetration Testing) – for those who wish to work in penetration and vulnerability testing
Additional Professional Certifications
The final group consists of certifications that don’t technically fit into any of the categories mentioned above.
- CompTIA Cloud Essentials – for furthering your knowledge of cloud computing and learning how to shift from in-house to cloud storage
- CompTIA Project+ – for project management (bringing a project from planning to completion, finishing a project within a specific time frame and under budget, etc.)
- CompTIA CTT+ – for those interested in technical training (becoming a computer technology instructor)
What is CompTIA A+?
Now that we’ve presented a brief overview of what CompTIA offers, let’s take a closer look at what the A+ certification is.
This program is an industry-standard for those who wish to pursue a career in IT. It has been described as an “entry-level rite of passage for IT technicians.” A+ is meant for professionals searching for jobs as a technical support specialist, field service technician, desktop support administrator, and more. It covers PC repair, software installation, operating systems configuration on desktop and mobile devices, basic networking, security, and troubleshooting skills.
If you are interested in going the cybersecurity or the networking route in your IT path, the A+ is an excellent starting point. The IT industry counts more than one million A+ certificate holders, and it is required for technicians who want to service HP, Intel, and Dell computer hardware.
The CompTIA A+ Exam
CompTIA released its restructured exam system in 2019. According to the new system, to get A+ certified, candidates must pass two exams:
- Core 1 (exam 220-1001) – mobile devices, hardware, cloud computing, virtualization, network troubleshooting, and technology.
- Core 2 (exam 220-1002) – software troubleshooting, installing and configuring operating systems, operational procedures, and security.
Once a candidate successfully passes these two core exams, they can receive the A+ certificate. The certificate is a guarantee that the individual has the following knowledge and skills:
- Installing virtual machines
- Troubleshooting and supporting end-user access to data and apps
- Setting up and supporting basic small office and home networks
- Setting up and troubleshooting peripheral devices
- Configuring, installing, and upgrading operating systems, including Linux, iOS, Apple OS X, Windows, Windows Mobile
- Assembling and dismantling computer hardware
- Implementing cybersecurity controls appropriate for a help desk technician or a technical support role
Who is the CompTIA A+ for?
If you’re a beginner in the IT industry and unsure which certifications to go for first, the A+ provides good foundational knowledge to help you jumpstart your IT career. It is ideal for those who have 9 to 12 months of experience working in the field or a lab or equivalent training.
Once you pass this certification exam, you will be ready for any of the following job roles:
- Data support technician
- Help desk technician
- End-user computing technician
- Service desk analyst
- Field service technician
- System support specialist
- Associate network engineer
- Computer support specialist
- Desktop support administrator and similar
CompTIA is a non-profit organization that offers a wide range of certifications for various IT professionals. Their certs are divided into four groups, and the A+ exams belong in the Core Certifications category. It’s no wonder since the A+ has been named one of the most crucial certifications to have if you want to become an IT expert.
If you wish to obtain this cert, you will have to pass two exams. One of them focuses on cloud computing, hardware, and networking technology, while the other teaches you about software, operating systems, and cybersecurity basics.
After passing these exams, getting an IT job is not guaranteed, but employers like to see CompTIA certs on resumes. They are a testament to the candidate’s dedication and willingness to work hard in information technology.
With the A+, you can expect to land employment as a technician in field service, computer support, data or system support, and similar roles. If you wish to go further and specialize in network support or cybersecurity, the A+ provides an ideal base.
MyComputerCareer offers a helping hand in obtaining this certification. If you have any questions about CompTIA in general or the A+, don’t hesitate to reach out. We will ensure that your career in IT starts as smoothly as possible!