Posted by: Kathy Yale
CompTIA offers IT certification for individuals, government agencies, businesses and educators. These certifications are “vendor neutral certifications that measure foundation skills”. Many of the exams offered by CompTIA, such as the A+ Certification, set the groundwork for advanced certification in the IT field of choice. CompTIA certification shows that an individual has the skills, as well as the commitment, to furthering their education and career. Obtaining IT certification through CompTIA is considered an accurate predictor of employee success. CompTIA uses international focus groups as well as a panel of global IT experts to create and review their certification programs and exams.
CompTIA A+ Certification
For those beginning the certification process, a great place to start is the CompTIA A+ Certification. Any professional choosing to begin the certification process must start with the A+ certification. For those just entering the field, the A+ certification is a logical next step after receiving basic certification. The exam covers maintenance of PCs, mobile devices, laptops, operating systems and printers as well as the configuration of these systems. Aside from PC configuration, students also learn Apple and Android configurations for mobile devices.
Four Levels of Certification
CompTIA offers four levels of certification, from entry level to industry specific. The basic course covers the foundations of IT for those with no prior experience in the IT field. The Strata IT Fundamentals course covers the basics of PC components, PC functions and their compatibility with other systems. This certification can be used to move on to additional certifications.
There are ten professional certifications, each geared toward a specific IT discipline. Topics included in these certifications are servers, security, document handling, storage and networks.
Mastery certifications cover advanced practices of a specific discipline. Students must be able to integrate multiple enterprise disciplines through the application of advanced skills. Skills learned include enterprise security, risk management, research and analysis, and integration of IT with communication and business. This certification can be taken as a stand-alone course for IT professionals or as a step toward a specific certification goal.
The Specialty Series of certifications focuses on business and technical knowledge for specific markets. These can be taken with other CompTIA Professional certifications or independently by IT professionals working in those fields. Specialty certifications are available in Cloud Essentials, Healthcare, Media Security, Green and Sales.
The CompTIA A+ certification is ISO and ANSI accredited and has been recognized by the United States Department of Labor. According to CompTIA’s website, over 900,000 IT professionals worldwide hold the A+ certification. Since the certification is vendor neutral, professionals holding the certification are able to work for companies such as Dell, Lenovo and Intel. The job market is promising for certified professionals and includes positions such as IT Support Technician, IT Support Specialist, Field Service Technician, IT Support Administrator and IT Support Specialist.
The A+ Certification is broken down into two exams. Each exam has ninety (90) questions and applicants have ninety (90) minutes to complete the exam. Each exam is performance based, meaning that while the exam is multiple choice, applicants must solve real world problems and apply the knowledge obtained through both study and job experience to arrive at the correct answer.
CompTIA’s certifications are vital to keeping IT professional’s skills up to date while providing the most comprehensive training available.