[Posted 23 October 2013 by Kathy Yale]
The A+ certification is a good way for an individual looking to get started in the information technology (IT) field. The test is two separate examinations, 220-801 and 220-802 covering a broad range of topics dealing with computer hardware, peripheral devices and systems. An individual completing the certification will possess the basic knowledge needed in the IT field. With this knowledge, a person can use the training for an entry-level computer repair and troubleshooting position or leverage the certification to further their IT training in Networking+, Security+ and other areas.
Individuals using their A+ certification can expect to make a median average salary of $46,260 ($22 per hour). The examinations are administered by CompTIA, a non-profit trade association for the IT industry located just outside of Chicago in Downers Grove, Illinois.
CompTIA A+ 220-801
The first exam of the two, CompTIA A+ 220-801, is based on five objectives. These objectives are: PC Hardware, which accounts for 40 percent of the exam; Networking (27 percent of the exam); Laptops, Printers and Operational Procedures, each section which is 11 percent of the exam. The exam contains about 90 questions and individuals are given 90 minutes in which to complete the questions. Questions are both multiple choice and performance based, that is, given a set of conditions, you will be required to perform a specific task or solve a problem. The passing score for this exam is 675 out of a scale of 900.
CompTIA A+ 220-802
The second exam is the CompTIA A+ 220-802. In this exam, there are four learning objectives that you are expected to know in order to successfully complete the exam. The four sections of the second exam are: Operating Systems (33 percent); Security (22 percent); Mobile Devices (9 percent); and, Troubleshooting (36 percent). The 220-802 exam has a format that is similar to that of the 220-801 exam. There are approximately 90 exam questions and a test candidate has 90 minutes in which to complete the exam. In order to pass you will need to obtain a score of 700 out of 900.
How to Successfully Obtain Your A+ Certification
There are no prerequisites or coursework that has to be completed before you sit for the two exams. Taking and successfully passing the A+ certification exams requires you to register for the exam and schedule an appointment at a testing center. The cost for each exam is $183 and once you receive a voucher to take the tests, you have up to 12 months in which to do so.
Preparation is one of the best ways to quell your nerves and successfully pass both exams. The more familiar you are with the exam material the better you will feel when attempting your A+ certification.
Some other tips that may be helpful:
It is not necessary to take both exams at once. This will help you focus on each test individually and reduce any pressure you may feel in having to complete both exams immediately. Plan your study time; make sure you allow yourself ample time leading up to the exam to study and go over the five objective areas of 220-801 and four objective areas of 220-802.
Take the 24 hours off prior to your exam date. Find some activity that will relax you and take your mind off the exam. If you put in the time and effort to prepare, you will find that being relaxed will help you perform better on the exams.
[Posted 16 October 2013 by Kathy Yale]
Anyone who is starting out in the IT field can benefit from an A+ certification. In addition to being helpful for people going into IT work, it’s also an excellent way for anyone in this field to make their resume stand out. The certificates are readily available, and they serve to show that applicants have a basic understanding of computer systems and networking.
The world is moving towards a global economy through the power of computers and the Internet. The A+ certification is one of the few that is recognized and backed by manufacturers, vendors, professional organizations, and service providers around the globe. It’s accepted in numerous countries and is the only generic IT support certificate available around the world.
Employers who need team members that are computer proficient normally start by having applicants take a range of computer tests. These tests can become costly to implement as businesses have to invest in the software and pay current employees to administer them. They consume labor, and those hours are wasted if applicants are unable to pass the tests. With A+ Certification, employers know that applicants are qualified and have basic computer skills. There is no need for them to spend money or other resources administering tests. They can focus on applicants who already have this important feather in their cap. It gives applicants with the certification an important edge in the marketplace.
A Jump Start in the Field
A+ certification is especially designed for tech support. It’s an entry-level certification that many people can earn even if they don’t have extensive experience. With this certification, it’s easier to obtain the entry-level jobs, and it can even help applicants bypass some internship and lower-level positions. The modules that must be passed are the Essentials and either IT technician, remote support technician or depot technician. Most people also have six months of experience or more before they start taking these classes.
Self-Starters are Welcome
Companies like seeing some evidence that an individual is willing to apply themselves and go the extra mile. When people invest in this certificate, they send employers the message that they’re serious about their careers and advancing in the field. It shows that people are making an investment in themselves, and this appeals to companies. The certificate is proof that an individual truly is a self-starter.
People who’ve been in the IT field for a while already possess this knowledge, but they may feel that they aren’t receiving the credit or recognition they deserve. With this certification in hand, they have external validation that they do possess the desired skills. The certificate can be used to help convince a manager that someone is ready for the next level or deserves a raise. When someone is striving to advance their career, an A+ certification is an excellent start.
Anyone who’s pursuing a career in IT can benefit from A+ certification. This certification is accepted on a global level, and it can be used to jump start a career. It’s an important asset for anyone who is a beginner in the field and wants to advance their career. It will also benefit people who have worked in the field for a while and want external validation of their skills.
[Posted 8 October 2013 by Kathy Yale]
An individual just starting out in the field of computing and computer technology is faced with a number of choices for professional certification. The CompTIA A+ certification is an excellent place to start and can help a talented computer professional break into any of the following occupations.
Computer Service Technician
The A+ certification is not geared toward any specific computer brand or manufacturer. Individuals who plan to service all types of computers will find the information acquired while pursuing A+ certification to be beneficial. Although not required throughout the industry, several major computer manufacturers, including Lenovo, Dell and Intel, require successful completion of the CompTIA A+ certification as a condition of working as a service technician on their products.
Field Service Technician
A field service technician is a type of computer service specialist who generally works in the homes of clients. Field service technicians perform installation and repair of Internet service lines, personal computers and other computer hardware and software. Field service technicians rely heavily upon the information included in the A+ certification and are employed by many different corporate entities, including cable, telephone and internet providers.
Information Technology Specialist
An information technology (IT) specialist is responsible for such tasks as the management of data stored on computers, installation of software and operation and repair of computer networks. Hospital systems and companies of all sizes hire IT specialists to manage databases and maintain complex systems of computers. A+ certification covers the basics needed by an IT specialist or system administrator.
Technical Support Specialist
Internet service providers, telephone service providers, cell phone and smartphone companies, cable providers and computer manufacturers all utilize technical support personnel to communicate with clients and troubleshoot problems. Troubleshooting and repairing computer problems is a topic heavily covered in the A+ certification. Working as a technical support specialist is one employment option that may offer a flexible work schedule. Large corporate entities need tech support experts on call 24 hours a day, while smaller companies may operate tech support lines only during normal business hours.
Governmental Agencies and Contractors
The U.S. Department of Defense recognizes A+ certification, as do many government contractors. Most government agencies utilize a range of technical support experts and computer service technicians to assist in the operation and maintenance of the computers used by each agency. While an A+ certification might not be required to get a job with a government agency, the knowledge attained with an A+ certification may help an individual perform better and advance more quickly than uncertified individuals.
Many A+ certified computer and IT specialists find success as entrepreneurs. Self-employment is an excellent choice for a parent with small children, a person whose spouse works an irregular schedule or for any individual who needs flexible work hours. Striking out on one’s own is also a great way to earn a second income.
Average salaries for computer professionals vary widely depending on experience, work setting and geographic location, but salaries are generally higher for individuals who have become certified in one or more areas of specialization. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists a median annual salary for 2010 of $46,260 for “Computer Support Specialists,” a very broad grouping into which many of the above careers are classified. The A+ certification is an ideal way to get a foot in the door in one of these exciting, high-paying careers.
[Posted 1 October 2013 by Kathy Yale]
CompTIA is a world leader in computer examination and certification programs. CompTIA was founded in 1982 as a computer dealer trade association and was later rebranded as the Computer Technology Industry Association, a non-profit trade organization devoted to all aspects of computing and information technology. Since the CompTIA A+ certification was first offered in 1993, it has become an industry standard in measuring basic computer competency.
What Is A+ Certification?
The CompTIA A+ certification examination tests the basic skills most likely to be needed when working in computer installation and repair. Material covered on the certification test includes computer operating systems, hardware, software, peripherals, setting up and troubleshooting computer systems and operation of mobile devices. The examination materials and the test itself are frequently updated to stay abreast of new technology. The latest revision was finalized in mid-2013, which means that people who take the examination today are tested on the newest, most relevant material available.
Why Is A+ Certification So Popular?
Nearly 1 million computer professionals have taken and successfully completed the CompTIA A+ examination. The A+ certification is the most broad-based examination offered by CompTIA and tests a wide range of basic computing skills. However, just because the A+ examination tests the most basic areas of computer knowledge does not mean that the test is easy. A person needs a minimum of several hundred hours of hands-on experience with computers and computing systems, as well as a specialized course of study, before even attempting the A+ examination.
Who Needs A+ Certification?
Anyone who is interested in a career in information technology (IT,) computer installation and repair and technical support should start by obtaining A+ certification. A+ certification can be a springboard for other computing specializations or be used as a stand-alone certification by a person interested in a career in one of the above areas.
Is An A+ Certification Required To Work As Computer Technician?
A few employers directly recognize the A+ certification and automatically favor employees who hold it and allow them to advance more quickly on the job. Some employers also require a certain level of demonstrated professional knowledge and certification, although this is not a requirement of all employers. While an A+ certification is not a requirement to work in computing, professional certification can be a plus when seeking employment or advancement in a career. Not everyone takes the time to earn professional certification, and an individual who does devote the necessary effort to become certified in one or more areas of specialization will stand out to employers in a large pool of potential employees.
How Do I Earn A+ Certification?
An individual becomes A+ certified upon the successful completion of a two part examination. Each portion of the examination includes up to 90 questions and participants have 90 minutes to finish each section. The examination can be attempted as many times as needed to pass, but a fee must be paid each time the test is taken. A passing score for the first half of the examination is 675 points out of a possible 900 and 700 points out of 900 for the second half. The test must be taken in an approved testing location under the supervision of an examination proctor.
With the United States employment outlook expected to remain unpredictable for the immediate future, it is important for individuals working in any field to improve their employment marketability by becoming certified. A+ certification is a great starting point for any computer professional who wishes to advance in his or her career.
[Posted 3 September 2013 by Kathy Yale]
When people have more training, they are prepared to handle a wider range of tasks. With a certification, workers will have proof that they took the necessary training and passed the exams. One certification that’s extremely useful in this digital age is the A+ certification. Acknowledged by countless companies, here is what workers and job seekers should know about the CompTIA A+ Certification.
The certification provides candidates with a solid base to build other skills. While people may want to start with higher certifications, the A+ certification is one of the most versatile options. It prepares individuals for a career in IT, and the holder can go in several different directions.
The job market is competitive, and job seekers need something that sets them apart. Certifications are feathers in the cap that can be highlighted on a resume. They will help a candidate get that second look by a recruiter, and it can help people land more interviews. In addition to making candidates stand out, it’s also helpful for current employees who are trying to advance within their companies. Managers are impressed with people who invest their personal time in extra training, and it can give someone the edge they need to earn a promotion.
As a powerful starting point, the A+ certification prepares workers for a range of fields. Someone who is growing tired of their customer service position can use the certification to move into another field. In fact, there are several careers that look specifically for this certification. After successfully earning the certification, people can move into more technical careers by becoming PC techs, help desk technicians, field service specialists or moving into manufacturing.
People who invest in this certification feel more satisfied with their careers and abilities. They know that they are educated and valuable, and it gives them the confidence they need at work. Employers take notice of this certification, and they also take notice of people who are more confident in their skills and abilities. With this certification, people can handle basic computer problems on their own.
Employers Look for the Benefits
People who are already A+ certified require less training and are more skilled. Employers are actively looking for these benefits, and some will even call people who are A+ certified before they will contact other applicants.
The A+ certification is available through several companies, and there are many benefits to making the investment. People who invest their own time in this training will improve their job prospects and earnings potential. They will stand out to employers and supervisors alike, so they are more likely to get the job they desire, be awarded the promotion or get a raise. There is also a great deal of personal satisfaction that comes along with successfully completing this type of training program. The certifications are affordable, and they are a smart career choice for anyone who wants to be in the IT field.
[Posted 22 August 2013 by Kathy Yale]
Careers in the information technology or IT field have become increasingly promising over the last twenty years. Computers are now a part of everyday life for people all over the world, and in many ways computer literacy is important to be successful in just about any career. Many people know the ins and outs of using a computer in their daily lives, whether that is to play games, update Facebook, check email or to do their jobs. However, few of these people are certified to be able to hold positions in the IT field. Certifications can open up all kinds of exciting career paths for those willing to work towards them, and A+ certification is one of the most popular credentialing for those starting out in their careers in computer technology.
Obtain Proficiency as a Network Technician
A+ certification is sponsored by CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association). Holding an A+ certification will show that you are trained in the basics of computer networking and network administration. Obtaining an A+ certification proves that each individual who has successfully passed the exam possesses the basic knowledge and proficiency of a computer technician.
Credentialing for a Competitive Field
The most basic reason why one would want to become A+ certified is that it is often a requirement for jobs in the IT field. The certification is industry-wide and earning it will provide individuals with the credentials to work with some of the top technology companies in the country. While basic knowledge and experience can be important on their own, having the proper credentials can serve as proof that you have undergone the training needed to perform a number of tasks that employers may ask of you.
The First Step to Further Credentialing
What you learn as you seek your A+ certification can also be applied to other certifications and specialties as well. Once you have earned your certification, you will be able to accept any number of jobs in the IT industry. In order to continue to excel and move upward in your field, further credentialing may be required. The A+ certification is part of a career path that may include Network+ certification in addition to others.
Taking the time to become A+ certified will show your computer literacy to employers, and the things you learn on the job can be applied to other certifications that will allow you to excel in your career.
How to Become A+ Certified
The A+ certification course is offered by CompTIA through their website. A number of practice tests, courses, training, and exam vouchers can be found at Total Seminars. These materials will ensure that all test takers are prepared for the exam and taking the next step in their careers.
An A+ certification is one of the basic IT certifications available in addition to being one of the most valuable. It is recognized across the PC industry, and it is an important first step for anybody who wishes to work in the world of information technology.
[Posted 1 August 2013 by Kathy Yale]
Certification is an essential career stepping stone for many professions. In the ever-changing world of computer technology, professional certification is an important way to demonstrate both knowledge and skills to potential employers. CompTIA is an industry leader in computer technology certification and offers a range of examinations and certification pathways designed to test knowledge in different aspects of computers and information technology (IT). The CompTIA A+ certification examination is one of these certification pathways.
What Is A+ Certification?
The CompTIA A+ certification examination is designed to test fundamental knowledge of a wide range of computer skills. Installation, set up and operation of computer systems, PCs, peripherals and mobile devices, as well as use of common computer software programs are the predominant topics covered by the A+ examination. The examination also covers networking, security, troubleshooting, repairs and customer service basics. Since it was first offered in the early 1990s, the A+ examination has been revised several times, most recently in 2012, to keep pace with changing technologies and system upgrades.
What Is Required To Achieve A+ Certification?
The A+ examination consists of two sections and tests proficiency in the skills most commonly used by IT professionals. The examination is designed to test knowledge and skills that should be possessed by an individual with approximately one year of on-the-job training. For a person with little hands-on computer experience or training, completion of a training course in computers and computer technology is usually necessary to pass the test. Several companies offer training materials and practice tests to help a prospective test-taker prepare for the A+ examination.
These training materials can be in the form of a textbook, training manual or online course and are purchased for independent study at the direction of the prospective test-taker. An individual must successfully complete both portions of the examination to achieve A+ certification. Each section consists of 90 questions and must be completed in 90 minutes. The examination does not focus on the products of any specific company or manufacturer but is instead designed to test general, broad-based knowledge. The A+ examination must be scheduled in advance and administered at an approved testing location under the supervision of a proctor. Approved CompTIA testing sites are located throughout the country and in many overseas locations.
What Are The Benefits Of Earning A+ Certification?
Although some employers do not require professional certification, many do place importance on being professionally certified in IT. Several computer manufacturers, including Dell, Intel and Lenovo, require all IT service professionals who work for their companies to be A+ certified as a condition of employment. Many other employers, including the United States Department of Defense, do not specifically require an A+ certification but do recognize its importance and can use certification as a basis for employee selection or promotion. In almost every case, an employer is likely to choose a candidate for employment with proven, demonstrated knowledge in a particular skill set over a potential employee with no certification or credentials.
A professional certification is more than just another line to put on a resume; it is a way to prove knowledge and skills to prospective employers. Earning a professional credential can be critical to finding a great IT job or getting a promotion. Achieving A+ certification, or any of the many IT certifications offered by CompTIA, can help give a computer professional a much-needed edge in this highly competitive field.
[Posted 3 July 2013 by Kathy Yale]
As computers become more user-friendly and prevalent in our society, information technology careers are becoming very popular. We now have an entire generation of people who grew up with computers, and many of them have taught themselves to build, repair and sometimes even program their own machines. It’s easy to think that learning about computers and becoming a proficient IT technician is simple, but the truth is that there are still many fields that require an A+ certification from CompTIA. In other words, it’s not enough to simply know how to build and repair computers.
Of course, requiring A+ certification for certain career paths is hardly a bad thing. Such certifications allow technicians to prove to employers that they are knowledgeable and proficient in their chosen field, not unlike a college degree. With that being said, here are just a handful of fields that require A+ certification.
Computer Repair Technician
Many organizations employ computer repair technicians to troubleshoot any problems that may arise with their own computer systems. People can be self-taught to repair a computer, but being A+ certified will show employers that you are more than capable of handling most computer issues.
Computer Network Technician
Private companies and academic institutions alike often rely on computer networks for easy communication and problem solving, and they need technicians to help set up those networks and fix problems that may come up. Part of the job of a computer network technician is installing the cables, routers and wireless connectors necessary for any network to operate, but it also requires installing and upgrading networking software and determining the needs of every computer in the network to ensure that everything runs smoothly. It’s surprisingly intricate work, so it stands to reason that it will require A+ certification.
Help Desk Technician
Having A+ certification is also necessary to become a help desk technician. A good help desk technician will be familiar with a wide range of hardware and software issues that can plague computer users, and they will be able to find solutions even if solutions aren’t immediately clear. The help desk technician is usually the primary job that requires A+ certification in most companies, and since it’s an entry-level position it can lead to other career options down the road.
Desktop Operating Systems Support
People sometimes take operating systems for granted. Companies have tried so hard to make them as user-friendly as possible that people tend to forget how complex they can be. A desktop operating systems support specialist should know the ins and outs of an operating system, even one that seems easy for the layperson to use. An A+ certification exam requires candidates to be familiar with operating system installation, configuration and maintenance and be able to diagnose and repair problems as they arise.
If you are interested in a career in information technology, receiving A+ certification from CompTIA is practically essential. A+ certification will qualify you to perform a wide range of IT-related jobs, not to mention make you far more attractive to employers.
[Posted 4 June 2013 by Kathy Yale]
The field of information technology (IT) is one of many occupations that benefit from professional certification. Obtaining professional credentials provides confidence to both prospective employers and clients that an IT professional has received proper training and is competent to work in the IT field. Total Seminars provides a range of examination preparation materials for the CompTIA A+ certification and other IT certification examinations.
Overview of the Comptia A+ Examination
Successfully completing the CompTIA A+ certification examination is important for anyone who wishes to be employed as a computer technical support specialist or computer repair technician. The basic certification process includes two separate examinations that cover a full range of computer hardware and software repair, installation, networking and troubleshooting. The examination is administered at testing centers throughout the United States. Each section of the examination is 90 minutes in length, and no reference material or notes are allowed during testing.
General CompTIA A+ Examination Guide
As part of a complete array of test preparation materials, Total Seminars offers a general CompTIA A+ guide, the All-in-One Examination Guide. This comprehensive guidebook, authored by expert Mike Meyers, is broken down into chapters and reviews all the material that might be included on the CompTIA A+ examination. The book also includes diagrams and pictures, as well as information about the examination itself. A CD accompanying the book contains several additional lessons and helpful bonus material.
A great way to prepare for any examination is by taking one or more practice tests containing similar questions presented in the same format as the test itself. Practice tests can alleviate fear of the unknown while helping a student prepare more effectively. Total Seminars offers a set of CompTIA A+ practice tests comprised of realistic questions presented with the same time constraints as the actual examination. The practice tests are computer based and also available on CD.
Specialized Examination Guides
In addition to the general CompTIA A+ certification, certification examinations are available in numerous IT specialties. Total Seminars offers guidebooks and other material designed to prepare test takers for several of the most popular specialized certifications, including Network+, Strata IT and Security+. These study guides are written and presented by experts in each respective field and may be available in video or textbook format. Practice tests for each specialized examination may also be purchased.
Package deals are available that include many of the top-selling Total Seminars books and videos. The “Ultimate Arsenal” combines either the Mike Meyers Network+ Course or the All-in-One Guide with the Practice Test package, while other packages bundle test preparation material with examination vouchers good at VUE testing centers. These packages save money while providing the knowledge that a future IT expert needs to become certified.
Total Seminars is a leader in preparatory material for the CompTIA A+ and related IT certification examinations. Preparatory courses and guides are available for purchase using a convenient on-line checkout system. Course demos are also available at the Total Seminars website. The IT field is constantly evolving and the CompTIA examinations are frequently updated to reflect these changes. Total Seminars is committed to staying ahead of the curve when it comes to new information and CompTIA examination updates. An individual seeking IT certification can find everything needed to prepare for their examination at Total Seminars.
Adding color to printing enables you to do a lot more with a document than simply printing in black. You can add emphasis to specific text, for example, or add small graphics. When it comes to printing a chart, on the other hand, color pretty much makes the chart come alive.
For years, the only cost-effective color-printer choice for the SOHO environment has been ink jet printers. Those of you who have taken our classes know my opinion about the ink jet rip-off market, with replacement cartridges costing upwards of $1000 per gallon. (Seriously. Do the math.) But the primary alternative, color laser printers, have been so expensive that most families and small businesses simply couldn’t afford the initial cost, even if the lifetime cost was substantially less than for an ink jet printer.
Dell just broke that paradigm with the announcement of the Dell C1790nw at a whopping $134.99. Blink. Close your mouth. It’s on sale today, so if you’re in the market for a printer, go here:
Or, if that long link is broken in your browser, try here:
My immediate thought was that, like ink jet printer manufacturers, Dell would fleece consumers with the cost of toner cartridges, but that appears not to be the case. Dell offers two levels of cartridges for the C1790: the 700-page and the 1400-page. (There’s also a 2000-page version, but only for black.) Prices:
- Black (700) – $50
- Magenta (700) – $56
- Cyan (700) – $56
- Yellow (700) – $56
- Black (2000) – $70
- Magenta (1400) – $70
- Cyan (1400) – $70
- Yellow (1400) – $70