[Posted 16 November 2013 by Kathy Yale]
Computer technicians and information technology experts looking for an edge in the workplace should consider attaining A+ certification by CompTIA as a way to gain a leg up on the competition. Keep reading to find out more about the A+ certification and how it can boost the career of even the most knowledgeable, experienced computer tech.
Achieving A+ Certification
CompTIA is a non-profit trade organization that has become a mainstay of the computer and information technology industry by preparing and administering certification examinations in a variety of topics. CompTIA’s examinations are designed by industry experts in each field to test the knowledge required to perform specific computer careers. The A+ certification examination tests knowledge related to setting up, operating and maintaining computers and computer networks and also includes the basics of information technology and systems administration. The A+ certification is intended to equally address all brands and types of computers that the average computer tech might encounter on the job.
The A+ Certification Examination
The A+ examination is comprised of two separate tests, each of which consists of 90 questions and takes up to 90 minutes to complete. The test is given under the supervision of an exam proctor at authorized testing facilities located around the United States. While the A+ certification by CompTIA tests a range of basic computer set-up, repair and troubleshooting skills, the examination itself is far from easy. The newest versions of the examination, 220-801 and 220-802, are so new that reliable statistics on passing rates are not available, but previous versions of the examination claimed to have a passing rate of between three and 20 percent. This low passing rate may be daunting to some examination-takers, but the test can be taken as many times as needed to pass it. Proper preparation with a combination of textbooks, sample examinations and online support also serve to increase the chances of passing the examination the first time.
Improved Employment Prospects
Achieving A+ certification gives a computer technician a competitive edge over other uncertified individuals who may be vying for the same jobs. Many employers seek out employees who have demonstrated a basic knowledge of important skills such as the information covered by the A+ examination. Even self-employed computer technicians benefit from achieving CompTIA A+ certification. Clients look for individuals who are at the top of their field and will select a computer technician or repairperson with a widely-recognized certification like the A+ certification over someone without a certification.
Many computer students invest time and money into a training program without knowing if it will provide adequate preparation for the real-world problems they will face on the job. Even after completing training, a novice computer tech may still feel unprepared to tackle the demands of a full-time job as a computer repair technician or systems administrator. Taking and passing a certification examination like the A+ certification allows an individual to demonstrate knowledge not only to potential employers and clients but also to themself. For most people, knowing that they possess the knowledge and skills needed to perform their job well provides a major boost in confidence.
The A+ certification is not a guarantee of employment but can be a great way to set oneself apart from the crowd.