[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.