If you currently work in the IT industry and you’re wondering how you can get a leg up on the competition or look good in your employers eyes one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get IT certification, more specifically CompTIA A+ certification.
Why Do You Need CompTIA A+ Certification
The world of IT is one that is ever-changing. When you first went to school and completed your training chances are there have been a lot of developments and changes since then. So how do you plan to keep up with your technical skills? An employer will look very favorably upon an employee who takes an active role in ensuring their skills are current. With that in mind you can find all kinds of organizations and companies that offer certification courses. The A+ IT certification is meant for those IT personnel who want to move on to become an IT support technician.
In a recent story by PR-BG.com an emphasis was placed on the importance of IT Support Technicians earning their CompTIA A+ certification for the reasons stated above, among others. It’s really quite incredible just how fast changes take place in the IT world whether it be in the applications, the platform, or how tasks are completed. Just about every business relies on a computer at some level and that’s not changing anytime soon. Many organizations have dedicated IT personnel whose job it is to make sure the computer network, wireless network, and devices are working smoothly and efficiently. It’s not just about repairs it’s about constant preventative maintenance. With that said employers need to know that their IT department is well versed on today’s technology.
What is CompTIA A+ Certification?
So if you’re wondering what exactly CompTIA A+ certification is it’s actually made up of two separate exams. One of the exams is meant to arm participants with the skills they need to install and configure operating systems like Linux and Windows. As well it takes a look at installation of applications, software, and troubleshooting.
The other part of the exam is meant to give the participant all the technical skills they need in order to manage and maintain PC hardware, printers, networking, wireless devices, laptops, and any other devices. There is preparation involved for these exams which are put together by experts in the field. There are a number of courses offered online that will help you prepare for the exams with study guides. You can even prepare yourself by using “dumps” which are practice exam questions.
For some people the CompTIA A+ certification acts as a starting point in their career instead of advancement. Many employers look at it favorably during the hiring process and can mean the difference between landing your dream job and not gettingit. Some of the jobs that use CompTIA A+ certification are IT support technician, technical support specialist, field service technician, IT support specialist, IT support administrator. Once you receive your CompTIA A+ certification it is valid for three years. The testes are performance-based and are multiple choices. The exam was developed back in 1993 and since then there have been five different versions of the exam with the most recent being in 2012. This exam is meant to be taken by those IT professionals who have at least 500 hours of experience.
Most people want to strive for more in their current job and one way to reach that next level is by advancing your education so you can offer that much more to your current or future employees. The CompTIA A+ certification is an excellent example of this.
What does the A+ certification cover?
Perhaps you’ve heard of the CompTIA A+ certification? Chances are if you’re an IT professional then you’ve heard of it. If you’re looking into it as a route you might like to take you may be interested to learn in what the A+ certification covers. Let’s take a closer look at it.
A+ Certification – Who it’s For?
Just because you’ve heard of A+ certification doesn’t mean you necessarily know everything about it. You may be wondering if it’s something you could acquire. The A+ certification is meant for those IT professionals that are just starting out in the IT industry or who are seasoned professionals who are looking to advance in their career.
It’s actually been seen as a great way to start your IT career as it sets you up for jobs such as an IT support specialist, IT support administrator, IT support technician, field service technician, or a technical support specialist. From these types of jobs you can continue to work your way up the career path. Once you complete this certification it proves to employers that you are a qualified and competent computer technician.
This type of certification is of course is meant to keep you up-to-date with current skills, knowledge, and techniques being used in the IT industry. After you receive your certification it is valid for three years at which time you can get re-certified.
What Exactly Does A+ Certification Cover and Mean?
Now that you know who it’s for how about we take a look at what it covers. To obtain your A+ Certification you’ll need to complete two exams which are called the 220-801 and the 220-802. You not only have to take the exams but you need to receive a passing grade.
Exam 220-801 deals specifically with the very fundamentals of computers when it comes to networking, technology, and security. You will need to show you have the skills to identify problems, understand different operating systems, troubleshoot with ease, and be well versed in safety and security procedures.Meanwhile 220-802 proves that you have the skills to configure and install operating systems, applications, software, and troubleshoot the operating system.
It’s obvious why these types of skills are looked favorably upon by potential and current employers. They will know that they can trust you to manage and maintain their network, which most companies rely heavily upon.
How to Prepare?
So obviously you will want to pass the exams the first time you take them and this is possible with some preparation on your part. There are a number of online and in person courses from a certified facility (TechSherpas being one of them) that offer study guides and even sample/practice questions so you know what to expect.
There are also things you can do at home to help learn about computers and their components so you are better prepared for the exams. Some of things you can do are practice removing the internal components. This means removing the motherboard, the interface cards, the CPU fan, the power cables from the system board, and the hard drive. You can also learn by detaching the external devices such as the monitor, the network cables, the keyboard and mouse, and the power cable.
This type of hands-on approach is a great way to familiarize yourself with computers and also become more confident in your skills and your abilities to troubleshoot and repair problems.
The A+ certification covers all aspects of computers, networking, security, safety, and maintenance and should be thought of as a necessary part of your career development if you plan to work in the IT industry. It’s a surefire way to get noticed and be respected by a potential or current employer.