The CompTIA A+ certification is often regarded as the entry point for one’s career in the field of IT.
More than 260,000 professionals have already earned this badge all over the world. With this certificate, the individuals can take up the entry-level job roles, such as a computer service technician, a system support specialist, a service desk analyst, etc.
The credential is vendor-neutral and it focuses on the candidates’ ability to troubleshoot and repair computers as well as gain the adequate skills required to grow their career in the industry.
In this guide, we will provide the answers to some critical questions that you may have about CompTIA A+.
Is CompTIA A+ the best certification for any career in the IT sector?
The answer is no. The world of Information Technology is vast and there are various job roles that the individuals can explore.
Many of these positions require specific training, experience, skills, and expertise. For those newcomers who want to take up a role in tech servicing or support, CompTIA A+ is a good starting point.
However, for example, those applicants who want to be the Java programmers will not benefit much from obtaining this certification.
Therefore, before you register for the exams, you must align the content with your career goals and be sure that it is relevant to your path.
What content is covered in the CompTIA A+ certification?
According to CompTIA, there are nine distinct knowledge domains that the candidates pursuing A+ will need to study.
All of them form the whole content of two exams that you have to pass. The areas to learn are the following:
- Operational Procedures;
- Mobile Devices;
- Virtualization and Cloud Computing;
- Operating Systems;
- Software Troubleshooting;
- Hardware and Network Troubleshooting.
The students will need to get the capacity to identify, utilize, and connect devices and hardware components.
They will also be equipped with the relevant skills to install and support Windows operating systems such as command line and client support.
They should understand the fundamentals of Mac OS, mobile operating systems, and Linux.
The test takers will be able to troubleshoot mobile devices and PC issues, which include application security support.
They will also understand the basics of networking, including a variety of networks and connections, such as WIFI, SOHO, and TCP/IP.
The applicants will be equipped with the skills to identify and protect devices and network connections against different security vulnerabilities.
They will also have the ability to install and configure laptops and many other portable devices. Their competence in Cloud computing concepts and client-side virtualization set up should also be developed.
What exams are required for the CompTIA A+ certification?
The candidates for the A+ credential have to pass two exams. The required tests are CompTIA 220-1001 (Core 1) and CompTIA 220-1002 (Core 2).
Core 1 is designed to evaluate their skills in mobile devices, hardware, network troubleshooting, Cloud computing, networking technologies, and virtualization. Core 2 will measure their competence in installing and configuring operating systems, operational procedures, software troubleshooting, and expanded security.
To register for both exams, you have to visit the Pearson VUE platform and pay $226 per test. The exams are available in English, Japanese, Portuguese, German, Spanish, and Thai. The maximum number of questions to expect per test is 90 and you will have 90 minutes to complete all of them.
The question formats are drag and drop, performance-based, as well as multiple choice (single & multiple responses).
To pass CompTIA 220-1001, you need to get 675 points out of 900, while to complete CompTIA 220-1002, you have to score 700 marks.
Although there are no compulsory prerequisites for these certification tests, the students are advised to have between 9 and 12 months of work experience before attempting them. If you don’t have it, you can get the same through lab practice.
Also, please note that the CompTIA A+ certificate is valid for three years. However, you can recertify by earning 20 CEUs through participation in training or other activities that align with the content of the exams. Or you can just earn a more advanced badge.
Is it compulsory to take a training course to obtain the CompTIA A+ certification?
You don’t need to take any course to earn your certificate if you are confident in your own abilities. You can prepare for the exams on your own, using the appropriate study materials.
There are many free and paid resources online that you can explore for your prep process. Although it is not required that you take the training courses, you must develop competence in all the topics of two tests.
What are your career opportunities with the CompTIA A+ certification?
The CompTIA A+ certificate holders can take up various job roles, such as:
- Associate Network Engineer
- Desktop Support Administrator
- End User Computing Technician
- Field Service Technician
- Help Desk Technician
- Help Desk Support Specialist
- Technical Support Specialist
- Service Desk Analyst
- System Support Specialist
The CompTIA A + badge can significantly affect your chances of getting your first IT job. However, you must first check all the information to make sure that it matches your career goals.