Wondering how you can build a career in the prestigious IT industry? If so then an entry-level IT certification may be perfect for you. With the recent reports predicting a 28% increase in job opportunities by the next decade, IT jobs are arguably one of the fastest growing jobs across the globe.
But the question is, what should be your starting point if you are new to this field? Well, various entry-level credentials are available to help you get started on the right foot. The key to choosing the best entry-level certification is understanding your skill set and personal interests.
So, if you are new to the IT world, CompTIA is the best vendor for you to become certified. It has developed reputable certifications for all tastes, from the complete beginners with no experience background ITF+, to those who need to deepen their skills and knowledge A+, and those who advance their skills in the already chosen area Network+ and Security+, among many. In addition, CompTIA offers vendor-neutral certifications, which allow you to work in any company you’d like and are ideal for career growth.
This article is your updated guide to the CompTIA A+ credential and it will help you make an informed decision regarding your career goals. So, without further ado, let’s take an in-depth look at this credential and why it’s important to become certified in 2019.
About the CompTIA A+ Certification
The CompTIA A+ credential is the minimum qualifying standard for jumpstarting your career in the IT world. This certification equips you with the technical skills you will require to serve in various IT operational and technical support roles.
In the highly dynamic IT sphere, earning the CompTIA A+ certification is more than just a way to acquire the PC repair skills. It equips you with the helpful skills necessary for troubleshooting and solving problems. In addition, it also shows your competency in wide-ranging issues such as networking, operating systems, security, and mobile devices.
The CompTIA A+ certification is recognized globally by such companies such as Intel, Dell, HP, and Nissan. Keeping this in mind, earning this credential qualifies you for noteworthy professions all of which bring enviable financial rewards. Thus, being A+ certified, you can apply for such positions as
Support Specialist, and earn an average of $54 500 per year, or become Field Service Technician and make a median salary of $46 000 annually, or you can opt for Desktop Support Analyst and get the average annual salary of about $60 000.
To attain this certification, you will have to pass the two required exams. Pending the retirement of the 900 series exams later this year, you have two options to choose from at the moment. You can either take the soon-to-retire 900 series or the newly developed 1000 series.
The 900 series includes 220-901 and 220-902 exams. Speaking of the retired exams, CompTIA is known to revamp its certification programs every three years and as such, it is soon replacing these exams with the said 1000 series. The 900 series launched on December 15, 2015 and their three-year validity period has since come to pass. In fact, the English version of the 900 series exams is retiring on July 31, 2019, while other languages will retire on October 1, 2019.
The new exams include 220-1001 and 220-1002. These tests have additional content relating to the aspects of the IT support role. Here’s a quick overview of the said exams.
This test verifies your skills associated with mobile device hardware, PC hardware and peripherals, networking and troubleshooting hardware, and network connectivity issues.
This exam validates your ability to install and configure operating systems including Android, Apple, Windows, iOS, and Linux. In addition, it also tests your skills in working with operational procedures, security and the fundamentals of cloud computing.
With an extended scope, this test addresses networking technology, mobile devices, network troubleshooting, hardware virtualization, and cloud computing.
This exam marks the last part in the 1000 series and checks how proficient you are in completing tasks that relate to operating systems, in particular, denoting installation and configuration, it tests your deepened skills in security, and your ability to carry out software troubleshooting.
Aside from the expanded content of the 1000 series exams, the mentioned four exams share various similarities. For instance, all the exams test 90 items related to the CompTIA A+ certification that should be solved in 90 minutes.
Furthermore, the question formats are the same and include multiple-choice questions (single and multiple responses), performance-based and drag and drops. Grading is done on a scale of 100-900 with the passing score set at 675 for the 220-901 and 220-1001 exams and 700 for the 220-902 and 220-1002 exams.
It's highly recommended that you must have acquired at least 9-12 months of hands-on experience in the field or lab prior to scheduling your test.
Exam Preparation Options
The CompTIA official website offers tons of study materials for certification exam candidates. If you are preparing for your A+ certification exams, then you certainly have plenty of study materials to choose from. Here are a few to begin with.
CertMaster Learn for A+
This is an exhaustive eLearning solution that was designed by CompTIA for certification exam training. Known to be a self-paced and interactive platform, Cert Master Learn for A+ tests provides performance-based questions and a customizable learning plan that improves your chances of acing the exam at the initial attempt. You can find it for cheap from the CompTIA website.
You all know the benefits of practice exams during the IT certification journey. Right? The CertMaster Practice verifies your knowledge of the exam concepts in readiness for the actual test. It helps build confidence by confirming your strengths and weak areas that need extra effort.
Study Guides for A+
If you prefer the traditional mode of learning that involves reading textbooks and other published materials, then check out the Official CompTIA Content books for the A+ certification exams.
How about engaging in live online training from your own comfort? How would you like it? Whether a team or just an individual, CompTIA’s instructor-led training platform has plenty to offer the certification exam candidates.
Along with the material offered by CompTIA, you can enhance your preparation searching for additional prep material. For example, Examsnap.com website offers the most reliable exam dumps for a great number of tests and exams. Most files are free, though you can get a premium bundle that includes the questions and answers checked by IT experts for A+ certification exams for just $34.98 now. In addition, Examsnap offers training courses for your exams and a number of useful articles on how to pass them.
You can maintain the validity of your certification by meeting one of the three requirements. The first option involves completing the CertMaster CE, a self-paced course that is readily available online.
Besides, you can also collect a minimum of 20 Continuing Education Units (CEU) within a period of 3 years before uploading the same to your certification account. This automatically updates your A+ credential. After being confident in your knowledge and skills, you can opt for the certifications of the higher level. The benefit of building a career in IT is that there’s always a place to grow your skills.
So that marks the end. With the highly volatile IT industry, the demand for IT technicians couldn’t be higher. Stand out from the competition by attaining the CompTIA A+ certification to advance your career. Looking to attract better jobs and command higher salaries? Then go for it.