A+ Certification Introduction

If you are an IT professional, or are planning for an IT career, chances are that you must have acquired a certification, or may be preparing for one. Ever since the IT revolution began, there has been a proliferation of computer education institutions the world over, and these institutions churn out millions of so-called IT professionals every year.

However, lately the industry has felt the dire need for standardization of the whole process of computer education. Computer organizations all over the world have realized that they need to bring about some order into the sphere of IT training. As a result, some major IT firms such as Sun, Norton and Microsoft have devised certification exams. Microsoft is one classic example for this. Microsoft is credited with having established various different certification systems such as MCSE, MCP and MCT. Each of those certifications is for a specific area of IT expertise. For instance, MCSE is for systems analysts and MCP is for programmers. Certifications such as these help establish the knowledge credentials of an IT professionals. Among others, it serves two major functions:

  • It helps an individual gauge his/her own level of knowledge and expertise
  • It helps potential employers in finding the right candidates for the various IT positions

On the same lines, CompTIA, an industry organization, has established a highly successful and popular certification known as the A+ certification. A+ certification, offered by CompTIA, is a vendor-neutral certification that focuses on computer troubleshooting skills of the candidate. It is basically meant for individuals who intend to make a career as a service technician. It is, however, not very relevant for other professionals such as programmers or systems analysts.

With the help of A+ certification, an individual becomes a highly sought-after employee for the large number of technical support companies across the world. In fact, A+ certified professionals are often hired by computer manufacturing companies also for providing installation and after-sales support to their customers. Besides, on successful completion of the A+ exam, one also has the option to establish one’s own setup offering computer-troubleshooting solutions, and with A+ certification, it becomes easy to establish a sense of trust over the customers.

The A+ certification is designed to test some specific skills required in a service technician, that include:

  • Installing of computers
  • Installing of operating systems
  • Diagnosis of malfunctions
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Basic networking

The A+ exam can be given through Pearson VUE and Prometric testing centers all over the world. This is an online exam that includes two modules, one on hardware concepts and the other on operating systems. Before appearing for the A+ exam, it is required that the candidate has 500 hours of hand-on experience as a service technician. This is important because the focus of the exam is practice, not theory.

It is estimated that 800,000 people across the world are A+ certified. Major IT companies such as IBM have made it mandatory for their service technicians to obtain the A+ certification. Besides, in a number of IT companies, A+ certification is a pre-requisite to apply for any opening that involves computer troubleshooting.

Although there are a number of programs, being offered by various computer institutes, for the preparation of A+ exam, it is broadly felt within the industry that no such program is essential. The A+ examination questions are practical in nature and are based on the multiple-choice format. An individual who has completed the statutory 500 hours of industry exposure would be in a comfortable position to answer those questions. Moreover, there are a number of books available that help a candidate to crack the exam.

It is broadly felt among the technicians who have already cleared the A+ certification, that besides the industry recognition, it provides the much needed sense of prestige as well. Employees that are A+ certified are even given preference in promotions.

It appears that the concept of computer certifications such as A+ is here to stay. Certifications make it possible for IT professionals to validate their skills and knowledge, and it provides potential employers a wonderful mechanism to select the right resource. Certifications have indeed proved a boon for the IT industry.

Comments (10)

  • The A+ certification is the first cert I got way back in 1997 as I was starting out in the information technology field. I have acheived many since, but I have always felt that the opportunities that became available to me becuase of that certification were enormous. Later on I became a trainer and have since trained over 500 people for the A+ certification. The certification is constantly changing to adapt to the times, and so it has become one of the “jumping off points” for people looking to enter into the IT field. I owe a lot to CompTIA – I would not have the lifestyle I do without having gone through the process of obtaining the A+ certification.

    Rob Cox

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  • Mattamatical says:

    comptia A+ is worthless and rip you off big time never will i ever in my life ever get a cert from them

  • I got my A+ and I must say it was like a general survey of general knowledge used in the industry. For companies to adopt A+ as an entry point is probably more of a good thing. It says we don’t rely wholly on gurus or home-brew geeks or do-it-yourself tech wizards, that the knowledge base is accessible and you can come in if you understand this much. I don’t think it infringes upon our personal ability to know more than that. To say you have an A+ cert is more reliable than “I’ve been working with PC’s since the Dos days”. My only wish is that the software component include an added or optional Linux or Mac focus, not just a Microsoft assumption.

  • Kent Dyer says:

    I got my A+ Certification and it really has not helped me all that much. It was nice to go through the Prometric system to get a feel for the testing..



  • Melcom B Smit says:

    I have got my A+ certificate and feel very proud of myself for taking the time to write it as my custermers feel safe with my NETWORKING + cetification!

  • Thank you for your corporation

  • Jt says:

    My opinion is that 3/4 of computer relating problems cannot be solved even if you do A+ ,you still need to have lots of experience and the knowlegede on how to tackle them in the field and that stuff is not learned in this course’s study books.

    I guess it quite useless to have a Comptia.If i wanted to learn about it i prefer to invest m money in a recognised qualifaction diploma/degree.I havent done A+ but i can differentiate between hardwares,perihperals, why?? because i read stuff on the internet.

    If you are serious about your reputation of technician, aim higher go for Microsoft and Cisco certifications (who are the leaders in the it sector) since they are well know to the general public.

  • Jc says:

    The A+ certification is good only if you don’t have a strong computer background. As for a technician, it is something you already know. If you are trying to get a job in the industry, A+ does not always get you that job. Most employers now a days wants MCSE or a college degree.

  • Art says:

    I’m currently not certified but my ASS on Network administration (& lack of experience) has not landed me a job. I’m seeking to get certified and would like to know what books are recommended.

    Thank You for your time