Are you looking for a job in IT? Are you struggling due to a lack of qualifications or experience? Are you looking for a stepping-stone credential to help you into the career of your dreams? Then the CompTIA A+ Certification could be for you!
If you're looking for an entry-level position in the IT world, CompTIA A+ Certification could be just what you need to get the edge on other candidates. The A+ credential teaches students the fundamentals of computing, and verifies to employers that you have the skills they're looking for in an entry-level IT technician. Recognized the world over and accredited by ANSI (the American National Standards Institute), CompTIA certifications are excellent tools to help you in the IT world. Once you have your A+ certification, CompTIA offers a range of other courses that could help you to specialize in the field of your choice (including networking and security, amongst others), so you can continue your professional development by building on your academic knowledge and levels of experience. CompTIA A+ Certification could be just the start of a very rewarding career, so if you want to join the IT profession, but don't know where to start, read on for more information.
Typically, you will gain your training after 3-6 months of study, usually taken at a community or technical college of your choice, though there is also the option of self-study through a variety of course books and materials offered by CompTIA. Through the course, you will learn the basics of professional computer maintenance, including key skills such as installation, configuration and basic networking. Topics you may cover include:
Since CompTIA certification is vendor-neutral, you will have the opportunity to learn about a variety of software, including operating systems from companies such as Microsoft and Linux. This is a broader approach than some vendor-sponsored courses, which, though great for specializing in particular software, can be somewhat narrow for students looking to start their IT career. At the end of the course, you must pass two exams to gain the credential: the CompTIA A+ Essentials exam and the CompTIA A+ Practical Application exam. Whilst the first exam focuses on technical knowledge, the second tests practical skills and troubleshooting ability. Once you have gained the CompTIA A+ Certification, you will be qualified for 3 years. In order to keep your credential up-to-date, and remain certified after this time, you must take at least 50 continuing education units and pay applicable fees every three years. You can earn these credits in a variety of ways, including:
Once you have completed your training, you may be qualified for a number of entry-level careers in the IT sector, including IT support technician. Here is some information on the role.
As part of your role, you may help customers and clients to troubleshoot and fix problems in person, via the phone or email, or even over an instant messaging service. You must be detail-oriented with an analytic mind, with the ability to solve issues and problems quickly. You must also have excellent written and oral communication skills, as the majority of your clients will not have the same technical expertise as you. Patience can also be key to the role – remember, if everyone were as tech-savvy as you, you'd be out of a job! Bear this in mind when dealing with customers who are not computer-literate, as this may become frustrating.
You may find yourself working as an independent expert, as part of a call-center troubleshooting team, or as part of a company's IT sector – IT support is an in-demand role, so this could be a very profitable career move. There is also room for advancement, such as further CompTIA training which allows for greater technical skill and knowledge, as well as more in-depth specialization.