Are you an IT professional looking for a reputable certification? Are you looking for a qualification to boost your resume? Perhaps you just want to improve your basic knowledge of computers? Then CompTIA has a certification for you!
CompTIA (the Computing Technology Industry Association) is a non-profit organisation that, amongst other things, offers vendor-neutral certification for IT professionals. There are a range of certifications to choose from, from the beginner's CompTIA A+ Certification, effectively a “computing 101” option, to more complex qualifications such as the Security+ Certification, which teaches students the fundamentals of information security, both on and offline.
The benefit of a vendor-neutral certification is a broader overview of the available technologies in any given field. For example, you could learn about the pros and cons of Microsoft's .NET Framework, as opposed to Oracle's equivalent, JOONE (short for Java Object Oriented Neural Engine) through the CompTIA Network+ Certification; however, with a vendor-specific credential, offered by organizations including Microsoft and Oracle, you will only learn about the technology they provide.
Vendor-neutral certification may make a greater range of tools available to you, though potentially at the sacrifice of more in-depth knowledge in specific applications that a vendor-specific qualification could possibly provide. However, with worldwide recognition as one of the leaders in technological education, CompTIA offers excellent training programs that are internationally-recognized and respected (including three qualifications which have ANSI accreditation).
From networking to security and servers, CompTIA has a certification for almost every computing specialty. Through either classroom study in a community or technical college, instructor-led online study in a virtual environment, or simply self-study, there are a number of ways students can choose to learn, which is great if you are fitting your credential around your current work. CompTIA also offer a range of study guides for each course, from books and test papers, to instructional DVDs. Whilst some courses have no prerequisites, others require or recommend that you have a certain amount of technical know-how, and more complex qualifications may also require a length of relevant professional experience (such as the Server+ credential, where CompTIA recommends 18 months to 2 years' experience working with networks and servers).
At the end of your course, you must sit and pass one or more exams, dependent on which credential you have chosen to study. There is a minimum pass grade for all exams, which is available on the CompTIA website. With most qualifications, you will then be qualified for life, with no need for renewal; however, due to an ever-changing industry, certifications including the CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ credentials require renewal every three years, which includes updated study and a renewal fee. In order to keep your credential up-to-date, 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:
For more information on renewing your certifications, and if this is applicable to your chosen course of study, please visit the CompTIA website.
Once you have completed your course of study, the career possibilities are almost endless. With CompTIA certification, you have an internationally-recognized qualification that proves to employers you have the skills they need for the job, whether you are a Security+ trained professional looking to work as a penetration tester, or a Certified Technical Trainer looking to teach others.
This includes technical professionals employed in servers, networking, technical training and project management. Amongst others, these companies respect the value of CompTIA certification, as it validates your knowledge and expertise and ensures that you have the skills they are looking for in their technical departments.
In our modern world, everything runs on computers, so the IT world is ever-expanding and can offer a multitude of different jobs and working environments to suit different people. Here is a brief list of the sort of jobs associated with some of the different CompTIA qualifications.
CompTIA A+ is fantastic for entry-level professionals or those moving from another career entirely. Although there is the potential to build upon your knowledge through further study, jobs available to those with just CompTIA A+ certification may including IT support desks, consultancy and technical support.
CompTIA Network+, Security+ and Server+ are excellent qualifications for those looking to work in networking systems and servers and the on and offline security of clients. They encompass a wide range of knowledge around the subject area, and qualified candidates might look for jobs in software engineering, data analysis, and network administration. For candidates already in these fields looking to build upon their career, the Project+ certification could help achieve a management level position in these areas.