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CompTIA A+ Certification: Why Should I Train & Test?

CompTIA A+ Certification – What Will It Do for My IT Career?
Due to the lightning-fast increase of computer technology in vital places, from home businesses to conglomerate companies, IT careers are on the rise and IT professionals are in high demand. But where should an IT professional even begin their training?

CompTIA A+ has been known for a decade now as the go-to “IT 101” training certification that will give IT professionals the necessary skills to understand fundamental knowledge about basic aspects of operating systems, in addition to the professional communication skills required to function with IT clients.

The Vast Range of a CompTIA A+ Certification
CompTIA A+ certification is a widely recognized attribute of any IT career. It’s vendor-neutral and top-vendor recognized, meaning that it doesn’t align itself specifically with major technologies and operating systems like Microsoft and Apple, but at the same time is validly recognized by those same names as a reputable and acceptable certification. Microsoft, Apple, Novell, and Linux are just a few of the big wigs that won’t blink an eye at a CompTIA A+ certification, but will instead turn a listening ear to those who have achieved CompTIA A+ status (in addition to CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ certification status). Moreover, its range will allow blooming IT professionals to apply for an array of IT jobs such as: computer technician, technical support representative, help desk specialist, printer repair technician, service technician, and more.

The Monetary Benefits of a CompTIA A+ Certification
In fact, according to CompTIA’s own research, 86% of hirers analyzed consider IT certifications like CompTIA’s A+ certification to be a high priority, while according to the award-winning computer training company TrainSignal, 60% of entry-level IT job postings analyzed required or highly recommended CompTIA’s A+ certification in order to be considered for an IT position. In other words, if you want to compete with other IT professionals, even if you’re not just starting out in the industry, a CompTIA A+ certification (followed by CompTIA’s Network+ and Security+ certifications) will give IT job seekers a professional edge over the competition.

Surprisingly, the last time Wikipedia checked, only 800,000 IT professionals worldwide currently have a CompTIA A+ certification, which as one can imagine, gives those 800,000 a global edge that their competing IT peers simply don’t have. Just type in a quick search for CompTIA in any job-searching engine, such as Craigslist, for any major US city and the results will verify that employers are using CompTIA’s A+ certification as a basis for their IT hiring, from entry-level positions and beyond. Therefore, earners of a CompTIA A+ certification have not only a competitive edge in the job market, but also have a broader range of job opportunities to apply for—even if hirers aren’t specifically listing CompTIA A+ as a job requirement or recommendation. These multi-industry IT opportunities have been researched as providing an IT professional with an average salary of up to $50K, according to CompTIA’s own research, and up to $57K according to TrainSignal’s research. TrainSignal notes that, “Surveys also show that [CompTIA] certified professionals earn more on average than non-certified IT pros in the same roles” (Lorenc, 2010).

The Skills & Confidence Provided by a CompTIA A+ Certification
While competing in the job market and making money are obvious concerns of every job seeker, it’s also known that without retention of the skills required for the job, an employee won’t last long in their new position. CompTIA A+ certification will give professionals the skills and the confidence to handle new IT job position requirements with proficiency. Trained professionals in any field are familiar with the feeling of knowing a subject or piece of equipment so well that they can operate it, talk about it, troubleshoot it, and perform any other job requirement with little help from others around the workplace. This is especially key when IT professionals are often sent out to clients’ job sites by themselves. An employer that can send their IT employee onto a job without worrying about them having fundamental questions about their task will harbor confidence in their employee’s ability to get the job done swiftly and correctly. Similarly, the IT professional themselves will feel confident walking into issues with common operating systems without flinching because they know the system—and how to handle and troubleshoot it—inside and out.

Skills acquired after completing CompTIA’s A+ certification include knowledge of: operating systems and their troubleshooting methods; power supplies; CPUs; motherboards; the basic input/output system; memory systems; bus structures; expansion cards; peripheral connection types; data storage devices; video output and image input devices; printers; connecting computers; networking computers; troubleshooting computer networks; Windows installation, upgrades, management, and monitoring; plus general security, safety, and maintenance.

Continuing to build upon your skills and self-reliance is paramount in the IT industry. And like most industries, IT has its own standards for continuing education (CE) in order to stay up-to-date on what’s new and forthcoming. And while professionals in any field usually gripe about their CE requirements, once completed, CE courses allow the professional to continue to have an edge in the job market due to having the latest knowledge. CompTIA is no exception in that A+ certifications have their own 20-unit CE requirements that are surprisingly broad. In fact, IT tasks that an IT professional is already completing in their job position may qualify towards CompTIA CE units, as long as they build upon the objectives of the original certification.

In summary, a CompTIA A+ certification will: be vendor neutral, garner top-vendor recognition, allow for a broader range of job opportunities, provide a higher salary, give a competitive edge over other job seekers, instill skills and confidence in the IT professional, and keep the IT professional up-to-date in their discipline.

About The Author:
Chester Flake is the CEO of Certification Camps an industry leader in Certification Training for IT professionals.  Chester is a Microsoft Certified Learning Consultant, holds 3 college degrees, and certification in almost every Microsoft technology providing training to companies including IT giants such as HP, IBM, Ebay and Microsoft including CompTia Certification Training.