A+ Networking Certificate: Program Summary

A+ networking certificate programs prepare graduates for entry-level positions as computer support specialists and help desk associates. In these programs, students receive training in a broad range of computer skills and topics.

Essential Information

In these programs, students study topics ranging from analyzing how computer parts function to troubleshooting computer problems and implementing security systems. The Microsoft Windows operating system, networking and software design are also covered in these programs.

Admission requirements differ for each program. Some only require students to have a high school diploma or GED. Others require a specified amount of relevant professional experience or coursework and proficiency in basic computer skills.

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A+ Networking Certification Program

Hands-on learning is an essential part of a certificate program in A+ networking. Additionally, students gain communication and professional skills through some general education classes. Common core course topics may include:

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Configuration
  • Troubleshooting
  • Hardware
  • Software design
  • Information systems

Popular Career Options

According to CompTIA, A+ certification is part of the certification pathway for many computer corporations, including Microsoft, and it's mandatory for service technicians at some companies, such as Dell and Intel. Some government agencies may also require certain computer specialists to have their A+ certification. Additional education may be required for some positions, but common job titles of those who may seek A+ certification include:

  • Help desk associate
  • Field service technician
  • Computer support specialist

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates the employment of computer user support specialists will increase by 13% from 2014 to 2024. According to 2015 figures from the BLS, these support personnel earned a median yearly salary of $48,620.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

After completing an A+ certificate program, graduates may be prepared to sit for CompTIA's A+ certification exams. Applicants must complete two exams: one written and one practical. Individuals who obtained certification on or before Dec. 31, 2010 are certified for life. However, those who obtain certification after Jan. 1, 2011 must keep it valid by retaking the most current exams or participating in qualifying continuing education activities, such as attending seminars or publishing articles pertaining to the industry.

Many information technology jobs require additional education that can be attained through an associate or bachelor's program in a relevant field. Additionally, CompTIA offers other certifications, including those in specialty fields, such as green technology and healthcare technology.

Students in an A+ networking certificate program learn important computer skills through hands-on learning, as well as general education courses. After completing the program, graduates may sit for the CompTIA A+ certification exams or continue their education at the associate's or bachelor's degree levels.

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