A Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) certification signifies that a person possesses the fundamental computer skills. The A+ certification prepares a person for entry-level jobs in technical support and administration. It demonstrates that the holder has a background in computer hardware, networking, operating systems, security, and mobile technologies and is able to install, configure, and troubleshoot hardware, peripherals, and other devices.
For the first exam, individuals must have an understanding of operational processes, as well as knowing the technical details behind hardware (motherboards, memory, optical drivers, hard drives, and expansion cards), software, networks and printers. The second exam focuses on operating systems, security, Apple, and Android mobile devices and troubleshooting techniques.
It is recommended that students have at least six months of experience in the topics covered by the exams before attempting them. In addition, certification only lasts for three years, making recertification necessary. Continuing education courses are often available to help you stay up to date and prepared.
CompTIA A Plus Certification
Some schools offer preparation programs and courses that give you the skills needed to pass the A+ Certification exam. Some topics you might study include:
- Microcomputer architecture
- Work safety measures
- Computer maintenance and repair
- Printer setup
- Hardware component installation
- Computer peripherals
Employment Outlook & Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer support specialists will have favorable career prospects in the coming years (www.bls.gov). It expects growth in this field to be at a faster-than-average rate of 12% between 2014 and 2024, as staff will be needed to deal with hardware and software upgrades and installations. The median wage of a computer user support specialist in May 2015 was $48,620, reported the BLS. PayScale.com reported in January 2016 that an entry-level computer technician earned a median wage of $35,276.
CompTIA A+ certification proves that students have the necessary skills to effectively work with different kinds of technology and programming in a variety of ways. There are several careers available for graduates, with continuing education courses available to stay up to date on the latest technology and prepare for recertification exams.