About CompTIA A+ Certification
CompTIA A+ is the industry standard for launching a prestigious career in the IT sector. This certification can be your starting point if you are new to the field.
Who Is CompTIA A+ Certification Intended for?
The CompTIA A+ certificate is designed for anyone who is thinking of starting an IT career. It tests the individuals’ knowledge on a wide range of the industry fundamentals, such as security, Cloud, and data management. The certification has no official prerequisites, but to earn it, the candidates need to ace two exams, namely Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002). Only after passing these two tests, one becomes eligible for the A+ certificate.
What Are CompTIA A+ Certification Exams?
Both the exams for CompTIA A+ are 90 minutes long and consist of 90 questions. The question formats that appear in the certification tests include drag and drop, multiple choice and performance-based. The exams can be delivered in English, Spanish, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and Thai. You can take each of them online or at the nearest testing center after paying the registration fee of $226 per exam. To get the certification, you need to score 675 points on a scale of 100-900 for CompTIA 220-1001 and 700 points – for CompTIA 220-1002. To prepare for these tests, the candidates can sign up for the official instructor-led course or use study guides offered on the CompTIA website.
After successful completion of the 220-1001 and 220-1002 exams, you will be awarded the CompTIA A+ certification that you can add to your resume and showcase on your social network profile. Your certificate will be valid for three years from the moment of awarding. After the expiration of this period, you will need to renew it to maintain your certification status.
What Topics Are Covered in CompTIA A+ 220-1001 Certification Exam?
The certification exams for CompTIA A+ measure the applicants’ knowledge of various topics. The first test, CompTIA 220-1001 or Core 1, evaluates your competency in the following domains:
- Mobile Devices
- Cloud Computing and Virtualization
- Network Troubleshooting
Each of these topics encompasses specific abilities that the learners must possess. The first domain, Mobile Devices, involves installing and configuring laptop hardware and components; installing components within the display of a laptop; using the appropriate laptop features; comparing the characteristics of different types of mobile devices; connecting and configuring accessories and ports of mobile devices; configuring app support and basic mobile device network connectivity.
The Networking area includes the skills, such as comparing UDP and TCP protocols, ports, and their purposes; comparing common networking hardware devices; installing and configuring a basic wired/wireless SOHO network; explaining common network configuration concepts; comparing network types, Internet connection types, and their features; using the appropriate networking tools; etc.
The next objective, Hardware, comprises of the following skill areas: explaining basic cable types, features, and their purposes; identifying common connector types; installing RAM types; selecting, installing and configuring storage devices; installing and configuring motherboards, CPUs, and add-on cards; explaining the purposes and uses of various peripheral types; summarizing power supply types and features; among others.
Within the Cloud Computing and Virtualization domain, you will need to demonstrate that you are able to contrast and compare Cloud computing concepts as well as set up and configure client-side virtualization.
The last topic in the CompTIA 220-1001 exam (Network Troubleshooting) measures your skills in using the best practice methodology to resolve problems; troubleshooting problems related to motherboards, RAM, CPUs, and power; troubleshooting hard drives and RAID arrays; troubleshooting video, projector, and display issues; troubleshooting printers, common devices, wired and wireless network problems.
What Objectives Are Included in CompTIA A+ 220-1002 Certification Exam?
After acing the CompTIA 220-1001 test, you can proceed with the second exam, CompTIA 220-1002. Here you will need to demonstrate your understanding of the following topics:
- Installing and Configuring Operating Systems
- Expanded Security
- Software Troubleshooting
- Operational Procedures
Let’s have a look at the skills measured within each domain of this exam. The first area, Installing and Configuring Operating Systems, includes comparing the features of Microsoft Windows versions and common operating system types and their purposes; using Microsoft OS features and tools; summarizing upgrade methods and general OS installation considerations; using the proper Microsoft command line tools; using Microsoft Windows Control Panel utilities; configuring Microsoft Windows networking on a client/desktop; and other skills.
The Expanded Security topic revolves around the following abilities: explaining logical security concepts; summarizing the importance of physical security measures; comparing wireless security protocols and authentication methods; detecting, removing, and preventing malware using the appropriate methods and tools; implementing methods for securing mobile devices; implementing the appropriate data destruction and disposal methods; etc.
Next domain, Software Troubleshooting, tests your expertise in troubleshooting Microsoft Windows OS problems; troubleshooting and resolving PC security issues; using best practice procedures for malware removal; troubleshooting mobile OS and app issues.
In the framework of the Operational Procedures topic, you need to demonstrate that you have competency in comparing best practices associated with types of documentation; implementing basic change management best practices; explaining common safety procedures; explaining environmental impacts and appropriate controls; identifying the basics of scripting; using remote access technologies; among others.
What Career Opportunities Can Certified Professionals Get?
If you are just starting your journey in the IT sphere, earning the CompTIA A+ certification can provide you with vast employment opportunities. Among the positions that you can apply for after obtaining this certificate are the following titles:
- Service Desk Analyst
- System Support Specialist
- Help Desk Technician
- Associate Network Engineer
- End User Computing Technician
- Field Service Technician
Moreover, having this certification under your belt, you can rely on much higher salary. According to PayScale.com, the Service Desk Analysts can earn from $35,000 to 64,000 per year, while the salary of the System Support Specialists can reach $74,000 per annum. The average annual income of the Help Desk Technicians amounts to $41,000, whereas the average earnings of the Field Service Technicians range from $36,000 to 74,000. If you still doubt that getting CompTIA A+ is worth it, these figures should serve as a convincing argument.