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Do you want to work in the IT industry, but are unsure about the first step?
Enter the CompTIA A+ certification, the de-facto entry-level certification highly valued and recognized by organizations across the globe. CompTIA A+ certified professionals can confidently handle the most challenging technology problems related to installation, networking, preventive maintenance, security, and troubleshooting. They are also equally adept at solving critical end-point management and technical support problems.
If you are planning to launch your IT career in 2021, getting CompTIA A+ certified is the best way to get started. You will learn more about the reasons to choose this comprehensive vendor-neutral certification in this article.
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Before reading more about different ways the CompTIA A+ certification can help you start your career, it is worth knowing what you can expect to see on the certification exam.
The CompTIA A+ certification is offered by the Chicago-based Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). As the leading provider of vendor-neutral IT certifications, CompTIA has issued more than 2 million certificates to professionals worldwide. They also offer certification exams for networking, security, cloud, mobility, open-source development, etc.
Their performance-based certification tests your ability to support user's access to the data required for their job. To successfully pass the exam, you will need to be conversant with the following skills:
The CompTIA A+ exam covers the following domains and topics:
Be it technical support or IT operations, CompTIA A+ certification is the preferred qualifying credential guaranteed to help kickstart your career in IT. As if this wasn’t enough, here are seven more reasons you should get CompTIA A+ certified in 2021.
1) Enhances Your Baseline Security Skills
The CompTIA A+ certification offers hands-on experience with cutting-edge fundamentals of computer software and hardware. With this certification, you get to acquire in-depth troubleshooting expertise for devices such as desktops, laptops, printers, and mobile phones. CompTIA A+ certified professionals are also competent at handling PC installation, system upgrades, configuration, preventive maintenance, problem diagnosis, IT infrastructure, and networking. These skills are becoming some of the most in-demand skills needed to succeed in a post-pandemic world.
2) Offers a Rewarding Pay
Since it is an industry-recognized credential, the CompTIA A+ certification can potentially springboard your career by increasing your chance of being hired by such multinational and established corporations like HP, Nissan, Dell, and Intel.
Although the pandemic has slowed down hiring, you can still find IT job opportunities in a variety of job portals. Here is an example salary range for CompTIA A+ certified professionals, the average salary being $59,000. Of course, your pay will depend on your experience and responsibilities; with additional skills and relevant IT certifications, you can earn a higher salary.
3) Makes You Eligible for Diverse Job Roles
The CompTIA A+ training prepares you for different entry-level IT positions. Some examples include the following: Support Specialist, Information Technology Specialist, Networking or Service Technician, Desktop Support Analyst, Field Service Technician, Associate Network Engineer, End-user Computing Technician, Data Support Technician, Help Desk Technician, Desktop Support Administrator, etc.
As a top IT certification, the CompTIA A+ acts as competency assurance for employers by validating your ability to learn and advance in the IT landscape. It also gives you the flexibility to work on-site or from remote locations. Functioning in such roles promotes a work-life balance that is crucial for a rewarding career.
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4) Teaches Vendor-agnostic Fundamentals
The CompTIA A+ certification helps you learn vendor-neutral fundamentals. What makes this certification renowned is how it strengthens your technical knowledge foundation, with emphasis on technical terminologies. This is crucial when working in diverse vendor environments.
Solving problems, as per SLA agreements, can be challenging especially when the manufacturers ask you to perform troubleshooting over the phone. While many organizations send their service technicians on-site to repair hardware issues, it is best to know how to work in different situations. Naturally, this is where the CompTIA A+ certification comes in handy.
5) Join the Growing Community of CompTIA A+ Certified Professionals
CompTIA A+ certification holders are part of a community of professionals, many of whom you can contact for career advice and troubleshooting technical issues. Having access to this community also helps you stay updated with the latest developments.
Joining CompTIA’s IT professional association, AITP, on a national and local level, is also a great way to meet and interact with other certification holders. Being part of such an extensive community supercharges your learning process and helps you overcome roadblocks that many professionals face, such as gaining access to practical advice.
6) Costs Less Than a Degree
Many people choose to enter a degree program before starting a career in IT. If this is you, you may be unnecessarily burning a hole in your pocket. The average cost of joining a two-year Computer Science Associate Program stands at $20,784. On the other hand, the CompTIA A+ certification costs you $232.
It’s not about whether the CompTIA A+ certification is better than a degree or not. The real question is this: how do you plan to use the education you receive? A degree is useful for candidates pursuing a career in complex mathematical computation or CPU design. However, if you plan to work as technical support or IT operations for an organization, pursuing the CompTIA A+ certification is your best option.
7) Accelerate Your Career with Other CompTIA Certifications
Once you successfully pass the CompTIA A+ certification, it is easy to renew your credentials and keep them updated. You can also opt for advanced certifications such as CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Server+, CASP+ (CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner), etc. to land better-paying jobs.
Going for additional CompTIA credentials such as CompTIA Project+, CompTIA CTT+, and CompTIA Cloud Essentials will also accelerate your IT career.
Final Say on Getting CompTIA A+ Certified
Getting CompTIA A+ certified validates your technical knowledge. It indicates that you are ready to kickstart your career in IT domains such as IT security, networking, technical support, or other related niches. Even if you aspire to climb higher on the IT ladder, earning CompTIA A+ certification equips you with fundamental skills that promise better pay and career perks.
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1. Is CompTIA A+ Certification Worth It?
The CompTIA A+ certification won't land you a senior job role. It is, however, an excellent way to validate your technical knowledge. Learning the vendor-neutral basics helps you land a job in technical support or IT operations, for example.
2. What Is CompTIA A+ Equivalent to?
The skills you master and validate with the CompTIA A+ certification include networking, hardware, operating systems, mobile devices, security, hardware and network troubleshooting, software troubleshooting, operational procedures, virtualization, and cloud computing. This certification qualifies you for numerous IT jobs.
3. Should I Get CompTIA A+ or Network +?
Candidates looking for an entry-level job in the IT industry should start with the CompTIA A+ certification. This certification is for professionals seeking a career as a help desk, service center, or networking technician where the A+ troubleshooting skills come in handy.
The CompTIA A+ certification covers the basics of PC and laptop hardware, software installation, and configuration of computer and mobile operating systems. With this training, you will understand how to work with networking, troubleshooting, and security. After completing the CompTIA A+ course, you can opt for CompTIA Network + or security certification courses, especially if you want to pursue a career in IT infrastructure.
4. Can You Get a Job with CompTIA Certifications?
Yes, you can get numerous jobs with CompTIA certification. CompTIA A+ certified professionals usually begin their career as a service desk analyst, data support technician, or help desk technician. With time and experience, you can climb up the ladder and become a desktop support administrator or technical support specialist. Other entry-level job roles include end-user computing technician, field service technician, etc.