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You have just gotten a new place in town. You have heard of the town’s beautiful lake, its giant mall and its cinema. You want to visit all three in one day, but you do not know the way, you hear the cinema requires a payment but you do not know how much, you also hear that there is a dress code to be allowed near the lake but you do not know what dress code. What would you do? You are willing to pay a guide, but you find no one around.
Well, you suddenly hear a voice behind you, someone who had been in the town for long walks up to you and tells you he was a friend in high school. He offers to tell you everything you need and volunteers to show you around the whole town. You are trying to remember his name… Finally you do! The name is CompTIA A+!
What Is CompTIA A+?
In simple words: CompTIA A+ is the guide that would show you around your new town, the IT world, for less than $400.
You have heard about the prospects in the IT industry; you have read that IT skills are some of the most in-demand skills, you certainly wish to have those skills, but then see that the IT world is just as confusing as it is prospective.
CompTIA A+ is an IT course provided by CompTIA, the leading provider of vendor-neutral IT certifications in the world. CompTIA certifications have been issues to over 2 million people and have been around for about 20 years.
CompTIA issues certifications after the candidate learns the required things in the course objectives and sits for the exam.
CompTIA A+ As A Foundational Course
Courses all over: cybersecurity, network management, cloud computing, all of these may sound confusing to the beginner.
CompTIA A+ guides you to the fundamentals and introduces you to the IT world in such a manner that you would be able to cater for yourself afterwards, knowing what step to take after what.
CompTIA A+ certification is seen as the beginning course for any career in IT; that is, if you have absolutely no knowledge of how the IT industry works you should start with the A+ certification.
And even if you are interested in some of the more advanced roles like cybersecurity, then A+ lays a very good foundation to understanding the other courses, and having A+ knowledge is a recommended prerequisite for other CompTIA certifications.
The CompTIA certification encompasses several operating systems like Microsoft, Apple, Novell, and IBM among others and it also covers many technologies.
A+ preparation courses gives you foundational skills in, among other areas, software, hardware and network troubleshooting as well as security and networking.
CompTIA A+ For Jobs
The way A+ lays a good foundation for you to step into the IT world, you would think that is all it offers you: a good foundation.
In reality, it offers you much more: CompTIA A+ certification course is basically an illustration that a person has computer technician competency; it is not a very good place to stop, but apart from laying a very good foundation for your other steps in the IT world, A+ is also enough to secure you a job.
CompTIA A+ prepares candidates for the following job roles:
Service desk analyst
Help desk tech
Technical support specialist
Field service technician
Associate network engineer
Data support technician
Desktop support administrator
End-user computing technician
Help desk technician
System support specialist
How Much Can I Make with CompTIA A+ Certification?
A+ does not prepare you, as cheap as it sounds, for just any job, but for averagely good-paying jobs.
Here are a few CompTIA A+ jobs and their average salaries:
Support specialist: $54,500
Field service technician: $46,000
Desktop support analyst: $60,000
Help desk tier 2 support: $45,000
What Is on the CompTIA A+ Exam?
CompTIA A+ is a performance-based certification that supports the ability to connect users to the data they need to do their jobs regardless of the devices being used. Successful candidates will have the following skills to:
Configure, install and upgrade operating systems, including: Windows, Apple OS X, Linux, iOS, Android and Windows Mobile
Install and image virtual machines
Set up and troubleshoot peripheral devices
Assemble and disassemble computing hardware
Set up and support basic home and small office networks
Implement cybersecurity controls appropriate to helpdesk and technical support roles
Troubleshoot and support end-user access to applications and data
The CompTIA A+ exam covers the following domains and topics:
Hardware: Identify, use and connect hardware components and devices
Networking: Explain types of networks and connections including transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP), Wi-Fi and small office/home office (SOHO)
Mobile Devices: Install and configure laptops and other mobile devices
Network and Hardware Troubleshooting: Troubleshoot device and network issues
Security: Identify and protect against security vulnerabilities for devices and their network connections
Windows Operating System: Install and support Windows OS, including command line and client support
Other OS Technologies: Understand Mac OS, Linux and mobile OS
Software Troubleshooting: Troubleshoot PC and mobile device issues, including application security support
Operational Procedures: Follow best practices for safety, environmental impacts and communication and professionalism
As an IT/tech enthusiast with no IT foundation, the first step that would make your IT journey guided and straight is to prepare for the A+ certification.
A+ gives a good foundation for those hoping to delve into other fields like cybersecurity and networking, and also is a good start for a job role in the IT world.