What Should You Do After the CompTIA A+?- Most people should add their CompTIA A+ certification to their resume and LinkedIn profile after passing the exam, look for opportunities to validate and apply their A+ knowledge in a job, internship, or volunteer setting, and then decide which certification to pursue next, such as Network+, Security+, CCNA, or MCP.
Let’s dig a little deeper and talk about your alternatives and which path would be ideal for you now that you’ve earned your CompTIA A+ certification.
Step #1: Determine if a raise is available for you
If you haven’t done so already, your first step should be to see if your employer (assuming you work in a technical field) offers a bonus or raise for certificates gained, or if they will reimburse you for the testing fee now that you’ve passed. Many businesses would gladly pay for your certification exam if you pass it, and some even have a bonus scheme in place. It’s important to remember that if you don’t ask, you won’t get.
In any case, if you’re employed, it’s usually a good idea to inform your boss that you’ve received your certification, as this shows that you’re serious about your career and that you have more job alternatives today than you did before.
Step #2: Add A+ to your resume
One of the first things you should do after passing the A+ certification is go straight to your resume and add the certification to your list of qualifications. If you choose, you can also include an A+ badge on your résumé, which CompTIA allows you to do. I’m not sure how frequently the badge is noticed by employers, so it’s probably just something you should do if you want to.
Including the CompTIA A+ certification on your CV comes with a bonus. There’s something really powerful about having your credential written down next to your name on the same page. Furthermore, by immediately adding the A+ certification to your CV, you can avoid accidentally mailing your resume to an employer and forgetting that the A+ certification is not displayed. Check out our helpful ideas below if you need assistance with your cyber security resume.
Step #3: Add A+ to your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is the modern résumé for the workplace, and it has evolved into a very effective headhunting tool. Many of the cyber security specialists I know have been hired or received unsolicited interview offers solely because of their LinkedIn profiles. To put it another way, if you want to work in cyber security, you’ll need a LinkedIn page. Add your CompTIA A+ certification to the certifications area while you’re at it. Updating your profile with the A+ will notify your connections, which is arguably the greatest way to let people know you’ve earned your A+.
Step #4: Give yourself some downtime
It takes a lot of effort to study for and pass any certification. It takes several weeks, if not months, of dedicated, concentrated study. Taking a few weeks off after you receive your certification is one of the best things you can do for yourself to avoid burnout. If you don’t have a work obligation to satisfy or you’re genuinely excited to move on to the next topic, don’t jump right in and start studying for your next certification. For the most part, I recommend that people aim to acquire one certification every six months, which allows you to take a break before getting back into it.
Step #5: Find opportunities to apply your A+ knowledge
It’s critical to avoid becoming a paper certified individual. Along with earning A+ certification, you’ll need to work hard to find an opportunity to put your CompTIA A+ expertise to the test. Having this additional hands-on experience, which you can put on your CV, is a fantastic addition to your certification.
Good for you if you’re already employed in the field of cyber security or information technology. Hopefully, your work links to the A+ material in some way, and your company recognises and values your certification. If you haven’t yet found work in the sector, take advantage of this opportunity as a recently A+ certified professional to gain some experience and validate and use your skills. This could be a full-time or part-time career, an internship or a temporary role, or even volunteer work. The most essential thing is that you’re demonstrating that you can put your A+ skill set to good use and that you’re doing something that will help you build your resume.
Step #6: Assess if you need non-technical skills
Your technical talents are crucial, but it’s your soft skills that will determine whether or not you succeed in a career. If you’re already employed in cyber security and have recently passed the A+, it’s worth considering whether you should transfer gears for a bit to obtain some non-technical expertise. Would learning project management or customer service skills help your career right now? Would taking a class on supervising others increase your chances of getting a raise? Is it necessary for you to talk in front of others? Every role is unique, but in specialised industries like cyber security, it’s critical not to get overly focused on acquiring technical abilities. Consider what other abilities you might have that would be useful at this time in your career.
Step #7: Determine your next certification
For the most part, the next certification will be related to networking. You can advance to the CompTIA Network+ certification, which CompTIA deems the next step beyond the A+. You might also take a networking certification like Cisco’s CCNA. Some people change gears and start working on Microsoft’s MCP, which is usually related to Windows or Windows Server. If you already know a lot about networking, you might skip the Network+ and go straight for the CompTIA Security+. That is normally regarded as a more desirable certification, and if you’re thinking about pursuing a career in network security, you might want to consider it as well.
You now have a better understanding of some of the greatest possibilities available to you after earning your A+ certification. Consider your current job circumstances as well as your long-term goals to see how you may use your A+ to advance your career.
Is it necessary for me to take Network+ after A+? Although many individuals do, you are not required to take the Network+ certification after earning the A+. There is no obligation to start with Network+ because CompTIA allows you to jump to any of their base certifications without a prerequisite. More information on the A+ to Network+ track may be found here.
How long does the CompTIA A+ certification last? After three years, CompTIA’s certification exams are phased out, and you’ll need to retest, test up to a higher certification, or do continuing education training to keep your present certification. Your certification will become invalid in CompTIA’s records if you do not do one of these things.
Is it possible to acquire a job with the CompTIA A+ certification? A+ certification appears to be required or requested in a large number of job postings, and these firms frequently hire people with little or no experience. These are entry-level positions that are frequently competitive.