For those interested in pursuing a career in IT, the CompTIA A+ certification is the industry standard. The A+ comprises two exams, one of which focuses on cloud computing, hardware, and networking technology and the other on software, operating systems, and cybersecurity fundamentals. Let’s take a look at the CompTIA A+ certification.
In 2021, the worldwide information technology business was anticipated to be worth $5 trillion or more. It is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, with the most substantial growth projected in the emerging technology sector, including big data/analytics, IoT software, AR/VR, and other comparable technologies. Other industries, such as software, technology services, hardware, and telecommunications services, are close behind.
To begin your IT career, you’ll need at least several professional certifications to demonstrate your knowledge and willingness to study and develop to a potential employer.
One of the most well-known certification programs in the IT sector is CompTIA. It includes the CompTIA A+ and several other certifications organized by skill set.
But, exactly, what is CompTIA A+? Let’s talk about why the A+ tests are so difficult for test-takers and what you can do to ensure exam success.
What is the CompTIA A+ certification?
Let’s take a deeper look at the A+ certification now that we’ve given you a taste of everything CompTIA has to offer.
For students interested in pursuing a career in IT, this program is the industry standard. It’s been called a “rite of passage for IT technicians at the beginning level.” Professionals looking for a technical support specialist, field service technician, desktop support administrator, and other similar positions should take A+. It covers PC repair, software installation, desktop and mobile operating system settings, basic networking, security, and troubleshooting.
If you want to pursue a career in IT and specialize in cybersecurity or networking, the A+ is a great place to start. The A+ certification is essential for technicians who want to service HP, Intel, or Dell computer hardware, and it has over one million holders in the IT business.
Why are CompTIA A+ Exams so challenging?
Reason #1: A+ Exams are undervalued by test takers.
The CompTIA A+ is a valuable credential. However, the most common issue I encounter among CompTIA A+ test takers is that they misjudge the complexity of the exams. This is acceptable in some ways, given that the A+ is practically everyone’s first professional certification exam in their lives.
The truth is that most persons pursuing the A+ have only had college or high school tests, or at best, a standardized exam like the SAT, as their only testing experience before the A+. Many people don’t realize that a professional license or certification exam isn’t the same as one they’d take in high school or college.
A typical student will study for such classroom-based exams for up to one week on average. On the other hand, working professionals frequently spend two to four months studying for a certification or licensure exam, as well as hundreds or even thousands of dollars on courses and materials.
Consider this: a typical exam in a college course can contain two to four weeks of content covered in class during the semester, and a student might study for up to seven days for that exam. However, most teachers, including myself, recommend a study period of 60 to 90 days for the CompTIA A+, implying that you should study for the full semester to be adequately prepared.
This should give you a decent idea of how much information is covered on the A+ tests and how complex the questions will be. It would help if you were well-versed in all of the exam’s objectives, and this level of expertise takes time to develop.
Reason #2: There are a lot of exam objectives and content to cover.
Take a look at the whole list of exam objectives for the A+ exams, and you’ll notice that there’s a lot of stuff you need to know. When you compare this amount of content or objectives to any college exam, I’m confident you’ll find that a college professor isn’t testing on as many subjects, or in as much depth, as you’ll find on the A+ exams.
Overall, you’ll need to know more for the A+ than for other CompTIA certification exams, such as Network+ and Security+, which is why CompTIA uses two full examinations to cover everything, rather than just one for the others.
Reason #3: The A+ Exam’s Memorization Requirements
The CompTIA A+ exam needs you to know a lot of information and a lot of practical knowledge. These items can be difficult to learn because there is no other way to learn them other than memorizing them.
Because some of the elements on the A+ aren’t used or referenced as frequently in the field, IT workers don’t always keep them in mind. Many items on the A+, in my opinion, are possibly worth knowing, but most IT professionals don’t know and don’t need to know to accomplish their jobs. These professionals know these facts and, more crucially, know how to seek them up and confirm them when necessary, but they do not remember them.
What this means for you as an A+ test-taker is that you’ll have to memories more information than you’d need for a job in the industry, and in some circumstances, you’ll be learning things you won’t need much after the exam is finished. In either case, you’ll have a lot of memory and studying to do, which can be difficult.
Who is the CompTIA A+ certification for?
If you’re new to the IT business and aren’t sure which certifications to pursue first, the A+ gives solid basic knowledge to help you get started. It is best suited to people with 9 to 12 months of field or lab experience or comparable training.
CompTIA is a non-profit organization that provides certifications to a wide spectrum of IT workers. Their certifications are grouped into four categories, with the A+ examinations falling under the Core Certifications heading. It’s no surprise, given that the A+ is considered one of the most important certifications to get if you want to work in IT.
You must pass two tests to acquire this certification. The first covers cloud computing, hardware, and networking, while the second covers software, operating systems, and cybersecurity fundamentals.
Although passing these examinations does not guarantee IT employment, employers want to see CompTIA certifications on resumes. They demonstrate the candidate’s commitment and willingness to work hard in information technology.
With the A+, you can work as a technician in field service, computer support, data or system support, and other related positions. If you want to specialize in network support or cybersecurity, the A+ is a great place to start.