If you’re looking to make your big break into the world of Information Technology you may be getting a lot of advice from others, or maybe this is where you’ve found yourself after hours of internet research.
Either way, over the years we here at I.T. Career Questions have been monitoring the information technology career field to determine what the best steps are for any individual to get started in IT.
Through the years, time and time again I’ve heard from hundreds and thousands of people their stories on how they got started in this field and a majority of the time everyone gives credit to CompTIA’s A+ certification. The A+ certification from CompTIA hands down provides you the best fundamental knowledge when it comes to technologies, skills, and overall information for entry level I.T. jobs.
To understand why the A+ cert is so crucial you have to begin to understand technology as a whole…which is quite a task in itself. There are many areas of I.T., many subsets, and an absurd amount of job titles. Sometimes when you’re beginning to look into IT, it’s hard to keep track of everything going on in this world let alone understand it, even more so trying to understand it. But that’s a common misconception when it comes to IT, you don’t have to know or understand everything about technology to become an IT professional. It can take years to be a true expert in any given technology, but lucky for you to get started in this field you don’t need to be an expert in anything.
Much of what you learn from IT comes through experience. Experience is and always will remain king in the world of information technology. The years you put it and learn about this vast field will always be the most helpful to you in your job searches and advancing your career.
But how do you even get started in the first place?
This is where we go back to the CompTIA A+ certification. The current version of the CompTIA A+ is the 1000 series or the core series. There are 2 exams that you will need to take and pass to become CompTIA Certified.
The first exam is the 1001 or CompTIA A+ Core 1(220-1001)
This exam is broken down by 5 domains. Each domain covers a specific area of objectives to be learned. Each domain contains a percentage to show how much information is covered on the exam for that specific domain. On the 1001 series the domains are as follows:
1.0 Mobile Devices – 14%
2.0 Networking – 20%
3.0 Hardware – 27%
4.0 Virtualization and Cloud Computing 12%
5.0 Hardware and Network Troubleshooting – 27%
For a total of 100%
The second exam is the 1002 or CompTIA A+ Core 2(220-1002)
This exam is broken down by 4 domains.
1.0 Operating Systems – 27%
2.0 Security – 24%
3.0 Software Troubleshooting – 26%
4.0 Operational Procedures – 23%
- Each exam contains a maximum of 90 questions.
- You will have 90 minutes to pass each exam.
- For the A+ 1001 you will need a passing score of: 675
- For the A+ 1002 you will need a passing score of: 700
- The price of each exam is: $219(USD) – It will cost $438 to take both exams.
- For more information please visit CompTIA’s website here: https://www.comptia.org/certifications/a
What does all of this mean though?
What we can gather from the information provided above is that each domain or exam objective on the CompTIA A+ covers a small area within IT. CompTIA gathers industry professionals from around the world to take part in developing the A+ exam objectives. The goal of the A+ is to provide an individual with the knowledge and skills that it takes to land an entry level IT position.
Along with the industry professionals, CompTIA’s goal for the A+ is to provide an individual with the knowledge and skills that it takes to help them be prepared for an entry level IT Job. So what we essentially have is an industry developed certification that is developed with entry level IT work in mind.
This means that when you are preparing and learning the material on the A+ you will be learning the fundamental technologies and skills to become a successful candidate.
Why is it the best though?
There are no other certifications on the market that will prepare someone for success such as the CompTIA A+ certification. The fact that so many crucial areas of IT are covered in this exam and on top of that to have it be developed with entry level IT jobs in mind, it’s a no brainer to me personally…but what does the industry think?
If you do a quick search on Indeed.com for “CompTIA A+ certification” or similar variants you will find that at any given time there are OVER 5,000 jobs across the US looking for candidates that have obtained this certification. Not only that but many times you will find that a hard requirement to work for an organization is being A+ certified. But wait there’s more…did you know that to work for the DOD(Department of Defense) and other government organizations you will need to be CompTIA A+ certified? Yeah, that’s right. Our United States Government(subsidies and whatnot) require their IT Professionals to be A+ certified(and Network+ and Security+ often times as well)
Do you have to be a techie to get the A+?
No, absolutely not. The great thing about what CompTIA has developed here is that ANYONE, from ANY background, with or without ANY experience with technology can study for and pass the CompTIA A+ certification. The resources to study for the A+ are almost endless at this point. There are so many amazing free options and almost as many paid options to learn the A+. You don’t have to be any type of computer expert to begin learning. The information that you will obtain from going through this process can prepare anyone to be a successful IT professional.
What are you waiting for?
No really…what are you waiting for. Start learning more about the A+ by following this link here: https://www.comptia.org/certifications/a
For free resources to study for the CompTIA A+ certification please visit Professor Messer on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/user/professormesser or visit his website at: https://www.professormesser.com/free-a-plus-training/220-1001/220-1000-training-course/
For free premium options check out Pluralsight’s free 7(or 10 day) trial by following my affiliate link here: http://bit.ly/PS-ITCQ-FREE
You can also find book recommendations by following the link to my Amazon list here: https://www.amazon.com/shop/itcareerquestions