The A+ Certification
One of the most popular computer certifications is the A+ certification. This certification shows that you have the knowledge to troubleshoot, repair, and upgrade computers. Like any computer certification, being able to compliment it with work experience will go a long way.
The CompTIA A+ certification is a great certification to kick-start your IT career. This certification can prove your knowledge and skills necessary for a career in PC support. This international, vendor-neutral certification proves your competency in areas like software installation, preventative maintenance, computer networking, computer and network security, and troubleshooting. Being vendor-neutral gives certified professionals advantages when working with hardware from multiple vendors. The A+ exam will also test you on basic customer service and communication skills.
You must pass both the CompTIA A+ Essentials and CompTIA A+ Practical Application exams to become A+ certified.
CompTIA A+ Essentials tests for technical understanding of computer technology, networking and security, as well as the communication skills and professionalism now required of all entry-level IT professionals.
CompTIA A+ Practical Application is an extension of the knowledge and skills identified in CompTIA A+ Essentials, with more of a "hands-on" orientation focused on scenarios in which troubleshooting and tools must be applied to resolve problems.
The A+ exam will cost you $346, or $173 for each of the exams that you have to take. Each exam is comprised of 100 quesitons. To pass you must get a score of 675 on the A+ Essentials exam on a scale of 100-900. On the A+ Practical Application exam you must score at least 700 on a scale of 100-900. Again, you must pass both of these exams to become certified.
After becoming A+ certified some positions you might be able to land could include enterprise technician, field service technician, PC or support technician, and IT administrator. CompTIA A+ is also part of the certification track for corporations like Microsoft, HP, and Cisco. Other technology companies, including Dell, Intel, Lenovo, and Ricoh, have made CompTIA A+ certification mandatory for their service technicians. The U.S. Department of Defense recognizes CompTIA A+ and the Department of Homeland Security requires it as part of their computer forensics program. Most companies today recognize CompTIA's A+ certification as a indicator that a person has at least entry-level skills. When job candidates add work experience, college degrees, and other certifications, than candidates can be taken even more seriously.
It is true that most employers value work experience the most. Being able to say that you've done something before is the most reassuring thing that an employer can hear. By telling them this, it shows them that they don't have to train you as much and you can work more independently.
If you're looking for your first job in the IT industry, this certification can open a lot of doors for you. Some of the entry-level positions you might be able to get include entry-level help desk, desktop, application, and network support positions. Whether this is the first thing that you're adding to your resume or just an additional certification that you would like to add, one thing is for certain, employers will definitely have a little bit more confidence in your abilities.