Training and Certification

Why Should I Get a CompTIA A+ Certification?

November 4, 2015

Bita Beigishah

The answer to this question really depends on your broader goals for your career. Take a moment and answers these questions, I promise they aren’t hard:

  • Do I want to start a career path in IT?
  • Do I want my career to be in the commercial sector or DoD?

Since you probably searched for more information on A+ to find this blog, I’m going to assume you have some interest in technology and if you want a career in IT it’s safe to say it will probably be in a commercial or government related capacity, there’s not a ton of other choices past those. Keep reading to learn how you can leverage your CompTIA A+ certification to kick start your IT career and how you can use it to land a job in either the commercial or government space. 

CompTIA A+ Validates Foundational Skills in IT

The entire purpose of the A+ certification is to validate your knowledge of the exam objectives. Irrespective of whether you developed that understanding through instructor-led or on-the-job training or if you self-studied to develop your competency, the certification does not represent that, it represents an understanding in:

  • Hardware
  • Networking
  • Mobile Devices
  • Hardware & Network Troubleshooting
  • Windows Operating Systems
  • Other Operating Systems & Technologies
  • Security
  • Software Troubleshooting
  • Operational Procedures

Download the CompTIA A+ Certification Study Guide

Download our CompTIA A+ Study Guide

Additionally, it represents a vendor-neutral understanding of each of those components, so if a job requires expertise in one system type over another, it won’t matter. The A+ certification will still validate your skill set. Since it is vendor-neutral and certifies a detailed understanding in device hardware and software CompTIA A+ does not pigeon-hole you, instead it provides the foundation that you can more easily build up your understanding and career in concentrations such as:

  • Information Security
  • Network and Cloud Technologies
  • Hardware, Services and Infrastructure
  • IT Management and Strategy
  • Storage and Data
  • Web and Mobile
  • Software Development or
  • Training

The CompTIA A+ certification will ensure that you are the right candidate for positions that need the unique combination of security, networking and troubleshooting skills coupled with the ability to work across Operating Systems and effectively communicate to customers.

Leveraging A+ in the Commercial World

In the commercial space there is  usually a stronger emphasis on skills than necessarily certification. However, this does not mean that you can’t use your CompTIA A+ certification to beat out your competition and make your resume stand out, you just need to position it in a way that appeals to a corporate recruiter. When trying to land a job such as that of a HelpDesk Technician, the exam objectives you mastered as a result of earning your A+ will usually fall in line with the job requirements being asked of you. That being said, you can leverage your certification journey in order to show how you are prepared to handle the duties of the job. Additionally, this certification is globally accredited and can be used towards jobs no matter their geographic location. Finally, leverage the fact that this is a certification that is developed and maintained by industry experts. At the time of this post, the advisory committee consisted of the individuals listed below. If organizations such as Dell, Lenovo and HP support CompTIA A+ why shouldn’t the organization you are applying to?

CompTIA A+ Certification Advisory Committee

Rosa AyerVeterans Affairs
William D. BarnettU.S. Air Force
Gene DeelDell Inc.
Ian FridLenovo
Stan GodardRicoh Americas Corp.
Mynul KhanField Nation
Angel L. PineiroASI System Integration Inc.
Nancy StanfieldHewlett-Packard
Bill WoodardSharp Electronics of Canada

The most important thing is to use the exam objectives to your advantage, especially if you haven’t had a lot of exposure to them in your job. By holding an A+ certification it says you have an understanding of these topics and we are confident you can apply them so use that third-party accreditation to your advantage.

CompTIA A+ is a Government Mandate

People who are employed within the DoD or hold roles as DoD contractors know all to well that certification is a way of life. CompTIA A+ is an IAT Level 1 cert and therefore is a requirement under the IA Workforce Improvement Program (DoD 8570.01-M). Therefore, if you are looking for a career in the DoD, you will need to get your A+. You can come in without the certification and be placed in a training program but your job will be dependent on whether or not you are 8570 compliant. While it is convenient to have your employer foot the bill for the training course, there is the added stress that they expect you to pass and to do so immediately. Depending on your personality and how you prefer to learn, if you are seeking a career as a contractor or DoD employee, you may want to handle certification on your own terms and get the credentials prior to applying for the job.

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