Computer support specialists have a bright future ahead of them. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), their job outlook from 2016 to 2026 will reach 11%, which makes it one of the fastest-growing jobs in the country.
How do you break into the industry if you don’t have an IT or computer science degree? You can take entry-level certifications such as A+. Learn more about A+ certification below.
1. What Is the A+ Certification?
The A+ certification is a series of exams that prove your mettle as an entry-level computer repair or service technician. You can get it from CompTIA. It is not the only tech-related entry-level certification for professionals. Others include Cisco CCENT and Microsoft MCSA. The most significant difference is A+ certification is performance based. It doesn’t test you on a specific application or hardware. This makes the exam more suitable for those who want to start a career in the IT field, especially in tech repair or support.
2. What Is A+ 901 and A+ 902?
CompTIA A+ certification covers two exams. These are the 901 and the 902. The 220-901 includes questions that revolve around PC hardware and accessories, networking troubleshooting, connectivity, and mobile device hardware.
The 902, meanwhile, concerns the installation and issues about the various operations systems. These include Android, iOS, Windows, and Linux. It also tests you on cloud computing’s fundamentals and security. For you to receive the certificate, you need to pass both exams.
3. What Kinds of Preparation Can I Make?
CompTIA provides you with different materials to help you prepare for the exam, such as e-books, practice tests, and some basic training. If you want something more comprehensive, you can consider this A+ 901 and 902 PDF bundle.
Compared to other materials, this comes with a simulator. The questions are similar to those that will appear on the exam. So do the number of items. It’s one of the effective ways to have the best idea of how the tests will go.
4. What Can I Expect During the Exam?
Both exams feature two parts. The first one is a multiple-choice format while the other is performance based. They can also have up to 90 questions, which you should be able to complete within 90 minutes.
They differ when it comes to the passing score. The 902 has a higher minimum score of 700 (the maximum score is 900). The 901 test requires you to reach 675 to pass the exam.
Because they have practical exams, you need to take the test in a VUE Pearson center closest to you. Currently, the exam costs $219, and you need to pay this amount each time you attempt to take the test.
5. Should I Take the A+ 800 Series or the A+ 900 Series?
The A+ 800 series has already been retired since June 30, 2016. If you have not taken any A+ certification, then your best choice, for now, the A+ 900 series. Note, though, that you can already take CompTIA A+ 220-1001 and 1002, which launched on January 15, 2019.
If you’re an English speaker and you wish to take the A+ 900 series, make sure you can do so on or before July 31, 2019. After that, the exams will no longer be available in this language.
Which between A+ 900 exams should you take first? It doesn’t matter. You need both to begin a rewarding and lucrative computer career.