CompTIA also sponsors specialized certification for document imaging and a network certification exam. The A-Plus certification is somewhat more basic and less product-specific than other certifications, such as Microsoft's Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certifications.
An advantage of certification in any industry is that it promotes self-regulation rather than government regulation.
The CompTIA A+ Certification is the industry standard for computer support technicians. The international, vendor-neutral certification proves competence in areas such as installation, preventative maintenance, networking, security and troubleshooting. CompTIA A+ certified technicians also have excellent customer service and communication skills to work with clients.
CompTIA A+ is part of the certification track for corporations such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and Novell. Other technology companies, including CompuCom and Ricoh, have made CompTIA A+ certification mandatory for their service technicians. More than 700,000 people worldwide have become CompTIA A+ certified since the programâ€™s inception in 1993.
The latest version of CompTIA A+ is CompTIA A+ 2009 Edition. Two exams are necessary to be certified: CompTIA A+ Essentials, exam code 220-701; and CompTIA A+ Practical Application, exam code 220-702.
CompTIA A+ Essentials measures the necessary competencies of an entry-level IT professional with a recommended 500 hours of hands-on experience in the lab or field. It tests for the fundamentals 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.