CompTIA, the leading technology industry association, launched a new version of its flagship CompTIA A+ certification, featuring a greater emphasis on the problem-solving and critical thinking skills necessary to operate today's enterprise networks.
Technology professionals from around the world shared their expertise during the development of the new CompTIA A+ exams, ensuring that the new tests validate the core skills in areas such as cloud computing, cybersecurity, the Internet of Things (IoT) and virtualization.
"New content included in the CompTIA A+ 1000 series exams reflects the impact of new and emerging technologies," said Dr. James Stanger, chief technology evangelist for CompTIA. "Workplace technology continues to change, sometimes radically. CompTIA A+ captures the critical skills that IT professionals need to support and secure today's endpoints, from traditional and mobile platforms to cloud-enabled IoT devices. No other certification in the marketplace offers this combination of skills assessment and validation."
CompTIA A+ stands out from other credentials through its use of performance-based exam items. To become certified tech professionals must be able to think on their feet and perform critical IT support tasks in complex IT environments.
"This becomes a clear differentiator in the hiring, upskilling and promotion process," Stanger said. "IT pros who demonstrate these abilities are, from day one on the job, prepared to be contributing members of critical-path teams, from security operations to cloud and network administration to platform support."
That level of readiness is critical for employers.
"An entry-level worker who has earned CompTIA A+ is a proven problem-solver, someone who's able to address complicated IT issues," noted Teresa Sears, senior director, certification product management, at CompTIA. "That frees up senior-level employees to work on strategic, higher-level projects that enable a business to operate more efficiently and impact a company's bottom line in a positive way."
For individual IT professionals achieving CompTIA A+ certification validates their knowledge and abilities in several areas, including creative problem-solving; resolving cybersecurity issues; knowledge of cloud and virtualization; and exposure to a variety of IT functions.
The new CompTIA A+ Core Series requires candidates to pass two exams: Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002). The exams cover the following subjects:
- Infrastructure: network architecture, network components, and protocols, endpoints
- Hardware: PCs, mobile devices, hardware components, IoT and embedded systems
- Data: Backup, recovery, storage, management, and analytics
- Security: Settings, administration, threats and vulnerabilities, threat prevention methods and tools
- Software: cloud-based software, operating systems, email administration
- Operations and Service: troubleshooting, problem-solving, foundational IT skills, customer service, and other "soft" skills
CompTIA has also released training materials linked to the new exams, including instructor, student, and consumer study guides; and CertMaster Practice, a knowledge assessment and certification exam training companion tool with practice test functionality. Additional training materials will be released in the coming weeks.
CompTIA A+ 900 series exams will remain available for several months. Individuals who have been preparing for those exams are encouraged to continue their studies and to take the 900 series tests.