Reaching Your IT Career Goals: Comprehending CompTIA Certification

by A Guest Author

comptia-certificationCompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) got its start in the early 80s as a nonprofit trade association of computer hardware dealers. Today, the group oversees advances in a number of areas of computer technology - mobile computing, UNIX, imaging and others.

Like many community colleges, CompTIA is a major provider of IT certifications, too. It offers its certifications through testing centers run by Pearson VUE. Ranging from the entry-level to the professional, these certifications demonstrate competence in various areas of expertise and are accredited by the American National Standards Institute. Professionals with CompTIA certifications find that their skills are readily accepted by employers.

Some of the best-known CompTIA certifications

The A+ certification: CompTIA's A+ certification helps prove a candidate's basic competence as a computer technician. It is a vendor-neutral certification - which means that it is available for products and platforms offered by every major vendor - Microsoft, Apple and so on. The A+ certification has been around since 1993.

The A+ certification exam is only open to experienced industry professionals - those who have at least 500 hours of practical work experience. The test itself is made of multiple-choice questions and covers everything from hard drives and processors to network cards and printers. The exam focuses on practical installation and repair skills, rather than theory.

You need to pass two examinations  receive an A+ certification,  - the Essentials exam and the Practical Applications exam. Each one requires a separate exam voucher. For this reason, you need to be prepared to pay twice the price listed on the CompTIA website.

The Network + certification: This certification helps networking professionals demonstrate their networking skills to employers. The test includes network hardware, software, LAN and WAN protocols and so on. While CompTIA recommends that candidates sitting for this exam come in  with nine months of professional networking experience, it isn't an essential. Once you have both the A+ and the Network + certifications, you get concessions on Microsoft's MCSA and MSCE certification tracks, too.

CompTIA has large number of other certifications for professionals in different areas of computer technology. Among other certifications, their Security + certification tests for expertise in enterprise-level access control and their Advanced Security Practitioner certification tests for expertise in building secure enterprise computing systems.

This certification can be an nice addition for anyone with an associates degree from community college. Even if you have transferred to university, the certification can only help your academic credentials. Read on to learn about how to obtain these credentials even without transferring to an Ivy League school.

The process to follow obtaining CompTIA certifications

CompTIA offers a straightforward certification roadmap. You simply need to select the area of expertise that you need certification in, select a training center and, when you're ready, select a location where you would like to sit for the exam. Since CompTIA provides certifications in a large number of areas, though, you may have to spend some time deciding on the exact area or subject where you would like to get started. It's a good idea to not overthink the process. Instead, you could simply choose to start in an area that's familiar to you. By the time you're done, you should be in a better position to choose the direction to take for your next certification.

Once you decide on a certification, it's time to train: It's important to approach your training using several differentlearning methods. You can use self-study books, courseware, video lessons and software (CompTIA accredits a variety of study materials), classroom training (specialized CompTIA learning destinations such as Countrywide Training provide a high quality instructor-led experience) and forum learning (where you visit online forums frequented by others preparing for CompTIA certifications). As with any other kind of learning, it's important to tap a variety of sources. When you find it hard to understand a concept in one place, the explanations in another book or class might hit home.

Learn about the way the exam works: While it's important to study to learn your subject as well as you can, you also need to train to deliver what you know in an examination. Similar to transferring to Ivy League, performing well in an examination requires discipline and the ability to work under pressure.

One of the best ways to prepare for the CompTIA examination is to find sample question papers and to take practice examinations to get in touch with the demands of the process

When you're ready, it's time to take the exam: CompTIA's certifications are recognized worldwide. When you have a few certifications under your belt, you'll find that your skills can find you employment anywhere in the world. You simply need to buy an exam voucher and select a testing location.

About The Author:

Travis Adams enjoys his career in IT. He often writes about effective strategies to a successful career.

This post was written by A Guest Author

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