June 30, 2006 - The Computing Technology Industry Association, CompTIA has introduced a new structure for its most popular
vendor-neutral certification - A+ certification. Over 700,000 people
have been certified A+ worldwide. A+ also serves as an optional or
required elective for several other vendors' certification programs,
such as Microsoft.
In 2006, instead of the current structure of Core Hardware and Operating Systems
exams, CompTIA has introduced a two-exam format, which requires
candidates to pass one "A+ Essentials" exam (#220-601) that
covers both hardware and software, plus choose one of several elective
exams that focus on different areas of support.
The update is based on “changes to technology and needs in the
industry”. All of the new exams are scheduled for release in
"late Q3 2006," according to the CompTIA Web site. The exams
can be taken in any order but CompTIA recommends taking the A+
Essentials first. N ote that a ll
English versions of the CompTIA A+ 600 Series will no longer be
available after March 5, 2010.
ote that a
ll English versions of the CompTIA A+ 600 Series will no longer be available after March 5, 2010.
The electives will be:
Each of the new exams has different focus and objectives with CompTIA
placing more emphasis now on soft skills, security and current
technologies. Interestingly all the exams except the Depot Technician
exam have the Communications and Professionalism objective. And all
exams have the Security objective.
CompTIA says the new exams and structure are the product of objectives
developed by CompTIA A+ subject matter experts representing a diverse
group of employers, educators and IT professionals, as well as
validation of these objectives by through a survey of more then 5,000
CompTIA A+ certified professionals and employers.
Here are the expectations as obtained from CompTIA’s online resources:
The CompTIA A+ Essentials Examination measures necessary competencies for
an entry-level IT professional with the equivalent knowledge of at least
500 hours of hands-on experience in the lab or field. Hands-on
experience or equivalent knowledge includes installing, building,
upgrading, repairing, configuring, troubleshooting, optimizing,
diagnosing, and performing preventive maintenance of basic personal
computer hardware and operating systems.
The CompTIA A+ 220-602 exam is targeted for individuals who work or
intend to work in a mobile or corporate technical environment with a
high level of face-to-face client interaction.
The CompTIA A+ 220-603 examination is targeted for individuals who work
or intend to work in a remote-based work environment where client
interaction, client training, operating system and connectivity issues
The CompTIA A+ 220-604 examination is targeted for individuals who work
or intend to work in settings with limited customer interaction where
hardware related activities are emphasized.
According to CompTIA President and CEO John Venator, "Employers want
a foundation-level certification that covers both technology essentials
and the specialized skills required in different computer services and
support environments. The most significant and exciting aspect of this
update is the flexibility it will offer." "More than ever
before, individuals will have the power to take control of their career
options. And employers will be able to select the exam elements that
best suit their businesses' needs."
The new exams are scheduled for release in September 2006, and the
current 2003 objectives exams will remain available until the end of
year 2006. In the mean time, CompTIA has advised those presently
studying for, or considering, CompTIA A+ certification to continue their
preparation for the 2003 exams, in view of the fact that there is still
enough time to achieve the 2003 A+ certification.
According to CompTIA, the change does not affect already certified A+
professionals, as all CompTIA certifications are for life. However,
already certified A+ professionals, who plan to update themselves can do
so by simply passing one of the new elective exams, CompTIA said. There
are also opportunities now to earn more than one of the new A+
credentials by taking the required elective exam. The Essentials exam
does not need to be repeated.
What are the implications of this new development? What are the
implications of focusing on vocational aspects? What are the
implications of having 'specialists' in an entry-level certification?
Click this link to get more information on the underlying concept behind A+ Certification
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"Trainers and educators want their students to start with
A+ because it's the recognized career entry point."
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