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CompTIA Releases New A+ 2006 Certification  

French Version

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. Note that all English versions of the CompTIA A+ 600 Series will no longer be available after March 5, 2010.

The electives will be:

 

Title #

Exam 

Expected Job Responsibilities

220-602

IT Technician

Enterprise technician, IT

administrator, field service technician, PC technician, Student, Sales

220-603

Remote Support

Remote Support Technician, Help Desk Technician, Call Center Technician, Specialist, Representative, etc.

220-604

Depot Technician

Depot technician, bench

technician

 

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 are emphasized.

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

 

What Do you Have to Say? Post Your Comments about this article Here 

COMMENTS for "CompTIA releases A+ 2006 Certification":

 

CompTIA A+ Developments:

Click this link to learn about the new Extension

 

 

CompTIA has decided to extend the expiry deadline for the A+ 220-301 and
220-302 exams to 30 June 2007 in certain regions including Africa. Details can be found here:

http://www.jidaw.com/train/ccnaremote.html

 

August 3, 2006

Ola from Lagos, Nigeria says:

 

Though much of the content in present A+ study guides will still be relevant, there will be changes because the structure has changed and there are some technology updates. 

But whether you will be affected depends on when you plan to take the exams. The new exams structure and content will be introduced in September 2006, but candidates will still have till December 2006 to take the exams with the present structure and content.

 

 

August 2, 2006

Matthew Adewuyi from Lagos, Nigeria says:

 

I want to know if the new certification doesn't necessarily change the contents of the book I am currently reading for my A+ - I use All-in-One A+ textbook by Michael Meyer. Thanks for your quick response.

 

 

July 19, 2006

Femi Adesina from Ibadan, Nigeria says:

 

Thank you for the update. CompTIA needs to work on its pricing.

 

 

 

 

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Industry Comments on A+

"Trainers and educators want their students to start with A+ because it's the recognized career entry point."
John Venator, president and CEO, CompTIA

Network Services Manager
"I require all the PC technicians who report to me to be either CompTIA A+ or Network+ certified. I encourage them to have a can-do attitude, keep their skills up to date and keep moving forward to better themselves professionally".

Network Operations Specialist
"A+ is a certification that everyone likes to see - and one of the certifications I looked for when hiring technicians. People have found out that certification plays a big role in the hiring process - that employers are looking for it. It's a great screening tool."

Senior Network Engineer
"I got a master's degree in networking and afterwards got my A+ and worked in PC support. People don't necessarily give you a job because of your degree. When they hire you they want you to be able to work from day one. My elder brother also has a master's degree - in Library Science - and asked me the best way to get into computers. I told him take CompTIA A+."

Corporate Systems Engineer
"All our IT staff are touching hardware. It would be hard to work in that field and not be A+ certified. A+ gives people an industry standard to achieve. The concept works."

 

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