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Security Plays Big Role in Updated CompTIA A+ Certification Exam

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CompTIA is rolling out new exams for its flagship A+ certification.

The new CompTIA A+ 900 exams are designed to reflect the evolution of today’s IT infrastructure and the additional responsibilities IT pros have in managing and maintaining applications, devices, networks and systems.

CompTIA's Todd ThibodeauxFor example, “An IT technician has to be knowledgeable working with tablets, smartphones, laptops and desktops running iOS, Android, Windows and OS X connected to secure local networks and the cloud all at the same time,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO, CompTIA. “The updated CompTIA A+ exams reflect this reality.”

The CompTIA A+ 900 series tests feature new content in areas critical to IT operations, including security, networking, operating systems, IT operations, troubleshooting and technical support.

“The IT support professional is the front line in the fight against security breaches, as they’re likely the first ones who have to identify that something out of the ordinary is going on,” added Dr. James Stanger, senior director, products, CompTIA.

Eight of the nine sections of the exam touch on security topics, requiring candidates to have a deeper mastery of security concepts. Candidates are tested on their ability to apply security concepts, including supporting and securing access to data by properly using authentication, access control and encryption.{ad}

The new exams also cover the basics of cloud computing, virtualization, desktop imaging and deployment.

Candidates must demonstrate an ability to apply core concepts and protocols such as IPv4, IPv6, DHCP and subnet mask to set up and support wired and wireless networks. They’re also tested on working with mobile, server and traditional operating systems from Android and iOS to Windows and Linux.

“Troubleshooting also takes a greater role in the new exams,” Stanger said. “The demand on technical support and the expectations of users requires them to have a broader knowledgebase and to solve problems quickly and accurately.”

Candidates are tested on their ability to follow and use decision trees for diagnosing, resolving and documenting common hardware and software issues across a variety of devices; and applying principles of customer service to help resolve IT issues.

If you are studying for previous versions of A+ exams (220-801 and 200-802), they’ll be available through the end of June. CompTIA encourages you to continue your prep and test on the 800 series exams.

More than 1 million IT pros in countries around the world have earned the CompTIA A+ credential since it was introduced in 1993.

Follow senior online managing editor Craig Galbraith on Twitter.


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