The new exams reflect the expanding responsibilities IT technicians have within their organizations.
“The IT technician’s role is increasingly more complex and sophisticated than in the days of the break-fix PC repairman," said Terry Erdle, executive vice president, skills certification, CompTIA. “Today they are responsible for a myriad of technologies, from mobile devices and wireless to security and virtualization. The new CompTIA A+ exams reflect this reality."
CompTIA A+ is an ISO/ANSI accredited certification that validates foundation-level knowledge and skills necessary for a career in IT service and support. More than 900,000 IT professionals have earned the CompTIA A+ credential since it was introduced in 1993.
Updated CompTIA A+ exams are now available worldwide in English. Exams in other languages will be introduced in the coming months.
The exams include multiple choice, multiple selection and calculator-assisted questions, and performance-based questions that require candidates to perform a task or solve a problem within a simulated IT environment.
Individuals must pass two exams to earn CompTIA A+ certification. The first exam covers PC hardware, networking, laptops, printers and operational procedures; the second covers operating systems, security, mobile devices, troubleshooting and integration of computing devices in a network.
A 2011 CompTIA research report found that 64 percent of IT hiring managers rated certifications as having extremely high or high value in validating the skills and expertise of job candidates. Eight in 10 HR professionals surveyed believed IT certifications will grow in usefulness and importance over the next two years.
Additionally, a 2012 study by the Illinois Community College Board, Illinois State Board of Education and Northern Illinois University found that earnings for community college students with a CompTIA certification increased 12.26 percent within nine months of earning the credential, compared to a 2.71 percent earnings increase for students without a certification.