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CompTIA Puts Fresh Face on A+ Certification

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CompTIA on Tuesday launched the latest iteration of its flagship A+ certification, which features a greater emphasis on the problem solving and critical thinking skills needed to operate new and emerging enterprise networks.

The new CompTIA A+ certification, including the 1000 series exams, validates an IT pro’s knowledge and abilities in several key areas including creative problem solving; resolving cybersecurity issues; knowledge of cloud and virtualization’ and exposure to a variety of IT functions.

CompTIA's James Stanger

CompTIA’s James Stanger

“Workplace technology continues to change, sometimes radically,” said James Stanger, chief technology evangelist for CompTIA. “CompTIA A+ captures the critical skills that IT professionals need to support and secure today’s endpoints, from traditional and mobile platforms to cloud-enabled IoT devices. No other certification in the marketplace offers this combination of skills assessment and validation.”

The shift in focus for the new A+ certification is based on continuous feedback from the industry — both employers and individual IT professionals with intimate knowledge about how job roles are changing.

The new CompTIA A+ Core Series requires candidates to pass two exams: Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002). The exams cover the following subjects:

  • Infrastructure: network architecture, network components and protocols, endpoints.
  • Hardware: PCs, mobile devices, hardware components, IoT and embedded systems.
  • Data: Backup, recovery, storage, management and analytics.
  • Security: Settings, administration, threats and vulnerabilities, threat prevention methods and tools.
  • Software: cloud-based software, operating systems, email administration.
  • Operations and service: troubleshooting, problem solving, foundational IT skills, customer service and other “soft” skills.

In fact, the new CompTIA A+ 1000 series exam content has changed from the 900 series, as follows:

  • Hardware and infrastructure: 34 percent (1000 series) versus 50 percent (900 series).
  • Operations and service: 19 percent (1000 series) versus 7 percent (900 series).
  • Software: 19 percent (1000 series) versus 33 percent (900 series).
  • Security: 21 percent (1000 series) versus 11 percent (900 series).
  • Data: 6 percent (1000 series) versus 0 percent (900 series).
  • Emerging Tech: 1 percent (1000 series) versus 0 percent (900 series).

CompTIA says its A+ certification is trusted by employers worldwide, including channel-partner organizations.

“IT support professionals are the primary audience for the certification,” said Stanger. “Job titles may vary — service desk analyst, help desk technician, technical support specialist, or field service technician, for example.”

New training materials for exams, including instructor, student and consumer study guides are rolling out, as is CertMaster Practice, a knowledge assessment and certification exam training companion tool with practice-test functionality. Watch for the release of additional training materials soon.

IT professionals currently studying for the CompTIA A+ 900 series exams are encouraged to continue their studies. The 900 series test will be available for several months.

The CompTIA A+ certification was introduced in 1993; more than 1.1 million people hold the certification.


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