The CompTIA A+ certification is the industry standard for 220-701 support technicians. The international, vendor-neutral certification proves competence in areas such as installation, preventative maintenance, networking, security and troubleshooting. CompTIA A+ certified technicians also have excellent customer service and communication skills to work with clients.
CompTIA A+ is part of the certification track for corporations such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and Novell. Other technology companies, including CompuCom and Ricoh, have made CompTIA A+ certification mandatory for their service technicians. More than 700,000 people worldwide have become CompTIA A+ certified since the program’s inception in 1993.
Two exams are necessary to be certified: CompTIA A+ Essentials, exam code 220-701; and CompTIA A+ Practical Application, exam code 220-702.
CompTIA A+ Essentials measures the necessary competencies of an entry-level IT professional with a recommended 500 hours of hands-on experience in the lab or field. It tests for technical understanding of computer technology, networking and security, as well as the communication skills and professionalism now required of all entry-level IT professionals.
CompTIA A+ Practical Application is an extension of the knowledge and skills identified in CompTIA A+ Essentials, with more of a “hands-on” orientation focused on scenarios in which troubleshooting and tools must be applied to resolve problems.
The newest version of the CompTIA Security+ certification exam was launched in late 2008. IT professionals who are encouraged or required by their employers to remain current on their certifications have two options: They can take the new version of the exam, or they can take the CompTIA Security+ bridge exam, which covers the new objectives. The test, exam code BR0-001, is a 60-minute, 50-question test available in English. A passing score is 560 on a scale of 100-900. Only professionals who are currently CompTIA Security+ certified under 2002 exam objectives are eligible to become CompTIA Security+ 2008 certified by taking the bridge exam.
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