The CompTIA A+ certification has been around for over 25 years and is certainly one of the most well known IT certifications ever developed. But with its origins coming before the cybersecurity boom and its continual focus on hardware and software, many professionals ask if the CompTIA A+ certification is worth the effort.
Is the CompTIA A+ worth it? The CompTIA A+ is still the de facto certification standard for help desk and computer repair jobs but has limited application in cybersecurity. Most cyber professionals may be better off focusing their efforts on more security-based certifications, such as the Network+ and Security+.
Let’s take a closer look at the CompTIA A+ certification so that you can make an informed decision about whether you should add this well- known certification to your list of credentials.
What is the CompTIA A+?
The CompTIA A+ is a certification developed by the CompTIA organization that focuses on generalized IT and computer hardware and software support. The certification was developed in 1993 during a time when other areas of technology were not yet developed, such as cybersecurity. CompTIA has continually updated the A+ to include more modern IT concepts, such as cloud and security, but its focus remains largely a repair-based certification. Because of its general IT troubleshooting focus, the A+ has long been a gateway certification for professionals looking to enter the field of information technology.
What experience is required to sit for the CompTIA A+?
CompTIA does not require any prior experience to sit for either of the A+ exams, however, they do recommend 9 – 12 months of experience. Many aspiring professionals may be able to earn the CompTIA A+ without this level of experience if they are able to gain hands-on experience through another method, such as a classroom or home lab environment, and are able to adequately study the exam material.
Given that the CompTIA A+ is probably the first certification exam taken by A+ est takers, and that the A+ requires a great deal of memorization regarding hardware details, it is critical that test-takers adequately study and prepare for the A+ exams.