CompTIA Adds Support Components to A+

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On the heels of recently announced changes to CompTIA’s popular A+ certification comes news that the foundation-level credential will be modified again, this time to align it more closely to specific job roles in the IT industry. The two newest A+ exams will deal with remote support and bench support, respectively.


According to Neill Hopkins, vice president of skills development at CompTIA, the decision to incorporate these elements into the A+ certification – as opposed to developing a separate “Support+ – was made based on feedback from CompTIA members, service organizations, government agencies, academic institutions, training organizations, and individual certification holders and candidates.


“They like the vendor-neutral, foundation-level nature of our A+ certification, but they wanted the technical skills covered by the certification to be more closely linked to specific job roles,” Hopkins explained. “On-the-job experience receives the highest rating from employers when asked what skills are important for an IT position, according to CompTIA research. Knowledge of computer operating systems and ‘soft skills’ were the most important knowledge and/or skills gained from certification programs.”


Under the new CompTIA A+ structure, candidates who pass the Essentials exam and one of the other three test options will be designated as CompTIA A+ certified. Their certificate will indicate which of the three exams they passed: IT Technician (#220-602), Remote Support Technician (#220-603) or Depot Technician (#220-604).


“The CompTIA A+ 220-603 exam is intended for remote support technicians, help desk technicians and call center technicians. This credential requires knowledge of hardware and software, with added elements of security and soft skills, as well as safety and environmental issues. The CompTIA A+ 220-603 focuses on applying these technologies and skill sets in scenarios involving troubleshooting and interacting with customers remotely via the telephone or e-mail. The CompTIA A+ 220-604 exam does the same for depot, repair bench or other scenarios emphasizing computer repair and troubleshooting,” Hopkins said.


Hopkins predicted the newest iterations of A+ – as well as the older versions – will be well received internationally. “More and more, employers in overseas markets are requiring or strongly recommending our certifications for their IT staffs because they realize that it helps make their IT operations run more efficiently,” Hopkins said. “That helps the business run more efficiently, which has a positive impact on the organization’s financial bottom line. Companies rely on our certifications to maximize efficiency in recruiting, hiring, training and promoting IT employees. They know that individuals holding our certifications have the job skills needed to run technology infrastructure more efficiently and reliably.”


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