One of the most popular IT certifications in the world is undergoing a revision to better meet the skills and knowledge demanded of technicians today. CompTIA’s A+ exams are getting an update to cover topics such as soft skills, information security, and safety and environmental issues, in addition to previously included subjects of hardware and software knowledge.
“The market is really looking for a technician that meets certain criteria, and not just the normal technical skills that are always very important,” said Neill Hopkins, CompTIA’s vice president of skills development. “The exams themselves will remain as is, but the extra skills we are validating are ones that the market says it requires.”
In response to feedback from certification candidates, employers and member organizations, CompTIA decided to take a new look at what the typical technician’s role entailed. After copious research, they realized that they needed broaden the exams’ content. What we started to hear from our constituents over a period of time—certainly during the past year—was that the role of the technician is changing, and we’d love it if certain aspects of that role are validated in A+,” Hopkins said. “We’ve been through the critical task of a JTA (job-task analysis). We’ve done an enormous amount of research and validated that. We’ve been using the JTA to develop objectives against that research. We’ve written thousands of items for the exams related to those objectives. We’ve started to read those items—as we normally do with any update or refresh to an exam—to make sure that they’re psychometrically correct.”
Hopkins said the new exams would probably be made available sometime within the next few months. “It is our intention to release the updated exams sometime in the (second or third quarter) of this year. It’s CompTIA’s responsibility to make all exams current and relevant. When we bring them out, they will be market-ready.”
To find out more about the changes to CompTIA’s A+ exams and how you can prepare for them, check out next week’s Study Guide newsletter, which will cover both of these topics.
For more information, see http://www.comptia.org.