What is a Plus Certification?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2018
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An A plus certification is a basic program that certifies a computer technician. The certification is usually written A+. The program shows that an individual can operate a range of operating systems and technologies. It has been available since 1993 and was developed by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). The group was originally made of staffers from various computer dealerships, and now provides a range of certifications for the industry.

This certification represents the equivalent of 500 hours of hands-on work with computers. Those who pass it will have mastered ideas like IRQs, memory access, and various other aspects of a “physical” hardware setup. It covers specific technologies from Microsoft, Apple, Novell, and Linux.

The A+ certification has changed over the years. The first test has two main sets of objectives, while subsequent tests involved a core set of objectives, and an “elective” for adding specific IT knowledge.

Today, lots of those interested in IT use the A+ certification as the first step to a Microsoft MCSE or MCSA certification. CompTIA also offers a Network+ certification for adding knowledge about computer networks. With both in hand, individuals are ready to study for the NCSE or similar tests.


Other kinds of tests include Cisco network tests for using the IT gear developed by the Cisco company, which is a leader in electronics. After getting A+ and Network+, some students may take a CCNA certification, also called Cisco Certified Network Administrator certification. This will qualify the student to run some kinds of Cisco systems.

Over the years, CompTIA has also updated its rules about how long offered certifications are valid. Individuals who use the A+ certification or other programs for a job may have to return to re-take exams at specific intervals, or agree to other kinds of continuing education. This has led to some debate about how long a certification should remain effective.

Qualifications like this are very important for a range of jobs in IT. Businesses want their computer diagnostic technicians to show proof of specific IT knowledge. It’s also important for network administrators to have a broad base of skills to manage extensive hardware systems. The A+ program and other skill building programs have become a significant part of training for the greater world of information technology.


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