CompTIA is a certification organization that tests applicants on generic industry standard knowledge in several areas. One of these areas includes personal computer (PC) hardware and software, networking basics, server administration and general computer troubleshooting. The A+ certification test is widely accepted by businesses looking for information technology talent, and passing it opens several doors for the person certified.
Those who pass the A+ test are qualified to provide server support, both for Windows and Linux servers. The similarities between Windows server and desktop operating systems, and Linux server and desktop operating systems, make installation and configuration very similar, making the skills easily transfer from one platform to another. A person who is A+ certified should be able to perform basic configuration and troubleshooting skills on any of these operating systems. The CompTIA Server+ test focuses more specifically on servers and is also a good certification to have.
An A+ certified person should be able to support PC hardware installation, configuration and troubleshooting on different hardware platforms. She should be able to quickly solve user problems and get the user back up and running quickly. One of the two tests that make up the A+ certification is hardware-specific, requiring familiarity with PC hardware components and specifications.
Desktop Software Support
Desktop operating systems (OS) and application software sometimes cause users problems, reducing productivity and costing the company money. An A+ certified technician should be able to solve a desktop user’s problems quickly by isolating the problem to the operating system or application. If the problem is the OS, the technician should know how to reconfigure or reinstall components to get the PC operational for the user. The A+ test requires a high level of knowledge in desktop support in order to pass.
Service Desk Technician
Many times a user’s problem can be solved over the phone, and A+ certified individuals are fully qualified to handle user problems in this way. Their knowledge and skill typically allow them to talk the user through the problem and come to a solution that the user can implement without a visit from a technician. Often an entry-level position such as working the service desk can lead to other information technology opportunities.
Alan Hughes has more than 30 years of experience in IT including mainframes, programming, client/server, networks, project management, security, disaster recovery, information systems and hardware. He holds a master's degree in applied computer science and several certifications. He currently teaches information technology at the university level.