CompTIA is a non-profit information technology trade association. CompTIA offers a number of vendor independent certifications. The most well-known certifications are the CompTIA A+ , the CompTIA Network+ and the CompTIA Security+ certifcations.
The CompTIA A+ certification is aimed at computer support technicians. It was introduced back 1993. After a slow beginning it has become very popular and is now almost the de facto requirement for entrance into the PC job market. More than 700,000 people worldwide have become CompTIA A+ certified.
To become CompTIA A+ certified you need to pass two computer-based, multiple-choice exams. Both exams have 100 questions and you get 90 minutes to answer the questions.
No prerequisites are required for taking the CompTIA A+ exams. There are no required training courses to attend and you don’t need any professional experience.
To become Network+ or Security+ certified you need pass one single exam. Once again, the exams have 100 questions and you have 90 minutes for the test. No prerequisites are required for the exams.
The CompTIA certifications are generally entry-level certifications. They are a good way of getting started in IT. If you are confident that you can pass the Cisco or Microsoft exams it is probably better to go for the Cisco or Microsoft certifications rather than a CompTIA certification. Once you are passed the entry level, the CompTIA certifications are less valuable.
Other popular CompTIA certifications are:
- CompTIA Linux+ certification (for junior Linux administrators)
- CompTIA Server+ certification (build, maintain, troubleshoot and support servers)
- CompTIA PDI+ certification (maintenance of printers, scanners, copiers and fax machines)
- CompTIA TTI+ certification (certified Technical Trainer)
- CompTIA Project+ certification (project management certification)
The CompTIA exams are provided through Pearson VUE and Prometric testing centers. There are thousands of testing centers across the world.
Effective January 1, 2011, all new CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ certifications will be valid for three years from the date the candidate is certified. After three years, the certification must be renewed.
As mentioned earlier, CompTIA certifications are considered to be certifications for junior staff. If you want to be seen as a senior IT professional, CompTIA will not add any value to your CV. Often the opposite can be true, so it does not make sense to acquiring a lot of CompTIA certifications. You need vendor specific certifications instead.
CompTIA, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Linux+, CompTIA Server+, CompTIA PDI+, CompTIA TTI+, CompTIA Project+ and CompTIA Security+ are registered trademarks of CompTIA