There are four specialist areas of training in a full CompTIA A+ program; you’re considered A+ competent once you’ve passed your exams for 2 out of 4 subjects. Because of this, most training providers only have two of the courses on their syllabus. In fact to carry out a job effectively, you’ll need the teaching in all areas as many positions will demand an understanding of the entire course. It’s not essential to pass exams in all of them, but we would recommend you study for all four areas.
As well as learning about the ins and outs of building and maintaining computers, trainees on A+ courses will learn how to operate in antistatic conditions, along with remote access, fault finding and diagnostics.
If your ambition is looking after computer networks, you’ll need to add Network+ to your A+ course. Taking this course as well will mean you can apply for more interesting jobs. You may also want to consider the Microsoft networking qualifications (MCP, MCSA and MCSE).
A skilled and professional advisor (vs a salesman) will cover in some detail your current experience level and abilities. This is paramount to calculating your starting point for training.
If you’ve got a strong background, or even a touch of commercial experience (some industry qualifications maybe?) then obviously the point from which you begin your studies will be very different from a trainee who has no experience.
It’s wise to consider some basic Microsoft package and Windows skills first. Starting there can make the learning curve a much easier going.
Can job security honestly exist anywhere now? In the UK for instance, where business constantly changes its mind at alarming speeds, there doesn’t seem much chance.
Where there are rising skills shortages together with growing demand of course, we generally discover a fresh type of market-security; where, fuelled by the conditions of constant growth, organisations find it hard to locate the number of people required.
Reviewing the Information Technology (IT) sector, a recent e-Skills study brought to light a more than 26 percent shortfall of skilled workers. So, for every 4 jobs in existence around Information Technology (IT), organisations can only source enough qualified individuals for three of them.
Properly qualified and commercially accredited new professionals are accordingly at an absolute premium, and in all likelihood it will stay that way for a long time.
We can’t imagine if a better time or market circumstances will exist for acquiring training in this hugely expanding and budding sector.
One feature offered by some training providers is a programme of Job Placement assistance. The service is put in place to help you get your first commercial position. Often, too much is made of this feature, as it’s really not that difficult for any motivated and trained individual to land work in the IT industry – as there is such a shortage of skilled employees.
You would ideally have CV and Interview advice and support though; and we’d encourage everybody to work on polishing up their CV as soon as they start a course – don’t put it off until you’ve qualified.
It’s possible that you won’t have even got to the exam time when you land your first junior support job; although this isn’t going to happen unless your CV is with employers.
The best services to get you a new position are usually local IT focused employment agencies. As they will get paid by the employer when they’ve placed you, they’ll work that much harder to get a result.
Not inconsiderable numbers of people, so it seems, spend evenings and weekends on their training and studies (for years sometimes), and just give up when it comes to looking for a job. Promote yourself… Work hard to get yourself known. A job isn’t just going to bump into you.
Watch out that all certifications that you’re considering will be recognised by employers and are bang up to date. ‘In-house’ exams and the certificates they come with are generally useless.
If the accreditation doesn’t feature a major player like Microsoft, CompTIA, Cisco or Adobe, then you may discover it could have been a waste of time and effort – as no-one will have heard of it.