Is a CompTIA A+ Certification Necessary to Start a Career in IT?

This is a frequently asked question by those looking to kick-start their career in IT. So let’s explore it in detail.
Is a CompTIA A+ certification absolutely mandatory to start your career? No. But does it help a great deal to get your first job in IT? Yes, most definitely. And this is a sentiment expressed by a lot of recruiters and IT experts. Numerous industry surveys reveal that recruiters look for leading certifications like CompTIA while selecting candidates. HR professionals also use certifications as a filter while shortlisting candidates to interview. It just makes sense that between two people, a recruiter will pick the one who has a certification, over one who doesn’t (other factors being similar). Of course, certifications help you to do your job better as well, but that is a different story, and one which will be covered in another article.
An A+ certification is in many ways, the starting step in one’s IT career. It tests one on the fundamentals of maintenance and troubleshooting of printers, mobile devices, laptops, operating systems and PCs. Most importantly it has the ability to get your ‘foot-in-the-door’, which is not the case with some other advanced certifications. After getting an A+ certificate, a whole host of options open up for you – CompTIA’s other popular certifications like Network+ or Security+, Cisco certifications and Microsoft certifications, among others.
The next question which typically pops up next is – How do I go about getting an A+ Certification? Many people suggest studying and preparing on one’s own with a study plan spread over at least two to four months (or something more) and then taking the exam, as opposed to attending a training course and getting certified in less than a week. This approach seems to be a money-saver on the face of it, but a deeper look reveals that it is not that simple.
The median starting salary for even the least skilled support technician is $45,000, as per the ASP Tech Support Salary Survey. So if you spend 4 months preparing for the exam, that means you lose out on earning $15,000. The time spent on preparing for the exam can be much better spent actually searching for a job and starting your career at the earliest. Hence, attending a focused CompTIA A+ training course from a reputed organization with experienced faculty who offer you some guarantees (like a free exam resit) will actually save you a lot of money.
To sum-up, a CompTIA A+ Certification is the best way to start your IT career and it makes a lot of financial sense to get certified quickly from a reputed CompTIA training organization and start your job hunt at the earliest.

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