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Which CompTIA Certification is the right for me?

Getting certified is an incredibly thrilling journey, but it can be a bit intimidating. If you’ve decided to pursue a certification in IT but found the amount of directions to go overwhelming, just read on to hear about three foundational certifications you can earn and which one is right for you!

Despite tremendous need in the Tech sector, millions of jobs go unfulfilled every year. There just aren’t enough skilled workers to fill these jobs. This is a very good problem to have! It means that you have the golden opportunity to learn new skills and enter an industry that is DESPERATE for skilled workers.

These aren’t low-paying high-labor jobs either, while It differs by region, Tech pays EXTREMELY well. For instance, the US Tech sector on average pays anywhere from $80,000-$105,000 per year for intermediate skilled Tech workers. Tech is an extremely fruitful career choice. Yet, it does requires learning something new and lots of practice.

With study and some certification, you could make a significantly larger amount of money, learn some awesome skills, and unfortunately become the person every elderly friend calls when they have a broken laptop.

CompTia Certifications are the gold-standard for jumping into the skill based technical side of Information Technology. While there are numerous certifications, three of them are incredible foundational certs for being able to work in IT.

CompTia A+, CompTia Security+ and CompTia Networking+ are some of best starting certifications for a career in networking. They help create a successful foundation for pursuing numerous career paths. How do you know which one you should pick? Read on!

Which CompTia Certificate is right for me?

Ultimately, in IT, learning a new skill is never wasted. Yet it can help to specialize depending on the long-term direction you want to take with your career as well as help find work that you like to do. CompTia actually offers quite a few certificates but for those starting out and learning in IT, Network+, A+, and Security+ are some of the best foundational certifications.

For the Vigilant: CompTia Security+ (The sy0-401 Exam)

Cybersecurity is one of the largest growing IT needs in the world. Just turn on the news and you’ll see story after story of companies, governments, and more being systematically hacked. DDoS attacks have become commonplace for big businesses and even everyday computer use can result in collecting large amounts of Malware.

Security+ is for those who want a fast-paced career creating iron-clad defenses against outside intruders and creating systems for businesses to keep information secure. Not only does this certification cover numerous styles of security, it also covers the theory behind it, the mindset of trying to keep information from being lost, stolen, or destroyed. Taking the sy0-401 Exam is a perfect path for those who love being on watch, making systems that are unbreakable, and consistently checking in to insure users’ data is private and safe. That also includes basic security in regards to good Data storage.

Security+ is the first step towards many possible careers, from for-hire security work in the private sector to a government job helping keep hackers out from the most sensitive information.

For the Problem Solver: CompTia Networking+ (The n10-006 Exam)

DHCP, POP3, WAN, LAN, VOIP, DNS, DWDM. Networking is full of hundreds of little terms and acronyms that often go unnoticed in every-day use. It requires a wide breadth of knowledge and some significant problem solving skills to be successful in Networking.

Networking is one of the most challenging IT categories. If one thing goes wrong in a network set-up, it KILLS productivity. If everything goes right, you may not even appear to be doing much to the casual observer! The Networking+ Certification covers the troubleshooting process to find where and what is going wrong within a network, set-up new Networks, and covers the numerous skills to be successful in connecting devices. If you desire a career where every day presents new challenges and you can continually pursue improvement (Network standards change fast!) taking the n10-006 Exam is the right fit for you.

The underlying knowledge allows you to understand not only what to do in regards to networking, but how it works. How Data seamlessly goes from one computer to the next, and all the background knowledge involved with that.

Networking+ is a foundational certification that can begin the journey towards being a Network engineer, designing and creating the infrastructure behind a big business and helping thousands of users stay connected.

For the Tinkerer and Undecided: CompTia A+ (The 901 and 902 Exams)

The A+ Certification is the Jack-Of-All-Trades IT cert. Covering everything from basic Hardware set-up, Software, Troubleshooting, and more. A+ consists of two exams (As opposed to the one involved with Network+ or Security+). The first exam, 901, covers the Hardware and relevant software side needed for basic computer, network, and device set-up. 902 takes it a step further on the software side by getting very in-depth with Windows and other OS as well as more involved security and IT procedures. The A+ Cert is perfect for the tinkerer or even someone who is somewhat undecided on what path they want to take in IT.

If you like to build physical desktop computers, need to run and troubleshoot most office equipment, or want to know how to solely set-up a small office, A+ teaches all of that. Covering everything from what parts are in a computer to the different devices, OS, and technologies that are common in the workplace, this cert is a GREAT foundation for going further with CompTia.

A+ is a great step in the direction toward being an IT generalist. In fact, it is a great certification to get in conjunction with Security+ or Networking+ as it sets the stage for more learning. Even so, with A+ you can start working towards a fulfilling career and make the decision to specialize later.

Which CompTia Certification should I choose?

All three of these offer an exciting, rewarding, and fun career path in IT. Whether you like being on guard and setting up unbreakable systems, building computers and setting up an office, or even wiring the Ethernet cables from a server room to the required port, these three certs offer strong foundational knowledge for a career.

Don’t just stop there though, CompTia offers a great resource to make that decision! Take a moment and head to the CompTia Career website and play around! You can see career paths as well as the relevant pay scale for that industry.

I’ve picked my Cert, I’m ready, what do I do now?

Find some study materials and start studying!

Getting certified can be challenging without a direction to head. Exam Labs is a great resource for studying and getting a feel for many certifications, not just CompTia! At Exam-labs you can find practice tests for Networking+ and Security+ that help you get a feel for those tests.

Good luck on your journey towards becoming an IT professional. Be sure to check back with us regularly or see some of our other course options at Exam-labs.com as well!

7 Ways To Nail The CompTIA A+ Certification Exam

We get it. Sometimes the hardest part of learning something new is knowing where to start. You need to pass the CompTIA A+ Certification Exam, and it’s a little bit intimidating.

Computers aren’t easy, the available resources for the CompTIA may be outdated, and there is nothing worse than spending a bunch of money on an Exam only to fail it. Nobody likes a dent in the wallet and a dose of internalized shame. We understand. We’ve been there too. We know the challenge of studying for the A+ Exam, but we also know, there is hope!

Passing a CompTIA Certification doesn’t have to overwhelming. If you listen to these seven simple tips on CompTIA A+ Certification preparation you can show up on test day, ready to go and confident of success.

CompTIA A+ Certification including 220-80 and 220-802 practice exams

1. Build your own desktop computer (or build one for a friend)

CompTIA A+ Certification exams test you on a large amount of hardware knowledge. One of the most rewarding experiences you can have in IT is the satisfaction of building your first computer. Few things are so intimidating and yet so simple. Building a desktop computer is an exhilarating way to familiarize yourself with hardware and components. The muscle memory and time-intensive process teaches you in a way that reading and watching just can’t. Building a desktop helps clarify what the RAM, HDD, SSD, GPU, CPU, MOBO and a host of other acronyms mean. CompTIA A+ exams have MANY questions covering a large spectrum of hardware and software knowledge that is required at an entry-level Information Technology job. Building a desktop gives you experience in setting up an OS, running through a BIOS, hardware differences, selecting case and motherboard type, and much more. It is a great way to feel confident on exam day, knowing that the hardware portion of the CompTIA exam is not just theory but real world practice.

2. Set up a CompTIA A+ test lab

Be honest. You wouldn’t get on an airplane with a Pilot who has never flown an airplane. Experience matters. While a significant amount of time can be spent on CompTIA A+ certification preparation, the best study guide is experience. Nothing prepares you more for a test than fixing a computer and running through the operating system to get a feel for it. A test lab is easy to set-up and requires very little in terms of money. In fact, any laptop will do. At worst, if you lack of funding, using Ebay, Offerup, Thrift Stores and more can net you some basic parts from ancient times to set-up your lab.

A typical test lab would contain, a monitor, a desktop computer, networking components (such as a router, switch, and other networking components) and a current OS covered by the 220-901 and 220-902 Exams. With this basic set-up, you can start to tinker and practice for the 220-901 and 220-902. Don’t just set-up a lab, USE IT! Practice complex tasks like overclocking your CPU and becoming an expert at BIOS management. For CompTIA A+, the test is a general knowledge test, vast in span but not very deep. Using a test lab will help solidify concepts in your mind.

3. Select a CompTIA A+ certification study guide

People don’t care until they have skin in the game. Certification exams cost money. Sometimes a lot of money. Yet, when you are first starting on your journey to certification master, there is this temptation to achieve good results with minimal cost. This frugal attitude can sometimes be our downfall. Buying a CompTIA course not only gives you access to massive amounts of resources but forces you to be a steward of your time and education. When things are free, they often aren’t as valuable to us. This is why it is great to buy a book or course covering the CompTIA A+ exam. Not only does money put teeth into studying, (you want to pass so you can earn money and make that purchase worth it) premium resources usually cost money. This is good news though! Education in certification is an investment and it is a far better deal to spend $10 on some serious material then pay another $300 to retake a failed test. Seriously consider fasting from Starbucks for a few a drinks to save some cash and buy some premium Study Content.

4. Youtube

The internet is full of beautiful videos that help illuminate aspects of computers. Several professionals release constant content through Youtube and other outlets on CompTIA Certs and computers in general. From LinusTechTips to Professor Messer, different YouTube channels are a great way to learn an informative lesson and study up on computer subjects. Nearly any subject has some educational series on it, including video series on the Exam. Find a good Youtube channel, ask questions to the creator, get involved, and study. While you can’t always interact in a way that leads to real-life practice and solidifies concepts, the visual aspect is a great way to understand something before diving in deep.

5. Practice Tests

Nothing builds confidence like a practice exam. Learning to ace the CompTIA course with REAL questions that can be found on REAL exams is a huge boost to morale. Several IT Professionals have passed these tests and taken the time to create AWESOME materials that push you towards success. Exam-Labs offers excellent tests that cover a wide range of tech topics such as CompTIA A+ Certifications. These are an invaluable asset to passing the A+! It is critically important to look over some real-world problems and study what the Exam feels like before dropping hundreds of dollars to pass on Exam day.  Practice exams for the CompTIA A+ 220-901 and 220-902 can be found below and will help you feel cheerful and bold on Exam day, instead of fearful and stressed.
220-901 practice exam
220-902 practice exam

6. Find a Mentor

This is an undervalued step in being successful in the IT world. Often a question is beyond the scope of a student until they learn foundational knowledge. Yet without that foundational knowledge, you may not know what you need to study in order to answer the question! This creates a terrible cycle of feeling confused and leads to being unable to achieve success. This is where the Mentor is invaluable.  Having someone to talk through hard to understand problems and discuss IT is one of the most powerful tools you can have for passing the exam. Take the time to find a local mentor from a neighboring college or information technology field. If that isn’t possible, USE THE INTERNET! It sounds obvious, but we often forget how useful something as simple as Reddit can be for finding help.

7. Read the CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives

It is astounding how many people attempt the CompTIA A+ 901 and 902 Exam without taking the time to simply read through the test objectives. The Computing Technology Industry Association has laid out a pretty explicit and easy to read list of necessary objectives and steps required to pass the exams. Not only do these give a glimpse into what can be found on the test, they are great windows into the world of CompTIA A+ exams. The tests are updated roughly every three years and continually drop old legacy items from the needed knowledge as well as look forward toward new Tech. A good sign you can pass the exam, is when you feel confident you can do all the objectives laid out by CompTIA. Both of the objective lists can be found below,
220-901 Exam Objectives
220-902 Exam Objectives

You Can Pass the CompTia A+ Certification Exams!

With a bit of determination and some resources, you can get certified! Many have gone before you. It is possible. Remember to take these steps seriously and practice, practice, PRACTICE!

In fact, if you are still nervous after this and have a few minutes, head on over to Exam Labs and take a dummy test. It won’t hurt, and will give you a little bit more awareness, and hopefully a boost of confidence in seeing what the CompTIA actually looks like.

Good luck, and always keep learning!




CompTIA A+ Certification – 220-901, 220-902 exams

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This post will help you to answer all the questions regarding CompTIA A+ Certification exam and will  provide you with abundant information about the CompTIA A+ certification. For example, how can you pass the exams, how much it costs, and where can you find online the best study materials.

What is the CompTIA A+ certification?

The CompTIA A+ certification is a credential which is required for entry level PC service professionals. This certification focuses on their skill and competence in installing, customizing, and operating personal computers. A candidate who passes this exam is referred to as a CompTIA A+ Certified technician. This credential is globally recognized, and its skills and knowledge widely required and accepted in every sector of the economy. This certification means that its holder is an IT professional available to operate and offer services pertaining to personal computers. The CompTIA A+ certification is required to begin your career in the IT world.

What are the requirements for the CompTIA A+ certification?

To become an A+ certified technician, you must take the exam. This credential is a lifetime certificate. However, since 2011, CompTIA A+ certification holders are required to retake the CompTIA A+ exam every three years. This is due to the changes in technology, constant changes in the IT field, and technology’s volatility.

How to schedule the CompTIA A+ exam?

To schedule the CompTIA A+ certification exam, first, you must create a Pearson VUE account by signing up on their website. After signing in, choose a test center close to you or in a convenient location and purchase a voucher from Pearson VUE or CompTIA.

How much does CompTIA A+ test cost?

The CompTIA A+ certification exam costs $199 which includes the cost of registration, the voucher and the exam itself. The exam is quite inexpensive compared to other types of certification exams in the IT field.

What are the recommended CompTIA A+ study guides?

This exam requires you to answer multiple-choice questions based on how to install a computer, computer maintenance, PC customization and how to effectively repair a computer system. This exam requires you to study extensively for at least 3 weeks because it involves a great deal of materials. You can obtain recommended study guides for CompTIA A+ certification on the CompTIA website.

Where can I find free CompTIA A+ certification study guides?

CompTIA A+ Certification including 220-80 and 220-802 practice examsPractice tests are one of the most effective tools used before taking an exam. The CompTIA A+ study guides to use for A+ certification exams are practice exams 220-901 and 220-902. They can be found online, in certifications exam preparation websites such as Exam-labs, which provides you with the necessary tools needed to pass your exam in one go. The CompTIA A+ exam practice tests for 220-901 and 220-902 can be easily accessed and after consulting these study materials, passing the exams will be much easier.

In conclusion, this certification is a stepping stone for your career in the IT field. It provides you with the skill to operate and maintain personal computers.