The 3 Most Important Skills Tested by CompTIA’s New A+
20 February, 2024


The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is highly esteemed in the IT sector for its pivotal role in establishing standards through its certification programs, which serve to verify the expertise and abilities of IT professionals. Among its key qualifications, the A+ certification is renowned for its comprehensive assessment of fundamental IT competencies. It serves as a significant milestone for individuals embarking on their IT journey, validating their skills across a broad spectrum of areas, including troubleshooting hardware and software, as well as understanding cybersecurity and networking principles.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the certification’s evolution, its importance in the IT sector, and sheds light on the three most critical skills evaluated by CompTIA’s new A+ certification. It integrates the latest updates and essential knowledge areas tailored for IT professionals navigating today’s digital and hybrid work environments, while also offering valuable guidance on available training options.

Evolution and Significance of CompTIA’s A+ Certification

Since its start in 1993, CompTIA’s A+ certification has been a key standard for IT workers, constantly updating to keep up with the fast-paced changes in technology. Every three years, the certification undergoes updates based on feedback from employers, experts, and IT professionals to make sure it stays up-to-date and covers the skills needed for jobs like help desk technicians and technical support specialists. The most recent version of the A+ certification, launched in April 2022 and detailed through core exams 220-1101 and 220-1102, addresses a comprehensive skill set essential for tackling the challenges of today’s hybrid work environments. Moreover, this update places a stronger emphasis on areas such as cybersecurity, cloud services, and data management, while continuing to reinforce foundational hardware and software knowledge.

Furthermore, the updated A+ certification stands not just as proof of the individual’s capabilities, but also as a roadmap for IT professionals aiming to maintain their expertise in a highly competitive job market. It underscores the critical importance of continuous learning and adaptability, enabling professionals to confidently address contemporary IT hurdles. Thus, the A+ certification goes beyond a mere qualification; it becomes an indispensable instrument for sustained professional development and advancement within the ever-changing IT sector.

Unveiling the Uniqueness of CompTIA A+: Why it Stands Out

CompTIA A+ distinguishes itself through its vendor-neutral approach, which is invaluable in a field where specific tools and programs can vary widely from one job to the next. In contrast to vendor-specific certifications, which prepare candidates for roles that use specific platforms exclusively, A+ offers a comprehensive skill set adaptable to various technologies. With its broad applicability and emphasis on problem-solving and critical thinking skills, it becomes the preferred choice for employers seeking versatile IT professionals capable of adapting to diverse environments and solving complex challenges.

Overview of CompTIA A+ Certification: Foundations for IT Career Success

Recognized for its rigorous curriculum and meticulous assessment process, the CompTIA A+ certification holds a prestigious position in the field of Information Technology education. The core series of the A+ credential, comprised of exams 220-1101 and 220-1102, serves as the cornerstone for various IT roles, equipping entry-level professionals with essential skills for their future careers. In positions such as Help Desk Technician, IT Specialist, Technical Support Specialist, and Field Service Technician, this certification paves the way for career advancement.

To attain the A+ certification, candidates must successfully pass both core exams, demonstrating their proficiency in fundamental IT concepts and skills. Additionally, CompTIA recommends candidates acquire 9 to 12 months of hands-on experience in the lab or field to complement their exam preparation.

As the certification journey progresses, it broadens its focus to encompass critical areas essential in today’s rapidly evolving IT landscape. Beyond covering traditional tech support topics, it delves into emerging technologies and skills necessary for supporting a hybrid workforce. This includes heightened proficiency in Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, troubleshooting remote connectivity issues, understanding cloud virtualization, IoT device security, data management, and basic scripting. Further to this, the certification ensures candidates are adept in maintaining major operating systems, a crucial aspect in ensuring the efficiency and reliability of IT systems. Importantly, the A+ certification creates a profound basis for developing one’s skills and knowledge within the CompTIA certification program, setting a strong foundation for advanced learning and specialization.

Three Key Skills Focus of the New CompTIA A+ Certification

Understanding the CompTIA A+ certification’s adaptation to modern IT challenges necessitates a closer look at its prioritized core competencies. The following sections explore the three most crucial skills areas highlighted by this credential.

1. Troubleshooting and Remote Support

With the shift towards hybrid work models, there’s a growing dependence on applications provided as Software as a Service (SaaS) and remote work technologies, making troubleshooting a paramount skill. The new A+ certification focuses on equipping candidates with the ability to identify and resolve prevalent issues in software, hardware, or network connections remotely. This skill is crucial for maintaining operational efficiency and ensuring that employees can work effectively from anywhere. Thus, troubleshooting covers a wide array of scenarios, from simple software malfunctions to complex network issues, necessitating a systematic approach for swift and precise resolution.

2. Understanding and Managing Evolving Core Technologies

The IT landscape is constantly changing, with cloud virtualization, data management, IoT device security, and scripting becoming more integral to IT operations. The A+ certification ensures that IT professionals are proficient in these core technologies, understanding how to deploy, secure, and manage them effectively. This skill set is essential for supporting a hybrid workforce where cloud-based resources and IoT devices play a significant role. Additionally, an understanding of multiple operating systems and their maintenance is crucial for ensuring that all devices, regardless of the platform, operate smoothly and securely.

3. Security and Operational Procedures

Security remains a top priority for organizations, more so in a digital and hybrid working world. The A+ 220-1102 exam covers the basics of operational security, including identifying security vulnerabilities and implementing preventive measures to protect against threats. This includes a comprehensive understanding of operating systems security, software troubleshooting, and operational procedures that ensure data privacy and compliance with relevant laws and regulations. IT professionals must be adept at performing basic cybersecurity mitigations and understanding the importance of operational procedures in maintaining secure and efficient IT environments.

Navigating CompTIA A+ Training Options

Initiating the journey toward achieving the CompTIA A+ certification starts with acquiring the exam guidelines and participating in practice tests to familiarize oneself with the essential topics and potential question formats.

CompTIA provides a wide selection of learning materials tailored for independent study as well as instructor-led training.

– Through eLearning offerings like CompTIA CertMaster Learn, learners gain access to more than 40 hours of in-depth material spread over 10 lessons, inclusive of interactive, performance-oriented questions. The service is equipped with descriptive tutorials, illustrative aids, video content, engaging games, flashcards, and more. It also features a custom dashboard and a scheduling calendar to monitor progression and ensure a steady study regimen leading up to the exam.

– CompTIA CertMaster Labs presents browser-based virtual laboratories reflecting actual workplace situations, including the configuration of operating systems, network troubleshooting, and the administration of user accounts, workstations, and shared facilities. These labs are designed to be flexible, permitting completion in any chosen sequence. When combined with CertMaster Learn, they are incorporated as Study Tasks in the CertMaster Learn Learning Plan, offering a unified educational experience that merges theoretical learning with practical skill enhancement. Details on how CertMaster Learn and Labs work together are provided for further understanding.

– For exam readiness and practice evaluations, CompTIA CertMaster Practice acts as a sophisticated assessment tool that evaluates learners’ knowledge base and identifies areas needing improvement, thereby boosting confidence for the exam. It offers custom feedback to concentrate on strengthening lesser-known areas, making the preparation process both efficient and focused.

– The Official CompTIA A+ Study Guides, available in both electronic and print formats, facilitate the study process and comprehension of the exam material. They provide the versatility needed to study at an individual pace and concentrate on securing exam success.

– For individuals seeking a more structured educational experience with professional oversight, CompTIA, along with the CompTIA Tech Career Academy, organizes a variety of training courses online and face-to-face.

In summary, CompTIA offers a diverse range of educational resources, from interactive eLearning modules to practical labs and comprehensive study guides, catering to various learning preferences and ensuring thorough preparation for the A+ certification exam.

Preparation Guidelines for CompTIA A+ Certification

The amount of preparation required for the CompTIA A+ certification varies based on an individual’s background and experience in IT. Typically, for those new to the field, CompTIA recommends dedicating at least 120 hours of study time, supplemented with hands-on practice to master the exam topics. However, it’s essential to note that experienced IT professionals may require less time, depending on their familiarity with the exam content and their practical experience in the field. To begin the preparation process, CompTIA advises candidates to review the exam objectives thoroughly. Additionally, they should assess their current knowledge level to identify areas that need further study. This proactive approach ensures a comprehensive understanding of the material covered in the exams, leading to greater confidence and success on exam day.


To sum up, the CompTIA A+ certification is not just crucial but essential for IT professionals aiming to excel in the modern digital and hybrid work landscapes. It sharpens focus on critical skills such as troubleshooting, mastery of core technologies, and security, effectively positioning candidates for success in a tech-driven world. What sets this certification apart is its vendor-neutral framework, which significantly enhances its applicability across various IT scenarios, thereby preparing individuals for a wide range of roles. More than just validating fundamental knowledge, this credential places a strong emphasis on the importance of practical experience for addressing real-world IT challenges head-on. Thanks to the availability of diverse training resources, including eLearning and virtual labs, learners have the freedom to tailor their study approach according to their personal preferences. Navigating through the ever-evolving landscape of technology, the CompTIA A+ certification remains a vital qualification. It serves as a key building block for anyone stepping into or advancing within their IT careers, laying a robust foundation for continuous development, adaptability, and professional success in the rapidly changing tech industry. This ensures that those who hold the CompTIA A+ certification are not only well-prepared for today’s challenges but also for the innovative demands of the future.