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In response to a changing landscape CompTIA has refreshed its A+ certifications, which are taken by many in the channel, to support the most up-to-date skills.
The certification body has increased the emphasis on security as well as covering the latest infrastructure and networking developments. There is also a call for more ability from those providing IT support to be able to solve a host of trouble shooting issues.
The new A+ exams also cover cloud computing, virtualisation and desktop imaging to ensure that those undertaking the tests come out with the skills to meet the current demands from customers.
“Today’s IT technicians support a broader variety of computing devices and operating systems than ever before,” says Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO, CompTIA.
“An IT technician has to be knowledgeable working with tablets, smartphones, laptops and desktops running iOS, Android, Windows and OSX connected to secure local networks and the cloud all at the same time,” he added “The updated CompTIA A+ exams reflect this reality.”
Eight of the nine exam areas cover security in greater depth to make sure that concepts including encryption, authentication and data access controls are understood.
“The IT support professional is the front line in the fight against security breaches, as they’re likely the first ones who have to identify that something out of the ordinary is going on,” noted Dr. James Stanger, senior director, products, CompTIA.
He added that given the shift towards more managed services there was a real need for those sitting the exams to come out with a wide knowledge of the varied systems that users might be using.
“Troubleshooting also takes a greater role in the new exams,” Stanger added “The demand on technical support and the expectations of users requires them to have a broader knowledgebase and to solve problems quickly and accurately.”
The previous versions of the A+ exams will be available until the end of June and those people currently studying for those have been encouraged to stick with it and get the certification.