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Updates on CompTIA A+, Network+ and

Security+ exams

Carol Balkcom
Director, Product Management
CompTIA




A+ Certification

For IT Helpdesk and Remote Support Professionals

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CompTIA product stack
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CONFIDENTIAL FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY UNTIL
FINALIZED
SOC
code Computer and IT Occupations Employment
Average
Annual
Salary
2010-2020
Employment
Change
2010-2020
Outlook
15-1150 Computer Support Specialists (A+ relevant here) 607,100 $46,260 110,000 18%
15-1132 Software Developers, Applications 520,800 $87,790 143,800 28%
15-1121 Computer Systems Analysts 544,400 $77,740 120,400 22%
15-1133 Software Developers, Systems Software 392,300 $94,180 127,200 32%
15-1131 Computer Programmers 363,100 $71,380 43,700 12%
15-1142 Network and Computer Systems Administrators 347,200 $69,160 96,600 28%
15-1179
Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, and
Computer Network Architects
302,300 $75,660 65,700 22%
15-1111 Computer and Information Research Scientists 28,200 $100,660 5,300 19%
15-1141 Database Administrators 110,800 $73,490 33,900 31%
Computer Occupations, All -- $73,710 -- 22%
17-2061 Computer Hardware Engineers 70,000 $98,810 6,300 9%
11-3021 Computer and Information Systems Managers 307,900 $115,780 55,800 18%
Total 3,954,100
Employment of U.S. Workers in Core IT Positions
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Employment Statistics, March 2012
IT Hiring
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Investments by Firm Size
6
% expecting to increase investment
Staffing Levels

On the hiring front, medium size IT firms
(100-499 employees) are most likely to
add new staff over the next six months.

With a range of new technologies sought
by customers (e.g. cloud, big data,
business process automation, mobility) IT
firms must be vigilant in maintaining high
levels of expertise through internal
training and/or new hires.

Source: CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index Q3 Release, July 2012
Base: 445 U.S. IT industry executives
Case Study
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Chuck Cooper, program director for certification at IBM believes:
To be Proficient in Technology. you need to build your
skills and take training
Certifications - are a baseline measurement of skills and
a consistent measure that validates the skills you achieve
Certifications - build confidence on the part of
prospective customers, sellers and business partners
Certifications - listed on a proposal denote people with
whom you can collaborate
http://www.testbells.com/vendor/CompTIA
CompTIA A+ Certification
Vendor Neutral
Certification

2 exams
220-801
220-802
ISO Certified
ANSI Accredited
Kept current via
Continuing Ed
program
Measures
Necessary
Competencies
for todays Entry
Level IT
Professionals
A+ Knowledge and Skills
Installation, configuring and troubleshooting of
the following:
PC hardware (including laptops and mobile
devices, and custom configurations
Printers
Networking components
Operating systems including Windows 7
Enterprise
Operational procedures including safety,
environment and customer communications
Security (22% of exam 802)


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Career Advancement for
IT Professionals
Target Audience
Individuals working in or planning to work in technical support roles such as:
Field
Support
Technician
Desktop
Support
Technician
Bench
Technician
Helpdesk
Technician
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2011 IT Technician
Job Role Survey
PC Technicians (71%)
Field Support Technicians (65%)
Help Desk Technicians (64%)
Customer Service Technicians (48%)
Network Support Technicians (41%)

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Survey respondents chose the following job
roles for which A+ is most often required
Why A+
Over 900,000 A+ Certified IT Professionals
Companies such as Ricoh, Dell and CompuCom Have
Made A+ Certification Mandatory
U.S. DoD 8570.1 Mandates A+ Certification for
Level I Technical Personnel in Information Assurance
Among Top 10 certifications in the industry (DICE
TechRepublic, New Horizons)
CompTIA A+ Certified by ISO and Accredited by the
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
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Organizations that Require
or Mandate A+ Professionals
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Government Organizations Corporate Organizations
POLLS
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CompTIA Website:
Companies that use A+

There is a page on the CompTIA website that lists
companies that use CompTIA certifications, with specific
certifications that they use.

http://certification.comptia.org/ExploreCareers/whohires.aspx


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A+ Exam Details
2 exams
Certification
Requirement
220-801
220-802

Exam Numbers
Maximum of 90 questions for each
exam; 90 minutes to take each exam
Length
12 months hands-on lab or field
experience
Recommended
Experience
220-801: 675
220-802: 700
(Scale of 900)
Passing Score
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CompTIA A+ Objectives
A+ 220-801
PC Hardware
Networking
Laptops
Printers
Operational
Procedures
A+ 220-802
Operating Systems
Security
Mobile Devices
Troubleshooting
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Changes from the 700 series A+
1. Windows 7 Enterprise has been added to the covered Windows operating
systems
2. Mobile Devices (802: 3.0) is a new subject matter domain. It includes Apple
iOS and Android. Coverage includes just what a helpdesk technician would
be expected to do: Establish network connectivity for the device, configure
email, set up security, and troubleshoot.
3. Virtualization (802: 1.9) is new
4. All troubleshooting is in one exam (802: 4.0), more extensive, and organized
by specific hardware/software area (e.g. hard drives, display, etc.)
5. Troubleshooting wireless (802: 4.5) is new
6. There is more coverage of troubleshooting security issues (802: 4.7)
7. SOHO-specific security is new (802: 2.5,2.6)





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Exam objectives and
other information
For exam objectives and other information, go to this page
http://www.testbells.com/vendor/CompTIA


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Performance Based Questions
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For performance based items, the A+ candidate will
be given a scenario/problem, and will be prompted
to push a button to launch a simulated environment
that is created via software.

The simulated environment should be familiar to a
PC support professional with the level of hands-on
experience recommended for the A+ exam.

Once the simulation is launched, the candidate will
need to perform whatever tasks s/he believes
appropriate, based on the given scenario and the
tools/information that are provided in the question.
Performance-
Based Question
Description
Performance based questions in
Network+, Security+
Timeframe and notes
Performance based questions will be added to
Network+ and Security+ on this schedule:
Network+: November 2012
Security+: January 2013

Same objectives
Same number of questions on exam (multiple choice will
be reduced to accommodate performance based)
Hands-on training or experience becomes much more
important
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New demo video of CompTIA
exam experience

YouTube Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NsbJLkHuuo
Performance based questions section
Begins at roughly the 5 minute mark

CompTIA website (performance based portion only)
http://certification.comptia.org/news/12-10-
09/What_Is_A_Performance-Based_Question.aspx
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Video demonstrates what a candidate can expect, from the beginning of a
CompTIA exam to the end.
Why performance based questions?
A better measure of skills, not just memorization
Represents CompTIAs interest in using the latest in testing
technologies to the benefit of the industry
Intended as a better indication of a certified candidates readiness
for the job. In the words of a member of the CompTIA Security+
Certification Advisory Committee from the U.S. Navy:
A certification is not intended to be the introductory training tool for an
inexperienced and untrained individual.....a certification is intended to attest that
the individual has already attained the requisite training and experience and has
proven it with an industry-recognized standard (certification exam).


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Stick around & Q&As
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