A+ Certification vs Network+: What’s the Difference and Which Is Right for You?The Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a widely recognized and highly respected credentialing organization for the IT industry. Over the course of two decades, CompTIA certifications have helped thousands of IT professionals launch and advance their careers. Two of the more commonly issued CompTIA certifications are the CompTIA A+ and the CompTIA Network+. The following information can help you compare A+ certification vs. Network+ so you can determine if obtaining one or both is right for you.
A+ Certification BasicsA+ is an entry-level certification intended for individuals who are new to the IT profession or are looking to launch their IT career. By obtaining A+ certification, you’ll be able to demonstrate the basic competencies necessary to serve a computer technician. To become certified, you must successfully complete two separate exams: CompTIA A+ Essentials, which encompasses the fundamentals of computer technology, networking, and security; and CompTIA A+ Practical Application, which covers the practical use of computer operating systems and software in a real-world work environment. A+ certification is intended for computer technicians who have approximately 6-12 months or 500 hours of related work experience, although this isn’t required to sit for the exams.
Network+ Certification BasicsCompTIA Network+ is viewed as the next level of certification beyond A+. By becoming Network+-certified, you’re validating your expertise as a computer network technician. This certification demonstrates your knowledge of network hardware, as well as your competency regarding network installation and troubleshooting. While there are no specific work or education requirements to sit for the CompTIA Network+ Certification Exam N10-003, it is recommended that you first obtain A+ certification and have a minimum of nine months of computer networking experience under your belt.
Which Certification Is Best for Me?When it comes to A+ certification vs. Network+, it’s important to consider a number of factors when making your choice. If you’re brand-new to the IT field and have little in the way of practical experience, it’s probably best to start out by pursuing A+ certification. As you gain experience, you can then add Network+ if you wish. Your career goals and prior experience can also play a role in the selection process. For instance, if your objective is to become a network administrator and you already have strong computer networking skills, you may want to skip A+ certification and pursue Network+ instead.
Are There Advantages to Getting Both Certifications?Keep in mind that you don’t have to view A+ certification vs. Network+ as an “either/or” proposition. In fact, getting both can be advantageous to your career. By obtaining A+ and Network+, you’ll fulfill the education requirements necessary to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate. MCSA certification demonstrates a basic competency to work with Microsoft technologies, and it is the first step toward earning the coveted Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert certification.
A+ Certification vs. Network+: Why Even Bother?You might be wondering if getting A+, Network+ or any type of certification is worth the effort. Here’s something to consider: approximately three-fourths of IT hiring managers have stated that certification is one of the criteria they use when evaluating job applicants or considering current employees for promotion. Many hiring managers won’t even consider a candidate who is not certified. Additionally, certified IT professionals typically earn more over the course of their careers than their non-certified counterparts.
Prepare for Certification in Just Two Weeks at Vista CollegeVista College, a leading provider of continuing education opportunities for working adults, offers comprehensive and affordable training programs that can prepare you to sit for and pass the A+ and Network+ certification exams. Our programs give you online access to computer simulators that provide the opportunity for a valuable hands-on learning experience in a real-world IT environment. Because the programs are available online, you can study wherever you have Internet access at a time that best suits your schedule. You’ll also be able to practice and repeat lessons as often as you wish until you master the material. You can be ready to take your exam in as little as two weeks.