A+ certification

I’ve been informed that everyone in my department will be required to pass A+ certification. I know very little about this, as it was never required before. The company will pay for training and testing.

What does this certification cover? Is it hard to pass the tests? Any good sites where I can get info on this?

and after we get that, they’re going to sign us to to get MCP certification, too.

(Don’t get me wrong, I want to do all this; it’ll look good on a resume and they’re paying for it…just freaking out over the fact that although it was never required before, we’ve been told we MUST get the certification, or else…don’t get that when we’ve all been doing a really good job without it…or so they tell us…)

Here’s CompTIA’s (the Computing Technology Industry Association) A+ Certification Test overview.

Hey, thanks for the link MEBuckner!

HUH? Most of us are more than entry level…I wonder why they’re making us take this?

So they can hang a big sign in the window that says “A+ Certified Technicians on site”. Also, vendors may have suddenly begun requiring that a certain percentage (usually at least 50%) of techs be A+ certified before they’ll permit your company to service their product under warranty.

Somebody might learn something.

I doubt it. The only thing I had to review prior to taking the A+ certification exam was HP LaserJet service, a somewhat useless skill these days. IMHO, a decent CompSptTech who’s been in the field 3+ years should be well beyond A+ level.

That might be true except that we are an internal corporate Technical Support. Main reason I can think of (besides the “learning something” thing) is that if we are all A+ certified, then they can change their hiring standards to require A+, which they’d have a hard time doing right now, since only 3 of the 15 of us have it.

Attrayant has a point though. It could be that management is trying to work with your vendors so that your team can handle all the warranty repairs (and get the parts shipped to you directly) instead of sending any equipment back to the manufacturer. It may also reduce the price of the warranty contract.

As far as a hiring standard upgrade, I don’t see why they can’t raise their standards and still keep all you guys. As a ‘heritage’ or ‘legacy’ employee, they could make you exempt. Then again, if HR is wondering why they pay you so much, this gives your boss ammo, and insures that you qualify for raises in the future.

Most computer manufacturers have multiple tech support tiers, which include end-user support and authorized service provider (ASP) support. Authorized service providers can do more complex repairs, such as replacing laptop screens, motherboards and such. It used to be that in order to talk to ASP support, one would have to be certified by the manufacturer in order to get the (supposedly) higher level of support. The A+ certification came about as a way to simplify the process. Some manufacturers now accept A+ certification sufficient to get ASP support. (Provided that you actually work for an ASP, that is.)

I took the test years ago when it first came out, and I passed it without studying, but I had quite a bit of experience at the time. I know that it’s changed at least once between then and now, but I have no idea whether it’s more difficult or easier now.