CXO

How valuable is your A+ certification?

In this week's edition of Point and Counterpoint, we take a look at the A+ certification and whether it's really as valuable and important as it used to be.

Point and Counterpoint's purpose is to present a balanced discussion among our members regarding hardware, software, or any other topic that our members wish to debate. If you have a suggestion for Point and Counterpoint, feel free to send us a note.
I love being A+ certified, however…
Last week, I was having an interesting conversation with a friend of mine who is an MCSE. We were discussing certifications. I asked him how he felt about having to renew his MCSE after only a few years, while my A+ certification was good for life.

The response he gave was quite interesting, and he offered a few points about renewing certifications that I hadn’t previously considered. While it was true that the A+ certification was good forever, there would eventually be consequences that would have to be dealt with down the road.

  • You’re never required to update your IT knowledge.
    This can very well become a problem if you leave the IT field for any length of time. For example, what if you take a job that doesn’t require you to keep up with the changing technology? If you decided to reenter the IT field after that period of employment, you could still legally say that you’re A+ certified but not know anything about the current technology being used by companies.
  • People may be weary of A+ certified professionals.
    Not knowing the qualifications of an A+ certified professional could possibly lead to the downfall of A+ certification itself. How so? Because individuals who pass the exam never have to update it, a company can’t verify that the individual(s) with the certification know(s) the current technologies.
  • An A+ certified professional has limitations.
    A few years ago, if you had an A+ certification, people believed that you were the last word in IT professionals. These days, however, it’s important for administrators and support techs to be able to understand networking inside and out, as well as Linux, Novell, NT, and Windows 2000 servers. While the A+ certification offers a basic introduction to these areas, it really doesn’t touch base with the information that a professional needs to make it in the current job market.

The point
The A+ certification was once the certification to have, but its popularity has dwindled since the introduction of other vendor-based certifications. While an individual who is A+ certified has the knowledge needed to start in the world of IT, they have only proven a basic knowledge of the industry. Should people even go for the A+ certification anymore? Is it worth spending the money to learn only the basics needed to pass the test?

The counterpoint
The A+ certification has always been the way to prove that you know your stuff when it comes to IT. While it has taken a back seat these days to certifications, such as Microsoft’s MCSE, it is and always will be the certification to get when entering the world of information technology. Do you believe that it’s important for IT professionals to acquire the A+ certification? Do you think that it will always be an important step in the process of becoming certified in other areas?

We want to know your thoughts!
Do you have an opinion regarding this week’s Point and Counterpoint? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a post below, or send us a note with your thoughts on the subject.

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