Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #97 3/30/2011

Question: What does A+ mean on signs for PC repair shops?


When you go to some computer shops they claim they are A+ Certified. What are they telling you?

A+ Certification is one of many computer certifications available. The certifications say that the person who has earned them has been found by a national organization to perform the basic requirements at that skill level. Many computer certifications are given by the companies who make the products. For instance Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco, and others certify people in their products. I hold certifications from Microsoft on networking, Office and computer repair. Adobe has certified me in Photoshop. This is similar to CPAs in accounting and others.

There are also several independent groups who certify people on computer subjects. CompTIA and ICCP are two of them. CompTIA provides certifications on computer repair, networking, security and others. CompTIA does the A+ certification test. CompTIA tends to put + signs on their tests.

The A+ certification is an older certification dating to the mid 90s. The test is updated every few years and people wanting to be certified have to pass two tests on PCs and repair. They are multiple choice exams. Starting this year people have to be recertified every three years. Prior it was lifetime. I was certified in 1997 and in 2009.

Why they named it A+ I have never determined other than people who are certified in it are supposed to be the best repair people. So if someone says they are A+ certified, they are not telling you their grades but they have been tested to know PC repair.

Some other certifications require you to do the product besides answer multiple choice questions. My Microsoft Office certifications and my Adobe certification required me to do certain items on the software.

The certification is a way for a third party to say that someone really does have the knowledge they claim.