Got Your A+? Here are Your Next Steps
The CompTIA A+ certification is a fantastic achievement! And one you should celebrate accordingly. And now that the celebrations are over, we have some recommendations for you for next steps that will set you up for continuing success.
Master Your Talking Points
Now that you are certified, this is your chance to figure out how best to articulate what you learned from the experience when talking with prospective employers. Interviewers often want to know that you have the certification, but are even more interested in what you got from the experience and what it means for you in the future. Consider how you might answer these questions:
What did you learn from the A+ that you can put to use today in your current (or prospective) workplace?
In what ways did earning the A+ increase your confidence in your own work?
Now that you've conquered the CompTIA A+ certification, what are you most interested in learning next (certifications, technologies, etc.)?
Practice how to phrase your responses to the questions above to sound polished in your next interview. Learn more about how to rock your interview from start to finish.
Most career counselors in the world will tell you that to create a career plan, you should start at the end and work backward. So, identify where you want to end up in your career, and reverse engineer the path to figure out how to get there.
Explore some IT jobs websites like dice.com/, indeed.com/, or even LinkedIn to find jobs that pique your interest. Investigate the jobs and identify the skills, knowledge, and certifications you'll need to eventually earn that job. Then, work to acquire what you need!
There are lots of ways to lay the groundwork for next IT job, so do a little digging and get to work!
One Foot in Front of the Other
After you reverse engineer the path you should take to land your dream job, it's time to roll up your sleeves and start taking the steps to make it happen.
Your CompTIA A+ certification is probably your first step on a long IT certification pathway. Most typically, IT pros who earn the A+ end up pursuing careers in system administration or networking. But you might also consider IT security, virtualization and the cloud, or DevOps.
If another certification is your next step, consider one of these options:
CompTIA Network+ (for the aspiring networking professionals among us)
CompTIA Security+ (for the industrious IT security types)
Microsoft MCSA Windows Server 2012 (for the knowledge-thirsty sysadmins)
Advancing your career takes time, effort, and intentionality. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and soon you'll be walking into your own corner office!
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