CompTIAs Certification Renewal Program

by Nathan Darling - Jan 15, 2010


CompTIA recently announced plans to require a certification renewal program for individuals certified in A+, Network+, and/or Security+. Previously these three have been lifetime certifications, meaning for example the A+ certification I obtained in 2000 is still valid today. This “certified for life” has been challenged by a perception that certified individuals may not be up to date on the latest technology. Wireless technology for example has changed drastically in the past ten years.

Microsoft and Cisco both have certification tracks that expire after a certain period of time and in order to keep the certification current it is necessary to study and learn the latest software upgrades and go through the entire testing process again.
CompTIA’s approach involves “continuing education units (CEU)”. Certified individuals who complete a specified number of CEUs within the three year period of the life of the certification may apply for a renewal without having to retake the exam. For a full breakdown on what qualifies for CEUs, and how many are required, click on the link above. As a quick summary, CEUs can be obtained by: teaching, lecturing, or presenting content relevant to the certification; attendance at industry events/seminars; publishing articles, or blogs; participating in computer-based training using CAQC-approved materials. LearnKey’s Network+ 2009 (N10-004) and Security+ 2008 (SY0-201) courseware is CAQC-approved, and our latest A+ 2009 (220-701 & 220-702) offering is currently under review.
When the CEU program is looked at closely it becomes clear that individuals who are actively working in the IT industry will have little trouble keeping their certifications active just by doing what they are already doing. Individuals such as myself who have obtained an A+ certification and moved from IT into Marketing, may have to work a bit harder to stay certified. CompTIA hopes that in making this change CompTIA certifications will carry a more accurate assertion of up to date, competent individuals . This in turn keeps the value of the certifications up for individuals who have recently certified, and meets standard requirements set by the federal government. Look to mid-2010 as the expected release date of the certification renewal program.
Listen to CompTIA’s podcast addressing potential concerns with the program.



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