CompTIA IT-Ready and A+ Certification

This is long overdue, but here it is:

What is IT-Ready?

Last summer, viva-voice, I heard about a program that went for an eight week training section, followed up by getting you CompTIA A+ Certified and set you up with a six month internship.  All of this at no cost to you sans devoting thirty-five hours a week for the training.  Sounds too good to be true, right?

Where did this come from?

It’s not, and the riveting question that had me perplexed for the first several weeks into the program was, “How in the world is this program financially feasible?”.  Well, here’s the answer.  CompTIA is a non-profit organization which is a major body in the IT world that provides training and certifications.  Over the years, they have had a growing surplus which more recently amounted to about $9M.  A non-profit organization doesn’t especially need to stockpile this much cash, so they looked into devising a way to put the money back into the industry.  Creating IT Futures Foundation, another non-profit, worked with them to develop the IT-Ready program as the philanthropic arm of CompTIA.  The program is allotted a certain amount per year to train adults in both technical knowledge and soft-skills.  There are multiple locations and it is a growing program.  It’s run largely on donations and funding from CompTIA.  The pending question for them is still to figure out how to make this work long-term if donations can’t support it.

So, what happens in the program anyway?

As far as the training goes, they will teach you how to interview, talk to customers, refine your resume, and work together with a team.  You’ll come out of it confident in all of these areas.  You will, of course, also be thoroughly taught technical skills geared toward the A+ certification emphasized on troubleshooting hardware/software, windows operating system installation/tools, and some basic networking and security.  In addition, they have a mentor-ship program where they set you up with your own personal mentor to go to for advice.

Tell me more.

For those applying, this is a rare opportunity to take advantage of.  As for employers, candidates coming out of this program are in a lot of ways ideal rather than working with recruiting agencies since they ask for no compensation in return.  They are not paid based on how many people they hire.  There’s an extensive screening process, and the training is excellent since the material is largely straight from CompTIA.  Many people entered into this program are just entering into IT and are highly motivated and hungry to learn more, so high ambition is another quality to consider here.  There really is no catch.

A first hand experience:

Fast-forward eight weeks and I’ll be graduating from the program in two days.  I achieved my CompTIA A+ Certification yesterday and had an interview today with a networking and security company which I’m very excited to get involved with.  In addition to all of this IT-Ready keeps track of their apprentices.  They offer vouchers and online-training materials for additional certificates and work hard to place you in the right company.  That’s all really.  Semi-competitive to get in, as they can only take about twenty people a term and tend to get two-hundred+ applicants; but they offer spring and fall sessions for now and you can always apply again if you don’t make it the first time!

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