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CompTIA A+ certification and the MCSA credential

A+ must be combined with Network+ or Server+ in order to count as an MCSA elective. This expert advice will help you create an exam plan that will be more beneficial to you and more attractive to customers.

How does a CompTIA A+ certification factor into the MCSA program?

Microsoft realizes the benefit of certifications from other organizations. As a sign of approval and to show their

support, they have made a few exams outside of the Microsoft family of certs eligible as electives for the MCSA credential. Since A+ is considered an entry level IT cert, it must also be combined with Network+ or Server+ to add up to one MCSA elective. Since A+ consists of two exams, one would have to take a combined three exams in order to benefit. But wouldn't it be better to take one exam and still get the same benefit? One option is to take CompTIA's Security+ exam as your elective instead. One and done as they say.

I highly encourage taking a non-Microsoft exam for MCSA elective credit. Achieving your MCSA states that you have a baseline of knowledge in Microsoft technologies, and frankly there are plenty of MCSAs in the world. So consider this example: An employer has two candidates for one job, and both have their MCSA. What sets them apart from one another? Perhaps one of them can also list a security credential without having to take any more exams. Security professionals are in high demand, so having both MCSA and Security+ can only bolster your resume.

This was first published in February 2007

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