CompTIA IT Fundamentals VS. CompTIA A+

IT certifications are like a stepping stone to a better career in IT. They demonstrate your credibility and commitment to the field and set you apart from others. That said, two great certificate options to get are the CompTIA IT fundamentals and CompTIA A+.

This post will help you understand everything there is to know about these certifications, what they cover, which one you should take, how to prepare for them, and much more. Let’s dive in.

CompTIA IT Fundamentals

CompTIA IT Fundamentals is great for anyone looking to build a robust foundation in IT and helps you decide whether an IT career is fit for you or not. 

It’s also the only certification that covers all areas of IT and helps create a broader understanding for non-tech professionals looking to switch to a technical field.  

Some major concepts that it covers in IT include infrastructure, data fundamentals, cyber security, and software development.

Exam details and requirements

There’s no prior experience necessary for the exam. It has a total of 75 questions in the form of multiple-choice questions that you have to solve in 60 minutes. The test has a passing score of 650/900.

The exam focuses on different domains. The basic structure and the relevant percentages are:

  • Infrastructure: 22%

  • Security: 20%

  • IT Concepts and Terminology: 17%

  • Applications and Software: 18%

  • Software Development: 12%

  • Database Fundamentals: 11%

Benefits of Earning the Certification

If you’re looking to transition into IT, CompTIA IT Fundamentals will help you start in the right direction. Let’s look at some benefits of earning this certification.

  • Boosts IT skills and technical knowledge

    CompTIA IT certification enhances your understanding of basic IT principles and troubleshooting, strengthening your knowledge of the IT industry. It also exposes you to basic principles such as security and database fundamentals.

  • Shows credibility to employers

    Companies such as Intel and Dell recognize CompTIA certifications like ITF+, which demonstrate your proficiency in IT. The certification shows your commitment to the field and demonstrates your ability to learn.

  • Career opportunities

    CompTIA ITF+ certification opens up career opportunities by equipping you with the required knowledge and skills for cutting-edge fundamentals in IT while preparing for an exceptional early career in IT.

  • Helps Prepare for Advanced Certifications

    Starting with the fundamentals of CompTIA ITF+ certification acts as a stepping stone, allowing you to gain more technical knowledge with each step and develop key concepts required for further expertise in specific areas of IT.

Skills and Knowledge You Gain

The CompTIA IT Fundamentals equips you with a bunch of skills like:

  • Infrastructure

    Prepares you on how to set up and install basic peripheral devices to a computer system or secure a basic wireless network.

  • Database Fundamentals

    Understand basic database concepts, purpose, structure, and how to interface them.

  • Security

    Learn how to implement security concerns like confidentiality, availability, and integrity to secure devices.

  • Software Development

    The certification will help me comprehend complex programming languages, understand algorithms, and understand different programming concepts.

  • Applications and Software

    Understand how to manage various components of an operating system, manage applications software, and understand the use of application software.

  • IT Concepts and Terminology

    Illustrate the basics of computing and notation systems and also understand the value of data.

Career opportunities for CompTIA IT Fundamentals certified professionals

Here are some career opportunities for CompTIA ITF+ certified professionals can get:

  • IT Support Technician

    Provide technical assistance and troubleshoot hardware, software, and network issues for end-users.

  • Help Desk Support

    Assist users with software installations, password resets, and general IT inquiries.

  • Technical Sales

    Effectively communicate and sell IT products or services with a solid understanding of IT fundamentals.

  • Junior Systems Administrator

    Manage and maintain computer systems, perform routine tasks, and assist with network administration in smaller organizations.

  • IT Training and Education

    Utilize foundational IT knowledge to educate and train individuals new to IT or seeking skills enhancement.

CompTIA A+

CompTIA A+ is the industry standard for building a fruitful career in IT. It validates that professionals have the skills required to support today’s complex IT requirements. Someone with this certification is a proven problem solver.

Unlike other certifications, CompTIA A+ covers all aspects of IT and offers a comprehensive understanding for both non-tech professionals and technical professionals looking to upgrade their skills.

Exam details and requirements

You’ll have to pass two exams in the CompTIA A+ Core Series examination including Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102).  The number of questions is 90 per exam core and is in the form of multiple choice questions, drag and drop, and performance-based.

Candidates also get 90 minutes per exam. The recommended experience for the examination is 9 to 12 months in the lab or field.

The passing score for Core 1 (220-1101) is 675/900 and the exam domains mainly consist of:

  • Hardware: 25%

  • Networking: 20%

  • Mobile Devices: 15%

  • Hardware and Network Troubleshooting: 29%

  • Virtualization and Cloud Computing: 11%

The passing score for Core 1 (220-1102) is 700/900 and the exam domains mainly consist of:

  • Operating Systems: 31%

  • Security: 25%

  • Software Troubleshooting: 22%

  • Operational Procedures: 22%

Benefits of Earning the Certification

Excelling in the IT field is a requirement since there are always new technologies rolling out. The CompTIA A+ certification will push you in the right direction.

  • Increased Relevance in Remote Work Environment

    CompTIA A+ reflects the reliance on SaaS applications for remote work, equipping professionals to troubleshoot software, hardware, and connectivity issues in a remote setting.

  • Enhanced Troubleshooting Skills

    The new certification emphasizes troubleshooting techniques, enabling technicians to efficiently identify and resolve common IT problems for improved productivity and customer satisfaction.

  • Updated Focus on Core Technologies

    CompTIA A+ covers cloud infrastructure, IoT device security, data management, and scripting to ensure professionals stay updated with industry trends and handle evolving technologies effectively.

  • Comprehensive Coverage of Operating Systems

    Recognizing multiple operating systems encountered, A+ provides knowledge of major systems, their use cases, and maintenance, enhancing technicians' versatility and adaptability to different environments.

  • Adaptation to Changing Job Roles

    CompTIA A+ prepares professionals to assess whether on-site repairs or outsourcing to specialized providers is best, saving time and money while aligning with evolving industry demands.

Skills and Knowledge You Gain

The CompTIA A+ certifications help you gain skills such as:

  • Hardware

    Setting up and installing peripheral devices, securing wireless networks, and understanding computer components.

  • Networking

    Understanding network components, protocols, and configurations.

  • Mobile Devices 

    Managing and troubleshooting mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

  • Troubleshooting

    Identifying and resolving hardware and network issues.

  • Virtualization and Cloud Computing

    Understanding virtualization concepts and cloud computing technologies.

  • Operating Systems

    Managing and configuring operating systems, including Windows, Linux, macOS, and mobile OS.

  • Security

    Implementing security measures, identifying vulnerabilities, and understanding cybersecurity best practices.

Career opportunities for CompTIA A+ certified professionals

Here are some career paths you can pursue if you’re a CompTIA A+ certified professional. 

  • IT Support Specialist

    Provide technical support and troubleshooting for hardware, software, and network issues.

  • Help Desk Technician

    Assist users in resolving IT problems and ensuring timely resolution of technical issues.

  • Desktop Support Technician

    Configure, maintain, and troubleshoot desktop systems for end-users.

  • Field Service Technician

    Travel to client locations to install, repair, and upgrade computer systems.

  • Technical Support Specialist

    Provide guidance and troubleshooting to assist customers with technical issues.

  • IT Operations Technician

    Monitor and maintain IT systems to ensure availability and reliability.

Differences between CompTIA IT Fundamentals and CompTIA A+


CompTIA IT Fundamentals

CompTIA A+

Level of difficulty and complexity

Entry-level certification

More advanced certification

Scope of knowledge and skills covered

Covers fundamental IT concepts, basic hardware and software, security principles, networking fundamentals, and troubleshooting techniques

Covers a wide range of topics including hardware and software troubleshooting, operating systems, networking, mobile devices, virtualization, and security

Target audience and career pathways

Suitable for individuals new to IT or those in non-technical roles requiring basic IT knowledge

Geared towards IT support technicians or help desk professionals

Industry recognition and value

Provides a foundation for further CompTIA certifications and demonstrates basic IT knowledge

Widely recognized in the IT industry, often considered a prerequisite for advanced roles and specialized certifications

Which certification is right for you?

CompTIA IT Fundamentals assists in determining if a tech career suits you. If you decide to pursue it, CompTIA A+ validates your skills to employers, increasing your chances of securing an IT job.

While CompTIA IT Fundamentals provides a broad understanding of IT, CompTIA A+ focuses specifically on technical support skills, making it the trusted entry-level certification sought after by employers.

Factors to consider when choosing between the two certifications

Factors to Consider

CompTIA IT Fundamentals

CompTIA A+

Skills and Experience

Suitable for beginners with little to no experience in IT

More suitable for individuals with technical support skills or experience

Career Goals

Provides a general understanding of IT concepts

Focuses specifically on technical support skills

Employer Demand

May not have as high employer recognition as CompTIA A+

Widely recognized and sought after by employers

Time and Cost

Generally less time-consuming and less expensive

Requires a relatively higher time and financial investment

How to prepare for the exams

Preparing for these certifications can be easy if you have the right resources that replicate the actual exam. Let’s look at some study materials and resources that are great for both CompTIA IT Fundamentals and CompTIA A+.

Study materials and resources for CompTIA IT Fundamentals

1. Online resources for studying

Udemy | CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+) Complete Course (FC0-U61)

This Udemy course is a comprehensive program that has 4 hours on-demand video with 69 lectures and 10 sections. The instructor is a professor of IT and is one of the best mentors for this certification.  .

CBT Nuggets | CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+) Complete Course (FC0-U61)

This is an entry-level testing program that covers fundamentals of computing. It has 133 videos with 8 virtual labs and also contains a practice exam. 

2. Guides and Books 

CompTIA | CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+) Study Guide: Exam FC0-U61

A clearly written official book that has been designed from scratch to help you master your exam. It’s a self-paced book that is clearly written and very well structured.

Amazon | CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+) Study Guide: Exam FC0-U61

With the help of this book, you’ll learn your way around hardware and software, conduct installations, and connect to networks to get a workstation up and running smoothly.

Study materials and resources for CompTIA A+

1. Online resources for studying 

Udemy | CompTIA A+ (220-1001) Complete Course

This comprehensive Udemy course covers all the necessary topics to prepare you for the CompTIA A+ 220-1001 exam.

CompTIA | CompTIA A+ Certification Training

This training consists of everything that will be on the exam. It is official and endorsed by professionals, making it an excellent resource for studying. 

2. Guides and Books

CompTIA | CompTIA A+ Core 1 (220-1101) Certification Study Guide

A well-written and structured book that details both parts of the CompTIA A+ exam. It’ll help you over every concept and master your exam.

Amazon | CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Ninth Edition (Exams 220-901 & 220-902)

This book contains all the material relevant to both parts of the exam. It is well-detailed, comprehensive, and an excellent resource to prepare for the exam. 

Exam day tips and strategies

What to Expect on the Exam Day 

  • Check-In Process

    Arrive early and go through the check-in process, presenting identification and following exam center protocols.

  • Exam Instructions

    Listen to the proctor's instructions regarding exam rules, procedures, and guidelines to follow during the exam.

  • Computer-Based Testing

    Take the exam using a computer workstation provided at the exam center.

  • Exam Duration

    Manage your time effectively within the specific time limit for the exam.

  • Question Format

    Expect multiple-choice questions, along with other question types like drag-and-drop and performance-based.

  • Exam Content

    Demonstrate knowledge and skills aligned with the exam objectives.

  • Difficulty Level

    Be prepared for varying difficulty levels, including some challenging questions.

Tips for answering different types of questions and manage time 

  • Avoid challenging exam questions

    The exam consists of difficult questions and requires effective time management. Consequently, skipping perplexing questions allows you to allocate more time to answer the questions you understand.

  • Pay attention to BEST, MOST, and LEAST questions

    When a question includes these capitalized words, they serve as hints. Although multiple answers may seem plausible, focus on the capitalized word to choose the correct response.

  • Eliminate incorrect answers

    If you find yourself uncertain about an answer, eliminate obviously incorrect options. For example, if two answers are related, it likely means that one of them is correct. Reread the question to determine its true intent and make a final selection.


Understanding the differences between CompTIA IT Fundamentals and CompTIA A+ is crucial for individuals looking to embark on a career in the IT industry. Both are important, but play different roles. 

CompTIA IT Fundamentals serves as an ideal starting point, while CompTIA A+ focuses on technical support skills and is widely recognized by employers, making it a valuable certification for landing entry-level IT jobs.


Are CompTIA Certifications worth it in 2023?

CompTIA certifications continue to hold value in 2023 as they are widely recognized and respected in the IT industry.

These certifications validate your skills and knowledge, enhance your employability, and open up various career opportunities.

How much do the CompTIA exams cost?

The cost of CompTIA exams may vary depending on the specific certification and your geographical location. For instance, CompTIA IT Fundamentals costs $134. Always check the official website for updated pricing.

How can I schedule my CompTIA exams?

You can schedule your CompTIA exams through the official CompTIA website or through authorized Pearson VUE testing centers. Visit their websites to create an account, select the desired exam, date, and venue.

What is the passing score for the CompTIA exams?

The passing score for CompTIA exams typically varies between 650 and 900 on a scale of 100-900. For example, in the CompTIA IT Fundamentals, the passing score is 650/900.

How long is the CompTIA A+ certification valid?

The CompTIA A+ certification is valid for three years from the date of certification. To maintain your certification status, you will need to earn continuing education units (CEUs) or retake the latest version of the exam before the certification expires.

Can I renew my CompTIA IT Fundamentals certification?

The CompTIA IT Fundamentals certification does not have a formal renewal process. It is considered an entry-level certification that provides a foundation for further CompTIA certifications. But certifications like CompTIA A+ need renewal.

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Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of

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