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December 16, 2013

CompTIA Mobility+: What you should know

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CompTIA recently released its new Mobility+ Certification targeting IT pros. This certification is exciting, relevant and poised to become very popular in short order. I’m excited to have been involved with this certification from its beta stage, and I want to share some of what I’ve seen and learned during this process, including some insight into the actual exam.

The certification provides a much needed benchmark for the burgeoning mobility deployment and support space. Virtually every organization, regardless of size, supports mobility in some shape or form. It only makes sense that these organizations have IT staff capable of bringing as much value as possible to these mobile efforts. The Mobility+ certification is designed from the ground up to make sure IT pros have the skills and knowledge to keep up with any mobility initiative.

Keeping with its tradition for up to date education materials, Pluralsight has already released Mobility+ content preparing students to sit for and pass the exam necessary for certification. As the author of the Mobility+ courseware, I am proud to say its design goes far beyond this single purpose. The Pluralsight Mobility+ video series and assessment questions have been designed to help you obtain the Mobility+ certification sure, but they are also designed to help you deal with real world mobility issues, concerns and demands.

Of course, before being able to proudly display the Mobility+ certification, you actually have to sit for and pass the exam. Taking any certification exam can be daunting and nerve-wracking. Add to that the seemingly TSA-level security at the testing center and even the calmest amongst us can break a sweat. Hoping to dial things back a bit, I want to offer some tips on what to expect on exam day and how you can sail through the experience.

First off, understand this certification is about more than just knowing how to setup email on an iPhone. The certification is designed to show a level of expertise that eclipses the average Joe manning a help desk. Mobility+ requires you to understand the background and rationale behind many mobile concepts we just don’t think about regularly in IT. RF Spectrum, Antenna design and the like are fair game for this exam. So don’t show up for the exam with zero study time expecting to fly through with ease. As my dear Mom always says “preparation is the key to success.”

Speaking of preparation, use the official exam objectives as a checklist of sorts as you study. You can download the official exam objectives from http://certification.comptia.org/getCertified/certifications/mobilityplus.aspx. Checking them off as you understand them is a great way to keep track of where you stand with your preparation efforts.

Don’t be shy about taking and retaking the assessment exams available to you. They are great tools for testing not only knowledge development, but also for letting you get a feel for question types and the overall flow of the exam.

Lest I lull you into a false sense that the exam is all about theory, let me be clear: It is not. There are many questions where real-world experience and understanding will be your ticket to success. As such, don’t be afraid to get your hands on as many mobile devices as possible and play away! Windows Phone 8 devices, Surface tablets, iPhones, iPads, Android tablets and phones, it doesn’t matter. The more the merrier! They will all help you understand, from a user perspective and a technician’s perspective, what mobility is all about. Did you know most cell carriers offer businesses demo periods with popular devices? For no investment, you can spend a couple weeks with the latest and greatest in mobile tech. Just give your carrier a call and tell them you would like to check out device “X” and test if it will work with your systems. That’s often all it takes to get the ball going.

The exam is 90 minutes, computer based of course, and 100 questions in length. Yes, that’s more than a question per minute, but since you’re well prepared you’ll have plenty of time. When you encounter a question you’re unsure of, mark it for review and move on. You can review it later at the end. Don’t get flustered, and don’t focus on what you don’t know. Remember, you’ve come prepared, you know the material, and you will pass this exam!

If you have any questions as you prepare for the exam, hit me up. Helping IT Pro’s isn’t just my job, it’s my passion! I look forward to hearing about your success taking and passing the CompTIA Mobility+ exam!

About the Author

During his 20+ years in the IT industry, John has enjoyed the opportunity to work as a consultant, architect, executive, speaker, and author. He's been involved in multi-national networking, messaging, and communications projects as well as finding solutions for small mom-and-pop shops, allowing them to use technology to increase business opportunity and decrease operational complexity. John has authored material for both Thomson-Reuters' Aspatore Books and Exec Blueprints publications. He regularly contributes technology articles to the Petri.co.il online community in addition to developing exciting training courses for Pluralsight. As a recognized technology expert, John often speaks at IT events around the nation. When he’s not presenting at a conference, John can often be found leading informative webinars. He is proud to be NEOSA’s CIO of the Year Award recipient in 2012.


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