IT Support Qualifications

Vendor Neutral vs Vendor Certifications

A Vendor is a company such as Microsoft or Cisco who produce certifications and exams relating to their own products.

For example, the following link is for those who wish to take an exam in a Microsoft product known as Active Directory

Such exams are normally recommended for those who are already working in the IT industry using the product in question with at least 18 months working experience. For this reason vendor certifications are often not advised for beginners looking to enter the IT industry for the first time. Usually Vendor Certifications are added according to the products you are using once you have landed your first Job in IT Support.

Vendor Neutral Qualifications such as the CompTIA A+ or those found within the BTEC ICT Specialist family ensure a potential employer that the candidate has a good all-round knowledge of the course skills mentioned in the previous article (see here IT Technician Job Description)


CompTIA (Computer Trade and Industry Association) qualifications are exam based and can require quite a lot of technical information to be retained, however they are internationally recognised.

The CompTIA A+ is seen as the starting point and is often followed by the Network+.

The A+ requires two exams to be passed and the Network+ just one.

CompTIA Certifications do not require an official enrolment process in the same way as UK accredited qualification and it is possible to self-study using a boook from Amazon, for example you can then arrange the 2 required exams yourself when ready

We offer a comprehensive CompTIA A+ course which includes Video Tutorials, Practical Tasks, a Personal Tutor, Practice Exams and 24/7 access to real equipment via a 'Live Lab' system. Details of this course can be found here CompTIA A+.

BTEC ICT Specialist Qualifications (QCF)

BTEC ICT Specialist Qualifications do not require any exams and so do not attract exam fees in the same way as CompTIA/Vendor Certifications. The cost of certification is built into the training.

The focus of BTEC qualifications is to prove professional competence in the workplace and having been designed by the sector skills council specifically for this purpose BTEC’s can offer an excellent starting point for those looking to land their first IT role, or accredit skills they are currently using within the workplace.

BTEC’s are awarded on a portfolio of evidence which is assembled whilst working through the course. This can be in the form of assignment, or video based evidence. No Exams are required.

BTEC ICT Specialist qualifications can be customised from 60 different units to suit those who may wish to focus on different subjects such as general IT support, IT security or networking.


Level 2 (Entry Level)

Level 3 (More Advanced)

Free Introductory Course