Logan Murphy of Fort Collins, Colorado, is an IT consultant with Long View Systems. Just recently, he became CompTIA A+ certified and even more recently discovered that he was the one millionth IT pro to do so! We caught up with Murphy to talk about why he set out to become certified in the first place; how his A+ certification will help him in the next phase of his career; and how he feels about his one million certified status and the prizes that come along with it.
CompTIA: You’re an IT consultant. What exactly does an IT consultant do?
Murphy: I know that “IT consultant” is a broad term. But it’s easier than trying to attach an actual title to what I do day-to-day! I work at Long View Systems and my main duty is working on a tier-one service desk. This includes inbound resolution of issues of basically any kind – networking, mobile devices, Windows, Office, desktops, laptops, etc. Really, I work on any IT issue that can go wrong at a large company. The remainder of my time is spent on knowledge management or process analysis and improvement. The most fun I’ve had this year has been working with the client to transition their service catalog from Remedy to ServiceNow.
CompTIA: Life at work sounds busy! Have you always been in the IT industry?
Murphy: The position I’m in now is my first actual IT position. I studied for my undergraduate at the University of Colorado at Boulder and have a long history in the service industry and at call centers.
CompTIA: Being in your first IT position, why did you decide on CompTIA A+?
Murphy: More than anything else it was a personal challenge to prove that I could pass the exam. I have been around computers since an early age, but CompTIA A+ is a great way to quantify those skills. I chose A+ because it really is the standard for indicating basic proficiency in IT – perfect for the work I do every day on the service desk. Also, Long View System’s focus on employee development had a lot to do with me deciding to move forward with A+.
CompTIA: With a full-time job taking up most of your time, how did you prepare for the A+ exam?
Murphy: I used the CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide by Mike Meyers at Total Seminars. It was entirely self-study, at a rate of about nine hours each week for a little more than two months. I spent most of my time taking notes on concepts I wasn’t clear on. I also made a special effort to note some of the specific values that Mike indicated warranted special attention.
CompTIA: After all that studying, how did you feel going into your exam?
Murphy: I felt fairly confident going into the exam, for both sessions, and that confidence didn’t wane much through the exam itself. Once I found out I had passed after completing the 802, I was just satisfied that I had achieved what I set out to do.
CompTIA: Now that you are A+ certified, what are your plans?
Murphy: I plan on moving into a role focusing more on business analysis and ITSM implementation and improvement. My A+ certification will provide a basis that will help me understand some of the jargon inherent to consulting technical resources. If I do decide to pursue more technical certifications like Cloud+, Network+ or Security+ I know that the knowledge [I gleaned] from A+ will be vital.
CompTIA: As the One Millionth Certified, you’ve won $4,500 to spend on admission to a tech show of your choice plus lodging, $500 to cover travel expenses and a three-day trip to Houston, Texas – sponsored by Total Seminars – to meet Mike Meyers and star in a training video and materials. What was your reaction?
Murphy: In all the research I did going into the A+ process this past spring, I did not actually know about the “Be One in a Million” promotion until a few weeks ago when I received a call that I had won! To be honest, I was a bit hesitant. Being in IT makes you somewhat skeptical about these kinds of things. I did some due diligence to confirm everything was valid and once I determined it was legitimate I went from being skeptical to being really, really excited! The prize is absolutely incredible and I really can’t thank everyone from both CompTIA and Total Seminars enough. I’m floored, and really humbled by the whole thing.
Congratulations to Logan Murphy on his A+ certification and being named the grand prize winner of our “Be One in a Million” campaign. But don’t worry, we didn’t forget about everyone else. Just for earning their A+ certification, 45 other IT professionals from around the world recently won training prizes from CompTIA Partners.
A big thanks to Transcender, Tech Sherpas, CTE Solutions, Train Ace, Premier Knowledge Solutions, Logical Operations, Phoenix TS, PC Professor Technical Institute, New Horizons, Wiley, OM Tech Learning, Training Associates, Pearson, McGraw Hill, Global Knowledge, Exam Force, Skill Soft, Coggins International, Netcom Learning, atg Learning, and Leader Quest for their contributions totaling $37,000.
Don’t be left behind! Earn your CompTIA certification and see what happens when we reach our next milestone!
Emily Matzelle is a freelance writer based in the Chicagoland area.