Frequently Asked Questions

CompTIA Tech Career Academy FAQs

Admissions FAQs

Begin by filling out an online application here. You will be redirected to our student information system to fill out an online application.

In order to be admitted to CompTIA Tech Career Academy, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Able to speak, read/write and understand the English language
  • Able to use a computer to navigate in the Windows environment 
  • Able to take an aptitude test and achieve the minimum acceptable score
  • Able to participate in an online interview
  • A high school graduate, GED holder, or have transcripts confirming higher-level degree(s) earned from an accredited institution
  • Eligible to work in the United States
  • Able to provide valid government-issued photo identification or drivers license

*When enrolling in our online programming, you must be able to learn in an online environment and have access to the internet and a reliable laptop or desktop computer with a current web browser and Microsoft Office software applications.

We have found that our most successful students are highly motivated to begin a career in tech and have the basic skills needed to master the topics we’re training on. But more than that, we are committed to bringing in women and men from all backgrounds, especially those populations that are historically under-represented in tech jobs.

No, you don’t need to have any prior tech work experience or tech courses to apply. We’ll start from scratch and teach you what you need to know.

No, CompTIA Tech Career Academy does not charge an application fee.

There are three assessments. The first is a timed 12-minute test. The second two have no time limit, but most applicants complete each within 10-20 minutes.

If you pass the assessments, we will schedule a virtual interview with you. During that session, one of our admissions advisors will get to know you a bit better by asking you about why you’re interested in applying to CompTIA Tech Career Academy, what you’re hoping to get out of the training experience, and what your career goals are. Knowing a bit more about who you are and why you’re applying helps us figure out whether you and CompTIA Tech Career Academy will be a good fit. Additionally, if you are seeking to enroll in the online program, you will be asked to confirm whether you have the appropriate hardware and software required for the program in order to learn in an online environment.

At this time, CompTIA Tech Career Academy is only open to United States citizens and those with authorization to work in the U.S.

For our online students, you'll need standard computer equipment (not a tablet or phone) with the minimum software recommendations for class and online certification testing:

  • 64-bit Windows operating system (Windows 10 professional or above)
  • Intel i5 processor (or equivalent)
  • CPU with VT, VT-x or similar virtualization support
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 250 GB HDD or SDD
  • Microsoft Office 2016 or Office 365
  • Reliable Internet access (for instance, your Internet should allow you to easily watch a YouTube video)

For online testing, you'll also need:

  • Display resolution: 1024 x 768 in 16-bit color
  • Current web browser (Microsoft Edge, Safari, Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer 11)
  • Webcam: minimum resolution of 640 x 480 @ 10 fps (internal or external)
  • Must have functional audio/speakers and microphone
  • High-speed internet access recommended (for optimal performance, a reliable and stable connection of 3 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up is required); wired versus wireless is recommended; tethering to a mobile hotspot is explicitly prohibited for exams

No one is too old to pursue a career in IT.  We accept students ages 18 and up. What matters most to many potential employers is not age, but a person’s ability to learn, adapt, and do good work. 

Once the virtual interview is completed and appropriate eligibility documentation has been provided, an Admissions Advisor will notify an applicant via email within 2 to 3 business days.

You can apply more than once. If you are not accepted into the current IT-Ready Technical Support Program, You can reapply after 30 days and our staff may consider you for future program sessions. Some applicants may pass the interview section, but if the current class roster is already filled, the applicant may be offered a spot in a future class.

We’ll ask you to provide some supporting documents to verify your eligibility for admission:

  • You are at least 18 years old: driver’s license, state ID or birth certificate.
  • You meet educational requirements: high school diploma/transcripts, GED certificate or college transcripts.
  • You are a U.S. citizen or authorized to work in the U.S.: depending on your status, one or more of the following is needed: birth certificate, driver’s license, social security card, passport, green card, naturalization certificate and/or EAD/Employment Authorization Documentation.
  • Proof of Residency: Driver's License, Lease/Mortgage Documents, Utility Bill, etc.

Tuition FAQs

The total cost of the IT-Ready Technical Support Program is $8,500.00. However, your actual out-of-pocket expense may vary depending on any financial assistance you may be eligible to receive.

Your tuition payment includes everything required to complete the program. This includes classroom instruction, access to our online learning system, certification exam vouchers, and any books. Online students are responsible for their own access to the internet and a reliable laptop or desktop computer with a current web browser and Microsoft Office software applications.

100% of your tuition payment will be due 14 days before your course begins, unless you have made other arrangements such as the CompTIA Tech Career Academy payment plan or CompTIA Institutional Student Loan via UNISA, our student loan servicer.

Yes. You may make payments in two installments: 50% due no later than 14 days before your course begins, and the remaining 50% due one month after the first payment is made. There is no service fee charged for making payments this way.

Once the account is past due, you will be placed on a non-academic hold and withdrawn from the program. You will not be able to return to class or log into the student management system. A late fee of 1.5% of the amount owed will be assessed for late payments.

Tuition refunds will depend on a number of factors, including what state you live in and how far along in the program you are. For more details, see our Financial Aid staff or the cancellation and refund policy in the applicable course catalog.

Financial Assistance FAQs

During your online application, you’ll be asked if you are seeking financial assistance. If you say yes, you’ll need to provide a few additional documents including financial records such as pay stubs or W-2 forms and any public assistance documentation. These documents will be requested once you have completed your admissions process and have been offered a seat for the class.

Our external sponsors, which may include federal and non-federal government agencies, as well as industry, foundation and other funders, help to support our students. Qualifications for aid can vary depending on the funding organization’s requirements, but generally, students must be able to demonstrate financial need and/or be part of an underserved population such as women, people of color, or veterans.

CompTIA Grants are also available to students enrolled at any CompTIA Tech campus who qualify for at least one of the following categories:

  • $1,000: Individuals who have been historically under-represented in the tech industry (Blacks, Latinx, Native Americans and women), as noted by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • $1,000: U.S. military veterans, their spouses or caregivers
  • Partial tuition amount (50%): Annual income above 200% but below 300% of the federal poverty threshold
  • Full tuition amount: Annual income below 200% of the federal poverty threshold

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens with authorization to work in the U.S.

Yes. Grants may be stackable depending on sponsor requirements — allowing for two or more grants to be combined up to the full tuition amount. Tuition will first be covered by grants from externally funded sources, and then by qualifying CompTIA Grants for full or partial tuition.

You’ll be notified before your first tuition payment is due—that is, at least 14 days before your course is scheduled to begin. Those seeking financial assistance are encouraged to apply early to get the earliest possible notification.

We offer CompTIA Loans to students enrolled at any CompTIA Tech Career Academy campus. We’ve partnered with UNISA, a student loan provider/servicer to offer these institutional student loans.

Students pay nothing and don’t accrue any interest on their loans during their training or grace period. Students have a three-month grace period after their last day of attendance due to either graduation or withdrawal from school before they must start paying back their loans.

While enrolled at CompTIA Tech Career Academy, the in-school interest rate on CompTIA Loans is zero. The student does not accrue interest on the student loan during the course of the session. The out-of-school interest rate is a 2% annual rate.

While enrolled at CompTIA Tech Career Academy, you also don’t need to repay the loan. After you leave either due to graduation or withdrawal, you have a grace period of three months before the repayment of the loan starts. The minimum payment amount after the grace period is $10/month.

For loans under $2500, you have 48 months, starting at the end of the grace period, to repay the loan. For loans equal to or above $2500, you have 60 months, starting at the end of the grace period, to repay the loans.

Students accepting CompTIA Loans must agree to and abide by all student borrower portal, specifically when logged into the borrower page.

If you leave CompTIA Tech Career Academy, your financial status must be re-evaluated by our Financial Assistance team in order to qualify for a CompTIA Grant. If you have a CompTIA Loan, your loan is put on hold, ceasing monthly interest accrual and collection efforts until you finish your training and another three-month grace period.

Students can get a 6-month hold on their CompTIA Loan where monthly interest accrual and collection are delayed if the student loses their job within two years of leaving CompTIA Tech Career Academy due to graduation or withdrawal. Students must provide proof of unemployment to our Financial Assistance team.

Loans are due on the 1st of each month after your grace period ends. The grace period runs for three months after your last attendance day either due to graduation or withdrawal. 

Yes, there is a $20 monthly late fee for each missed payment. 

Yes, students who enroll in UNISA’s auto-pay plan to pay their CompTIA Loans, get a 5% discount on each payment. Auto-payments are made directly by a student’s debit or credit card. After two consecutive declined payments, the discount will no longer be offered.

There’s a $20.00 returned payment fee for each returned payment, due to either insufficient funds or returned check or ACH payment. If your credit/debit card declines payment, there is no fee for a decline. If your credit/debit card auto pay declines, there is also no fee for that decline.

IT-Ready Technical Support FAQs

In our IT-Ready Technical Support program, we assess, train, and certify adults in tech careers in as little as 16 weeks. Our program prepares student for both technical and employability skills for entry-level tech careers. We work with you one-on-one all the way through the program, from admissions to employment assistance.

  • Online Campuses are 16 weeks in length and run three hours a day online, 9 a.m. to Noon CT or from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. CT.

In our Online Campus, the program is 16 weeks long. It is held Monday through Friday, running 9 a.m. to Noon CT or 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. CT. Students are required to be on time every day; The program allows only one absence and three tardies. 

Online Campus classes have an instructor and up to 35 students. The instructor shares material in a lecture format, but leaves plenty of time for questions, group projects, one-on-one attention, and hands-on or virtual labs. You'll have 10-minute breaks throughout the class day.

For our online students, you'll need standard computer equipment (not a tablet or phone) with the minimum software recommendations for class and online certification testing:

  • 64-bit Windows operating system (Windows 10 professional or above)
  • Intel i5 processor (or equivalent)
  • CPU with VT, VT-x or similar virtualization support
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 250 GB HDD or SDD
  • Microsoft Office 2016 or Office 365
  • Reliable Internet access (for instance, your Internet should allow you to easily watch a YouTube video)

For online testing, you'll also need:

  • Display resolution: 1024 x 768 in 16-bit color
  • Current web browser (Microsoft Edge, Safari, Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer 11)
  • Webcam: minimum resolution of 640 x 480 @ 10 fps (internal or external)
  • Must have functional audio/speakers and microphone
  • High-speed internet access recommended (for optimal performance, a reliable and stable connection of 3 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up is required); wired versus wireless is recommended; tethering to a mobile hotspot is explicitly prohibited for exams

You learn skills such as building a computer from parts, installing software, troubleshooting problems and setting up and managing networks: 

  • Security: Supporting and securing access to data by properly using authentication, access control and encryption for an organization. 
  • Networking: Applying core concepts and protocols and subnet mask to set up and support wired and wireless networks.
  • Operating Systems: Working with mobile, server and traditional operating systems ranging from Android and iOS to Windows and Linux.
  • IT Operations: Using the basics of virtualization, cloud computing, desktop imaging and deployment to support today’s IT infrastructures.
  • Troubleshooting: Following and using decision trees for diagnosing, resolving and documenting common hardware and software issues across a variety of devices.
  • Technical Support: Applying principles of customer service to help resolve IT issues.

You also learn softer professional skills such as communication, customer service and job interviewing.  The program covers these entry-level IT principles and skills, all of which are tested in the final week of class when students sit for the CompTIA A+ certification exam.

 

The A+ certification exam is offered by CompTIA, a non-profit trade association and the leading provider of vendor-neutral IT certifications in the world. CompTIA A+ serves as the blueprint for up-to-date skills needed for entry-level IT support and operations positions. It validates understanding of the most common hardware and software technologies in business and certifies the skills necessary to support complex IT infrastructures. The first part of the exam covers PC hardware and peripherals, mobile device hardware, networking and troubleshooting hardware and network connectivity issues. The second part covers installing and configuring operating systems including Windows, iOS, Android, Apple OS X and Linux. It also addresses security, the fundamentals of cloud computing and operational procedures.

Graduates may move into entry-level tech support roles, such as computer support specialists, building and maintaining a business’ IT environment, and assisting its internal and external customers. We work with graduates to connect them with potential employment opportunities.

*What’s important to remember is that when it comes to IT careers, the place at which you start is not the place at which you end. The IT industry offers opportunity for growth once you “get your foot in the door,” so to speak. Your desire to learn and your ambition to succeed professionally can take you great places!

As a licensed school, we cannot guarantee job placement. No reputable school can! But we have dedicated staff members who work with local employers to connect students to jobs. After students graduate, they may apply for the jobs our partners offer.

Graduates of the IT-Ready Technical Support program are not issued academic credits that can be transferred to other academic institutions. CompTIA Tech Career Academy does not accept academic credits issued by other academic institutions, since the IT-Ready Technical Support program is designed as a one-course program.

Student Experience FAQs

Our program is rigorous and requires each student to take ownership of his or her success — reflecting the personal responsibility necessary for you to secure and keep a professional job. The instructor shares material in a lecture format, but leaves plenty of time for questions, group projects, hands on labs and one-on-one attention.

Not quite. Your time at CompTIA Tech Career Academy will have three stages.

  • Enroll in our 16-week online Campuses.
  • Second, you will have up to 14 days after the end of class to pass the CompTIA A+ certification examinations.
  • Third, a job search phase begins when you pass your exams and ends when you land a job. For example, in some cases if a graduate is not showing up for job interviews—CompTIA Tech Career Academy may no longer support your search. But for most Alumni, we’re with you until you land a job or tell us you don’t need us anymore.

Our online campus typically has 35 students. 

The online campus program will begin at either 9:00 a.m. or 6:00 p.m. CT. You will be expected to be logged in and ready to work by that time, so you’ll want to arrive a few minutes early. Class ends at Noon for the morning class and 9:00 p.m. for the evening class. You'll be enrolled in either the morning or evening session and cannot bounce between the two. You'll receive two 10-minute breaks during each three-hour session.

For our online students, you'll need standard computer equipment (not a tablet or phone) with the minimum software recommendations for class and online certification testing:

  • 64-bit Windows operating system (Windows 10 professional or above)
  • Intel i5 processor (or equivalent)
  • CPU with VT, VT-x or similar virtualization support
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 250 GB HDD or SDD
  • Microsoft Office 2016 or Office 365
  • Reliable Internet access, (for instance, your Internet should allow you to easily watch a YouTube video)

For online testing, you'll also need:

  • Display resolution: 1024 x 768 in 16-bit color
  • Current web browser (Microsoft Edge, Safari, Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer 11)
  • Webcam: minimum resolution of 640 x 480 @ 10 fps (internal or external)
  • Must have functional audio/speakers and microphone
  • High-speed internet access recommended (for optimal performance, a reliable and stable connection of 3 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up is required); wired versus wireless is recommended; tethering to a mobile hotspot is explicitly prohibited for exams

 

Students must dress as they would in an employment setting in “business casual” attire.

There is no required homework. Your instructor will give you optional, but highly recommended, online activities you can complete to boost your learning retention.

Your Instructor will be able to answer questions during class time. In addition, all  CTCA campuses have a Regional Campus Manager. They will be there if you need extra support along the way. You can also arrange for tutoring with your Instructor.

The program allows one absence and three tardies. After that, you will be withdrawn from the program.

Yes. You won’t be listening to a lecture all day. You’ll have many opportunities to engage in projects and assignments with your classmates.

You must take and pass both CompTIA A+ exams within 14 days of completing your training. But don’t worry! If you don’t pass on the first try, a free retake is available, included in your tuition payment.

No. When the time comes, you will take your exams at a test center convenient to you. You’ll be responsible for setting up your exams at a time that works for you.

A free retake voucher is included in your tuition, if needed. You'll have 14 days to pass the exams. If you don't pass, then you don't graduate or receive career services.

As a licensed school, we cannot guarantee job placement. No reputable school can! But we have dedicated staff members who work with local employers to connect students to jobs. After students graduate from the IT-Ready Technical Support Program, they may apply for the jobs our partners offer.

Yes! You’ll actually create your resume step by step while you are enrolled in the IT-Ready Technical Support Program. 

Employer FAQs

Our mission is to unlock people’s potential by helping them launch and grow their careers in information technology. Our parent organization, Creating IT Futures, developed CompTIA Tech Career Academy to exclusively offer our successful IT-Ready Technical Support program. This program helps individuals, who are under-represented in the tech industry prepare for, secure and be successful in tech careers. Originally launched in the Twin Cities in 2012, the program has supplied, dedicated, and diversified candidates to employers for their entry-level tech jobs. CompTIA Tech Career Academy allows Creating IT Futures to introduce the program to a larger audience.

In the IT-Ready Technical Support Program, we assess, train, certify and place adults in tech careers. The program prepares students with technical skills for entry-level tech careers. Students work virtually Monday through Friday. Additionally, students have recommended educational activities to complete online to boost their learning retention. We work with students one-on-one all the way through the program, from recruitment to employment.

IT-Ready Technical Support graduates have learned:

  • Security: Supporting and securing access to data by properly using authentication, access control and encryption for an organization.
  • Networking: Applying core concepts, protocols and subnet mask to set up and support wired and wireless networks.
  • Operating Systems: Working with mobile, server and traditional operating systems ranging from Android and iOS to Windows and Linux.
  • IT Operations: Using the basics of virtualization, cloud computing, desktop imaging and deployment to support today’s IT infrastructures.
  • Troubleshooting: Following and using decision trees for diagnosing, resolving and documenting common hardware and software issues across a variety of devices.
  • Technical Support: Applying principles of customer service to help resolve IT issues.

All IT-Ready Technical Support graduates learn employability skills such as conflict management, teamwork,critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills.

IT-Ready Technical Support graduates train and test for the CompTIA A+ certification.  

CompTIA Tech Career Academy applicants are pre-screened and vetted with online assessments that test for workplace personality traits. This online assessment also tests for learning, communication and problem-solving skills. Applicants who pass the online assessments are given a virtual interview with an Admissions Advisor.

Students pay CompTIA Tech Career Academy directly for their training, but many qualifying students receive grants to offset costs. Some of our grants, underwritten by financial donations from our partners, can pay up to 100% of the costs of the students’ tuition. Additionally, there is a payment plan option and we have also partnered with UNISA to offer a student loan option.

Our graduates are local to your business or virtual, if an option. Employers interview graduates to decide which one fits best with their company’s culture. Employers will make offers directly to the graduates they choose. Our graduates’ ability to show up on time for the length of their training shows their resolve and allows us to make a good match with an employer. CompTIA Tech Career Academy does not receive any fees, commissions or percentage of the worker’s pay.

We strive to make sure every student is ready to start their career in tech, this includes the interview process. Employers can help by giving information interviews, participating in mock job interviews, and being a panelist on educational webinars for students. To get started, contact us and we’ll connect you to our Regional Career Services Manager in your area.