Frequently Asked Questions

CompTIA Tech Career Academy FAQs

Admissions FAQs

In order to be admitted to CompTIA Tech you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A high school graduate (or GED holder)
  • A U.S. citizen (or authorized to work in the U.S.)
  • Able to demonstrate learning, communication and problem-solving skills
  • Able to use a computer to navigate in the Windows environment

Yes! 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. You can take a break between each assessment.

If you pass the assessments, we will schedule an online chat session 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, 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 will be a good fit.

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

For our classes in physical classrooms, a pencil and paper to take notes are all you need for class. Textbooks and in-class computers are provided for students. Note, it is helpful to have access to a computer and the Internet during your own time to access recommended educational activities online to help reinforce what you learn in the classroom. 

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, and we accept students ages 18 and up. What matters most to many potential employers is not age but, rather, a person’s ability to learn, adapt and do good work. 

Our admissions process has a few stages and you will receive a couple of notifications along the way. The first is just after you have taken the online assessments. We’ll let you know whether or not you are eligible to move on in the process. The second notification, for those who do move on to complete the interview process, will be no more than two weeks after that interview takes place. We’ll let you know then whether or not you are being offered admission into CompTIA Tech.

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

Apply FAQs

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

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

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

To show you are:

  • At least 18 years old: driver’s license, state ID, or birth certificate
  • A high school graduate: high school diploma, GED certificate, college diploma or unofficial college transcripts
  • 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

If you plan to apply for financial assistance, you’ll need to provide a few additional documents including financial records such as pay stubs or W2’s and any public assistance documentation. You’ll be given specific instructions for that within the application.

Tuition FAQs

Tuition for the IT-Ready Technical Support class is $8500. However, your actual out-of-pocket expense may vary depending on any financial assistance you may be eligible to receive. Since 2012, all eligible students to our IT-Ready Technical Support program have qualified for grants to significantly reduce their tuition expense.

Your tuition payment includes everything required to complete the program, including classroom instruction, access to our online learning system, certification exam vouchers, and any books. Your fee also covers the use of CompTIA Tech computer equipment in the classroom. Online students are responsible for their own computer equipment and software required for the program. There are no other fees—not even an application fee.

You’ll receive a tuition invoice 30 days before you course begins. 100% of your tuition payment will be due 14 days before your course begins, unless you have CompTIA Tech payment plan.

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.

A late fee of 1.5% of the amount owed will be assessed on the day after your second payment is due. If you still have not made your payment two weeks after that second payment is due, you will not be able to return to class or to log into the student management system.

Tuition payments are refundable on a sliding scale based on how far along you are in the class, the reasons for your withdrawal, and your campus location (different states have different rules). For more details, see our Financial Aid staff.

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. You’ll be given specific instructions for that within the application.

CompTIA Grants are available to students enrolled at any CompTIA Tech campus who qualify in at least one of the following categories that align with our mission:

  • $1,000: Individuals who have been historically under-represented in the tech industry (African Americans, 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

Generous donor partners also help support students at specific campus locations. Qualifications for aid vary a bit depending on the donor organization, but generally, those who qualify for partial or full financial assistance will be able to demonstrate financial need and/or be part of an underserved community such as women or people of color. There are also opportunities for veterans. 

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

All grants are stackable, so that you can combine two or more grants to help pay for your tuition.


Yes. Grants are stackable—they can be combined up to the full tuition amount. 

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.

IT-Ready Technical Support FAQs

In our IT-Ready Technical Support program, we assess, train, certify and place adults in tech careers in as little as 8 weeks. Our program prepares students like you in both technical and employability skills for entry-level tech careers. For our local campus classes that have now moved online due to the COVID-19 health situation, you'll train from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and can complete recommended education activities online on your own time. For our Online Campus students, classes run three hours a day online, 9 a.m. to Noon CT or from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm CT, but go for 16 weeks versus the 8 weeks for our local campus classes. We work with you one-on-one all the way through the program, from recruitment to employment.

In our local campus classes, the program is eight weeks long and held five days a week, Monday through Friday, beginning promptly at 9 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. In our Online Campus class, the program is sixteen weeks long and held five days a week, 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. 

Our local campus sessions have one instructor and up to 25 students. The Online Campus classes have one instructor and up to 35 students. The instructor shares material in a lecture format, but leaves plenty of time for questions, group projects and one-on-one attention, as well as hands-on labs.

You'll have 10-minute breaks throughout the class day, including an hour-long break for the all-day classes.

For our classes in physical classrooms, a pencil and paper to take notes are all you need for class. Textbooks and in-class computers are provided for students. Note, it is helpful to have access to a computer and the Internet during your own time to access recommended educational activities online to help reinforce what you learn in the classroom. 

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.

Technical Support graduates 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. CompTIA Tech Career Academy staff work with graduates to connect them to 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. Those positions are not guaranteed; students interview for those positions. However, our experience has been that the vast majority of our graduates secure full-time employment in the IT industry within months of their completing the program and earning certification.

With limited classroom space – and overwhelming demand – CompTIA Tech must be deliberate in its selection process, choosing motivated and interested candidates who are committed to success. Applicants need to be at least 18 years old, a high school graduate (or GED holder), a U.S. citizen (or authorized to work in the U.S.), able to pass an online aptitude assessment, able to use a computer to navigate in the Windows environment, and highly driven and committed to training.

Student Experience FAQs

Our program is rigorous and requires each student to take ownership of his or her success — reflecting the kind of 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 will have three stages. First, the 8-week or 16-week training program, depending on which campus you're enrolled in. Second, a 30-day period to pass your certification exams. And third, a job search phase that begins when you pass your exams and ends, for most graduates, when you land a job. In some cases—for example, if a graduate is not showing up for job interviews—CompTIA Tech may have to say we can 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.

Most IT-Ready Technical Support sessions will have about 25 students in the local campus programs and about 35 students in the Online Campus program.

For the local campus programs, class will begin at 9:00 am. 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 for the day at 4:00 pm. In between, you’ll have a one-hour break for lunch and short breaks in the morning and afternoon.

For the Online Campus program, class will begin at either 9:00 am or 6:00 pm 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 pm 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 classes in physical classrooms, a pencil and paper to take notes are all you need for class. Textbooks and in-class computers are provided for students. Note, it is helpful to have access to a computer and the Internet during your own time to access recommended educational activities online to help reinforce what you learn in the classroom.

 

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's no required homework, but your instructor will give you optional, but recommended, online activities you can complete after class to boost your learning retention.

Your instructor will be able to answer many questions for you right during class time. He or she also will have office hours outside of class and will be available via email to answer questions as well. In addition, all students have an academic advisor. You’ll meet yours before your program begins, and they will be there to help you if you need extra support along the way.

The program allows one absence and three tardies. After that, you may be asked to withdraw.

Yes! This is one of the things alumni remember fondly about their time at CompTIA Tech. You won’t just be sitting listening to a lecture all day. You’ll have many opportunities to engage in projects and assignments with your classmates. Most students find the help and camaraderie extend outside of class as well.

You must take and pass both CompTIA A+ exams within 30 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 already included in your tuition. So, if you need to take the test again, you’re covered. You'll have 30 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 IT-Ready Technical Support, they may apply for the jobs our partners offer. Those positions are not guaranteed; students interview for those positions. However, our experience has been that the vast majority of IT-Ready graduates secure full-time employment in the IT industry within months of their completing the program and earning certification.

Yes. You’ll actually create your resume step by step during your eight weeks of class time. 

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 to exclusively offer our successful IT-Ready Technical Support program, which helps individuals in need and 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 allows Creating IT Futures to introduce the program to a larger audience.

In our IT-Ready Technical Support program, we assess, train, certify and place adults in tech careers. The program prepares students in both technical and employability skills for entry-level tech careers. Students work in class Monday-Friday and then have recommended additional 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 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

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

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

CompTIA Tech applicants are pre-screened and vetted with online assessments that test for workplace personality traits as well as learning, communication and problem-solving skills. Applicants who pass the online assessments are given personal interviews via video conference call. After an extensive prescreening process and 240 hours of instructor-led training, they arrive on Day One certified and prepared for most entry-level tech roles such as a service desk analyst or desktop support technician.

Students pay CompTIA Tech directly for their training, but many students receive grants to offset costs. Some of our grants, underwritten by financial donations from our partners, pay 100% of the costs of the students’ tuition. 

Our graduates are local to your business. Employers interview graduates to decide which one fits best with their company’s culture. Employers 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 does not receive any fees, commissions or percentage of the worker’s pay.

We strive to make sure every student is ready for their first tech job, and that includes making sure they are ready for job interviews. 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 for your area.