IT trade association CompTIA will today launch a new independent IT qualification course designed to give students a broad and practical grounding in the fundamentals of technology and a stepping stone to further studies.
CompTIA Strata, which was developed with help from awards body Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations (OCR), was created to offer students an entry-level course that does not focus on specific products or applications, as many currently do, according to CompTIA European vice president Matthew Poyiadgi.
The course has two certifications: one dealing with fundamentals of PC functionality – which covers areas such as how to set up a workstation and basic security threats; and the other on fundamentals of technology, which covers the characteristics of hardware and software, maintenance and other areas.
"Fewer people are doing IT courses and we needed something really generic at level one to get people interested in IT and push them towards a career in IT," said Poyiadgi.
"It's designed to get people in at the bottom of the skills pyramid, and because we're vendor neutral it will give the student a clear path of how to progress in their career."
The course sits one level below CompTIA's A+ course, and will be made available through Further Education colleges and iTQ training providers, said Poyiadgi.
The goal is to embed CompTIA Strata into the new Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) iTQ structure, which is the NVQ for IT users. It has been designed to be modular and customisable to employers' needs, Poyiadgi added.
"We sat around and asked [employers] 'What skill sets do you want?'," said Poyiadgi. "We aim to deliver a student with a set of skills so that they can contribute from day one."
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