Mobile devices have evolved from an employee’s personal phone to a critical tool for the ever-moving employee. Sometimes, it may be a company-issued device, but more often, companies are turning to a “bring your own device,” or BYOD model. With 87% of companies relying on their employees using personal devices to access business applications (Syntonic), it’s often up to the IT team to offer support on whatever device the employee chooses to use. But how can IT teams be expected to support devices made by a myriad of manufacturers running varied operating systems they can’t control?
This is why IT training is more important than ever. Not only do they need to understand how to work on the devices and support them, but they also need to know how to create a BYOD policy to ensure their network remains secure. As such, training needs to cover everything, from setting up secure wireless networks to backing up critical data to understanding the devices themselves. In some cases, this could even include building and supporting company-specific mobile apps.
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As the premier IT industry trade association, CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) is looked to by IT teams seeking training and guidance in the BYOD world. They offer vendor-neutral certifications on general IT fundamentals, cloud, Linux, security, and much more. While at first glance CompTIA doesn’t offer a mobile-specific training certification, a few of their certifications cover important mobile technologies.
With more than one million people certified, CompaTIA’s A+ is the flagship certification for demonstrating competency as a computer technician. In early 2019, CompTIA updated the curriculum for A+ to stay current with the latest trends in the industry, and part of that included increasing the focus on mobile computing. The objectives include an understanding of different mobile device types, their accessories, network connectivity, app support, device security, and troubleshooting.
A+ isn’t the only CompTIA course that delves into the mobile world. Network+ covers topics like wireless technology, which includes cellular technologies like GSM, TMDA, and CDMA. Understanding these technologies provides a solid foundation for further education on how to support them. Network+ also covers device security and securing wireless networks, two critical issues when writing or carrying out a BYOD policy.
Security+ tackles the issues of securing a mobile workforce. Specifically, it ensures you’re able to identify and address potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses unique to mobile devices. This includes physical security like biometrics and passcodes, as well as data security such as geofences, remote management, and containerization. Finally, it helps in enforcement and monitoring for common BYOD considerations like camera use, jailbreaking, GPS tagging, mobile payments, and more.
While the certifications listed above directly cover mobile technology and devices, it’s important to have a strong foundation is technology in general. As the lines between desktop and mobile continue to blur with the rise of netbooks and tablets that double as laptops, having broad knowledge in topics like networking and security, beyond just the mobile-specific areas, is increasingly important. Even CompTIA’s entry-level certification, IT Fundamentals+, covers high-level networking and security concepts that are important foundations for IT workers today.
So how can you learn about these topics and prepare for the certification exams? There are several options available including books and classroom training. If you’re looking for an online resource where you control the pace of learning, you’ll want to consider ITProTV. As CompTIA’s official video training partner, ITProTV offers more than 430 hours of CompTIA-specific training content. In addition to the topics mentioned above, ITProTV also has exam prep courses for CySA+ (cybersecurity analyst), PenTest+, Linux+, Project+, and Server+. And if you want to practice what you preach, you can even learn about mobile devices on your mobile device, with ITProTV’s iOS and Android apps. How’s that for hands-on training?