By 5 September 2011 | Categories: sponsored content



CompTIA: Handshake Picture

Ismail Hassim PictureDoes getting yourself formally certified actually help? We talk to Ismail Hassim, software and solution support consultant at Smart Office Service, to learn more about the qualification process, writing exams and the benefits involved in a CompTIA certification.

Explain to us what your job entails?

I am part of the Solutions Department in our company and we install and support document account software as well as device management software. My company is responsible for implementing and supporting printing solutions for our clients.

How did you decide which certifications to choose?

Since starting out at Smart Office Services, I realised that we work a lot with networks and encounter a lot of network related issues, as well as questions pertaining to the network. When hearing other IT consultants speak and using terminology you don't quite understand, just made it even more of a necessity to study and further myself. Which CompTIA certifications did you select and why?

Tell us more about your training experience.

When I heard that our company had given us an opportunity to do the CompTIA Network+ certification at Torque IT, I jumped at it. This has been one of my ambitions and to be formally certified is always a benefit. The training was given by Patrick Young, who is a very helpful individual. He was extremely patient in his explanations when we didn't understand something, and used "everyday" scenarios to help us understand it better.

Torque IT is a reputable training company and a Platinum partner of the CompTIA Authorized Partner Program (CAPP). The lecture rooms are spacious and well equipped, breaks are on time and since we were doing the evening classes, supper was always great. Torque IT went out of their way to cater for our dietary needs.

How was the actual testing experience at the test centre?

Well like everyone out there writing any sort of formal exam, I was extremely nervous. But after I was seated at my desk and in front of the computer, I just imagined that I was at home in front of my PC studying.

Has certification made a difference to your job and how you perform it?

A typical example of how it helped is this: we often experience slow printing or slow login speeds to our devices. As a solution we would speak to the network guys to force a port to 100 full duplex, from auto negotiate, and then we would turn our devices to be the same. Before doing the N+ certificate, this was just something we would do because it was a solution. But now I understand the reasons for doing this.

Would you recommend CompTIA certifications to other ICT professionals and why?

CompTIA being internationally recognised, is ESSENTIAL. It adds value to your academic profile and having done any CompTIA course and certification, just shows that you as an individual are a competent and knowledgeable person to have on a team.

In your opinion, does being certified really make a difference to employers in South Africa?

Yes definitely, it is of great importance to have that formal qualification. When applying for any position without any formal qualification, it makes it almost impossible for you to land that important job. I'm sure that as an employer you would want to hire somebody who is formally qualified, for many reasons. Would you have confidence in a person who just says he knows what he is doing, as compared to a person who has studied and has the qualifications to prove that he knows what he is talking about?

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About Smart Office Service 
Smart Office Service is a national multi-brand Office Automation Service company specialising in on-site servicing of document input and output devices on Pay Per Use basis, delivering consistently high quality service for over 38 000 devices. For more information visit


For more information on CompTIA or any of their courses, visit their website on or call 011-787-4841/3.



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