Become a Subject Matter Expert

Here at CompTIA, we use Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for help in developing and maintaining our certification exams. Input from IT professionals working in the field is crucial to our ability in developing relevant and up-to-date exam content.

Assistance from SMEs is essential in developing quality content for the appropriate level of expertise. SMEs work with peers and CompTIA staff to create or review exam items associated with the technologies, skills and best practices used by IT professionals. We make sure to reward our SMEs for their valuable help and keep them well-fed! SMEs who participate in workshops at CompTIA headquarters are provided CompTIA swag, a CompTIA voucher, and all the breakfast, lunch, snacks and (sometimes) dinner you can eat.

Become a CompTIA Subject Matter Expert – apply today!

Read about the exam development process from a current SME.

03210-CompTIA-Exam-Link-Graphic-R1SME Requirements

  • You must have experience with applicable technology and tools according to the specific workshop requirements. It’s preferred, but not required, that SMEs are CompTIA certified.
  • Applying for a workshop at CompTIA headquarters means you must be able to commit to up to an eight-hour day, five-day work week at CompTIA in Downers Grove, Ill. Downers Grove is a Chicago suburb, accessible by car from both O’Hare and Midway airports.
  • You must sign the CompTIA Non-Disclosure Agreement.
  • CompTIA appreciates interest from the training community, but applications from trainers, authors or individuals who can profit from or materially benefit from knowledge of CompTIA certification exam content are not eligible to participate as SMEs.
  • Please note that not all applicants will qualify.

The SME Experience

Click below to read profiles of CompTIA SMEs and learn about their experiences firsthand! 

Richard Rieben, a member of the CompTIA Subject Matter Expert Technical Advisory Committee, discusses his experience as a CompTIA SME and why he thinks other experts should get involved. “If you enjoy taking certification exams more than you should, the CompTIA SME community might be the perfect place for you,” Rieben said. “Don’t be shy! If you think you can contribute and you meet all of the desired criteria, consider applying for a program in your area of expertise.”

Ryan Frillman has a lifelong love of computers and community service. In this profile, he explains that his desire to help others learn and grow are what motivate him to participate as a SME. “When you participate in these events, treat it like a learning experience,” Frillman said. “That’s what we’re all here for.”

Subject Matter Expert Expectations

CompTIA hires Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to provide their industry expertise and knowledge in specific technical areas. SMEs are expected to possess the knowledge and skills of the target job role to inform accurate and valid content development initiatives for a CompTIA certification. SMEs are also expected to learn how to develop exam content, review the exam content, and provide judgments about the quality/difficulty of our exams.

Subject Matter Experts may or may not be asked to do and should be able to perform the following:

  • Have in-depth, functional, and experiential knowledge in their area of expertise.
  • Understand the terms, policies, concepts, etc. related to their area of expertise.
  • Contribute expertise to help in the creation of exam objectives and the definition of performance objectives necessary for a particular job role or target audience.
  • Proficiently and efficiently compose exam questions.
  • Assist in determining exam question difficulty levels.
  • Review test items for content accuracy.
  • Review test items for quality ensuring adherence to content standards.
  • Provide judgments to establish performance standards.
  • Be proactive and engaged in exam development workshops.
  • Work well with other industry experts and be open to collaboration.