CompTIA Certification Guide. CompTIA’s vendor-neutral certification program is highly recognized in the entire IT industry. As CompTIA had developed the A+ credential in 1993, CompTIA has issued more than two million certificates.
CompTIA, headquartered near Chicago, is a non-profit trade association with more than 2,000 member organizations & 3,000 business partners. While the organization focuses on training and certifying IT professionals, CompTIA also plays an important role in philanthropy and advocacy in public policy. CompTIA launched the CompTIA Infrastructure Career in the early 2018 pathway. You can see the same certifications that underpin the certifications of the CompTIA portfolio.
This new career development program aligns CompTIA certifications more closely with IT professionals’ actual skills to succeed in managing and maintaining IT infrastructure.
CompTIA certificates are grouped by skill level
- Additional Professional Certifications.
Core Certifications: CompTIA is designed to build on basic core competencies and offers four core certifications: IT Fundamentals+ (preparatory certificate focused on the IT Fundamentals Framework), CompTIA A+ (focused on customer support and device connectivity), CompTIA+ Networking (targeted on Device base system connections) and CompTIA Security + (with an emphasis on entry-level cybersecurity skills).
Infrastructure Certifications: In addition to the Network+ credentials, you will find three infrastructure certificates: CompTIA Server+ (with a focus on server maintenance and management issues), CompTIA Cloud+ (for hybrid clouds, virtual system management, and provisioning of network resources for storage) and CompTIA Linux+ (focused on administration and administration of Linux operating systems).
Cybersecurity Certifications: CompTIA offers three cybersecurity certificates: CompTIA CySA+ (CySA stands for Cyber Security Analyst and is intended for behavioral IT security analysts), CASP+ (CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner; focuses on professionals designing and implementing solutions security), and CompTIA PenTest+ (penetration testing for professionals who perform penetration and vulnerability testing).
Additional Professional Certifications: This category includes several certificates that are inconsistent with previous CompTIA careers, that include: CompTIA Project+, CompTIA CTT+, and CompTIA Cloud Essentials.
Certifications related to CompTIA Core:
CompTIA IT Basics + is ideal for beginners with core knowledge of handling the technical issues in computer functionality and compatibility, hardware fundamentals, software installation, security risks and precautions, and core networking. It also works well as a career development tool for career beginners in IT or career changers. An exam is required to get a certificate. CompTIA introduced a new IT + Fundamental’s exam (FC0-U61 exam) in September 2018.
This new exam aims at computing basics, usage of the database, development, and IT infrastructure. The English version of the earlier (FC0-U510) exam was closed from July 15 2019. Other language exams get closed from December 1 2019.
The CompTIA A+ certification is known as the “entry-level rite of passage for IT technicians,” and for a good reason. This certificate is designed for people who want a career as a support desk, maintenance, service centre or network technician. This includes software installation, a configuration of the computer, computer and laptop hardware, and mobile operating systems. The A+ also tests the understanding of candidates related to core networking, troubleshooting, and security, which acts as a stepping stone to CompTIA’s network or security certificates or those asked by IT organizations.
As per the CompTIA, more than 1 million IT professionals are A+ certified. A+ is needed for Dell, Intel, and HP service technicians and is recognized by the Department of Defense USA. CompTIA introduced a new “core” exam for the CompTIA A+ certificate on January 15, 2019. This new exam offers an additional focus on operational competence and critical security issues. Applicants must pass the Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002) exams. The Core 1 exam focuses on cloud computing, virtualization, hardware, mobile devices, network technologies, and troubleshooting. The Core 2 exam aims at operating system installation and configuration, troubleshooting software, operating procedures, and systems safety.
Various IT professionals start with an A+ certificate. Even if A+ is recommended, if you are experienced and don’t need an A+, you can move on to the CompTIA Network+ certification straight away. It is aimed at professionals who have at least nine months of networking experience. The applicant should be familiar with network technology, security, media, installation, topology, configuration, and troubleshooting of common wireless and wired network devices. The Network+ Certificate is required and highly recommended by Dell, HP, and Intel, and a network entry-point certificate from an Apple Consultant network. Network+ credentials conform to ISO 17024 and are recognized by the US Department of Health as A+. An exam is required to get a certificate.
CompTIA Security+ certification covers concepts for threats and vulnerabilities, network security, access control, identity management, cryptography, and more. While CompTIA does not require any prerequisites, the organization recommends that certificate applicants obtain Network+ credentials and have at least two years of security-focused IT administration experience. To get Security + Certification, applicants must pass the exam, SY0-501.
CompTIA Infrastructure Certifications:
The CompTIA Linux+ Certification Powered by LPI is for Linux network administrators with at least 12 months of Linux administration experience. This experience should cover installation, GNU and Unix commands, package management, shells, scripts, security, and more. A+ and Network+ certifications are recommended as an opening to this certification but are not required. Applicants must pass two exams (LX0-103 and LX0-104) to receive this certificate. The exams must be taken sequentially, and the applicants must pass the LX0-103 exam before going for the LX0-104. In 2018, CompTIA started testing a new beta exam (XK1-004). Beta exam proposals ended on October 22, 2018.
As the cloud computing market is growing rapidly at such a high rate, the CompTIA Cloud+ certification continues to follow suit. This certificate is intended for IT professionals with two to three years of experience in networking, storage or data centre management. A single exam, CV0-002, is needed. It tests the candidate’s cloud technologies knowledge, hybrid and multi-cloud solutions, cloud markets, and cloud technology integration into system operations.
CompTIA Server+ is intended for server administrators with 18 to 24 months of experience with server hardware and software technologies; A+ certification is required. Server+ certificates are recommended and needed for cracking the job in HP, Intel, and Lenovo as server technicians. It is also needed for Microsoft and the US Department of Defense (DoD). A single check, SK0-004, is required to obtain this certificate.
CompTIA Cybersecurity Certifications:
CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+)
As cybercrimes increase, the demand for highly qualified information security analysts will also increase. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports forecasting 28% growth for information security analysts between 2016 and 2026, the fastest growth rate for any occupation. One of the latest additions to the CompTIA certification portfolio is the Cybersecurity Analyst certificate (CySA+). The CySA+ credential is specifically created to meet the growing demand for experienced and skilled information security analysts.
CySA+ credential holders are adept at using systemic threat detection tools, as well as data and behavioral analytics to protect applications and systems from other risks, threats, and vulnerabilities. CySA+ certificate holders can monitor network behavior and analyze results and create solutions for better protection against advanced persistent threats (APTs), malware, intrusions, and more.
CompTIA describes CySA+ as a liaison certificate between the Security+ credential (requires two years of experience) and the Master’s Level Advanced Security Practitioner Certification (CASP), which needs an experience of 10 years. To win CySA+, candidates must pass an exam based on performance.
CompTIA+ Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)
While CompTIA now doesn’t use the term “master”, the coveted CASP+ certificate is certainly a master-level certification. CASP is aimed at practitioners and is the only performance-based practice-oriented certificate currently offered by CompTIA. This certificate is intended for experienced IT security experts who plan, design, and implement security solutions in the enterprise environment.
While this certificate does not require any explicit prerequisites, it is not a bad idea to obtain a Network+ and Security+ certificate before going ahead with the CASP exam. In addition, you must have ten years of IT administration experience and at least five years of technical security experience (this will secure the location of this certificate as a “master” credential).
Network Solutions, Booz Allen Hamilton, Verizon Connect, and others ask for CASP+ certification for some of their positions. The US military and navy also look for CASP+ as an industry certification required by employees and contractors performing IT work in DoD data centres. For CASP+ certification, candidates must pass the CAS-003 exam, which consists of 90 results-based multiple-choice questions.
The newest member of the CompTIA family of certifications is the CompTIA PenTest+. The Intermediate Certificate, PenTest+, is designed to complement CySA+. While CySA+ is defensive (emphasizing threat detection and response), PenTest+’s credentials are annoying and focus on using penetration testing to identify and manage network vulnerabilities across the spectrum.
There are no prerequisites, but Network+ and Security+ (or equivalent skills) are recommended prominently, along with experience of at least two years in information security. Applicants pursuing a career in cybersecurity may receive a PenTest+ or CySA+ credential, respectively.
The exam was launched in July 2018 and focuses on reporting and communicating results, data analysis, penetration testing and scanning, and planning assessment. The exam also tests the candidate’s knowledge of legal and compliance needs.
CompTIA Additional Professional Certificate
The CompTIA Project+ Certificate aims to cater for the tasks exclusively related to project management and suits fit for project managers who know the project life cycle from planning to completion and can complete projects on time and within a budget. Project managers who are usually interested in this certification must have at least one year of experience in project management for the supervision of small and medium-sized projects. For Project + Credentials, candidates must take the PK0-004 multiple-choice exam.
The CompTIA Cloud Essentials certificate is for those who understand the business aspects of cloud computing and the know-how to move from internal storage to cloud storage. In addition, they need to be aware of the implications, risks, and consequences of deploying cloud solutions. An exam is required to get a certificate.
The CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer Certificate (CTT+) is ideal for anyone looking forward to technical training. It covers faculty skills, such as presentation, communication, preparation, moderation and assessment, on a sales-neutral basis. Adobe, IBM, Dell, Cisco, Ricoh and Microsoft asks for CTT+ to their professionals and accept in an aspect of in-house training certificate.
Two exams are needed to test CTT+: CompTIA CTT+ Essentials (TK0-201) and CTT+ Classroom Performance Trainer (TK0-202) or CTT + Virtual Classroom Trainer (TK0-203).
CTT+ Classroom Performance Trainer and CTT Virtual Class Instructor are based on performance. When this happens, you should send a video or recording to your class (or virtual class session) and fill out a form documenting your preparation for student training, delivery, and assessment.
Jobs and Career-Related to CompTIA certifications:
CompTIA groups its certifications in various career paths, in addition to various levels of certification:
- Information security
- Network and cloud technology
- Hardware, services and infrastructure
- IT management and strategy
- Web and mobile
- Software development
- Office productivity
The CompTIA Certifications page allows you to select a certification level and Career and then returns certifications lists to aim at. For example, one of the most famous paths of careers is in IT network administration. The CompTIA Network and Cloud Technology Career Path enable various certifications that can help you advance your Careers in network administration, such as IT Fundamentals+, A+ and Networking+ (core certificate) and Cloud+ and Linux+ (infrastructure certificate) and more.
Anyone interested in network security (one of the fastest-growing areas in IT) should look for certification in a CompTIA Information Security career. This includes the four basic access data (IT, A+, Network+ and Security+) and all cybersecurity certificates (CySA+, PenTest+ and CASP+).
CompTIA offers a comprehensive IT certification roadmap covering CompTIA certification and several other organizations, including Cisco, EC-Council, Microsoft (ISC) 2, ISACA, Mile2, etc.
Because CompTIA entitlements do not aim at one skill (such as networking or virtualization), CompTIA entitlements can be in different positions based on experience, skill level, and area of expertise. Here are some of the possible careers that CompTIA rights holders can pursue:
A+: Holders of an A+ credential typically find employment in support roles such as maintenance administrators, technicians, or maintenance professionals.
Network+: Network+ experts work primarily in network-related roles, such as Network analyst, administrator or maintenance professional. Certified ones may also work as network technicians, field service technicians, or network help desk technicians.
CySA+ Security Analyzer: A common role for professionals looking forward to a Career in cybersecurity is information security, and risk analysis can participate in roles that include security engineer, cybersecurity analyst or expert, threat or vulnerability analyst, or operations analyst.
Security+: Security includes various workstations such as network, system or security administrator, security manager, specialist or administrator, and security advisor.
Server+: Server professionals roles include storage and server administrators and support or IT/server technicians.
Linux+: Linux experts often work in Linux database administrator, network administrator, or webmaster roles.
Cloud+/Cloud Essentials: Credential holders in Cloud + typically work as cloud professionals, developers, or system and administrators of the network. Cloud Essentials experts typically work in areas based on technical cloud sales or business development.
CASP+: Common roles for CASP+ certificate owners include cybersecurity professional, InfoSec specialist, information security specialist, and architect of security.
Project+: Project+ certificate holders typically take part in project management roles, such as Project manager, coordinator and team leader.
While the above examples illustrated are by no means complete, they do an overview of some of the careers available in the sector of cybersecurity. Your career choices will be limited to your likings, imagination, and determination to achieve your dreams.
Vinsys CompTIA training and resources:
Vinsys offers various CompTIA certifications with immersive learning opportunities, including training, e-learning and so on. Like us, various CompTIA Authorized Training Providers offer certifications in the USA and across the globe.
Lastly, any candidate for CompTIA A+, Linux+, Network+, Server+, Security+, and IT Fundamental+ certifications can get in touch with us. Vinsys will help you figure out which topics you know well and which ones to look at and offer training to help you fill the skill gaps or find the best path in the Information Technology sector.