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Looking to accelerate your career growth and increase your income?
CompTIA Certification Guide: Overview and Career Paths
CompTIA is a globally recognized, certification body that has developed multiple courses to deal with skill and learning gaps in the modern-day IT domain. Individuals looking forth towards advancing their career in the IT industry can opt for CompTIA Certifications courses online and either brush up their core skills or aim for specialization in a niche-specific to their job role.
The best part about CompTIA certifications is that they contain knowledge that is vendor-neutral. This has set CompTIA apart from other similar IT certification issuing bodies because most among the latter focus on specific technologies and vendors, thereby severely limiting the choice an individual has in terms of obtaining a job or enhancing value in an existing role.
Currently, CompTIA offers four different Certification paths with each containing a progressive set of courses designed specifically to develop an individual’s skill set progressively right from the Associate level to the Expert level.
Here is a brief overview of each of these four certification paths:
CompTIA’s Core Certifications:
This is the most certification path and perhaps the easiest of them all. The Core certifications foster on building ground level skills and imparting core concepts related to different important niches in the IT industry.
There are four different certifications available in the Core pathway:
CompTIA IT Fundamentals+
If you are just foraying into the IT industry for the first time, then this certification is primed exactly for you. Once you pass this certification, you will gain a good amount of knowledge related to terminologies and concepts in areas like basic networking, hardware basics, installation basics, troubleshooting and support basics. There is just one exam in this CompTIA certification with no pre-requisites for appearing in it.
This one is up a notch from the Fundamentals+ certification as it builds on concepts explored in the prior certification. For basic level IT jobs like support desk technician, this certification is perfect as it includes networking and security basics along with covering maintenance and operations. This certification is highly recommended if you opt on continuing on the CompTIA certification path and go on till the expert level courses.
CompTIA offers two career pathways, one in networking and the other in cybersecurity and if you want to build a career in the former, then this certification is a must for you. The Network+ covers all core concepts required in handling an IT network infrastructure like topologies, routers, database use, etc.
If a career in the cybersecurity domain is your end goal, then you can skip all the other certifications in the CompTIA core group and skip right to this one. The Security+ certification will make you adept at handling security-related tasks in an IT department related to things like password management, threat neutralization, access control among others.
CompTIA Infrastructure Certifications:
This certification path by CompTIA deals strictly with network infrastructure related concepts and once an individual manages to pass all the following three certifications included in it, it will become a very capable mid-level resource in the networking domain.
Just like the name implies, this certification solely focuses on making an individual understand the importance and application of Linux as a major programming language in a networking environment. To pass this certification, you will be required to show expertise in areas like Unix commands, Shells, installation, security, and other Linux related concepts.
As the cloud has become a major networking component in today’s business world, the Cloud+ certification will allow you to understand the basics of cloud technologies, hybrid storage management, hosting apps, etc. to convert you into a resource that can leverage all cloud-related products in an optimum manner.
The final certification in this pathway is the Server+. This one primarily deals with developing individual level skills related to the management and operations of hardware and software components of physical and cloud servers. From configuration to troubleshooting, this certification covers all aspects necessary to run a smooth server operation.
CompTIA Cybersecurity Certification Path:
To address the growing need in the area of cybersecurity of individuals with validated skills sets, CompTIA introduced this specific path. It covers skills for most cybersecurity roles ranging from mid-level to expert level resources.
CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+)
Primed to deliver knowledge in handling an organization’s cybersecurity defense policies and frameworks, the CySA+ certification will make individuals competent to handle threat detection tools, monitor threats and prepare mechanisms to protect against vulnerabilities as core security analysts.
CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner+ (CASP+)
Probably the most advanced certification offered by CompTIA, the CASP+ covers everything required for managers to build, manage and run top-grade security solutions in an enterprise environment. The CASP+ requires more than 5 years of industry experience in a related job role to be eligible for sitting in its exam. And while it may sound difficult to undertake, you can ease out your preparation route for this course by opting for CompTIA certification online training sessions available out there.
If you want to acquire additional skills related to penetration testing in order to secure against zero-day vulnerabilities and bugs and complement the skills learned in the CySA+ certification, then you should definitely opt for the PenTest+ certification.
The fourth path of certifications offered by CompTIA doesn’t focus on a single niche like the rest of its path. It includes three distinct certifications on topics including project management, cloud essentials, and CTT training.
Career Path For CompTIA Certified Individuals:
As CompTIA focuses more on the security and network domains, the most apt roles for individuals passing these certifications are IT manager, network administrator, cybersecurity analyst, penetration tester, ethical hacker, infrastructure expert, etc. While covering every job role available and the salary they earn is beyond the scope of this article, it can be said with certainty that the salaries earned by CompTIA certified individuals is definitely above market average or even higher in most cases.