CompTIA Certification Guide
Digital transformation is the buzz phrase everyone is wild about right now. Businesses are gravitating towards digitalization, and the ones that don’t embrace it will be left behind. Companies are spending large amounts of money on the digital transformation of their businesses. An organization, whether it is small or big, has the same aim in mind, and that is to use these technologies to make their business better. Their aim is not just to replicate their current business in the digital form but also create a more influential version of it.
Although it’s growing in popularity, digital transformation is not an easy process for every organization. Organizations see technologies doing so well in the industry and try to integrate them with their businesses. Businesses expect big benefits from this transformation. Technologies like artificial intelligence, the internet of things, cloud computing and big data are easy to implement in every business.
As we know in today's progressive world, technologies like big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning have given us an effortless and more effective way of doing business. This has left all the traditional ways ineffective. Some organizations that have been operating with the traditional way for years have now left those old ways and adopted the latest technology to fulfill the needs of their customers. The process they go through to transform their business is called digital transformation, and they need to seek the help of cloud technology to succeed.
As companies embrace digitalization through digital transformation, they can face challenges and it can be difficult at the start for them to cope with this digital change. This is especially true for an IT firm. If an IT firm is planning to go through this change, they should encourage their employees to complete CompTIA certifications. Certifications help them in their careers and are beneficial for the company in the long run. The below guide explains in-demand CompTIA certifications and their benefits.
To ride the digital transformation era, the industry needs people with skills and knowledge about machine learning, server visualization and cloud computing. CompTIA is a nonprofit organization that focuses on educating IT professionals and giving them a chance to grow their careers by completing certifications. Their certifications are designed to increase your knowledge in those particular technologies to provide you the chance to progress in your career. When you start doing CompTIA certifications, you go from basic to expert level and become a demanding prospect in the IT industry. When you have CompTIA certifications, it is a sign of your competence and depth of knowledge.
CompTIA Certification Programs
In 2018, CompTIA introduced the career pathway with their certifications. This career pathway brought a revolution in the IT world. It took away all the tension from IT professionals to decide which certification is the best for them. They have arranged certifications pertinent to real-world skills that professionals need. It is divided into parts. You select the IT sub-field of your choice, and all the certifications related to that is provided. All that’s left is taking the CompTIA certification training and exam.
CompTIA certifications are divided into four areas.
- The first area of a CompTIA certification involves core certifications. By completing certifications in this area, you will understand IT, security, networking and the latest technologies. The core certifications are the best for those starting a career in the IT field or who want to revise their skills. There are four certifications in this area.
- The second area of CompTIA certification includes infrastructure certifications. By doing certifications in the infrastructure area, you will get to know the IT industry a little deeper. These certifications help you gain more knowledge and practical examples so that you can demonstrate your skills in the workplace. There are three certifications in the infrastructure area.
- When an IT professional is done with the core and infrastructure certifications, it is now time to move on to the expert-level certifications. This area of CompTIA involves cybersecurity certifications. Innovations in cybersecurity has no limit, as cybercriminals keep evolving with new attacks. Keeping yourself up to date with all the latest cyber threats helps stop current attacks and prevent future threats. Cybersecurity will keep growing in the future.
- Advanced certifications are next. In this area, all the certifications are about the management side of the IT industry. By doing these certifications, you can become a pro in managing projects, and you can also provide training to the staff. It teaches how the latest technologies fit into the business industry.
Core Certifications of CompTIA
There are four certifications in this core area of CompTIA certifications, which are described below. You can also find a guide about these certifications, like the A+ certification guide, which will help you understand the course content better.
- CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ Certification
This is the first and most basic course in the CompTIA's core certifications. Someone who wants to start an IT career or wants to understand the fundamentals of IT should enroll in the Fundamentals+ course. It has plenty of information about operating systems and basic ideas about cybersecurity that is essential for a beginner.
- CompTIA A+ Certification
A+ is a certification for those looking to start a career as an IT technician or a technical support engineer. This certification has two different exams that focus on problem solving and technical troubleshooting. The main focus of this course is hardware problems, mobile devices, security and networking. Professionals with limited experience take this course. This course provides you the platform to learn the hard skills one needs for a technical post.
- CompTIA Network+ Certification
This certification involves network computing—an evergreen field of IT. In this course, you can build the practical network computing skills you need to start a career as a network administrator. It is an ideal course for someone who has some experience in networking or holds a CompTIA A+ certification. It is also a pre-requisite course for many advanced networking courses.
- CompTIA Security+ Certification
Cybersecurity remains a big issue, and this course focuses on it. In this course, you’ll learn about cybersecurity threats and how to identify and stop a potential threat. You’ll be taught many techniques used to stop these threats from wrecking systems. The exam for this course is not easy, as positions in cybersecurity are critical, and every business depends on the data that is stored in the system. If there is an attack on a company, they can lose all their data, which can be devastating for any organization.
Infrastructure Certifications of CompTIA
There are three certifications in the infrastructure area of CompTIA, which are described below. You can also find guides for these certifications, which are like the ones in core certifications. These guides include the CompTIA Linux+ certification guide and many more.
- CompTIA Cloud+ Certification
We know how valuable the cloud has become for us and enterprises. By the end of 2021, almost 80% of companies will shift their workload to the cloud. If someone wants to become successful in IT, they need to have knowledge and skills in cloud computing and cloud security. Cloud+ teaches you all the required skills. As the cloud is a requirement in the present and future, any individual in the IT industry can benefit from cloud skills. A CompTIA Cloud+ certification can help you attain positions such as cloud administrator, cloud engineer and cloud developer.
- CompTIA Linux+ Certification
If you are in the network administration field, this certification can be beneficial. This course helps you become an expert in Linux. By completing this certification, you will understand the complexities of the latest Linux-based systems. Technical support specialists and Linux administrators are likely to get the most benefit out of this course. If you are opting for this course, you must have already studied CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+ courses and have at least 12 months experience with Linux.
- CompTIA Server+ Certification
CompTIA Server+ is a certification for someone who wants to study server virtualization and then make it a career. Server virtualization is the most used technology in enterprises. This course focuses on the storage, disaster recovery and security of the server. With this certification in your resume, you are validating that you are an expert in the server administration domain. If you are working as a server technician or at any other similar post, you can attempt Server+ and apply for a better position once you complete this course.
Cybersecurity Certifications of CompTIA
This is now the phase where you will find expert-level courses that are advanced and complex. There are three courses in the cybersecurity area of CompTIA. These certifications will make you an expert in the cybersecurity field. There are guides like the Security+ certification guide available for you to get to know the courses before starting them. The following are all three cybersecurity courses by CompTIA:
- CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+)
Cybersecurity is one of the major fields of IT that requires specialized courses and knowledge. This certification is tailored for the role of cybersecurity analyst. In this course, you learn how to perform vulnerability management, how to configure and use threat detection tools properly, and how to perform data analysis to find any possible threats. You also learn how to protect the system and data of an organization. You need to have at least two to three years of networking and IT security experience for this course.
- CompTIA PenTest+ Certification
CompTIA PenTest+ is a certification that teaches you how to design competent systems that can withstand and fight against cyber threats. It is a practical-based course, so the exam includes multiple-choice and performance-based questions. In this course, you learn how to design and test a system before putting it to work. Penetration testing is all about testing the system against different types of cyberattacks that it can face in the future. If the system performs well during these tests, it gets deployed. Otherwise, they rework on the issues and re-test it until all the vulnerabilities are gone.
After completion of this course, you will be able to plan a vulnerability assessment on a system. You will also be able to analyze the history of past cyberattacks and design a system keeping those threats in mind.
- CompTIA CASP+ Advanced Certification
CompTIA CASP+ is a certification that defines the elite class in the cybersecurity area of CompTIA. This certification is for cybersecurity practitioners who have completed CySA+ and PenTest+ certifications and have hands-on experience in the field. Having this certification means you’ve been performing in the field of cybersecurity for a long time. Candidates also learn mobile security and server virtualization. You’ll learn how to analyze security risks and execute them. You also learn how to integrate security with the network and apply security controls on the system.
Advanced Level CompTIA Certifications
This is the last area in CompTIA's career pathway for an IT professional. After an IT professional has completed all the previous courses in core certifications, infrastructure certifications and cybersecurity certifications, they are now left with these certifications that are all about the management side of the IT industry. Advanced level CompTIA certifications teach us how to manage big IT projects, such as a project related to software development or installing a new security system. Even non-technical candidates can apply these courses, as management is part of every industry. There are three certification courses in this area that we will discuss. Similar to the Security+ certification guide and Network+ certification guide, there will be guides for these courses that will give you an idea about the courses before you begin.
- CompTIA Project+ Certification for Project Management
Management is the most crucial aspect when it comes to a project. Even smaller projects are difficult to manage. This project will teach you everything you need to manage small, medium or large projects. In the exam, you will prove you can manage the complete lifecycle of a project. A project consists of different parts that start from briefing the stakeholders about the project to completing it, and this is detailed in the course. In the Project+ certification, you learn how to manage the complete project, how to maintain the proper communication, how to manage the resources and how to achieve the desired result.
- CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+) Certification
Certified Technical Trainer is a certification that validates your skills as an instructor in the field. Effective communication is key when trying to instruct. This course is proof that you can design effective learning strategies. Someone who holds seminars and lessons in the industry can benefit from this certification. There are two exams candidates need to pass if they want to earn this certification; one is a written exam and one is performance-based. Big organizations hire certified instructors to provide training sessions to their employees, and you can be the perfect match for them if you have this certification.
- CompTIA Cloud Essentials Certification
The world has now realized the role of cloud computing in the modern times of enterprise. There was a time we used to relate cloud computing with the IT department. Now the world knows how this technology has captured the entire business world. This certification tells you all about the essentials of cloud computing, and a business person can apply for this course to understand the role of cloud computing in business. In this course, you get to learn cloud computing concepts and principles that run this technology.
CompTIA Stackable Certifications
A career grows incrementally, especially when it comes to the careers of IT professionals. They gain their skills in time and grow their careers respectively. While their career progresses, they can keep acquiring new certifications offered by CompTIA. CompTIA has formulized career pathways, which are CompTIA stackable certifications, that you can acquire as you advance in your career. There are two stackable certification roles, and each role has a specific stack of certifications tagged with it. The two stackable career pathways offered by CompTIA are:
- CompTIA Infrastructure Stackable Certifications
- CompTIA Cybersecurity Stackable Certifications
There are further parts of these certification stacks that are arranged in a chain configuration.
- Specialist: It belongs to entry-level IT professionals that have at least one to two years of experience.
- Professional: This is for mid-level IT professionals that have two to five years of experience.
- Expert: It’s designed for well-established IT professionals with more than five years of experience.
Let us look at all the certifications in the infrastructure stackable career pathway and cybersecurity stackable career pathway.
CompTIA Infrastructure Stackable Certifications
CompTIA infrastructure career pathway is for IT professionals who are working in the field of infrastructure. As they are working at a basic level when they choose to start stackable infrastructure certifications, it helps professionals progress their skillset and their position. Certifications range from specialist to professional to expert, and you keep acquiring new skills that take your experience up as well. You also make your area of expertise broader.
Certifications that exist in the stackable infrastructure pathway are CompTIA A+, Security+, Server+, Network+, Linux+ other cloud certifications.
Specialist Stackable Certifications
There are two specialist certifications in infrastructure stackable certifications.
- CompTIA IT Operations Specialists (CIOS)
The first certification belongs to the specialist group of infrastructure certifications that is about the IT operations specialists. There are certifications like CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+ that one can complete to enhance their software and hardware skills in IT.
- CompTIA Systems Support Specialists (CSSS)
This certification belongs to the system support role. Earning the CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Linux+ certifications can enhance your skills and knowledge about system support. It will add new skills in your skillset and provide you with all the knowledge about Linux operating systems.
Professional Stackable Certifications
There are three professional certifications in infrastructure stackable certifications:
- CCAP Certification by CompTIA
This CompTIA certification covers the areas of the cloud and its related technologies. There are certifications like CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Cloud+ that one can complete to gain the skills needed for this role. This certification enhances your knowledge of cloud and networking technologies.
- CompTIA Network Infrastructure Professional (CNIP)
This course belongs to the role of network infrastructure professional. There are certifications like CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Server+ that can help you acquire skills regarding networking technologies. It is a crucial role in any organization that looks after the infrastructure of the company.
- CompTIA Linux Network Professional (CLNP)
This role belongs to the role of network professional of Linux. There are multiple courses available like CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Linux+ that you can earn. If you have those certifications under your belt, your credibility in the field increases.
CompTIA Cybersecurity Stackable Certification
This is the second career pathway in the stackable certification area of CompTIA. In this area, certifications validate your competency in the critical field of cybersecurity. If you are a novice in the field of cybersecurity and want to become an expert, this is the path you need to take. By completing these certifications, you are ensuring businesses that you can work with the senior roles of the organization. There are specialist, professional and expert-level certifications that are achievable with a little effort.
- CompTIA Specialist: Secure Infrastructure Specialist
This certification belongs to the security of the infrastructure. This special security course can be covered with certifications like CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+. By completing this certification, you validate that you can work on the infrastructure in a way that is effective and secure.
- CompTIA Cybersecurity Professional: Secure Cloud Professional
This certification helps you acquire the skills needed to become a cloud professional. It is a professional certification that helps you complete CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Cloud+. This certification validates your professional-level knowledge about cloud technology.
- CompTIA Security Analytics Professional (CSAP)
This certification belongs to the complex role of security analytics professional. It is a professional-level certification that enables you to complete courses like CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA CySA+ that can help you acquire the skills required to detect and respond to cyber threats. It teaches you how to analyze the data to find out vulnerabilities and potential threats.
- CompTIA Network Vulnerability Assessment Professional
This certification is about the vulnerability assessment of a system. You can achieve this one by acquiring certifications like CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA PenTest+ that assures your capabilities of testing a system for vulnerabilities. PenTest+ is all about diverse testing techniques that you implement on a system to find out all its loopholes, and then you try to patch them.
- CompTIA Network Security Professional
It is an area of stackable certification that focuses on network security. There are certifications that you can attain like CompTIA Security+, CompTIA CySA+ and CompTIA PenTest+ that will help you acquire skills that are needed to secure a network. After completing this certification, you will also be able to perform security analysis.
- Expert Level: CompTIA Security Analytics Expert
This is a certification that focuses on the role of security analytics. Certifications in this area, such as CompTIA Security+, CySA+ and CASP, validate your analytical skills. This certification shows that you can perform any of the security roles in the organization.
- CompTIA Security Infrastructure Expert
It is the certification that focuses on the security of the infrastructure. The necessary certifications in this area are CompTIA Security+, PenTest+, CySA+ and CASP. These certifications validate your infrastructure security management skills.
How Much Does CompTIA Certifications Cost?
There are hundreds of CompTIA certifications available, and each one of them costs around $200 to $350. It depends on the exam you are selecting and the country of residence. Professionals from basic to expert level can take advantage of the certifications that CompTIA offers. There are exams of CompTIA 200-901 and 200-902 that one needs to pass, and the passing score for these certifications is 675 and 700 respectively.
There is a different duration for every certification course. On average, it could be between 20 hours to 35 hours. One can also attend a bootcamp regarding the certification they want to attain. It’s recommended to always select the stackable certifications, as they keep going up in value and builds your skillset for your career. There are guides available regarding all the certifications like CompTIA A+ study guide that can give you a thorough idea about the course and content in it.
CompTIA Recertification and Renewal
Like every other certification, there is a duration of validity for CompTIA certifications. You have to eventually renew it or it gets expired. A rule change after 2011 made certifications valid for three years after completing them. For recertification and renewal, there is a CompTIA program named Continuing Education (CE) that’s needed to renew certifications.
Here are some ways CompTIA provides to renew your certification:
- One way of renewing the certification is to complete the CE course CompTIA CertMaster. There are multiple CertMaster courses available in e-learning that include Security+, A+ and Network+. After completing these courses, you will earn the units of CE and use it for the exam of your CompTIA certification. The cost of CertMaster courses is between $150 to $200.
- You can also get your existing certification renewed when you complete any higher certification than the current one. It is the reason stackable certifications are in high demand.
- You can also renew your CompTIA certification if you complete any certification other than CompTIA certifications. By doing this certification, you will earn CE units that can later be used in the renewal of your CompTIA certification.
- The last way to renew the CompTIA certifications is by earning continuing education units by doing different activities. These activities include taking higher education, participating in IT activities, publishing articles and many more. There are many ways to earn CE units and renew your existing certifications.
CompTIA Certification Salary and Career Information
Your salary after completing CompTIA certifications is lucrative. CompTIA certified professionals earn great salaries annually. A CompTIA Cloud+ certified professional can earn up to $80,000 annually, a CompTIA Security+ certified up to $75,000 yearly, a CompTIA A+ certified professional up to $60,000 yearly and a CompTIA Server+ certified earns up to $65,000 yearly. There are many certified professionals that are earning a large amount annually. These salaries are based on an average, and many of these certifications might pay more than these estimates. You can learn more about salaries of different certifications in the
Steps to Earn Your CompTIA Certification
- The first step to get a certification is to know what certification interests you and will be beneficial to your career. You can get all the information about CompTIA certifications in the career pathways that are available online.
- When you are done with the first step of choosing a CompTIA certification, now get familiar with it. Go study the guide of that certification and get to know the content and subjects in that course.
- In the next step, start learning by tutorials and online lectures, as they are an effective way of learning. Train for your certification and practice until you master it.
- After training is complete and you feel you are ready to take the exam, register and complete the exam. If you followed the steps and prepared, you will pass.
This was a complete guide about the CompTIA certifications. Anyone can utilize this post and get to know CompTIA and the certifications it offers. CompTIA, a nonprofit organization, not only provides you the certifications but also provides you with the online certification training at a low cost. Good luck on your training journey!