CompTIA Certifications, Exams, and Recertification: A Guide
CompTIA is a well-respected name in IT certifications. It started with the first A+ in the 1990s and has over a dozen vendor neutral certifications covering a wide range of topics.
Global Knowledge’s complete CompTIA course catalog is available here.
It can seem overwhelming to determine which certifications to pursue and what you need to do to pass them. Don’t worry! CompTIA has simplified its certification process.
We will explain in this article:
CompTIA offers certifications
The best way to prioritize certifications
CompTIA exam details
Your CompTIA certification will be your key to achieving your IT career goals.
Core certifications: IT professionals should have them.
CompTIA currently offers 13 certifications, broken down into four levels: Core, Infrastructure and Cybersecurity, as well as Additional Professional.
These certifications are vendor-neutral. It is important that IT professionals can install, maintain, troubleshoot, and secure multi-vendor environments because so many of our companies and networks use products from different vendors.
All IT professionals should obtain the Core certifications to achieve this goal. These certifications, together with your work experience, show that you have the foundational IT knowledge that will be beneficial to any organization, regardless what specialization.
These exams should be taken in the order listed below:
CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ (ITF+), was created as a beginner certification to help those who are interested in a career within IT. The exam is a proof that you are capable of pursuing this career. You can skip this exam if you are already working in IT.
CompTIA A+ is designed for entry-level IT professionals such as field technicians, help desk technicians, and technical call center employees. This exam covers the installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting hardware, software, and operating systems. It also covers topics related to security, networking, and operational procedures. The two A+ exams are a proof of your knowledge and expertise in workstations, security, and operational procedures.
CompTIA Network+ is a certification that focuses on entry-level networking. This includes infrastructure installers, network help desk technicians, and junior network technicians. This exam covers troubleshooting and installation of networks, including Ethernet or Wireless. You will also be tested on protocols for both LAN and WAN and the importance of network security. This exam proves you have a solid foundation in network infrastructure and protocols.
CompTIA Security+ Intermediate-Level Exam focuses on a wide range of foundational security topics including data, application and host, network, physical, and operational security. You will need to be able to understand encryption, access control and hardening, as well as secure software development. Security+ is the minimum level of certification required to be considered for any IT position beyond entry-level.
Choose your path: Cybersecurity or Infrastructure, or Additional Professional
You have now made a decision. The CompTIA path splits. Infrastructure is the down-arrow. The other is cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is the most popular path due to strong trends within the industry. There are two intermediate certifications and one advanced certification.
CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+ (CySA+), is an intermediate certification that’s designed for the d