One of the most popular IT certifications for server administrators is the CompTIA Server+. The exam assesses your knowledge and abilities in server hardware, storage, network infrastructure, and other important technologies for success in this industry.
This certification is a great way to get started as a data center technician or to advance your career into management.
The CompTIA Server+ guide below should address any of your questions concerning this crucial certification!
What exactly is CompTIA?
The Computing Technology Industry Association is abbreviated as CompTIA. The Association of Better Computer Dealers (ABCD) was created in 1982 and eventually changed its name to CompTIA. The association is a non-profit trade organization that represents manufacturers, distributors, resellers, and end-users in the computer technology business.
The aim of CompTIA is to “encourage growth across all segments of the information technology industry,” according to the organization’s website. It accomplishes this by creating educational programs, encouraging professional growth, establishing technical certification standards, and holding conferences and expositions.
CompTIA offers four different types of certification exams:
- ITF+ (IT Fundamentals), Network+, A+, and Security+ are the most common certifications.
- Cloud+, Linux+, and Server+ are infrastructure certifications.
- PenTest+ (Penetration Tester), CASP+ (Advanced Security Practitioner), and CySA+ (Cybersecurity Analyst) are all cybersecurity certifications (Cybersecurity Analyst)
- Cloud Essentials+, CTT+, and Project+ are additional professional certifications.
What is CompTIA Server+, exactly?
The Server+ certification is a mid-level IT industry certification that qualifies you to work in a variety of settings. After gaining A+ and Network+, the Server+ is the first certification that can be pursued, or it can be pursued separately as an elective.
The following technical skills are tested on the exam:
- Managing, installing, configuring, troubleshooting, and updating server hardware components are all tasks that must be completed.
- Managing, installing, and configuring software technologies via mobile device networks and a server’s operating system.
- Network services such as DNS, DHCP, WINS, and time synchronization protocols such as NTP are configured.
- Using features like firewalls and intrusion detection systems to manage server security. The exam also covers security concepts such as basic access control principles, user and device authentication mechanisms, and identity theft.
- Setting up email servers, name servers, FTP servers, and other network-connected devices.
- Configuring the operating system to use software update mechanisms to manage updates on a server.
Understanding virtualization principles and working in cloud environments
The Server+ certification was designed to confirm key IT skills and serve as a basis for more advanced certifications. The exam is designed to assess fundamental knowledge of how servers work and interact with other components, such as network connections, client storage, and web applications.
There are 90 questions on the exam, and you have 90 minutes to finish it. To pass the exam, the test taker must have a score of at least 750 on a scale of 100 to 900.
Multiple-choice and performance-based questions are the two types of questions on the Server+. The multiple-choice segment mostly assesses your knowledge of IT topics, whereas the performance-based question is a simulation in which you must complete specified activities in a job-like setting.
Server+ has the advantage of being a vendor-neutral certification. The exam concentrates on broad principles so that you may work in any IT environment, not only with one vendor (such as Microsoft or Cisco).
The Server+ is for people who want to expand their knowledge beyond troubleshooting and basic networking principles while maintaining their proficiency in these areas. It can help you prepare for an entry-level to mid-level information technology employment or as a step toward higher qualifications.
However, how long does CompTIA Server+ certification last?
You’ll be happy to know that the Server+ is a one-time purchase. Because the certification does not expire, you will not need to retake the exam as long as you maintain your practical skill levels.
Normally, CompTIA examinations must be renewed every two to three years, however the Server+ is an exception. Maintaining your certification status does not necessitate the purchase of any continuing education credits.
The year 2021 is exciting for Server+ since the old version (SK0-004) of the exam is being phased out and the new version (SK0-005) has just been issued.
In 2015, the SK0-004 was released. Because it does not address modern server technologies like virtualization and cloud computing, it is now considered outdated. The SK0-005 edition has been updated to reflect the most recent IT advances, and you must take it if you want your knowledge to be applicable beyond 2021.
The exam content in the SK0-004 is divided into the following sections:
Security Server Architecture Storage Networking Disaster Recovery Server Administration Troubleshooting
There are fewer topics to learn on the SK0-005 (but no less information within those topics). The exam’s content is divided into five sections:
Troubleshooting, Security, and Disaster Recovery for Servers
Installation and Management of Server Hardware
You will be eligible to take one of these exam versions until December 2021. You will only be allowed to take the 005 after that.
Job Roles on the Server+
The CompTIA Server+ can help you prepare for CompTIA’s higher-level certifications. The exam is meant to provide you a competitive advantage in your career by demonstrating that you have a strong foundation in IT. It may pave the way for future improvements and promotions in your sector of work.
Many job titles are available after receiving this qualification (or before, if you’re trying to fill a vacancy). You might be able to get work as:
Administrator of the system
A sysadmin is a person who understands how servers work and how they interact with other components, such as network connections, clients, storage devices, and web applications. The term “sysadmin” refers to somebody who works in an IT support position or manages databases.
A system administrator’s key responsibilities include managing the computer network, keeping servers up and running, installing software upgrades as needed (including operating system patches), configuring hardware devices, and overseeing employees or other IT personnel.
Engineer or Field Service Technician
Troubleshooting and repairing electronic equipment at a customer’s site is the specialty of field service technicians or engineers (also known as field technicians). The Server+ certification can help you get ready for this vocation by teaching you how to diagnose problems on computer systems, networks, and other devices that require physical access.
You’ll be responsible with troubleshooting numerous software and hardware issues as a field technician or engineer. You’ll be dealing with consumers who are frequently frustrated and upset because their business has been disrupted, therefore excellent communication skills are also required.
You can work for a variety of companies as a field service technician or engineer, including:
- The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the problematic equipment
- The client’s IT support company
- IT department inside the company
Administrator of the server
Server administrators, like sysadmins, are IT professionals who specialize in managing servers. The distinction is that you’ll be in charge of the entire company’s server infrastructure.
As a server administrator, you are responsible for the following:
- Taking care of the company’s database servers.
- Configure the servers to meet new requirements as they arise.
- Everything from server security to which software products should be installed is under my supervision.
For individuals who are just getting started, the Server+ certification is a fantastic choice because it covers many of the fundamental skills required for the job.
Technician in Information Technology
An IT technician, in a broader sense, is someone who installs and maintains server hardware, networking equipment, and software. The Server+ exam covers many of the core concepts in this sector, making it an excellent starting point for anybody interested in pursuing an IT career in general.
Engineer or Technician for Data Centers
Finally, data Centre technicians are concerned with the data center’s physical structure. The Server+ course covers physical security, environmental controls, and mechanical systems, making it an excellent place to start if you want to work with hardware or keep your servers cool.
A data center engineer is responsible for both physical servers and server-level operations. Physical installation, server configuration, and maintenance are their primary responsibilities.
Is CompTIA Server+ a good investment?
One of the most often asked questions about the Server+ is if it is worthwhile.
It’s difficult to respond because it all boils down to your personal requirements. What criteria do you use to assess whether something is “worth it”? For individuals who wish to obtain hands-on experience dealing with servers, the Server+ exam is a fantastic place to start.
As a result, we should look at some statistics on server administration job openings.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Network and Computer Systems Administrators” will be in high demand from 2019 through 2029, with a growth rate of 4%.
- A sysadmin’s typical annual pay was $84,810 in May 2020, with an average hourly rate of $40.77.
- According to CompTIA’s research, a Server+ certificate holder’s average annual pay is over $82,000.
These figures aren’t to be laughed at. With your computer server skills, you have a very good chance of finding a job. It’s also extremely likely that you’ll be offered a really high wage for the job. When all of this is taken into account, the Server+ is unquestionably worthwhile if you want to work in IT.
Preparing for the Exam Server+ is not for the faint of heart. The A+ (and perhaps the Network+) certifications are required, as well as at least two years of experience in a software or hardware support capacity.
You can still take the exam if you don’t have this background! However, it will be more complex and time-consuming.
So, how do you go about getting your CompTIA Server+ certification?
You have two options for studying: self-study or instructor-led courses. The former will take more time, however the latter may be easier because it allows you to network with other professionals in the sector. You have the option, but you must make one in order to study for the exam.
Most people prefer self-study because it gives them more control over their progress and eliminates the need to keep up with others’ schedules. The option to pick how much time and when you have for learning is another advantage of studying at your own speed.
Because there is no one else to guide you or support you in this process, it might be more challenging and require a lot of independent research. You can use these learning tools if you want to learn on your own:
CompTIA offers study materials for this certification that include a wealth of knowledge. The study guides include both study schedules and practise exams that you can use to assess your knowledge. The disadvantage is that the books can only be purchased online, making them more expensive than the other options on our list.
YouTube videos: YouTube has a plethora of video tutorials that may lead you through the most crucial topics.
Online resources: There are a plethora of online courses, forums, and blogs to choose from.
Classic books are generally the simplest option because they don’t involve any downloads or hefty payments, but you might not be able to discover all of the information you need in these works.
You can always switch to instructor-led training if you find that self-study isn’t working for you. The resources for this are comparable to those for self-study, however you might not need as much time and research on your own.
Training with an instructor
Unlike the previous mode of learning, instructor-led training allows you to collaborate with others. Interacting with classmates and teachers keeps you on track and gives you a sense of belonging. Furthermore, the classes you’ll be attending are structured, so you’ll be held accountable for your success. You’ll also be able to determine whether or not you’re ready to take the Server+ exam.
However, this form of instruction may be more costly. You may also be required to travel and deal with other things beyond your control. This may not be the greatest solution if you are short on time and money, or if you need to work alone.
This way of learning does not necessitate any study on your part in terms of content. The course is designed to assist you in passing the exam, and the instructor will ensure that you cover all of the necessary material. You will be given materials, and your teachers will guide you along the route.
It’s also worth noting that if you have a mentor who is an experienced IT worker, they may deliver tailored training at any time of day. The mentor can help you as much or as little as you need in order to succeed.
Exam Day Advice
There’s no turning back once you’ve arrived at the testing center. You’ve worked hard and done a lot of study, and now it’s time to get your certification. The jitters start to grow as you finish up a few last-minute preparations before entering what will be a grueling exam day with no second chances.
Keep the following advice in mind on exam day:
- Arrive at least an hour before to the commencement of the exam. You won’t want to waste time hunting for a parking spot if this is your first visit to the testing center.
- Bring any required paperwork, such as identification or a passport, and review them right before entering the testing room. When the proctor asks for them, you must produce them.
- There’s no need for an alarm on your phone or watch throughout the exam because the timer is continually running; it can be distracting.
- Before you begin, read all of the instructions given by the proctor and pay attention.
- When it is time to end your exam, the proctor will notify you.
- Proctors are present to verify that candidates adhere to the examination guidelines, so don’t talk or text on your phone while taking the test.
- In the event of an emergency, the people who are looking over you will assist you.
- Before you begin, remember to take a big breath. The rest of the day will be difficult, but you can do it!
In the enormous IT business, deciding which career route to choose is a difficult challenge. Obtaining the Server+ certification opens up a world of possibilities that were previously unavailable.
Time and effort are required to prepare for the certification exam. You can either study on your own or enroll in a training program. It all relies on your requirements and personal preferences. Regardless of how you get there, the exam is difficult.
The greatest test-day advise is to arrive early, be prepared in advance of the exam start time, and mentally prepare yourself!
Regardless of how much time or money you’ve spent thus far, the Server+ certification is well worth it. With its support, you can develop a successful career by taking the initiative and studying carefully for the exam!