The Ultimate Guide to CompTIA Certification

The Ultimate Guide to CompTIA Certification
The Ultimate Guide to CompTIA Certification

Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), is a leader in IT certifications across the United States and around the world. It is a non-profit that provides vendor-neutral certification for anyone who wishes to enter the IT world, regardless of prior experience or skill level.

Information technology is the fastest growing industry in the world. It is predicted to generate $5 trillion in revenues by 2021. Every sector of IT is changing, regardless of whether it’s data management, cybersecurity or software development. This is why so many people are eager to get a job within this sector. This industry promises steady employment and high wages, as well as growth opportunities.

These programs also include CompTIA certificates. This comprehensive guide to CompTIA certification 2021 will give you all the information you need about how to get one or more of these highly-coveted IT credentials.

A Certificate for Everyone

You don’t have to be a computer scientist to get into IT and build a career. You only need a passion for hardware or software, the ability to think critically and solve problems, and dedication to the profession. You can climb the IT ladder quickly if you put in hard work.

What is CompTIA certificate?

CompTIA certifications can be divided into different categories depending on what technical skills they have. These exams are for both entry-level professionals and highly-skilled professionals.

Core Skills Certification

Core Skills is designed for IT beginners. These courses are designed for IT beginners and teach the basics of most IT branches such as cloud computing, networking, operating systems, software, and hardware.

Four exams are part of the Core Skills group:

  • CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ The Fundamentals+ exam examines the most basic concepts of IT: operating systems, network connectivity, security, web browsing, and security.

If you don’t have any knowledge of computers or aren’t sure if IT is the right career for you, this certification training is highly recommended. This will gradually introduce you to tech, so that you can decide if you enjoy it.

  • CompTIA A+ The IT “rite-of-passage,” the A+ entry level certification is one of most popular certs for IT beginners. This certification covers more topics than Fundamentals+, and will increase your chances of getting a job in an entry-level role after you have completed it. You will learn about software, hardware and visualization as well as operational procedures and security basics.
  • CompTIA Network+ While the first two options are great for absolute beginners, Network+ is best for professionals with at least nine months experience in IT. This course focuses on network management and configuration. It also covers troubleshooting. It also covers essential standards and protocols for network security.
  • CompTIA Security+ Similar to Network+, Security+ CompTIA certification requires some work experience and IT knowledge. This exam is ideal for people who are interested in cybersecurity. They can identify and respond to cybersecurity threats, monitor and secure virtual environment, evaluate security protocols of organizations, and recommend improvements. After completing this course, the US Department of Defense will recognize Security+. This means that you should be able to find employment in this field.

Infrastructure Certification

IT infrastructure refers to the structure that keeps an organization running. IT professionals are required to manage large businesses’ data centers and network operations. A company can easily become lost in its data, networks and other duties without a well-organized system.

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These three exams are part of the Infrastructure group.

  • CompTIA cloud+ – More than 90% of businesses have switched to some form of storage in recent years. CompTIA Cloud+ was centered around cloud markets, technologies and hybrid cloud solutions. This exam is designed to meet the growing demand for IT professionals who are able to work with cloud systems.
  • CompTIA Server+Exam objectives are server virtualization storage and security. This certification is recommended for server administrators who have at least 18 months experience, and preferably an A+ CompTIA certificate. The US Department of Defense recognizes it, similar to Security+.
  • CompTIA Linux+-Linux – This operating system is used in cybersecurity, emerging technology, DevOps and server configuration. This training will teach you everything about the versatile Linux+ operating system. This training is for network administrators with at least 12 months experience in Linux administration.

Cyber Security Certificate

Cybersecurity is one branch of IT which is growing at a rapid pace. There were at least 1001 data breaches in the United States in 2020. IT security professionals are highly sought after and difficult to find.

The following are some options to help you get advanced certification in this area.

  • CompTIA CySA+ –CySA+ enhances your cybersecurity knowledge, and prepares for dealing with a variety advanced security threats. This security certification will help you understand the use of behavioral and data analytics in cyber security and protection against threats.
  • CompTIA PenTest+ – If the CySA+ improves your defensive skills, then the PenTest+ will increase your offensive skills. Learn how to use penetration testing for network vulnerabilities and how to manage them. This CompTIA exam is an excellent way to get started in ethical hacking.
  • CompTIA CompTIA CASP+ (CompTIA Advance Security Practitioner) The CASP+ advanced certification is for master-level professionals. This certification exam requires at least ten years’ experience in IT administration and five years experience in computer security. This certification exam will cover encryption, mobile security and blockchain technology as well as other highly-specialized security topics.

Additional Certification

CompTIA offers a variety of certifications for professionals that are directly related to IT.

  • CompTIA Web+ project management
  • CompTIA Web Essentials+ to help you get the most out of cloud computing for your business
  • CompTIA for IT mentors and trainers

Where can I start

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of certifications available. What CompTIA certification should you first get?

It depends on where you are in your IT journey, how much experience you have and what knowledge you already have. The ability to learn and master the required skills can be used to divide the above exams into three groups.

Entry Level Certifications

Do not worry if you do not have any IT experience. CompTIA certifications are available to all. These exams can be passed with basic knowledge and some study.

  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA IT Fundamentals+

Although the IT Fundamentals+ may not lead to a job for you, the A+ will land you an entry-level job as a help desk specialist, computer support specialist or similar.

Intermediate-Level Certificates

IT professionals with at least nine months experience can upgrade their knowledge to focus on the IT sector they are interested in. CompTIA offers intermediate-level certifications.

These skills will enable you to work as a system administrator or network support engineer, security specialist, cybersecurity specialist and other related roles.

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Advanced Certifications

CompTIA courses require at least three years’ experience in IT. This course requires extensive theoretical and practical knowledge to be able to perform job roles like server administrator, penetration tester, security expert, etc.

  • CompTIA Linux+
  • CompTIA Server+
  • CompTIA Cloud+
  • CompTIA PenTest+
  • CompTIA CySA+
  • CompTIA CASP+

Job Opportunities

Many people are interested in CompTIA certifications and wonder what kind of jobs they could get. Are these certifications worth the effort? Are you able to find work with any of these certifications?

You don’t need to be worried – there are many sectors available depending on your preference and the certificate you have.

Support Management

Join 29.8% CompTIA certified holders for service, support and help desk technician jobs. CompTIA A+ is required for all of these jobs.

  • IT specialist
  • Field service technician
  • Help desk technician
  • Manager of IT support
  • Specialist in technical support

IT Infrastructure

CompTIA claims that 17.4% of its credential holders are systems analysts. They design, plan, and implement a network foundation for any technology or software system an enterprise may need.

A job such as

  • Solution architect
  • Network engineer
  • Cloud developer
  • Administrator of cloud systems
  • Cloud architect
  • Cloud engineer
  • Administrator of the network
  • Administrator of systems
  • Security administrator
  • Analyst for systems
  • Systems engineer
  • Specialist in network support, and many more.

These certifications are Network+, Security+ and Cloud+.

Cyber Security

CompTIA has many credentials that a hardworking cybersecurity professional should have. You have the chance to sharpen your defensive and offensive skills that a security professional needs, from intermediate-level Security+ to advanced level CySA+, CASP+ and PenTest+. About 16.2% of CompTIA-certified people work in cybersecurity.

Server, Data Management

Each day, vast amounts of data are gathered by different systems around the globe. IT professionals need to sort through all this data and organize it in order to extract the most useful information. These are the roles of server and data specialists. These are the positions required in IT:

  • Administrator of storage
  • Web administrator
  • Server support technician
  • IT/Server technician
  • Administrator of the server
  • Data scientist
  • Administrator of the database
  • Linux administrator

You can get hired in data and server management by passing exams such as Linux+ or Server+

Management and Human Resources

Outsiders may find IT and management difficult. However, CompTIA certifications (Cloud Essentials+ or Project+) enable you to work in IT and still have regular contact with clients and employees.

  • Support staff for technical issues
  • Business development manager
  • Personnel of managed service provider (MSP).
  • Manager, director, leader of the team
  • Member of the project team
  • Project coordinator/manager
  • Analyst in business

Renewal Certificate

Do CompTIA certifications expire?

You can get a Good for Life (GFL), if you have passed the CompTIA certification exam prior to January 1, 2011. These certificates are non-expiring and can be renewed at any time.

The fact is that the IT industry continues to evolve. Even though you may have passed the A+ 15 years ago, your knowledge is likely to be outdated compared to today. You might want to renew your certificate – in order to get a CE (Continuing Education), certification along with your GFL.

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Continuing Education Programme

On January 1, 2011, the CE Program was launched. The CE Program was implemented on January 1, 2011.

Recertification is only possible if you have the right number of continuing education units (CEUs). These units can be collected in a variety of ways. You can either complete one activity with a high number of CEUs, or several activities with fewer CEUs.

These are the primary renewal options for CompTIA:

  • Renew using a single activity

One activity that will renew your CompTIA exam can be any one of the following: Passing the CompTIA 1001/1002 exam after you have obtained the A+ cert in 901/902 cycle), earning a higher level CompTIA certification, CompTIA CertMasterCE (a self-paced elearning course that gets you up-to-speed and within the current exam objectives scope of your certificate), or obtaining an independent IT cert such as from Google, Cisco IBM, etc. ).

  • Renew with multiple Activities

You can also do multiple activities to earn enough CEUs to renew your license.

Earning multiple CompTIA certificates is possible. Each certificate carries a certain number of CEUs. Make sure you check what you need to recertify and which exams are required.

CEUs can also be earned by participating in a live conference or webinar, taking a training course or getting a college diploma.

Participation in IT industry activities such as mentoring or teaching, and the creation of instructional materials count towards your renewal. Publishing a book, whitepaper, article or blog post about relevant topics is also an option.

You can also renew your certification by gaining relevant work experience.

Submitting Your Activities

CompTIA will require proof that you have completed the renewal activity you desire.

Your certs will automatically be renewed and some activities will automatically be recorded. If you pass the most recent release of your exam, or obtain a higher-level certificate, this will be the case.

Let’s say you wish to share your work experience, a conference or webinar, or a book that you have written in order to renew your CompTIA certification. You will need to submit the information manually in this case. Each activity requires a list of documents. Make sure you review them in detail on CompTIA’s website. CompTIA will add the CEUs to your earned documents when you submit them.


CompTIA offers so many IT certifications it is easy to become overwhelmed. There are three main categories:

  • Core Skills (A+, IT Fundamentals+, Network+, Security+)
  • Infrastructure Certification (Linux+, Server+, Cloud+)
  • Cybersecurity Certification (CySA+, CASP+, PenTest+ )
  • Additional Certification (Project+ Cloud Essentials+, Project+, CTT+).

You can choose between entry-level certifications, intermediate-level or advanced certificates depending on your level of knowledge and skills. To begin your CompTIA journey, and your career in IT, you don’t need any prior experience with computer technology.

CompTIA will help you find jobs in cybersecurity, IT infrastructure and support management. You can be an information security specialist, data analyst, or server administrator.

After completing your certification training you will no longer need to renew it for three more years. CompTIA has a Continuing Educational Program that helps you renew your certs by obtaining CEUs (Continuing Education Units) through specific IT-related activities. CompTIA exams, related work experience, CompTIA exams, other IT exams, attendance at an IT conference and similar activities count toward renewal.