One of the surefire ways to go up the career ladder is through getting certified in certain fields. If you are a computer guy working in any area like computer security, systems administration, or in the server environment, there are a lot of certifications out there to showcase your expertise.
1. CompTIA Security+ Certification
So you want to have a kickass career in the network security field? The best place to begin is by taking a passing CompTIA Security+ certification. Among the most rapidly growing areas in Information Technology is network security. Successfully taking and passing this CompTIA certification means that you are competent in network infrastructure, security, organization security, and access control.
Security+ is a big step-up on your Network+ certification as it builds on networking through focusing on the core aspects of security. There is a very high demand for Information Technology security experts and this is because of the fact that threats to computer security are always increasing in quantity and severity. Therefore, if you get expertise in networking as well as networking security, you are no doubt going to be a great asset to just about any company that hires you.
2. CompTIA A+
Introduced way back in 1993, CompTIA A+ certification is not only widely respected but it is also seen by many as the beginning course for any career. This certification course is basically an illustration that a person has computer technician competency. The CompTIA certification encompasses several operating systems like Microsoft, Apple, Novell, and IBM among others and it also covers many technologies.
The certification is regarded by many employers as the industry standard for computer support technicians. Having the certification simply shows competency as a computer expert. Not only is it internationally accepted and vendor-neutral but it also proves that the holder is competent in areas like preventive maintenance, installation, security, troubleshooting, and networking in a range of operating systems and technologies.
Here is a video that takes you through Introduction to CompTIA A+:
3. CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP)
CASP, or CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner, is one of the most sought after certifications and many IT professionals will always aspire to have it. It is a security certification that basically covers the areas below:
- Managing risk and forecasting
- Enterprise security
- Risk analysis
The term enterprise security is a critical aspect of the CompTIA certification because it gives the holder practical skills to managed SME-sized companies and above. The CASP certification shows that an IT professional has advanced-level knowledge and skills in matters of computer security. This is also an international certification and is also vendor-neutral and shows that the holder is competent in enterprise security, integration of computing, communication as well as business disciplines.
4. CompTIA Network+ Certification
This CompTIA certification also gets its way into the most sought after CompTIA certifications, especially for entry-level IT professionals. The certification is especially important for you if you have been harboring the ambitions of becoming an IT support guy. It is a nice complement to the CompTIA A+ certification since it covers well beyond basic networking skills that are only touched on in the A+ certification. Upon getting this certification, you will have competence in managing, maintenance, installation, troubleshooting and configuration of basic network infrastructures.
Like the A+ certification, the Network+ certification is also an entry-level certification which just means that you will not necessarily require a computer science degree to pass the exam. However, CompTIA actually advises that a person first gets the A+ certification before proceeding to this one. Additionally, CompTIA recommends that you have experience of at least 9 months working in network support, academic training, or network administration.
I would also advise you to first get the A+ certification as it gives you a robust foundation for Network+ certification. Also, it tends to be easier to pass compared to Network+ and will give your confidence a boost. In order to pass the course, you need determination, good study books, and practice tests.
In short, the CompTIA Network+ certification is among one of the best certifications, especially for the entry-level IT professionals. The certification builds on the CompTIA A+ certification by delving deeper into the field of computer networking. You will require computer networking skills for any good IT job.
Here is a video that takes you through Introduction to CompTIA Network+:
5. CompTIA Server+ Certification
CompTIA Server+ certification is in reality a mid-level course covering advanced computing concepts and not necessarily an entry-level course. It is therefore aimed at guys with roughly 18-24 months experience working around the server environment. According to CompTIA, it is better to first get A+ certification before embarking on this one. The A+ gives you a good grounding for other CompTIA certifications like Server+ although you can bypass it if you have proper computer experience.
Combining A+, Network+, and Server+ is an excellent way to showcase your vast computer expertise to potential employers. All these certifications will give you a solid foundation in IT. Ultimately, you could go on to get Microsoft MCSA certification.
In order to pass the CompTIA Server+ certification exam, you will be needed to first pass a conventional format test that covers issues to do with servers like installation, upgrading, maintenance, configuration, and disaster recovery among other things. But before you go ahead to sit for the Server+ examination, make sure you are competent in the above areas first.
As is the case with other CompTIA certifications, you will require getting some good study books and practice several sample tests. Most of the Server+ books will usually come with sample tests free of charge. You can also find lots of sample tests on the internet.