These days, almost every company in existence has adopted technology as the most cost-effective, convenient way of doing business. Technology, data, the internet, and mobile computing are everywhere, regardless of the industry, and there is a high demand for IT professionals of all kinds.
The information technology (IT) field helps address this need by offering many exciting and well-paying careers for the motivated individual. Unfortunately, that little piece of information is well-known among aspiring IT professionals, thus increasing the competition in some choice positions.
That's why it's essential to be prepared for an interview and acquire certification in the right fields of study and disciplines. Certification could mean the difference between getting that coveted position and just missing out because another candidate had that proper certification.
Regardless of the subject, certification shows that the applicant has the knowledge necessary to perform in the position. We are about to take a comprehensive look at CompTIA© certification, including what it is, why you should have it, and even what to look for in a good CompTIA IT certification roadmap.
And although there are CompTIA certifications for many different areas of computer and IT knowledge, we will often focus specifically on cybersecurity and a CompTIA Security certification path. Considering how cybersecurity is such a hot topic these days, it’s hardly surprising!
Let us understand the CompTIA certification path by first understanding more about CompTIA.
What is CompTIA?
First thing’s first—CompTIA stands for the Computer Technology Industry Association. It’s a Chicago-based non-profit trade association with over 2,000 member organizations and over 3,000 business partners.
The organization focuses primarily on educating and certifying IT professionals and devotes time to philanthropy and public policy advocacy. CompTIA issues vendor-neutral certifications to professionals in more than 120 countries.
Now, after learning about CompTIA and before getting into the details about the CompTIA certification path, let us look into its benefits.
What are the Benefits of a CompTIA Certification?
We’ve already touched upon the fact that certification is a good idea because it’s tangible verification that you are proficient in the skills necessary to do well in the position you’re applying for. But there’s more to certification than that.
Pursuing certification in any given area helps you focus on the specific skills you need to get that certification in the first place. Or put another way, certification enables you to specialize.
Since any certification provider worth their salt will keep up with the latest trends and developments in your area of study, you can be sure that you are learning the most accurate, up-to-date information available.
Finally, if you’re pursuing a vendor-neutral certification (e.g., one that doesn’t focus on any specific technology), you can apply that certification to a considerable number of IT-related careers.
Now that we have learned the benefits, let us look at how to choose the right CompTIA certification path.
How Do You Choose the Best CompTIA Certification Path?
Certification paths help you to organize your plans and education, helping you to get all your ducks in a row. A well-crafted, well-chosen plan saves time and resources, keeps you focused, and helps you reach measurable milestones so that you always know where you stand in your overall career plan. That’s why it’s imperative to choose the right CompTIA learning path.
Here is how to find the best CompTIA Certification Path for you:
- Commit to a specialization. What is your niche? What aspects of IT interest you the most? Do you want to specialize in a specific industry or vertical? Take some time to research your options, then choose your path.
- Research your career prerequisites. Some positions and careers require certifications that you may not have considered. Do your research and make sure that you have mastered any additional requirements.
- Boost your training with hands-on work experience. Don’t aim for certifications and training in fields that you can’t apply to your position. A certification training is great, but you need to log in to some work-related experience if you want to be a well-rounded professional. Make sure you have the means and opportunity to practice the skills you are learning. Note that many IT positions require candidates to have one to three years’ worth of relevant work experience.
- Be ready to adjust. The world of IT is a rapidly changing world. Roles evolve, technology improves, demands change, some positions get phased out only to be replaced by new ones. This ever-changing landscape means that your path must be flexible. Be ready for change—you will encounter a lot of it during your career!
Next, let us understand the difference between the CompTIA certification path and career roadmap.
What’s the Difference Between a CompTIA Career Roadmap and the CompTIA Certification Path?
The IT world has its share of jargon, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the terminology. For instance, what’s a career roadmap? What’s a certification path? Aren’t they the same thing?
A career roadmap, also called a career path, is a personal management tool that helps you chart out a course to achieve your professional goals. To create a career roadmap, you need to:
- Conduct a self-assessment. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your interests? What are your work values, and what sort of work environment do you want?
- Identify the most likely careers. Research the various occupations related to your career goals. Talk to people in those positions. Which careers interest you, and how prepared are you for them?
- List the best strategies to get you that career. What are the skills needed, and how many of them do you possess? What steps will you take to address the skill shortfalls?
- Get ready to go job hunting. Create a personal branding statement, write a CV/resume, and finish up with a cover letter. What job search resources do you want to use? Practice interviewing and brush up on the most likely questions.
On the other hand, certification paths are a part of the career roadmap, falling under the step of strategies needed to attain your dream career. However, many people use the terms interchangeably so, based on the subjects we’ve been covering, a CompTIA Certification Roadmap could conceivably be the only thing you need to move forward.
Next, let us look at the top CompTIA certification paths in cybersecurity.
List of the Best CompTIA Certification Paths in Cybersecurity
As the old proverb goes, “There are many paths up the mountain.” In our case, the mountain is CompTIA certification mastery. Your best path depends on what aspect of IT you are aiming for. Are you interested in becoming an IT technician? Maybe you want to be a cybersecurity expert. Or perhaps you’re interested in a career as an IT network specialist or manager.
Here are some of the best CompTIA certification paths available today:
- CompTIA Core Certification. This certification builds a solid groundwork in IT and is ideal for beginners. You learn about entry-level cybersecurity, managing systems and endpoint devices, and user support/device connectivity. The relevant courses are:
o CompTIA Fundamentals+
o CompTIA A+
o CompTIA Network+
o CompTIA Security+
- CompTIA Cybersecurity Career. So long as there’s hackers, cybercriminals, and scammers out there, we will always need cybersecurity professionals to keep data, systems, and networks secure. This path teaches vulnerability testing and penetration, IT security behavioral analysis, and how to design and implement security systems. Your course load includes:
o CompTIA PenTest+
o CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+
o CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner
o Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- CompTIA Infrastructure Career. This certification gives you the skills and knowledge to maintain and support all the components of IT operations, including physical servers, virtual systems, cloud architecture, network configuration, storage, and security. Your courses include:
o CompTIA Linux+
o CompTIA Server+
o CompTIA Cloud+
- Miscellaneous/Additional Professional Certifications. These credentials don’t fall into any of the above paths. Still, they can be used to either augment an existing path or serve as the basis for taking a career in a completely different direction, such as project manager or cloud engineer.
o CompTIA CTT+
o CompTIA Cloud Essentials
o CompTIA Project+
After learning all about the CompTIA certification path, are you interested to learn about Cybersecurity? Well, read on!
Would You like to Learn More about Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity professionals need to log in as much training and education as they can. It helps if they can earn several different cybersecurity-related certifications.
Simplilearn has a useful selection of cybersecurity certifications for the professional who wants that extra edge. Whether you are someone just entering the field, or an established expert who wants to upskill, some certifications will fit your path perfectly.
You can become a Certified Ethical Hacker, otherwise known as a “white hat hacker,” and learn how to test systems against cybercriminals. There are also certification courses in CISA, COBIT-5, and CISSP. Or, aim high and take the Cyber Security Expert Master's Program, and gain a valuable spectrum of cybersecurity skills.
The Best Way to Complete Your Cybersecurity Training
No cybersecurity professional’s skill set is complete without the knowledge gained from Simplilearn’s CompTIA Security+ training course. This CompTIA Security+ training course helps you acquire the skills needed for installing and configuring systems for the purpose of securing applications, networks, and devices; conduct threat analysis and respond with the appropriate mitigation techniques; engage in risk mitigation activities; and function with an awareness of applicable policies, and laws.
Whether you choose corporate training or take advantage of Simplilearn’s famous Blended Learning approach, you will benefit from 32 hours of instructor-led learning that covers the six areas required to become an IT security professional.
According to Ziprecruiter, cybersecurity professionals in the US earn an annual average of $100,473, going as high as $218,000 for certain positions. With cybercrime as an ever-present threat in today’s digital world, the demand is consistently high.
So, let Simplilearn help you with your IT security certification path. Stop by today and give your career a much-deserved boost!