CompTIA is known as one of the world’s top organizations for IT professionals. It offers a range of courses teaching both knowledge and practical skills across a range of topics, from the fundamentals of working with computers to high-level IT management and strategy.
CompTIA qualifications are often touted as firm evidence of a candidate’s expertise, making it much easier for them to unlock new roles in technology. But is this really accurate? Can training help a candidate develop their career? And what is CompTIA certification worth?
In this article, we look at whether CompTIA certification training is really worth the cost.
What is CompTIA?
‘CompTIA’ is not actually a framework, but an organization. The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is dedicated to developing professional skills and expertise in technology, offering an extensive certification path that can guide a candidate through their career.
The organization currently sets an extremely high standard in terms of its professional presence. Indeed, CompTIA training is currently utilized by a number of Fortune 500 companies. The organization also updates its syllabuses and exams on a regular basis to align its training with industrial and technological developments, including changes to relevant compliance legislation.
Notably, many CompTIA exams are heavily performance-based. That is, they require candidates to demonstrate practical skills as well as knowledge. This leaves candidates far better equipped to begin applying their training in practice.
Of course, we can only say so much about what CompTIA ‘is’ without mentioning individual courses. Let’s take a look at the CompTIA certification path!
The CompTIA Certification Path
CompTIA has over a dozen courses covering different sectors of IT, from basic IT knowledge to more specialized areas:
- A+ – A performance-based qualification suited to candidates in IT operations and technical support roles. It is also a popular certification for candidates looking to move into IT.
- Security+ – A renowned qualification covering core knowledge for supporting and maintaining IT security. This foundational knowledge is ideal for candidates interested in pursuing cybersecurity job roles.
- Network+ – A qualification focused on foundational knowledge and skills for configuring, troubleshooting, and managing both wireless and wired networks. The syllabus also covers newer areas of interest, such as cloud technology and virtualization.
- ITF+ – A qualification aimed at pre-career professionals requiring basic IT knowledge and skills. This option is ideal for candidates interested in IT careers, as well as those in non-technical areas like Sales or Marketing that are nonetheless supported by IT.
- CySA+ – A qualification focused on cybersecurity analytics. The exam covers several crucial responsibilities such as intrusion detection, security analysis, and how to respond to cyber threats. This option is ideal for candidates looking to move into high-level security roles.
- PenTest+ – An intermediate qualification focused on penetration testing in cybersecurity. This option is ideal for candidates looking at roles requiring them to identify, report, manage, and exploit network vulnerabilities.
- CASP+ – An advanced cybersecurity qualification focused on security architecture and senior security engineering. This option is ideal for candidates seeking to work in cloud, traditional, and hybrid environments while also dealing with elements like risk, governance, and compliance.
- Cloud+ – A qualification focused on deploying, securing, and automating cloud environments. This option is ideal for candidates seeking to support and optimize business systems and data.
- Linux+ – A qualification focused on supporting Linux-based systems, including cybersecurity, cloud management, and infrastructure management, as well as newer topics such as SELinux and kernel models. This option is ideal for candidates who want to step into entry-level Linux administrator job roles.
- Server+ – A qualification focused on installing, troubleshooting, and managing data center servers. Uniquely, Server+ is not restricted to a single platform or environment. This option is ideal for server administrators looking to take the next step with their knowledge and experience.
- Cloud Essentials+ – An introductory qualification for professionals working with cloud technology. This option is ideal for candidates seeking to learn how to reduce security risks, boost efficiency, manage costs, and make effective decisions with the Cloud.
- Project+ – A qualification focused on general project management. This option is ideal for professionals both inside and outside of IT seeking best practices for managing small to medium-sized projects.
- Data+ – This qualification is focused on foundational knowledge and skills related to data analytics. This option is ideal for candidates tasked with data-driven decision-making, as well as analyzing, collecting, and reporting on data.
An important point to keep in mind is that CompTIA exams do not have prerequisites. That is, there are no set requirements for taking a course or even booking an exam. This allows seasoned experts to earn advanced CompTIA qualifications without having to start from the beginning of the certification path.
What is the value of CompTIA certification?
Gaining a CompTIA certification is an excellent way to qualify for new career opportunities. Indeed, many candidates study CompTIA to change over to a career in IT. Others invest in training to verify or update their skills in order to qualify for roles in more specialized areas.
Here are a few of the average base salaries for CompTIA certified candidates, according to PayScale:
- A+ – $65,000
- Security+ – $78,000
- Network+ – $70,000
- CASP+ – $92,000
- Cloud+ – $78,000
- Linux+ – $77,000
- Server+ – $67,000
- Cloud Essentials+ – $70,000
- Project+ – $71,000