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Launch Your IT Career with CompTIA Certifications

One of the world's largest and best-known IT industry associations, CompTIA has a certification to help newcomers get started down just about any IT career path. CompTIA also offers more advanced credentials.

CompTIA certifications can help you start down the path to a career in IT.CompTIA is one of the most recognized education and training vendors in IT and is considered among the world’s top tech industry trade associations. Since 1982, more than 2.2 million people have achieved a certification from CompTIA’s large portfolio, which caters to everyone from entry-level IT professionals to seasoned penetration testers.


CompTIA certifications are ideal for professionals new to the IT industry and many of CompTIA’s credentials are designed to suit this audience. That said, CompTIA’s current portfolio also includes intermediate-to-expert cybersecurity certifications, as well as niche certifications covering technologies like Linux.


“As a security professional and trainer of 20 years I have been fortunate enough to make my way through virtually the entire CompTIA portfolio, having passed A+, Network+, Security+, CySA+ and CASP,” says Jeremy Green, lead CompTIA Instructor at Firebrand Training.


“They have been a challenge to achieve at times, but many of the exams have been an enjoyable experience with a real sense of accomplishment.


“With a typical CompTIA certification exam consisting of three to five scenario-based questions and 80-90 multiple-choice questions, they are achievable by anyone with either the right training, preparation, or both.”


So which CompTIA certification should you choose? Read on for your complete guide to CompTIA certifications.


Introductory Certs: IT Fundamentals, Cloud Essentials


CompTIA’s portfolio begins with IT Fundamentals, an entry-level certification that equips you with basic computer literacy knowledge and skills. Cloud Essentials fills a similar niche, with a focus on basic cloud skills, useful for non-IT roles.


IT Fundamentals is an introductory certification for those with little-to-no knowledge of computers. Most students will find that they can either breeze through IT Fundamentals, or skip it altogether and move straight on to the next certification: CompTIA’s hugely popular A+.


Novice Level Certs: A+, Network+


The A+ is an ideal starting point for a career in IT. And if you already have a few months of entry-level experience, then this certification will help fill in any gaps you may have in your knowledge. Focusing on computer hardware, networking, operating system, and security basics, the CompTIA A+ imparts knowledge and skills critical to entry-level IT roles.


This long-running and immensely popular certification is regularly updated, with the 10th version due early 2019. The updated A+ will build and validate knowledge in Windows 10, 3D printers, changes to security, virtualization, and basic scripting with Python, Java and HTML.


Once you achieve A+ certification — or if you are already familiar with the topics it covers — the Network+ is the next step. This certification builds your knowledge of networking, from cable types to routing, IPv4 and IPv6, DNS, DHCP, ARP, and NDP.


“You’ll also study how data is sent securely across a network and the internet via VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), cryptography and the ever-popular PKI (Public Key Infrastructure).


“Once you’ve completed the Network+ certification, you’ll possess the foundation of knowledge needed for a network engineer role,” adds Jeremy.


Foundational Cybersecurity Knowledge: Security+


Cyber security is crucial for modern businesses and CompTIA has invested heavily in building quality certifications that are sought-after by professionals across the globe. If you’re aiming for a career in cyber security or simply want a foundation of IT security knowledge, the Security+ credential should be your next step on CompTIA’s certification pathway.


“It’s not for the faint-hearted and is a more difficult and demanding certification than the Network+,” says Jeremy.