Recommended CompTIA Certification Path

What is the recommended CompTIA certification path?

Short answer.

No one-size-fits-all recommended CompTIA certification path.

Long answer.

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all CompTIA certification path. Here are some of the many variables to consider:

  • Goals
  • IT experience
  • Education level
  • Age (14? 34? 64?)
  • Security experience
  • Current certifications
  • Comprehension level

Additionally, CompTIA has created the following two pathways that people can follow depending on their interests:

  • CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Pathway
  • CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway

What is the best security certification path for those working in IT?

CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Pathway

The cybersecurity pathway includes mid-career to advanced level certifications for candidates who have at least 3 years of hands-on information security or related experience.

Cybersecurity refers to the knowledge, technologies, practices, and procedures used to protect IT resources from threats. This is an extremely wide field with multiple career paths.

There are five separate stackable certifications for CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Pathway. These are:

  • CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist (A+ / Network+ / Security+)
  • CompTIA Secure Cloud Professional (Security+ / Cloud+)
  • CompTIA Security Analytics Professional (Security+ / CSA+)
  • CompTIA Security Analytics Expert (Security+ / CSA+ / CASP+)

The CompTIA A+,  Network+, and Security+ certifications provide a solid foundation for someone starting a career in IT security.  The next step in this CompTIA certification path is the CySA+ certification,  for someone wanting to expand their knowledge in cybersecurity.

CompTIA certification

Last, the CASP+ certification (combined with CySA+ and CASP+) helps people demonstrate an Expert level of knowledge in cybersecurity. The certification is intended for those technical professionals who wish to remain immersed in technology, owning risk management; enterprise security, and architecture, as opposed to strictly managing.

CompTIA Certification Path – Network+

If you are pursuing Network+, the CompTIA Network+ certification ensures you don’t have any holes in your networking knowledge. These knowledge holes can impede your progress because the remaining certifications assume you understand these topics.

Most people can pass the Network+ certification within 30 to 60 days after they start using the right study materials.

CompTIA Network+ helps develop a career in IT infrastructure covering troubleshooting, configuring, and managing networks.

CompTIA Certification Path – Security+

After passing the Network+ certification, the CompTIA Security+ certification builds on that knowledge with a focus on security principles.

CompTIA Security+ is considered a global certification that validates the baseline skills you need to perform core security functions and pursue an IT security career.

In addition to helping you lay a solid foundation of security topics, the Security+ certification is a required cert for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) IT jobs.

What is the best security certification path for those without experience?

CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway

The infrastructure pathway includes early to mid-career level certifications for candidates who have at least 18 months of general IT experience, and at least 9 months in their field of expertise.

Within the context of information technology (IT), infrastructure refers to the hardware and network components used to support an IT network or system that include things such as user computers (desktop PCs, laptops, and mobile devices), and network devices (routers and switches, and servers).

There are five separate stackable certifications for CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway. These are:

  • CompTIA IT Operations Specialist (A+ / Network+)
  • CompTIA Systems Support Specialist (A+ / Linux+)
  • CompTIA Cloud Admin Professional (Network+ / Cloud+)
  • CompTIA Network Infrastructure Professional (Network+ / Server+)
  • CompTIA Linux Network Professional (Network+ / Linux+)

CompTIA certifications A+ and Network+ provide a solid foundation for someone starting on an IT infrastructure pathway. Because many servers and other devices use Linux, Linux+ is a logical next step for technicians working in an infrastructure environment.  Additionally, technicians can add some specialization with the Cloud+ and/or the Server+ certifications.

These stackable certifications help validate your skill sets needed in a broad number of IT infrastructure roles.

It is suggested you start with CompTIA A+ certification if you don’t have any work experience in an IT job. This CompTIA certification will give you a solid understanding of the basics related to computers. It isn’t needed by most people working in an IT job, but is valuable for people trying to get into IT. 

CompTIA Certification Path – Linux+

CompTIA Linux+ certification is for IT professionals who will use Linux to manage everything, as a vast number of enterprises use Linux in cloud, cybersecurity, mobile, and web administration applications.

If you are pursuing Linux+, the certification validates the competencies required of an entry-level system administrator supporting Linux systems and provides the latest foundational skills demanded by hiring managers.

Good administrators are valued but often have to escalate problems that they can’t solve simply because they don’t have the skill set to solve complex problems.  

Do you want to be a good administrator or a great administrator? You can get Linux+ (XK0-004) certified with quality practice test questions here.

Good administrators are valuable to any organization. However, great administrators often move up in an organization quicker. More, great administrators have learned at least some of the commands in both Windows and Linux.

Best CompTIA Certification Path

 With the stackable certifications, people can choose a path based on their interest: infrastructure or cybersecurity.

Many people start with the CompTIA trio of A+, Network+, and Security+ to build a solid foundation in Information Technology (IT). Then follow infrastructure and/or cybersecurity pathways.

If you study these certifications and learn the material, you will find that you are well prepared to land an IT security job.  

No promises, of course. You need to prepare for the certification exams using quality study materials. After getting certified, you still need to submit resumes to get interviews and demonstrate your knowledge in the interviews.