Many people are choosing information technology as a career, as this is an in-demand field with rewarding salaries.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of computer and information technology jobs will increase by 11% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average of all jobs in the United States.
Technology jobs are also lucrative monetarily, as The Dice 2021 Tech Salary Report showed the median salaries of IT professionals in the United States grew by 3.6 percent from 2019 and 2020.
CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) is a non-profit organization which issues vendor-neutral certifications in various information technology skills. Technology employers see CompTIA certifications as desirable for potential candidates to have earned.
Below, we look at seven of the top CompTIA certifications to pursue as you launch your IT career.
First introduced in 1993, the CompTIA A+ certification is universally respected, and seen as a beginning point of many information technology careers. This vendor neutral certification validates that a person has basic competency as a computer technician or technical support specialist. Many Fortune 500 employers, like Dell and HP, require technician candidates to have CompTIA A+ certification.
What is covered on the A+ certification? This certificate is split into two parts, and students must pass both parts to earn the certification. The A+ Core 1 examination (CompTIA exam 220-1001) is primarily focused on the fundamentals of working with computers, information technology, networking, and security. It may also include questions devoted to hardware, networking, laptops, and printers. The A+ Core 2 exam (CompTIA exam 220-1002) concentrates mostly on operating systems, security, and troubleshooting.
With the A+ certification, an IT professional should have basic competency in computer support for desktop, laptop, and mobile, with all operating systems: Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android. A technician with A+ certification will also be competent in preventative maintenance, OS installation, basic computer security and networking.
According to CompTIA, the Security+ is the first security certification an IT professional should earn. With the CompTIA Security+ (CompTIA exam SY0-601) certification, a candidate shows essential competency in access control, encryption, hardening, secure software development environments, as well as physical and virtual security for any hardware, software, or virtual environments.
Many employers have a need for security professionals, and IT security is projected to be a growing field for the next decade. Organizations will require technologists who can help keep their operations secure and safe from cyber attacks and intrusions.
Web security and network security competency is a necessary skill for IT professionals, and a baseline for security pros. CompTIA provides the Security+ exam to confirm that candidates understand network security principles, practices, and techniques. The CompTIA Security+ certification proves competency in managing, maintaining, troubleshooting, installing and configuring basic network infrastructure.
The CompTIA Network+ Certification (CompTIA exam N10-007) is a mid-level certification for network technicians. This certification tests the competency of a network technician in various tasks, like configuring and supporting TCP/IP clients in a network, cabling and routing, hardware setup, and network security. This certification is a vendor neutral certification that also tests for competency in configuration, installation, support, maintenance, and troubleshooting of basic computer networks.
It is recommended that you have nine months of hands-on experience in IT support or MTI College’s class experience before taking this exam. You will be tested on networking concepts, infrastructure, network operations, network security, and troubleshooting.
Any software development or technology project of any complexity or scale has one or more project managers. A project manager is responsible for the planning, organization oversight, direction, and completion of projects within an organization. A PM makes sure that a project is completed on time, within budget, and within the planned scope.
CompTIA Project+ is a vendor-neutral certification validating that an individual can set parameters for, manage, and complete a project on time and budget, finishing the intended objectives for the project to be successful.
This certification also covers business objectives, interpersonal skills, and management capabilities that enable the project manager to run the project successfully, so the organization completes their business goals. No prerequisites are required to take this certification exam.
The CompTIA Server+ certification is a mid-level exam for IT professionals with 18 to 24 months of hands-on experience with server environments. It is recommended that you earn the CompTIA A+ certificate before taking this exam. It validates competency in administration of physical and virtual servers.
This exam prepares the candidates for working in data centers as a systems administrator, network administrator or data center technician. The certification covers server administration skills like hardware installation and management, server virtualization, server administration, serve security and disaster recovery, and general server troubleshooting.
The CompTIA Cloud+ certification is for cloud system administration professionals with 2 to 3 years of hands-on experience. This certificate shows you have understanding of business objectives related to cloud principles as well as technical knowledge. This certificate is vendor neutral, and tests candidates on their comprehension of cloud principles and technology in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and other cloud platforms.
CompTIA Cloud+ is a perfect certification for cloud administrators who may work with an assortment of technologies and cloud environments.
The exam tests the IT professional on these concepts and technical knowledge:
- Deploying cloud solutions, including preparation and testing.
- Design a secure network for cloud deployment.
- Determining CPU, memory sizing, and storage requirements for cloud deployments.
- Access management for cloud deployments.
- Analyze workload characteristics to ensure successful migration to the cloud.
- Secure systems to meet access requirements.
- Maintenance of cloud systems, including backups and restoring.
- Analysis of cloud systems for required performance, anomalies, and growth forecasting.
- Troubleshooting deployment, capacity, automation, and orchestration issues.
- Troubleshooting connectivity and security issues.
CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP)
CompTIA CASP+ is aimed at IT Professionals with a minimum of ten years of experience in IT administration, including at least five years of hands-on technical security experience.
The CASP+ certification validates your knowledge of security for small businesses to enterprise level organizations.
This highly sought-after certificate tests a candidate on these skillsets and knowledge:
- Risk management and IT governance in the enterprise.
- Leveraging collaborations tools and technology for risk management.
Research and analysis for enterprise security initiatives.
- Advanced authentications and user authorization techniques.
- Advanced cryptography, hosting security, security for mobile devices, network security and security in software development.
- Security audits and assessments.
- Recovering from security breaches and eliminating vulnerabilities.
- Integrating hosts, storage, networks, applications, virtual environments, and cloud technologies in a secure enterprise architecture.
CompTIA certifications are an excellent way to begin a promising career in information technology. Because CompTIA certifications are vendor neutral, they are accepted at all employers as validation of your technical knowledge. Computer and information technology workers are still in high demand, and are projected to be a flourishing job sector through the rest of the 2020s. Having a few CompTIA certifications is an advantage in securing a tech job.
MTI College at Sacramento is an official CompTIA Academy Partner. MTI College’s A+ certification training for technical support specialists will prepare you for success in taking the CompTIA A+ Certification exam. The AWS Cloud Administration Associates Degree program will prepare you to take the CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ exams, while giving you a comprehensive base of knowledge in computer hardware, networking systems, operating systems, software applications, mobile networks, and a wide variety of other related fields.
If you’re interested in starting an IT career, reach out to the MTI College Admissions staff and start the process.