When it comes to getting the right certification to further your career, it can be easy to think of Microsoft as the only choice. However, CompTIA may have some great options available for you!
In the world of computing certification, there is no doubt that Microsoft qualifications dominate the market. However, just because a course or certificate comes with Microsoft’s seal of approval doesn’t mean that it is necessarily the right course for you, your specialism, or your chosen career path.
In this article we’ll be taking a closer look at CompTIA, one of the great options when it comes to training and certifications. We’ll find out more about the company, take a brief look at its history, and take an overview of some of the branches of certification offered, aiming to help you to make an informed decision when it comes to your certification choices.
Who are CompTIA?
CompTIA is a non-profit trade association based in Chicago. Founded in 1993, it’s associates are comprised of 3,000 business partners and 2,000-member organizations. CompTIA’s focus is to educate and certify IT professionals, and since the early 1990s has provided over 2 million certifications to its course participants. In addition, CompTIA also plays a large role in philanthropy as well as public policy advocacy.
CompTIA Certifications Overview
CompTIA offer a wide range of computing courses, and for ease of customer navigation these courses are sorted into four overarching categories: core, infrastructure, cybersecurity, and additional professional certifications. Listed below is an overview of each of these categories.
Core certifications are designed to create a strong understanding of some of the key foundation and fundamentals of IT.
These courses tend to be ideal for those looking to start a new career in IT, or for old hands looking to update and brush up on their basic IT knowledge.
Four courses are offered within the core certification category:
IT Fundamentals+ – This course is designed for those just starting out on their IT journey, and is a great alternative for those who for whatever reason were unable to attend college.
The aim of this certification is to teach the basic foundations of IT framework, working on bring core knowledge up to entry-level industry standard. It could also be a great first step for those looking to take part in further studies.
CompTIA A+ – This certification focuses on device connectivity and user support, and would be a great option for those looking to work as IT technicians.
CompTIA Network+ – Operates as a knowledge platform for all things concerning networks, including core systems and endpoint devices.
CompTia Security+ – This is great for those looking to start a cybersecurity career. Focusing on entry level cyber security techniques and knowledge, it could work as a brilliant career stepping stone.
These courses are the perfect complement to CompTIA’s core Network+ certification, and center around all things IT infrastructure. The three certifications available cover servers, operating systems, and databases. These courses are great for those looking to specialize.
CompTIA Server+ – This is a great course for those looking to become system administrators, and therefore focuses on server support and administration issues.
CompTIA Cloud+ – This covers everything cloud-related, such as hybrid cloud, administrating virtual systems, and managing and deploying network storage resources.
CompTIA Linux+ – This course is great for those heading into a role within a business or company which requires the operation of Linux. This certification will teach its students the Linux operating system as well as how to successfully administer and manage it.
As the name might suggest, these courses are designed for those who want a career in IT security, be this as an ethical hacker or a systems security analyst, among many more.
To help you on your path to your career goal CompTIA provides three certifications:
CompTIA CySA+ (Cyber Security Analyst) – This certification, as you might have assumed, is perfect for budding cyber security analysts and is designed to teach participants aspects of cybersecurity, as well as measuring threat levels in a system and providing insight as to how best to overcome these.
CASP+ (CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner) – This course is great for those already a little way along in their qualifications journey, and is created to help IT professionals learn how to design and implement complex security systems.
CompTIA PenTest+ – This certification focuses on penetration testing, and is ideal for those looking to incorporate penetration and vulnerability testing into their IT security skill set.
As the above lists demonstrates, CompTIA has a wide range of certification programs for a variety of IT specialisms, and they even offer further courses for niche IT careers. From foundation learning to managing servers or online security, CompTIA has a course for every stage of your career journey.
While you may be drawn to big names such as Windows, it is important to know that by looking around you may find a course much more suited to your career ambitions and skill level, be that with CompTIA, Windows, Cisco, or one of the many other great certification boards.