Since technology has become an integral part of life, experts in Information Technology (IT) are in high demand, and one of the most prestigious fields in IT to consider is IT security.

The growing cases of cyberattacks have forced organizations to invest heavily in the security of their information and systems. Therefore, there are countless job opportunities in IT security–but the stiff competition in this career field means that you need additional skills and certifications to stand out from the crowd.

Fortunately, Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) issues essential professional certifications for IT. As one of the industry’s main trade associations, CompTIA offers every certificate you need to move your career in the IT security industry forward. But what CompTIA certification should you get first?

Before you sign up for the CompTIA certification, you need to understand some important factors, such as which certificates CompTIA offers, if you need Network+ before Security+ certification, and how you get the certification. This article answers these and other related concerns.

CompTIA categorizes and groups all its certificates, making it easier for you to figure out which one to go for first. Although your first CompTIA certification will primarily depend on your IT career path, your current level of experience, and your skill set, CompTIA advises IT professionals to start with Security+ because it shows your deep knowledge of core cybersecurity tasks and serves as the springboard to higher levels of cybersecurity jobs.

To obtain the CompTIA Security+ certificate, you have to undergo Comptia Security+ training and take a CompTIA Security+ exam. Because you’ll spend money to take this exam, you need to learn how to take the CompTIA Security+ exam successfully to avoid wasting your money.

What Is CompTIA Certification?

CompTIA certification is the process of acquiring industry-recognized certificates that prove your ability to perform critical IT tasks and your understanding of the innovative nitty-gritty of computer hardware and software. CompTIA certification is considered to be the industry standard for kick-starting a career in IT.

To get certified, you need to sit for a CompTIA exam and pass; the exam depends on the type of CompTIA certification you need. This association offers numerous certificates in different fields of IT, including core, cybersecurity, infrastructure, data and analytics, and more. Some of the main CompTIA certifications include A+, Security+, Network+, ITF+, Cloud+, CySA+, etc.

What Is CompTIA Security+?

CompTIA Security+ is an international certification that ascertains the standard skills necessary to carry out core IT security tasks and succeed in your IT security profession. This certification should be your priority because it proves your hands-on skills, ensuring that you’re better prepared for any problems that may arise.

This certification is also important because more IT roles rely on it to complement skills. Remember that baseline IT security skills are related to more of the current roles to keep IT systems secure; it’s also aligned with most of the latest IT security trends and procedures. For instance, it covers important technical skills like risk management and valuation, incident response, enterprise networks, security controls, forensics, and more.

Security+ certification integrates best practices in practical, hands-on troubleshooting to ensure that you have practical skills to solve complex IT security problems. To pass this exam, you must be able to assess the security situation of an organization and recommend or implement the right IT security solutions. You must be able to monitor and protect cloud/hybrid environments and operate with deep knowledge of applicable rules and regulations, such as the principles of governance, compliance, and risk.

During your Security+ exam, you’ll be required to demonstrate your ability to successfully identify, evaluate, and respond to critical security events and occurrences. This CompTIA certification is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense. So, you’ll be permitted to work in cybersecurity when you pass this exam.

Essentially, you can work as a cybersecurity specialist, security systems engineer, or security analyst. In the course of your Security+ training and certification, you’ll learn essential cybersecurity skills like identifying and preventing attacks, threats, and weaknesses in your environment; incident response procedures like security controls, basic digital forensics, and risk mitigation procedures, among others.

Security+ exam usually contains a maximum of ninety multiple-choice and performance-based questions. It takes around ninety minutes to complete this exam and you must attain a passing score of 750 on a scale of 100 to 900 to be certified. This exam is available in five languages, including English, Portuguese, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese. You can either do the exam online or go to a physical Pearson VUE testing center.

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