Many of those looking to switch careers and enter the world of cybersecurity want to know if CompTIA Security+ is for beginners. While it is possible for a beginner to study and pass the Security+ exam on their own, there are also many programs, classes, and certifications that could help smooth the way to Security+ certification and a career in cybersecurity. 

A Closer Look at Security+ Certification

Technically speaking, Security+ is an entry-level course. However, it is only an entry-level program for those who already have a basic understanding of IT and networking—not for those who are new to the field. 

Before embarking on your training journey to becoming Security+ certified, it is highly recommended that candidates have two years of IT experience and successfully complete the CompTIA Networking+ certification. 

Here are the areas of knowledge that Networking+ certification provides:

  • Networking Fundamentals: Knowing how basic networks function and the architecture that makes it all possible
  • Network Security: Recognizing and stopping attacks before they can do serious damage
  • Network Implementation: Understanding how to get wired and wireless networks up and running, as well as how to maintain them

IT Skills to Learn First

For those wondering if they can get Security Plus certification without an IT background, it is extremely difficult. If you have little experience beyond navigating Windows and the internet, you’ll definitely want to begin coursework in other areas before attempting CompTIA Security+ certification. 

For students at this level, we recommend starting with CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ certification, which provides a strong foundation on which to build your expertise in the IT industry. Here are some of the skills the IT Fundamentals+ program instills:

  • IT Concepts: Basics of computing and troubleshooting
  • IT Infrastructure: Setting up a basic desktop, installing software, and basic network configuration
  • Software Development: Basic software programming and implementation, as well as an understanding of different programming language categories


After completing IT Fundamentals+, many students advance to CompTIA A+ certification. This is the next step on the ladder, and most entry-level IT professionals get these two certifications before attempting to find a job in IT and gain real-world experience. 

Here are the core concepts CompTIA A+ training will explain:

  • Hardware: Different parts of PC and network infrastructure, why a graphics card can be almost as powerful as a CPU, and how upgrades made to existing hardware architecture enhance capabilities
  • Operating Systems: Windows, Mac OS, Android, Linux, etc.
  • Troubleshooting: Real-world scenarios that require you to think outside the box and look for solutions where they may not be obvious


Once you’ve gotten the above certifications and a couple of years of real-world experience, it’s time to start the journey towards CompTIA Security+ certification. 

How Certification Opens Doors

Obtaining the Security+ certification is no small task. It is estimated that the failure rate on the exam for students taking it for the first time is well above 50%.

The exam costs $370 per try, so it’s not only necessary that you have the skills to pass the exam on your first try—it’s a financial imperative. Once you pass the exam, though, there are plenty of benefits. Your career opportunities will blossom with a variety of new possible positions in network administration, security administration, and cybersecurity. These technology fields are experiencing incredible growth. Before you know it, you might find yourself in a seriously high-paying role. 

Courses offered by ONLC are instructor-led and available in onsite and remote formats. Regardless of the method chosen, you learn the information and skills required for the CompTIA Security+ certification. Rest assured that our class size is kept small to encourage as much interaction between instructors and students as possible.

With an average class size of twelve students, ONLC classes are designed to be a place where you can ask questions, get instant answers, and listen to what other students have to say.

Additionally, ONLC instructors have the ability to monitor your classwork as the class progresses. They can provide tips, as well as take control of your screen to demonstrate any techniques you may be struggling with. 

So, before starting a Security+ training program, make sure you’ve done all you can to set yourself up for success.

About The Author

Gary is an accomplished IT professional with over 20 years experience in implementing Microsoft technologies within large scale enterprise environments for both employers and private clients. Expert level instructor with a proven ability to lead and inspire students to understand a variety of Microsoft back office technologies and their application in real world scenarios. Nationally touring speaker for a Microsoft seminar training company, entrepreneur and creator of his own MSCE boot-camp style training program. Technical Trainer for the US Navy, systems administrator for the US Navy, consultant on a number of high level Microsoft migration projects in Southern California and a one of the most in-demand MCT’s in the country for over 13 years. Gary has a deep and broad pool of experiences to draw from and add to that a knack for quickly understanding new technologies and being able to communicate that knowledge effectively allows Gary to help people learn at a variety of levels.

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