CompTIA Security+ is a vendor-neutral and industry recognized certification that validates foundational skills in cybersecurity. According to CompTIA, the creator of the Security+ Certification, it “is the first security certification IT professionals should earn.”
The CompTIA Security+ certification stands out because it assess baseline cybersecurity knowledge and skills through performance-based questions. In other words, it is really difficult to pass the exam if you cannot actually perform the work. This is why employers and the DoD look to the Security+ certification as a standard for hiring and compliance.
Who Should Earn The CompTIA Security+ (Plus) Certification?
The CompTIA Security+ is an ideal credential for anyone either currently employed or seeking employment is the following job roles:
- Systems Administrator
- Network Administrator
- Security Administrator
- Junior IT Auditor/ Penetration Tester
- Security Specialist
- Security Consultant
- Security Engineer
A quick LinkedIn job search for CompTIA Security+ returned over 49,000 results within the United States alone:
Additionally, the CompTIA Security+ certification was developed with the help of organizations such as Northrop Grumman, Nationwide, Brotherhood Mutual and more. It is also listed as a DoD Approved 8570 Baseline Certification under the IAT Level II and IAM Level I categories. You would be hard-pressed to find an entry-level cybersecurity job that is not requiring or, at least, recommending you hold an active Security+ Certification.
What Does The CompTIA Security+ Certification Exam Cover?
The CompTIA Security+ certification exam focuses on the following skill areas:
- Threats, Attacks and Vulnerabilities
- Technologies and Tools
- Architecture and Design
- Identity and Access Management
- Risk Management
- Cryptography and PKI
Here are some commonly asked questions regarding the CompTIA Security+ Exam:
The current exam code is SY0-501. This exam was launched in October 2017 and will retire July 2021. The latest Security+ exam will launch in November 2020 under the code, SY0-601. This exam will likely retire three years after the launch date.
The CompTIA Security+ exam has a maximum of 90 questions.
The CompTIA Security+ exam includes an assortment of single and multi response multiple-choice questions, drag and drop questions and performance-based questions in a simulated environment.
Candidates have 90 minutes to complete the Security+ exam.
When it comes to any exam, the ease or difficulty students experience depends on their comfort with the exam material and their comfort in a testing environment. Prior to sitting for any certification exam, we recommend students take several timed practice exams to test their ability to navigate the material under the stress of a timer.
We Have Trained 2,600+ Students For Their CompTIA Security+ Exam.
How Do You Prepare For The Security+ (Plus) Certification Exam?
Candidates for the Security+ Certification can either prepare on their own, with the help of self-paced online materials, through an instructor-led class or through a combination of the listed methods. In our experience, students who combine the methods tend to be the most successful on their first attempt of the CompTIA Security+ Certification exam.
Each method will have its own pros and cons for every individual, but generally speaking self-study’s greatest benefit is the ability to work around your schedule whereas instructor-led training has the benefit of learning and asking questions from someone who has already passed the Security+ exam.
How Do I Maintain My CompTIA Security+ Certification?
Congratulations you earned your CompTIA Security+ Certification! Now comes the task of maintaining it so you don’t have to take the exam again.
The CompTIA Security+ certification needs to be renewed every three years. During this time, certificate holders need to earn and submit a total of 50 continuing education units (CEUs). Below are several activities that can be completed to renew your CompTIA Security+ Certification:
|Continuing Education Activity||Estimated CEUs Earned|
|Earn the CySA+ Certification||50 (Fully Renews Security+)|
|Earn the PenTest+ Certification||50 (Fully Renews Security+)|
|Earn the CASP+ Certification||50 (Fully Renews Security+)|
|Earn a Non-CompTIA Certification (CEH, CISSP, CCNA Security, a full list can be found here)||50 (Fully Renews Security+)|
|Pass a newer version of the CompTIA Security+ exam (if your current certification is the 501, you can take the 601 when that is released)||50 (Fully Renews Security+)|
|Attend a live webinar where at least 50% of the content relates back to the Security+ exam objectives||1 CEU for each hour you attend (Can apply a max of 10 CEUs toward Security+)|
|Attend a conference where at least 50% of the conference session relates back to the Security+ exam objectives||1 CEU for each hour you attend (Can apply a max of 10 CEUs toward Security+)|
|Complete a college or ACE course where at least 50% of the course content relates back to the Security+ exam objectives||10 CEUs for each 3-4 credit course (Can apply a max of 50 CEUs toward Security+)|
|Teach or mentor where at least 50% of the content relates back to the Security+ exam objectives. You can only submit teaching content once.||1 CEU for each hour you teach or mentor (Can apply a max of 20 CEUs toward Security+)|
|Create instructional materials where at least 50% of the content relates back to the Security+ exam objectives.||2 CEUs for each hour of materials creation (Can apply a max of 20 CEUs toward Security+)|
|Participate as a subject matter expert in a corresponding CompTIA Exam Development Workshop||1 CEU for each workshop hour (Can apply a max of 50 CEUs toward Security+)|
|Publish an article or whitepaper where at least 50% of the content relates back to the Security+ exam objectives.||4 CEUs for an article or whitepaper of a minimum of 4 pages in length (Can apply a max of 16 CEUs toward Security+)|
|Publish a blog post where at least 50% of the content relates back to the Security+ exam objectives.||1 CEU for each blog post with a minimum of 500 words (Can apply a max of 16 CEUs toward Security+)|
|Publish a book where at least 50% of the content relates back to the Security+ exam objectives.||40 CEUs per book (Can apply a max of 40 CEUs toward Security+)|
|Work experience where at least 50% of the work you are performing relates back to the Security+ exam objectives.||3 CEUs per year of work (Can apply a max of 9 CEUs toward Security+)|
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