CompTIA Security+ Certification – 5 Tips to Earn It
All the journeys start with the first step but what should it be if you want to start a cybersecurity career and don’t have enough experience? In this case, obtaining new skills through earning a proper certification will help you a lot. There are several clues to know when choosing a badge to apply for but for you, as a newbie, there are two most important features. The credential should provide you with versatile knowledge and be a foundation for future advancements. Well, what first comes to mind is CompTIA since it meets both mentioned requirements.
CompTIA is a nonprofit trade association with over 2,000 affiliate organizations and 3,000 business partners. It contributes to public policy advocacy and philanthropy, education, and IT certification. It also offers a set of certifications and in this article, we’ll cover how to earn one related to cybersecurity – CompTIA Security+ and live a fulfilling life.
What Makes CompTIA Security+ Unique?
CompTIA Security+ is the foremost entry-level IT certification for those pursuing a career in cybersecurity. Like other CompTIA credentials, it is vendor-neutral and helps the candidate remain relevant and improve their career, regardless of the company or product they work with and in tandem with the industry.
The variety of jobs you can get with this certification includes network, system, or security administration, security management or administration, and security consultancy. Isn’t this an excellent time to talk about money? According to PayScale.com, CompTIA Security+ guarantees an average salary of $74,000 per year.
Also, Security+ is one of CompTIA’s core badges thus it covers fundamental concepts of network security, access control, basic cryptography, identity management, and threats, and vulnerabilities. At the same time, it builds a great base for earning higher-level CompTIA credentials in the future. These are the next:
- CySA+ which is designed for IT security behavioral analysts and stands for Cyber Security Analyst.
- CASP+ means CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner, a credential relevant for professional designers and implementers of security solutions.
- CompTIA Pentest+ targets professionals who perform penetration and vulnerability testing.
While there are no stringent prerequisites, it is recommended to first get the Network+ certification and a minimum of two years of IT administration experience focusing on security.
However, to acquire Security+, there is one exam for you to pass – SY0-501.
Overview of SY0-501Exam
CompTIA Security+ exposes professionals to best practices for advanced troubleshooting hence providing modern practical skills. Having Security+, you won’t only identify security incidents; you’ll be proactive in handling them. To prove it, it’s worth mentioning that this is the only IT credential that uses performance-based questions to test basic cybersecurity knowledge.
So, over 90 minutes, candidates should complete a maximum of 90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions (PBQs) that measure the applicant’s real-world performance in a simulated environment. They may include virtual forms of operating systems, terminal windows, firewalls, and network diagrams. The test syllabus covers the following objectives:
- Threats, Attacks, and Vulnerabilities (21%)
- Technologies and Tools (22%)
- Architecture and Design (15%)
- Identity and Access Management (16%)
- Risk Management (14%)
- Cryptography and PKI (12%)
The passing score for this assessment is 750 on a scale of 100-900 and every attempt will cost you $339. If you want to spend your money only once and save some nerves, it’s crucial to prepare well to get ready for all the tasks and handle them in the first try.
How to Pass the Security+ Certification Exam?
There are a few steps that will help anyone earn the CompTIA Security+ badge with ease. These include
- Use A Study Plan That Works For You
Once you explore the official list of the topics and know what you want to study, create a plan — factor in your work and other life responsibilities. Outline the study hours in it as well as what objective you’re going to study in every noted period.
- Learn All The Six Domains of SY0-501 Exam
Use the best study materials available and review the items as many times as you need. Work on knowledge gaps and allocate more time for the most challenging concepts so as to understand them completely.
- Implement The Concepts You’re Learning
Try to use the knowledge you gain to understand it better through practice. Enroll in CompTIA training or do some practice tests to see how the theory should work for real-life issues.
- Utilize CompTIA’s Security+ Preparation Resources
Start your preparation with official study resources for SY0-501. Use its comprehensive eLearning with CertMaster Learn™ solution or even enroll in the instructor-led course, get sample questions to train, and spend some time to read the CompTIA Study Guide. Finally, there’s video training with ITPro TV for those who prefer video format.
- Use Additional Materials
To get more information on the topics required, supplement your learning with third-party resources. Search for tutorials on YouTube, discuss complex objectives on the forums, and use mock tests to check your level of preparedness. Such a comprehensive way will raise your confidence which is also important on the exam day.
Earning the CompTIA Security+ credential will make you the IT professionals that companies want. Confidentiality, integrity, and availability are hallmarks of successful Security+ candidates when they perform any task. But, becoming such a specialist demands hard work and dedication. If you are ready for it, don’t waste your time because the sooner you start your certification journey, the sooner you’ll acquire all the benefits of being certified.
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