With the number of lucrative IT career opportunities becoming available every day, an IT certification can be a good way to demonstrate your skills to job recruiters. IT certifications demonstrate competency in key areas like computer environments, systems administration, cybersecurity, and more.
CompTIA, one of the most reputable certifying organizations, offers a variety of entry- to senior-level IT certification options that will help you either stand out to recruiters or upskill in your industry. The following are some of the best CompTIA certifications for IT professionals to consider.
What Is CompTIA?
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), originally the Association of Better Computer Dealers (ABCD), is a nonprofit American trade association. It’s widely considered to be one of the top trade associations for the IT industry.
In an effort to promote industry growth, CompTIA has awarded over 2.5 million certifications since 1993. Through the CompTIA Tech Career Academy, candidates can choose from several vendor-neutral certifications within five specialization areas:
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Best CompTIA Certifications
CompTIA certifications focus on different domains, with each focused on specific core competencies. These are the best CompTIA certifications to help you advance in the IT industry.
CompTIA Security+ focuses on the core aspects of network security. One of the best entry-level, vendor-neutral network security certifications, it is also one of the top-paying IT certifications to hold.
Security+ helps candidates prepare for a cybersecurity career in roles such as:
- Security Administrator
- Systems Administrator
- Help Desk Manager/Analyst
- Network/Cloud Engineer
- Security Engineer/Analyst
- DevOps/Software Developer
- IT Auditor
- IT Project Manager
CompTIA Security+ is ANSI-accredited, compliant with ISO 17024 standards, and approved by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to meet directive 8140/8570.01-M requirements.
Candidates who pass the CompTIA Security+ exam will be certified for life, as the certification does not expire.
CompTIA Network+ focuses on the core aspects of networking. Network+ certification is recommended by reputed organizations like Dell, HP, and Intel. Further, Network+ is one of the top-paying IT certifications you can earn.
Network+ helps prepare for a networking career in roles such as:
- Junior Network Administrator
- Datacenter Support Technician
- Network Engineer
- Systems Administrator
- NOC Technician
- Telecommunications Technician
- Cable Technician
CompTIA Network+ is compliant with ISO 17024 standards and approved by the US DoD, and also earned ANSI accreditation in 2008. CompTIA Security+ ISO/ANSI-accredited exams are considered good-for-life (GFL) and do not expire.
Note, though, that the new CompTIA Network+ N10-008 will be available in September 2022, and CompTIA Network+ N10-007 will retire in June 2022.
The CompTIA A+ credential was introduced in 1993. Not only is this a widely respected credential, but is also seen by many as the best beginning course for a solid IT career. It covers several core technologies and operating systems skills. As a result, earning CompTIA A+ certification can contribute to higher pay in the long term.
A+ helps prepare for many early IT roles, such as:
- Service Desk Analyst
- Data Support Technician
- Help Desk Technician
- Field Service Technician
- End User Computing Technician
- Desktop Support Administrator
- Associate Network Engineer
- Technical Support Specialist
- System Support Specialist
CompTIA A+ earned ANSI accreditation in 2008, and is considered GFL and does not expire. Notable, the CompTIA A+ Core Series requires you to pass two exams — 220-1001 (Core 1) and 220-1002 (Core 2).
Read more on CIO Insight: Entry-Level IT Jobs to Kickstart Your Career (2022)
CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)
CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) is a Master-level certification. The CASP+ credential will certify candidates’ technical knowledge and skills for designing, conceptualizing, and engineering security solutions across complex enterprise situations.
As an advanced accreditation, CASP+ helps prepare for roles such as:
- Security Architect
- Senior Security Engineer
- SOC Manager
- Security Analyst
CompTIA Security+ is compliant with ISO 17024 standards and approved by the US DoD to meet directive 8140/8570.01-M requirements, and earned ANSI accreditation in 2008. CompTIA Security+ ISO/ANSI-accredited exams have been delivered since January 1, 2011, are considered GFL, and do not expire.
The CompTIA Server+ certification was first developed in 2001. Server+ focuses on server-specific software technologies and hardware, hybrid server environments, business continuity, and disaster recovery. The credential ensures that certified IT professionals at the administrator level can do their job in any environment.
Server+ helps prepare you for IT careers such as:
- Systems Administrator
- Data Center Technician
- Server Administrator
- Network Administrator
- Field Service Technician or Engineer
- IT Technician
- Data Center Engineer
The latest edition of this certification, CompTIA Server+ SK0-005, is currently available; CompTIA Server+ SK0-004 was retired on January 7, 2022.
IT Certifications Pay Off
IT professionals need to be able to display their understanding of a wide variety of technologies. Although IT certifications are not always essential, CompTIA and other reputable organizations can help job seekers access better opportunities and earn higher salaries.