Top 10 CompTIA Certifications

A guide to the most valuable CompTIA certifications, broken down by IT career path.

This article will be updated annually with the best CompTIA certifications.

best comptia certifications

CompTIA certifications have long been a staple for IT professionals looking to solidify their skills and advance their careers. Their global recognition, career-focused subject matter, vendor-neutrality, and respect among employers and workers make them the first choice for many in the field.

But which CompTIA certification(s) should you pursue?

This guide will provide an overview of today’s best CompTIA certifications, organized by IT career path and skill level, to help you decide which credentials are right for you.

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Penetration Testing Certifications: Overview & Top 5 Certs

A guide to penetration testing certifications, including what they are, why they're valuable, and the best pen testing credentials for your cybersecurity career path.

This post will be updated annually with the top pen-testing certificates.

best penetration testing certifications

Penetration testing - a.k.a. “pentesting” - involves simulating attacks on networks and computer systems to identify vulnerabilities which can then be shored up by the cybersecurity team. Pen testing is a vital component of an organization’s information security strategy.

Pen testing certifications are professional credentials earned by IT security specialists who demonstrate a level of proficiency in this field. The leading pen-tester certificates are offered by various types of institutions, including cybersecurity industry associations, globally recognized certifying bodies, and technical training providers.

In this post, we will identify the best penetration testing certifications by experience level and specialization. For each certificate, we’ll highlight the key skills it covers, prerequisites, costs, benefits, training options, and more.

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CySA+ vs. Security+ Certification

A detailed comparison of CompTIA’s CySA+ and Security+ certifications.

CySA+ vs Security+

In the rapidly expanding field of cybersecurity certifications, two prominent credentials are the CySA+ (Cybersecurity Analyst) and Security+ from CompTIA. Both industry-respected certifications play a crucial role in validating the skills of cybersecurity professionals. But, how do the CySA+ and Security+ differ? Which one should you choose?

This page will provide a head-to-head comparison of the Security+ and CySA+ certifications. We’ll summarize each credential, and outline key aspects such as skill level, curriculum, costs, job roles, and exam details. We will also highlight some of the best CySA+ and Security+ training programs to help you get skilled up and ace the exams.

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IT Certification Path for Network Administrators

Darril Gibson, certified technical trainer and best-selling author of IT study guides, lays out a rock-solid IT certification path to begin or advance your career as a network administrator.

network admin certification path

Aspiring IT professionals frequently ask me questions like “How can I get into an IT job?” and “What is the best IT certification path for a network administrator?” Unfortunately, there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer because there are so many variables, such as how much knowledge you start with and what type of jobs are available where you live.

However, if you are focused on landing an IT job and you‘re willing to take the time to master the materials, you can earn several certifications that will make you highly desirable as a network administrator, one of the industry’s most essential and opportunity-rich positions. Learn the material, earn the certifications, and you’ll have an opportunity to shine at network administration job interviews.

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CEH vs. PenTest+ Certification

A heads-up comparison of EC-Council's Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and CompTIA's PenTest+ professional certifications.

CEH vs PenTest

Cybersecurity is one of the top paying and fastest growing disciplines in the IT workforce. Among the myriad specializations in this field, ethical hacking and penetration testing are particularly sought-after due to the critical role they play in identifying and mitigating potential cyber attacks before they happen. Professional certifications like EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and CompTIA's PenTest+ offer a pathway to demonstrate your expertise in these domains.

But when it comes to choosing between the two, which certificate should you pursue? This article will compare the CEH and PenTest+ certifications to help you make an informed decision.

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The Best IT Certifications for Beginners

If you want to break into the technology field, proactive training and experience – validated by industry-recognized IT certifications – is a great way to begin. These certifications are the best for beginning IT pros looking to land an entry-level position.

best it certifications for beginners

The COVID-19 pandemic has cost millions of Americans their jobs and made it difficult for 2020 college graduates to find work. Additionally, the advent of a larger remote workforce means the state of jobs today looks pretty different than it did just one year ago. Perhaps you’re looking to change careers. Now may be the perfect time. If information technology is a field that interests you, here’s what you need to get your resume noticed and your foot in the proverbial door.

Train Before You Get the Job

Yes, IT skills are in-demand right now. If you’re researching a career in IT you’ve probably read about the IT skills gap. Essentially this means that there are more technology jobs available than qualified professionals to fill them. The good news is, there are plenty of resources out there to skill up to get one of these in-demand positions. One of the best ways to validate your knowledge in the technology industry is via IT certification.

Certifications aren’t just about adding a gold star to your resume. The skills and knowledge gained through proper certification training and exam prep is exactly what IT departments need. The skills gap is slowly hurting organizations and the best solution is upskilled employees. Preparing for, and earning, an IT certification(s) is one of the best ways to gain the critical skills employers need.

The Best Certs for IT Beginners

Before we get into the best IT certifications for beginners, let us first define “best.” It is, after all, a subjective term. Does best mean it will make you more money? Lead to more interviews? Or does best mean that employers are specifically looking for these credentials?

We have decided the “best” certifications for IT beginners are those that will help you get an entry-level job. To that end, we’ve matched desirable entry-level tech roles with the skills needed to land that job, then paired the most marketable certifications with those skills.

Here are the best IT certifications for beginners, segmented by 3 of the hottest technical domains:

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Certification Path for Cyber Security Professionals

Subject matter experts break down a best-in-class certification track for IT security professionals.

cyber security certification path

As cyber attacks continue to escalate in frequency and sophistication, businesses are making it a top priority to acquire talent who can help protect their digital data and infrastructure. In a high-stakes field where protocols change at the speed of attackers' imagination, only those with the latest and greatest skills will succeed. Certifications are the best way to prove the value and relevance of your cyber-security skill set to prospective employers.

With dozens of globally-recognized certifications to choose from, mapping out a cyber security learning plan can feel overwhelming. This post will break down an ideal vendor-neutral certification track for IT security professionals.

Why vendor-neutral? Vendor-neutral certifications demonstrate expertise that can be applied across multiple technologies, as opposed to vendor-specific certifications, which validate skills in a particular product line, such as Cisco network devices. Once you have the job (or have it in your sights) and you know which technologies the company uses, then it’s time to pursue vendor-specific certs.

Here is a rock-solid certification path for general cyber security professionals:

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