Introducing the CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway

by Teresa Sears | Feb 05, 2018

An illustration of how infrastructure supports the IT needs of the business - laptops, devices, the cloud and database.Infrastructure is the bedrock of IT operations. Security, mobility, agility and resiliency all depend on a solid network architecture. In order to implement, maintain and troubleshoot modern IT infrastructure, today’s IT pros need skills in endpoint support, physical server maintenance, virtual system administration, network configuration and storage planning to support business needs, and security is a critical part of each of these responsibilities. The CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway aligns CompTIA certifications with the skillsets needed to support and manage IT infrastructure.

The complete CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway begins with the core skills certifications:

It then continues with three infrastructure-specific certifications:

The CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway

Build a Foundation with Core Skills

Working from network endpoints inward, CompTIA A+ focuses on user support and device connectivity. Its primary objective is to validate the skills needed to support a user and their ability to connect to the data they need to complete a task, from whatever device they’re using. CompTIA A+ validates skills needed to support hardware and software for the devices that connect to the Internet – whether the device is a PC, laptop, smartphone, or IoT device.

While CompTIA A+ considers connectivity from the perspective of the user and their device, CompTIA Network+ takes the opposite view. It focuses on the connections from (and between) the core systems outward to the endpoint devices. It validates the skills used in managing and administering the connections that enable communications between and among systems and users.

No matter your job role within IT, an awareness of how your activities and work product impact an organization’s security posture is a key part of your job. For IT infrastructure professionals, CompTIA Security+ validates baseline cybersecurity knowledge and skills. The cybersecurity skills gap cannot be closed by specialists alone; instead every IT pro will need to gain cyber competencies. This distribution of security knowledge best equips an organization to mitigate risk in an age where every organization is a digital one.

The CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway

CompTIA Linux+, CompTIA Server+ and CompTIA Cloud+ complement CompTIA Network+ with a focus on the systems themselves. Those systems may be on-premise, hosted or in the cloud. They may be owned or rented, entirely or in part. They are likely virtualized, but for some use cases, they are not. Nevertheless, servers and workload management remain a core component of systems operations.

CompTIA Server+ validates the knowledge and skills required to build, maintain, troubleshoot, secure and support server hardware and software technologies with a focus on physical server administration. It ensures that today’s IT pros have the necessary skills to work in data centers, server rooms and cloud environments.

CompTIA Cloud+ expands into virtual systems administration and hybrid cloud operations with a focus on deploying cloud computing solutions shaped to meet business requirements. It requires the ability to implement and manage the right combination of compute, network and storage resources to realize the benefits of rapid elasticity, robust self-service and measured use.

CompTIA Linux+ adds on facility with administering the Linux operating system – the dominant OS in the data center. It offers a comprehensive approach to designing, deploying and managing Linux systems. CompTIA Linux+ covers everything from how to configure systems and navigate command lines to how to customize your environment and create simple scripts.

Your Next Move

The CompTIA Infrastructure Pathway helps you identify the next move for your career. Whether you’re a help desk technician, systems administrator or database administrator, use the pathway to identify what direction you want to take your career and understand the skills you need to get to the next level.

Ready for your next move? Subscribe today and save 10 percent on your next CompTIA training or certification purchase.


  • Trisha

    Thursday, February 15, 2018

    I have my degree in IT, network+, Pc repairs certification and I'm studying CCNA currently. I am eager to work in the it field but I have little hands on since it was done a long time ago. How can I get into the field base on what I currently have and doing?

  • Friday, February 16, 2018

    Hi, Trisha! Thanks for your comment. It sounds like you are off to a good start in learning what you need to know. Now it's time to practice. This article offers good advice on how to get that hands-on experience. Good luck!

  • Ram Srinivasan

    Monday, February 26, 2018

    Currently, I have Security+ and 5 AWS Cloud certs. Under CompTIA's Infrastructure Pathway, can I go ahead and take the Cloud+ certification directly or do I have to take Linux+, Server+ and then Cloud+? Please clarify. Thanks. Ram Srinivasan ------------------

  • Friday, March 2, 2018

    Hi, Ram! It depends on your experience and professional goals. The new CompTIA Cloud+ is recommended for people with 2-3 years of system administration experience. Linux+ is recommended for people with 1-2 years of Linux experience plus CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+. And CompTIA Server+ is recommended for people with 18-24 months of server experience. The CompTIA Infrastructure Pathway is meant to be a road map for people who want to get experience in all aspects of infrastructure, but it's by no means a requirement. You might find that the topics covered in Linux+ and Server+ help you better understand cloud computing, earn Cloud+ and further your cloud career, but they aren't required. Good luck!

  • Falahi

    Thursday, March 8, 2018

    Hi. I have zero background in IT. Which module should I start with first?

  • John

    Sunday, March 11, 2018

    I have Network+ Certification which will expire at the end of May. Will passing the A+ or Security+ Certification extend my Network+ cert? Or is it only the Security+ that will work?

  • sagar kakkar

    Tuesday, March 13, 2018

    hi i am pursuing my b tech in CS i want to go for networking & want to know what kind of job will i get after A+ certification & networking+

  • Adam H

    Wednesday, March 14, 2018

    I have been in the IT business for 20+ years, so I'm not interesting in the classes, but I was wondering if I can get ALL your certs by testing online yet? Thanks. - Adam

  • Shadaab

    Thursday, March 15, 2018

    I am currently working as C# developer having 4 years of experience. I want to change my career path to Information security domain. How can I change my career path to this new world? I seriously don't have any idea from where and how to start.

  • dmccraw

    Thursday, March 15, 2018

    Hi, Falahi! CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ and CompTIA A+ are great places to get started in your IT career. They will give you the foundational knowledge you need to climb the career ladder. Good luck!

  • Thursday, March 15, 2018

    Hi, John! Because CompTIA A+ is earlier on the pathway, it does not renew Network+. However, getting CompTIA Security+ would renew your Network+. Read more about your renewal options here: Good luck!

  • Thursday, March 15, 2018

    Hi, Sagar! With a CS degree plus CompTIA certifications, you'll have numerous options for careers. Some careers that align with CompTIA Network+ include junior network administrator, network field technician, junior system engineer and network support specialist. You can see more job titles on the webpages for Network+ and A+. Good luck!

  • Thursday, March 15, 2018

    Hi, Adam! We don't have online testing available at this time, but it's something we're working on. Stay tuned!

  • Thursday, March 15, 2018

    Hi, Shadaab! You could go about switching from development to infrastructure in a number of ways. A great way to get started is to get some hands-on experience - play around with old computers, test out cybersecurity tools. You can also talk to people who are in the role you aspire to be in and find out how they got there. Training and certifications can also give you the knowledge you need to change careers. Download the exam objectives for certifications like CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ and see what you already know and what you need to brush up on. CompTIA CertMaster is a great online tool that can help you focus your studies if you decide to get certified. Good luck!

  • Afua

    Saturday, March 17, 2018

    Hello, I have a bachelors degree in IT from Ghana-Africa but my husband is in the military and we are currently stationed in Misawa, Japan. I'm interested in the comptiA infrastructure. How do I get started?

  • Jagan

    Thursday, March 22, 2018

    Is bsc computer science graduates eligible for A+

  • Vuyo

    Friday, March 23, 2018

    Good day. I'm 43 years and working in motor vehicle production line. Never finished my degree in IT but after so many years I am highly skilled in computer engineering and networking. Is it too later to enter the IT field at my age? and will it help me going straight for cloud+ or server+ certifications or should I start with a+/network+ certifications? Thanks Vuyo.

  • Tuesday, March 27, 2018

    Hi, Afua! CompTIA exams are offered all over the world. Find a location near you with this website: Good luck!

  • Tuesday, March 27, 2018

    Hi, Jagan! CompTIA A+ is a great place to start your IT career. We recommend having 9-12 months of hands-on experience, but that doesn't necessarily have to be on-the-job experience. Take a look at the exam objectives to see what skills you already have and what you need to work on before taking the exam to get certified: Good luck!

  • Tuesday, March 27, 2018

    Hi, Vuyo! Thanks for your comment. It's never too late to get into IT if you have the desire and drive. You'll want a combination of hands-on experience and certifications to show that you have the skills needed in today's workforce. In terms of which certification is right for you, it really depends on your skill level and interests. We also have a quiz that can help you decide:'s-your-it-personality Good luck!

  • mary

    Monday, April 2, 2018

    I have no experience or training in IT...where do I start?

  • dmccraw

    Monday, April 2, 2018

    Hi, Mary! It depends on what you mean by no experience. Even if you don't have work experience, you may have tinkered with computers as a hobby. If you know you want to get into IT and aren't sure where your skills lie, download the exam objectives and practice questions for CompTIA A+, or sign up for a free trial of CompTIA CertMaster for A+ to gauge your skill level. If you feel like A+ is still a bit too advanced, start with CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ to get the basics and then work your way up. Good luck!

  • stephen

    Wednesday, May 2, 2018

    If I pass Linux+/Cloud+/ or Server+ do they give me CEU's for CASP?

  • Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    Hi, Stephen! Thanks for your question. Because CASP is our highest-level certification, it does not renew by earning other CompTIA certification. Check out this page to see how you can renew CASP. Good luck!

  • Stacey

    Thursday, May 31, 2018

    My son is in high school in a very small rural school that offers one basic comp sci class and he has taken that already. He has been approved to choose a program to do as an Independent Study course next year and is trying to decide between your IT Fundamentals+ and then A+, or AP Computer Science A or AP Comp Sci Principles. He likes the idea of having a certification to show on his college application, but also likes the idea of getting college credit with an AP test. Any advice you can give me on helping him choose?

  • dmccraw

    Wednesday, June 6, 2018

    Hi, Stacey! Thanks for your question. I can't speak to whether he should go for an IT certification or AP credit, but I can give you some information about certifications that might help you. To decide between CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ and CompTIA A+, download the exam objectives and sample questions to gauge the content that would be covered. IT Fundamentals+ is geared for people with very minimal IT experience, whereas CompTIA A+ dives a little deeper into how to resolve issues related to operating systems, devices, hardware and more. Also, while AP credit will help him get ahead in college, an IT certification is something he will carry throughout his career, as long as he continues to renew it. As a new grad looking for an IT job, it could help him get the attention of employers because it shows he not only knows about IT but has also proved he has the hands-on skills needed for the job. Good luck!

  • Neph

    Tuesday, November 20, 2018

    Hi, I'm currently doing the CompTIA A+ as a starting point and I have also done first year CS meaning I have some fundamental IT skills. I left the course due to financial problems, I am doing A+ so to kick start my career. So can I get a job with this certificate as a starter and what are possible job opportunities available? As far as possible I have done an online job search or opportunities with A+ here in South Africa. I haven't had any luck so far. Next question is it advisable to move straight to Server + after doing A+ without N+ & S+. Cause I feel it would be possible to pass it too having had looked at some of its objectives online, this is the direction I would like to take. Your advise an opinion will highly be appreciated!

  • Monday, November 26, 2018

    Hi, Neph! Thanks for your question. You can get into IT via certifications instead of a degree, but that is just part of the puzzle to getting a job. You also need hands-on experience, and you need to be able to explain to employers why you'd be great for the job. Many entry-level IT jobs, such as help desk technician, list CompTIA A+ as a requirement, so it's definitely a step in the right direction. And remember, your first job is just a stepping stone to your future career endeavors, so there is plenty of room for growth and advancement. As far as what certification to get next, we don't recommend skipping Network+ and Security+ to take Server+ because you may miss out on some fundamental IT skills. However, you can work toward whatever certification you feel best validates your skills and will position you best for the next step in your IT career. Good luck!

  • Moh-Kabir

    Sunday, January 13, 2019

    For the past 7 years I have been working in the finance sector, banking operations to be precise not IT. However, my love and passion for IT is still extremely strong, I have got a Bsc in Computer science and I am on the verge of switching departments to IT security, I have been preping for CompTIAsecurity on cybrary. Can I go ahead to take the certification exam, or do I have to take the CompTIAnetwork first?

  • Monday, January 14, 2019

    Hi, Moh-Kabir! Thanks for your question. There is no pre-requisite to take Network+ before Security+, but the certifications do build upon each other, so if you haven't been working in IT, you may miss some fundamental information by skipping ahead. Download the exam objectives for both exams to see where your skills like and what studying and hands-on experience you might need. Good luck!

  • Hank

    Monday, April 8, 2019

    Hello, I have a degree in Computerized Information Systems, recently I have earned CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications, but still I like software development and databases. I know one thing somehow excludes the other, but I like both of them. I like software engineering or development but I also happen to like infrastructure. How can I embrace these two without losing my sanity? Thank you!

  • James Stanger

    Tuesday, April 9, 2019

    Hank, you’re in a very good position to not only embrace development and infrastructure, but also keep your sanity at the same time! Much of the world has moved over to a “DevOps” culture. Companies that adopt a DevOps approach require developers to do more than just work with infrastructure workers (e.g., network engineers). Today’s companies expect both types of skills. You could argue that in today’s world, the ideal employee isn’t just a terrific networking professional or a super programmer. An ideal employee knows both worlds. And, you have database skills? I wish I had your skill set! One thing to consider adding to your skillset is some good project management knowledge. With development skills, end point and networking infrastructure knowledge (A+, Network+), database skills and project management knowledge, I think you’d have some fun at work. I’d also start playing with some emerging technologies (e.g,. Kubernetes, maybe blockchain), and work on some hands-on, practical skills. Thanks for your question, and I hope to see you later at our CompTIA Webinars, as well as our blogs. Best regards, James Stanger

  • Willy

    Wednesday, April 24, 2019

    Hello , I have a college IT diploma and I have been working as a Desktop Support for the past 4 years without any certification. I would like to know if I can go for a Server+ certification without taking A+ exam because I'm planing to work as Server Hardware Support Technician. Thank you

  • Wednesday, April 24, 2019

    Hi, Willy! Thanks for your question. You do not need to get A+ before taking Server+. CompTIA does not have strict prerequisites, but we do recommend a certain level of experience. For Server+, we recommend 18-24 months of IT experience, so it sounds like you could be a good candidate. Start by downloading the exam objectives to see what's covered so you can gauge what you already know and what you'll need to work on. Then, check out your training options. We offer both an official study guide and CertMaster Practice, the online exam prep tool, for Server+. Good luck!

Leave a Comment

Boost your Career with a Certification

Find out more about our Certifications

How to get Certified

4 Steps to Certification

Already certified? Let us and others know!

Share Your Story