How to Choose the Best IT Certification Training Product for You

by Jessalynne Madden | May 25, 2018

How do you learn best? An image showing a laptop, books, mobile devices and more.Most IT pros are well aware that they need to consistently gain new skills to stay relevant in their industry, according to a LinkedIn survey. When asked what skills they thought they’d need to develop to stay cutting-edge over the next three years, 73 percent said security, 65 percent said virtualization, 61 percent said cloud/hosted services and 52 percent said networks and infrastructure.

While some gain such skills from personal study, most attain them through the process of pursuing IT certifications. Not only do certifications give these people the skills they need to stay relevant in their field, but they also give them the credentials they need to increase their hireability.

Deciding to pursue an IT certification may be easy, and when it comes to taking the exam, knowing the material is half the battle. But knowing what to study and how to do so efficiently can be challenging. Understanding your learning style, as well as the various training resources that are available to you, will go a long way in making the exam-prep process less stressful.

What’s Your Learning Style (and Why Does It Matter)?

The idea that people learn in different ways is not a new concept. Still, plenty of people have no idea how they learn best. When it comes to understanding what type of learner you are, knowledge is power. Knowing how your brain prefers to process new information will help you choose the most effective training tools for you. Not sure what your learning style is? Take our quiz.

Two Modes of Training for IT Professionals

Knowing what modes of training are available to you is just as critical to adequately preparing for an IT certification exam as understanding your learning style.

While there are four types of learners, there are just two broad types of training: self-study and instructor led. Self-study is paced and managed by the learner and is generally best for those who are self-directed and self-motivated. Conversely, instructor-led training happens in a physical classroom and is managed and paced by the expert teaching the course. This type of training is best for those who need more accountability, or who simply prefer to learn in a traditional environment.

Training Products to Help You Reach Your Goals

CompTIA now offers three types of self-study materials to help you prepare and gain confidence for your CompTIA certification exam. IT pros who prefer self-study to instructor-led training have the following options:

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  • Physical Books: Some people learn best through the tactile experience of turning pages, writing notes and highlighting important details that they can flip back to later. Official CompTIA study guides are available as both traditional, printed books and eBooks.
  • eBooks: An eBook can be downloaded to a variety of mobile devices. They save physical space, are weightless and can be easily revised and updated. CompTIA eBooks are digital study guides specifically created to prepare learners for their certification exams.
  • eLearning Tools: eLearning tools, like the CompTIA CertMaster family of products, offer a more personalized, more convenient option for those who want the guidance of curriculum without the schedule of a classroom. They are designed to deliver, track and securely store all of a learner’s training resources on the cloud.

Training Tools That All Work Together

The great thing about the tools mentioned above is that they can work in tandem with one another. For example, someone may prefer to attend classes, but supplement that with a self-study tool. You don’t have to choose just one way to get the knowledge you need to build your IT skill set.  

By choosing the learning mode and materials that work best for you, you’ll deepen your ability to retain information and increase your chances of acing your next IT certification exam.

CompTIA Official Training Content Streamlines Learning

With CompTIA official training products, IT pros no longer have to patch together a training program from different sources, which can be a real pain. Using the same source for exam preparation and certification ensures that your training is cohesive and enables you to focus on learning so you can set yourself up for exam success. 

The recently updated CompTIA Store makes it easy for you to find training products and bundles based on the certification you're working toward. Once you click through to your certification, you can search based on media type, publisher, price and more. Find CompTIA official training products by selecting "CompTIA/gtslearning" as the publisher.

Check out the training products available to you in the CompTIA Store.


  • dale

    Friday, June 22, 2018

    I am interested in knowing if the adaptive learning/teaching technology is used in the A+ course work to prepare one for the exam? Do you make use of the Pearson My Lab for the training because I just visited their site and they use the technology?

  • Friday, June 22, 2018

    Hi, Dale! Thanks for your question. Yes, CompTIA CertMaster Practice for A+ uses adaptive questioning to assess what you know and provides personalized remediation to fill knowledge gaps. We have developed our own technology and do not use Pearson MyLab.

  • SJPadilla

    Tuesday, July 10, 2018

    Will we be getting a CertMaster for CASP any time soon?

  • Tuesday, July 10, 2018

    Hello! Thanks for your question. We are working to develop CertMaster for CASP, but we do not have a release date yet. Stay tuned!

  • Jerome

    Tuesday, July 10, 2018

    Is CompTIA going to release an ebook for CASP exam prep?

  • jackie john

    Wednesday, July 11, 2018

    I am an employment and training counselor, i have an individual who is interested in becoming an IT specialist.. She would like to start with help desk employment. Can you help me to decide where we need to start??

  • Wednesday, July 11, 2018

    Hi, Jackie! That's great! We have a number of resources for people who are looking to get into IT. If she is a career changer, articles on our career change site about how to get into IT might be helpful: If she is ready to start training for a certification, CompTIA IT Fundamentals or CompTIA A+ are probably her best choice to get a foot in the door. She can download the exam objectives and practice questions to see which certification is right for her. And this article talks about what the help desk role entails and how to get there: Good luck!

  • Wednesday, July 11, 2018

    Hi, Jerome! There will be a CASP ebook, but we don't have a publication date yet. Stay tuned!

  • Drew

    Sunday, July 22, 2018

    I’m really interested in learning more about Windows 10. Will the next version of the A+ have Win 10 material? When might there be an updated A+ course to include more Win 10 material?

  • Shawn

    Sunday, July 22, 2018

    Hello, I was wondering if there are any plans in the works or in the future for some sort of certification that pertains to to the advantages and disadvantages, utilizing, and incorporating blockchain into mainstream enterprises products and services and even smaller business if need be. Or a general certification that encompasses blockchain, P2P, and cryptocurrency.

  • Monday, July 23, 2018

    Hi, Shawn! Thanks for your question. We don't have any plans to develop a blockchain certification at this time, but that doesn't mean it's not on our radar. That said, the latest version of CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) does cover blockchain.

  • Monday, July 23, 2018

    Hi, Drew! Thanks for your question. We are currently updating CompTIA A+ and will be releasing the next version in early 2019. Rest assured that it will include up-to-date coverage of operating systems, hardware and more. Follow the CompTIA A+ and this blog for more details:

  • Suchitra

    Tuesday, July 24, 2018

    Hello i am from non technical background , willing to go in IT field which course is easy to go into IT field , and get good job in it?

  • Tuesday, July 24, 2018

    Hi, Suchitra! Thanks for your question. With determination and hard work, anyone can get into IT. Check out our guide on how to get into IT. Good luck!

  • Quentin

    Wednesday, August 1, 2018

    I recently completed my graduate program in Healthcare Informatics and I have narrowed my career focus to security and privacy. I have vast experience in the healthcare field, but not so much in IT and security, and many comapnies are looking for certifications. I came across the Stackable certifications for a cybersecurity career pathway and wanted to inquire if this would be a great place for me to begin as a specialist to gain more years of experience. Thank you for your time.

  • Thursday, August 2, 2018

    Hi, Quentin! Congratulations on your graduation! The CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Pathway sounds like it could be a great option for you. Getting entry-level certifications like CompTIA A+ will give you a baseline of IT knowledge to launch your career, and then you can follow the pathway into more specialized certifications as you gain experience. Good luck!

  • Ndeye Aicha diop

    Tuesday, August 14, 2018

    I’m interested of learning Cybersecurity program. I do t have no background in IT. I love to learn and I would like to have some training and have a career.

  • Tuesday, August 14, 2018

    Hi, Ndeye! Thanks for your comment. Cybersecurity is a great career to pursue, and CompTIA can help you get there. If you don't have IT experience, you may want to start by learning the basics from CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+. A combination of studying, hands-on experience and certifications can help you make your way into a cybersecurity career. Check out our article on how to get into IT:

  • Lance Rawlings

    Monday, October 1, 2018

    Yes , I'm wanting to get my A+ certification and I was wondering were I can get the training to prepare me for the test..

  • Monday, October 1, 2018

    Hi, Lance! Congratulations on choosing to get CompTIA A+! You have many options for training, and CompTIA has a wide variety of products to help you prepare for your exam. Check out our Official Study Guide, CertMaster Learn, CertMaster Labs, CertMaster Practice and ITProTV offerings for CompTIA A+ in the CompTIA store: You can search under Training and then By Certification to see everything that's available. Good luck!

  • Brandon

    Monday, November 5, 2018

    Hey, I am wanting to acquire the A+ certification after achieving the IT Fundamentals certification. I am wondering if I should get the CertMaster bundle, or if I should just take the Penn Foster course. In fact, should I take a course to acquire prior knowledge, or is the IT Fundamentals knowledge enough to just jump straight into the CerMaster bundle? Will the A+ Practice CertMaster teach me with videos and a course-like structure? Or will it only reinforce what I already know in a pre-test fashion?

  • Monday, November 5, 2018

    Hi, Brandon! Thanks for your question. CertMaster Practice is designed to get you ready for your exam, but you'll want to learn the content first. You could do this through a course or through self-study. For CompTIA A+, you have a lot of options, including the Official CompTIA Study Guide and CertMaster Learn for CompTIA A+. You should also know that we are releasing a new version of CompTIA A+ in 2019, but you can begin studying now based on the current exam objectives and then fill in the gaps when the new exam objectives are released. If self-study is the right option for you, take a look in the CompTIA Store to see what's available. Good luck!

  • Brandon

    Tuesday, November 13, 2018

    Hey, I am wanting to acquire the A+ certification after achieving the IT Fundamentals certification. I am wondering if I should get the CertMaster bundle, or if I should just take the Penn Foster course. In fact, should I take a course to acquire prior knowledge, or is the IT Fundamentals knowledge enough to just jump straight into the CerMaster bundle? Will the A+ Practice CertMaster teach me with videos and a course-like structure? Or will it only reinforce what I already know in a pre-test fashion?

  • Tuesday, November 13, 2018

    Hi, Brandon! Thanks for your question. I am not familiar with the Penn Foster course, but I can give you some insight on the CompTIA A+ bundles. The bundles include The Official Study Guide for CompTIA A+ and CertMaster Practice. Whatever route you choose, your best bet is to first download the A+ exam objectives to understand what will be covered. If you go the route of the bundle, you'll want to start with the study guide to become familiar with the content and then use CertMaster Practice to test your knowledge and simulate the exam experience. You should have a solid foundation of knowledge before jumping into exam prep, whether that comes from a class, a book or other study materials. If you plan to take the new version of CompTIA A+, to be released in 2019, will also have CertMaster Learn, which would also serve the purpose of studying before exam prep. Good luck!

  • Carmen Cruz

    Monday, February 18, 2019

    Hi, This one is to acquire more information about the Comp TIA A+ training programs as I have taken one and still need more to learn to feel I am prepared to finally take my exam. I am from Rhode Island but would like it to be online.

  • Monday, February 18, 2019

    Hi, Carmen! Thanks for your question. If you're interested in online training, check out CompTIA CertMaster for A+. CertMaster Learn is comprehensive, self-paced eLearning that uses videos, assessment and performance-based questions to prepare you for your CompTIA certification exam. And CertMaster Practice is an adaptive knowledge assessment that determines what you’ve already mastered and what you still need to learn to improve confidence and increase retention before your CompTIA certification exam. Finally, CertMaster Labs will give you the opportunity to practice the hands-on skills you need for performance-based questions and on the job. Good luck!

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