CompTIA Security+: Everything You Need to Know

by Du'An Lightfoot | May 22, 2019

Thinking about getting CompTIA Security+? Du’An Lightfoot of #LabEveryday shares everything you need to know about CompTIA Security+, including what jobs you could get with CompTIA Security+ and how to train for this IT certification. Watch the video or read the transcript below. 

 

Are You Thinking About Getting CompTIA Security+ Certified?

What's good, YouTube? It's your boy, Du'an. Are you thinking about getting Security+ certified? Well, in this video, I'm going to tell you everything you need to know about the CompTIA Security+ exam.

Before we begin, I need to let you know that this video has been sponsored by CompTIA. If you don't know anything about CompTIA, CompTIA is the leading provider of vendor-neutral certifications in the world with more than 2 million IT certifications issued worldwide. CompTIA is dedicated to helping IT professionals lead the charge in our digitally connected world.

For more than 20 years, CompTIA has developed IT training and certification exams. Their regular review and update on exams ensure that CompTIA certifications address the needs of today's technology challenges.

You can find more information on CompTIA certifications at CompTIA.org. Feel free to check it out. I have a link to everything I talk about in this video in the description.

Why Should I Get an IT Certification?

Now, as many of you may not know, IT certifications are designed to help you get your foot in the door and also help you move up by showing employers you have the skills that they may be looking for.

Specifically, CompTIA cybersecurity certification exams include simulations and performance-based questions that prove not only you know what the job entails, but you are also able to do it.

If you are looking into getting into information security, one of the foundational certs that are out there is the CompTIA Security+. The DoD, for example, they have guidelines for IT professionals to meet certain requirements.

One of those directives is the 8140. Basically, this directive states that you have to have minimal certification requirements and training to be able to operate on DoD systems. One of those certifications that most DoD professionals go with is the Security+. Right there, that certification will get you in the door in information security.

What Jobs Can I Get with CompTIA Security+?

A lot of people don't talk about the type of job titles you can have with the CompTIA Security+.

Some of those job titles include:

  • Information Security Risk Analyst
  • IT Security Analyst
  • Service Desk Operator Level I and Level II
  • Information Security Specialist (Entry Level)
  • Cybersecurity Specialist Level I

There's a million different job titles. You really have to be creative and do your search.

Now, I know for a fact that you can find positions that will start you out from $25 to $30 an hour with just the Security+. With that being said, you will have to qualify for security clearance. Don't let that fear you. If you really want to get into information security, go ahead, find a job where you get a clearance and then you are in a great position to have an amazing career in information security.

Now what type of training is available for the Security+? Well, 65% of people out there are visual learners, so for you that are visual, we'll talk about you because that's going to be the majority of the people.

But 30% of you all are going to be auditory learners meaning you learn by hearing so you're going to be the people that are going to need like some video training or something like that.

And then there's 5% of you that learn kinetically, meaning that you learn by doing. Those are the people that are normally in class or in a presentation that are sitting fidgeting, can't sit still, clicking their pen and all that stuff. They need breaks every five minutes. They just have to be doing something. That's how they learn. They are very in tune with their hands.

[Editor's note: The paragraph where Du’An talks about CompTIA Security+ SY0-401 has been removed because that exam has retired. Please check out the latest version of CompTIA Security+.]

Now the exam itself is $330. It’s well worth it. It’s a one-time investment. If you pass the exam, then you will have this cert for three years. Then, every three years, the way CompTIA works, you have CEUs or continued education units. So all you have to do is continue actively learning something in security, get another security cert from another vendor or continue on with CompTIA's structure of cybersecurity certs – as long as you can continue learning, all you have to do is submit those credits and then they renew your cert. So, you don't have to take the exam again. It’s pretty cool.

How Can I Train for CompTIA Security+?

Now that we've talked about that, the first thing you need to do in order to prepare for this exam is hop over to CompTIA's website and check out the exam topics. I have the link down here in the description. Check it out.

Once you're on CompTIA.org, it'll have a box to where you can register for the practice exam and then also the exam topics. I recommend you do that.

  • The practice questions will give me an idea of what the question structure is like for the exam, that'll kind of give you some preparation to know what the exam experience is actually going to be like.
  • The exam topics is what you will follow to know that you are prepared for the exam.

Check that out. Register. And then, once you register, now you'll also be able to stay up to date with CompTIA's newsletter. So you'll know what changes are going on in the industry and what type of opportunities may be available for you in that field. It’s a great newsletter, very informational.

Now, when we talk about training and the resources that you'll use, for those of you that are visual, you may prefer books. Darril Gibson has a book, I’ll have the link down here on Amazon – it’s an affiliate link. Check that book out. It’s the highest-rated book on Amazon. I've heard a lot of great reviews about the book. It’s for the SY0-501.

And then also there's an Exam Cram that has a ton of exam questions that will help prep you for the exam. I have both of those links in the descriptions.

Outside of just buying books from Amazon or wherever you want to purchase them, you do have the option of Safari Books. Safari Books is an excellent website for looking at books online. Now you won't get the physical copy unless you pay for it, but pretty much any vendor book out there on certification or a topic that you are interested in learning is probably on Safari Books. Now it’s kind of pricey but well worth it if you can afford it. And maybe your job may be able to purchase it for you.

And here’s another tip: local libraries often provide a membership to Safari Books if you are a member of that library. So check your local library – you may be able to get a Safari Book subscription for free. One more tidbit, Safari Books also have videos. If you are preparing for, let’s say, the Security+ or the A+ or some other CompTIA certification, check out Safari Books because it may have some video training that will help you along your journey. [Editor’s note: You can also check out the Official CompTIA Study Guide or CompTIA’s official video training partner, ITProTV.]

Now for those of you that are auditory learners, let’s talk about Professor Messer. Professor Messer is, like, the go-to when it comes to A+ training, Security+ training, everything CompTIA. He's that person that pretty much has that on lock. A lot of his videos are free, all here on YouTube. I'm going to have a link to those somewhere, either up here or in the description, to where you can check out his whole series on SY0-501 or the SY0-401, whichever one you choose, the links will be in the description, check him out.

I've heard nothing but great things about Professor Messer. I've checked out a couple of his videos myself, and I really do enjoy his content. Very informational. He's a veteran in the game. Shout out to you, Professor Messer.

Now he also has a website and has these study groups, so if you all are preparing for your Security+ and you need a little support, which I recommend, find somebody that's going to get on this journey with you.

Now along with that, there are other YouTube videos that are out there, but you want to find something that goes directly with the exam topics. CBT Nuggets is another platform, check them out. Great platform. It’s very helpful. I’ll have a link to them in the description also, and another one, Safari Books. Those are some great resources for video training for you auditory learners and for you kinetic learners, too, because a lot of times when you’re watching these videos, they’ll have some walk-throughs in order for you to be readily alert.

What IT Certifications Do I Need for Cybersecurity?

Whether you are just starting out your cybersecurity career, moving into a specialty or solidifying your spot as a cybersecurity team lead, CompTIA has a certification for you.

  • CompTIA Security+ gives you the foundational knowledge you'll need in any cybersecurity role and in many roles across IT.
  • CompTIA CySA+ and the CompTIA PenTest+ dive further into cybersecurity specialty validating the complimentary skills of offensive and defensive cybersecurity teams.
  • If you've been in cybersecurity for awhile and want to remain in a hands-on enterprise security, incident response and architecture role rather than moving into management, the CASP+ is for you.

So that pretty much wraps up the CompTIA Security+. I gave you all the tools and resources that you need to go out and be successful to pass. I thank you all for viewing this video.

I want to send a shout out to CompTIA for once again sponsoring this video. Hopefully we can do more videos.

If you enjoy this video, hit the like button, share it out to someone if you believe that it may help them. Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on CompTIA Security+ in the comment section below. I thank you all for viewing this video. As always #LabEveryday, and I’ll catch you on the next one. Peace.

5 Comments

  • Raja

    Saturday, June 1, 2019

    Thanks for info , would like to know if comptia security+ will be any help to build career in cloud security . Thanks

  • JW Rhyne Jr

    Saturday, June 1, 2019

    Thanks for this information. I was A+ certified through Comptia 10 + years ago. At 69 years old and disabled veteran, will consider Security + training to stay functional in computers given today"s environment.

  • Tasneem Davis

    Monday, June 3, 2019

    Very helpful :) ! Thank you

  • Monday, June 3, 2019

    Hi, Raja! Thanks for your question. Yes, CompTIA Security+ is a great start for a career in cloud security and will help you build the knowledge you need to secure the cloud. When paired with CompTIA Cloud+, you'll earn the stackable certification CompTIA Secure Cloud Professional. Learn more here: https://certification.comptia.org/it-career-news/post/view/2018/06/11/comptia-stackable-certifications-what-s-your-perfect-stack

  • Mozze Kimathi

    Friday, June 7, 2019

    I love #infosec. Thanks for the details.

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