Information Technologies (IT) is one of the few fields in the world that has not only seen progressive leaps and bounds in the last few decades, but it has also continued to expand and grow at a rapid rate. Once a professional gets a job in this particular field, it’s no longer good enough to simply stay where they are and accrue experience. If they expect to remain in their position it’s almost a must that they continue learning, and one of the ways they can do this is through the variety of certifications available.
CompTIA is one certifier that has a large number of certifications available for varying levels of IT professionals. Because the IT field is rather broad, the certifications also cover a number of different types of positions. There are a total of four certification series that CompTIA offers: Basic, Specialty, Professional, and Master. In that order, they rank in terms of least experience to most experience needed for each certification.
This certification series, as the name suggests, is mainly to build the foundation for IT professionals. With only one certification offered, this series is geared toward general IT personnel that work with or will be involved with computers.
Getting a little more advanced and specific, this series goes into the business and technical knowledge needed for specific vertical or niche markets. CompTIA reports that the certifications in the series can be taken alone or in combination with other, more general certifications.
With 12 total certifications available, this series is undoubtedly the most commonly utilized series. The certifications are mainly geared toward specific IT career paths, and so certification seekers have to determine which one will best meet their needs.
The name of this series says it all, and certification seekers need to have a certain level of experience in their respective career path. Candidates have to display an ability to integrate multiple enterprise disciplines through the application of veteran skills.
More of Each Certification
The Specialty and Professional series have the most certifications, while Basic and Mastery only offer one certification.
Strata IT Fundamentals
As the only certification offered in the Basic series, this starts with the basics and makes sure certification holders have a working knowledge of PC components, functionality, compatibility, and related technology topics. To achieve the certification, hopefuls must first display a knowledge of hardware basics, compatibility issues and common errors, software installation and functions, and security risks and prevention.
Social Media Security Professional (SMSP)
As the name indicates, this certification is for IT personnel with a knowledge of technical composition of social networking platforms. The certification provides the holders with the skills necessary to disrupt and prevent risks, or safeguard an organizations’ critical information from social media hackers.
Healthcare IT Technician
Some certifications are accepted worldwide, but this particular one is specific to U.S. clinical systems. Passing the exam provides the student with a knowledge of U.S. regulatory requirements, organizational behavior, IT operations, medical business operations, and security. Holders of the exam can implement, deploy and support the U.S. healthcare IT systems.
This certification grants IT professionals with cloud computing means from a business and technical perspective. Further, they will know what is involved with moving to and governing the cloud. After taking the exam they will know the characteristics of cloud services from a business perspective, the technical perspective or cloud types, and the risks and consequences, among other things.
This certification isn’t for a specific vendor and it confirms the knowledge and skillset demanded of IT storage professionals. Certification holders will know how to configure basic networks to include archive, backup, and restoration technologies. Furthermore, they will understand the fundamentals of business continuity, application workload, system integration, and storage or system administration.
Sales Solution Specialists, Software Developers, and System Engineers (all in the servers category) are all jobs that would benefit from this certification, and the certification covers server hardware and software technology. Certification holders will know how to handle system hardware, software, storage, and the best practices in an IT environment, disaster recovery and troubleshooting.
This certification is for security professions, which is one of the most steadily increasing fields in the IT industry. Example titles of certification seekers are Security Engineer, Security Consultant, Network Administrator, and IA Technician or Manager; moreover, holders of this certification will understand the foundational principles for securing a network and managing risk.
Mainly for Project Managers, Business Analysts, and Project Team Members, this certification supports the creation of a project management culture. The course covers the project life cycle from initiation and planning all the way through execution, acceptance, support and closure.
Holders of this certification will know all about network technologies, installation and configuration, media and topologies, management, and security. Many large companies (e.g. Dell, HP, Xerox) require a Network+ certification for their networking technicians. In addition to large companies, the U.S. department of defense recognizes it, so it is a valuable certification to hold.
This certification grants holders with an ability to understand and work with research capabilities in various mobile device and aspects of over-the-air technologies. Jobs related to this certification are Mobility Engineer, Network Administrator, Mobility Architect, and Security Administrator. Individuals holding this certification will know about mobile device management, troubleshooting, security, and network infrastructure.
Mobile App Security+
Similar to what the name suggests, this certification makes sure developers have an understanding of how to design and build secure applications. The use of mobile apps is constantly growing, and this certification ensures the holder has the knowledge and skills necessary to create native iOS or Android mobile applications.
According to CompTIA, this certification is a “high-stakes, vendor-neutral certification that validates the fundamental knowledge and skills required of junior Linux administrators.” Two exams are required for this certification, and common job roles are Junior Linux Administrator, Junior Network Administrator, Systems Administrator, Linux Database Administrator, and Web Administrator.
This certification is for instructors, and is valid internationally. It goes over core instructor skills like preparation, presentation, communication, facilitation, and evaluation for both in-person classrooms and online learning environments. A number of large companies also recognize this certification, recommending that any trainers they hire have it in order to be considered for employment.
Similar to the Cloud Essentials certification, the Cloud+ certification also goes over what’s needed to securely implement and maintain cloud technologies. Two to three years of experience are recommended for this certification, and once an IT professional has this certification they confirm they know of the best practices needed for working in cloud computing environments.
Certification holders have the knowledge necessary for careers in the digital imaging and enterprise content management field. Sample jobs include ECM Consultant or Administrator, Solution Sales Specialist, and Electronic Records Manager. Moreover, certification holders know how to plan, design and specify a digital imaging and content management system.
This certification is known as a starting point for individuals in the IT field. General things such as maintenance for PCs, mobile devices, laptops, operating systems and printers are covered in the coursework. One of the more popular certifications, sample jobs include Technical Support Specialists, Field Service Technicians, and IT Support Technicians.
Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP)
Denoted by the name, this certification is the only one offered in the Mastery series. It pinpoints individual with an advanced level of knowledge and skills related to Security. Because Security is such a booming segment of the IT universe, this certification is well-respected, and jobs such as IT Specialist, Risk Manager/Analyst, Security Architect (ISSO), and Penetration Tester/Ethical Hacker are included amongst its ranks.