If your aim is to develop in cybersecurity and you are looking for your first job in the industry or you are already an IT professional that’s making a career change, anyway, completing entry-level security-related certification can give your CV that much-needed boost.
While there are many credentials out there that you can choose from, we'll be discussing Exam-Labs.com in this article as this is one of the most sought after badges in this field. Keep reading, and you’ll know not only the details of the certification process but also how it will help you in your career and why practice tests are so popular for preparation.
Offered by CompTIA, Security+ is an accreditation that keeps up with the latest trends in the cybersecurity landscape to validate that you possess the basic skills needed to perform core security functions in an industrial environment. However, Security+ has an added advantage of being vendor-independent. This means, unlike with certifications from Cisco, Sophos or IBM, you will not be limited to focusing on the skills required to operate that particular vendor's products but will gain an overall understanding of the ins and outs of cybersecurity on the whole. This comprehensive knowledge will make you eligible for a wide scope of jobs in the field.
One more point that sets Security+ apart from other same-level credentials is the fact that its SY0-501 exam doesn't just consist of multiple-choice questions. It includes performance-based tasks as well so you’ll be checked on the skills needed to perform such security functions in a real-world environment. Generally, CompTIA Premium will certify your ability to:
What to Know about Security+ Exam?
- Install and configure systems to ensure the security of applications, networks, and endpoints
- Carry out threat and vulnerability analysis and properly respond with the suitable mitigation techniques
- Engage in risk mitigation events and work in a manner that shows your up-to-date awareness of the relevant laws, policies, and regulations.
- Differentiate between basic concepts of cryptography and perform public key infrastructure (PKI).
There aren’t any formally specified prerequisites that you have to complete in order to attempt the assessment but having at least 2 years’ worth of experience in an IT position with a security focus is recommended. Security+ Practice Test 7 also suggests that you should be Network+ certified before you apply for Security+. But as mentioned before, there’s no strict rule saying you need to have these, it can just help you get certified quickly and with relative ease.
SY0-501 test itself will have a maximum of 90 questions to be answered within 90 minutes. Thus, for each item, you'll get a minute to read, understand, and answer correctly. And don’t forget that a passing score of at least 750 (on a scale of 100-900) is needed! To achieve this, you need to put all your effort into preparation.
Although here the official CompTIA resources are leading in providing the biggest value, hundreds of exam-takers proved that utilizing practice tests also helped them a lot. These materials provide candidates with questions from previous assessments supplemented with the right answers and give a chance to train in the near-real testing environment.
Will It Cost You a Fortune?
Well, if you're very confident that you can self-learn the course by going through free practice tests from third-party sites, you can attempt the test straight away by purchasing an exam voucher. It will cost you $349 (USD). But if you're new to cybersecurity and need to learn everything from scratch, you can opt for any of the bundles offered by CompTIA Network Plus Exam! that will cost you up to $899. It's a bit expensive, yes, but, for example, with this eLearning package, you will get access to the CertMaster Learn, a comprehensive solution provided to you by CompTIA that will prepare you well enough to ace the exam on your first try.
Do You Really Need This?
You may be wondering now, whether the money you need to spend to complete this certification, really will be worth it in the end. After all, most of us apply for these credentials with the ultimate goal of gaining a lucrative salary in mind. So here are a few facts that will convince you to enroll in this training:
The bottom line is…
- CompTIA has become a household name nowadays and has been in the industry for over 20 years with millions of customers to boast about. Having a badge from a company as reputed as this is sure to impress your potential employers.
- If you are living in America or planning to migrate to the US for employment, Security+ certification is a must-have if you’re to ever land a job in the government or military sectors. This is because it is a requirement specified by the Department of Defense (DoD) that you complete your Security+ to enter into certain fields within IT.
- According to PayScale.com, the average annual salary for a Security+ holder is $64k. And the jobs you can apply for include Junior IT Auditor, Penetration Tester, System Administrator, CompTIA Security Plus (SY0-501) , and Security Administrator.
Security+ will not be a good fit for you if you have been in the cybersecurity industry for a considerable time and are looking to advance your career towards a more demanding job, especially where you will be required to handle and operate devices of a certain vendor constantly. In such cases, going for a higher-level certification like CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) or a vendor-specific badge like those offered by Cisco, IBM, Fortinet, and others would be the best option.
Still, if you are only starting your career in this industry, Security+ is the best credential for you. Head on to the CompTIA Security+ page on the official website to sign up for your training straight away, get books, practice tests, and other materials for preparation, pass the test, and enjoy the benefits of getting certified! We wish you the best of luck!