CompTIA Security+

Most people who are in the IT field have heard of CompTIA. A technical certificate provider organisation that people of all levels can look into getting.

A plethora of certificates are provided by CompTIA. One of the most entry-level certificates is the A+ certificate that gives an overview of the IT fundamentals.

As someone who once started in IT, I would recommend if you’re starting in IT to definitely look into getting a certificate to prove future employers (and yourself) that you do indeed understand the content that you’ve learnt.

Advice: Although I personally recommend getting a certificate; blindly getting certificates because “more is better” is not the correct approach. Find a certificate that aligns with what you’re interested in and pursue it. Don’t forget to always try and apply your knowledge to real-world scenarios and not mindlessly remember.

If you are curious, I went for the CompTIA Security+ as cybersecurity is an interesting field to me.

What is it?

CompTIA Security+ is a global certification that validates the baseline skills necessary to perform core security functions and pursue an IT security career.”

Official CompTIA Site, CompTIA

The CompTIA Security+ (SY0-601) is a cybersecurity certification that provides a general grasp on a wide variety of common cybersecurity concepts.

At University, we had a Cybersecurity module that was only available to MSc (people who undertake a Master’s degree) students. However, as I was only a BSc (Bachelors) student I had to make an explicit request to be able to study this module. Fortunately, since I had a good track record in my academics I was able to take this module.

Despite gaining an initial understanding in some basic cybersecurity concepts from my module; I still felt inadequate which deepened when I graduated and joined a cybersecurity company. Therefore, I looked online to find any resources in which I could gain a feeling of adequacy which is when I came across the Security+ certification.

Exam Objectives

The Security+ certification includes an exam which covers the following topics:

1. Threats, Attacks, and Vulnerabilities

2. Architecture and Design

3. Implementation

4. Operations and Incident Response

5. Governance, Risk, and Compliance


Fortunately, my company offered a Pluralsight subscription which provided a CompTIA Security+ study guide that I primarily used to study. However, I was recommended (and I too recommend!) to not just solely rely on one resource and consider alternative resources too. For me, I highly recommend watching Professor Messer’s videos as he provides snack-bite sized videos on the entire Security+ syllabus.

I also used Jason Dion’s practice exams to test myself and find any areas that I was lacking in.

Conclusion + Thoughts

  • Difficulty: 4/10
  • Price: 6/10
  • Recommend: 9/10

The examination costed me £233 (without tax) and I passed first time with about 2-3 months of revision.

The revision process for this examination was quite stressful as it required a lot of time management; but it would become easier during the weekends as I could allocate a long slot that I spent studying for the exam.

I would highly recommend taking this examination if you are interested in cybersecurity. If you do feel unready for this then some people have recommended starting with the CompTIA A+ examination.