Break into Cybersecurity with the CompTIA Career Path
By Jeff Peters, Infosec Institute and Corporate College Instructor
The shortage of cybersecurity professionals has grown to more than four million globally, with 498,000 more workers needed in North America to fill the gap, according to the 2019 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study.
All types of organizations need fresh talent to help secure them from cyber threats, but where, and how, can you start learning cybersecurity? Organizations like the nonprofit certification provider CompTIA have established a path that has helped hundreds of thousands of individuals master the basics of IT and security. By using it, you can launch your career in this growing field.
CompTIA offers a variety of certifications focused on specific roles, but they’re best-known for their three popular entry-level certifications:
- CompTIA A+: This introductory certification builds a foundation of IT skills required for entry-level technical support roles.
- CompTIA Network+: Once you’ve mastered the basics, expand your technical skills — and career opportunities — by learning how to configure, troubleshoot and oversee networks.
- CompTIA Security+: With a solid foundation of how information technology works, you're now ready to expand your knowledge and skills regarding how to secure that technology.
With more than half a million certification holders, CompTIA’s Security+ is the most popular cybersecurity certification in the world — and for a good reason.
It’s a vendor-neutral certification, meaning what you learn is applicable in a variety of job roles, not just one specific technology. It also covers a broad range of cybersecurity, including common cyber threats and vulnerabilities, popular security technologies and tools, best practices for secure networks and systems, common technical controls like cryptography, and the business impact of cyber risks.
By earning a CompTIA certification, you’ll develop skills used in a variety of job roles. From there, you can pursue a number of different career paths, from working in security operations centers to performing penetration tests, to different risk and compliance roles — and dozens more.