CompTIA’s Additional Professional Certs

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Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Cyber Security For All podcast.  A podcast all about cybersecurity from Apetech.  I’m your host, Alex and today we are going to be taking a deeper look into CompTIA certifications.  CompTIA offers a lot of different certifications and if you are new to the cybersecurity space, a CompTIA certification is probably the best way to go.  If you listened to one of my last three episodes, then you know that I took a deeper dive into the “core”, “infrastructure”, and “Cybersecurity” certs that are offered by CompTIA. In this episode we are going to be looking at the Additional Professional certs. There are a lot of pros and cons and I want to talk about those in this episode.  I have personally never held any of the additional professional certs, and this is an interesting category. To me, they look like a more “management” style of certs and a lot less technical. But this based on just reading the title of each cert.. Let’s take a deeper look and find out what these certs are all about.

In the last episode, we explored the cybersecurity certifications that CompTIA offers. Those were probably the more advanced cybersecurity certs that CompTIA offers. If you didn’t get a chance to listen to that episode, or my any of my other episodes on CompTIA certs, I recommend you start there first and then come back to this episode. In today’s episode, we are going to explore a different type of certification series that CompTIA offers. This category is called Additional Professional and to be honest, I’m not really sure what the purpose of these cert are. But, if you are curious like me, we are going to find out in this episode. There are three main certifications in this category: Project+, CTT+, and Cloud Essentials+. I’m not really sure what to expect, but my initial thought is that these certs are for your more supporting IT role. The folks that have been in IT for a few years now but are probably stuck in their career. I’m not 100% sure yet, but we are definitely going to be exploring these certs further. Let’s go deeper.

Let’s start with the first cert which is the Project+ cert. This first cert is pretty interesting to me. All of the certs we’ve discussed so far have been based on technical concepts. That is, they have all revolved around fundamental IT concepts. This cert takes a different approach. As I suspected, this Project+ cert, while related to IT, is more about the management of IT projects. Project management is an essential part of IT, so it makes sense for CompTIA to offer this type of certification, but just not sure it fits with the overall brand that CompTIA is known for. After reading the description and details about this certification, I feel that this is CompTIA’s effort to jump into the IT side of PMP. CompTIA doesn’t really offer any specific details other than it is designed to help you manage small or medium sized projects. The target audience is definitely geared towards those individuals that are in IT, but manage project as opposed to actually performing the technical work. As an IT professional looking to increase my technical skills, I would not be able to recommend this certification. If you are in IT and looking to get into project management, then this certification is a great place to start. The reason why I would take this cert over the PMP is that the PMP has a very strict requirement and certification process. This cert looks like it’s design to have a lower barrier to entry but still teach the basic fundamentals needed to successfully deliver on an IT project. The exam is 95 questions, 90 minutes long and costs 338 USD. Like I mentioned earlier, I personally wouldn’t recommend this exam to IT pros, but if project management is your cup of tea, here’s a good option for you to explore.

The next certification is the CTT+ cert. CTT stands for Certified Technical Trainer. Similar to the last cert, you are not going to be learning a lot of technical skills. This certification is very specialized and really only targets one specific group of people: Your technical trainers. I would say that this cert is designed to serve a similar purpose like when teachers have to go earn a teaching credential to prove that they can teach something. I’m not sure how I feel about this specific certification. I consider myself a teacher of IT concepts, and I’m probably not doing by the book, but people learn from me and I’m able to express technical concepts in a manner that my students can understand easily. As I continue looking into this cert, I see that the intent is to help you be a better communicator. It also is designed to help you build some credibility as an instructor. My thoughts are on this certification are mixed. If you are a great instructor, sure this cert can help, but it really just serves as a checkbox. If you are not a good instructor, I don’t think this certification is going to change that. You might learn a couple tricks, but teaching technical topics is a craft. Like the last certification, I personally wouldn’t this certification for my audience. If teaching technical content is your thing, then for 360 USD, have at it. You do need to pass two exams to get this certification so the barrier to entry might be slightly higher.

The last certification is the Cloud Essentials+ Cert. Just like the other two certs, this one is for those that may or may not be in IT, but want to know more about the cloud. This really looks like just a simple cloud 101. It’s super basic and just from what I’m reading, I don’t think it talks about any of the technical aspects of the cloud. This looks like it’s a cert for those that have heard about the cloud, know a cloud exists, but still not very sure what the cloud actually is. Fortunately, I think even CompTIA thinks this offering is sub-par because the fee for this exam is only 126 USD. For what you are getting here, a 15 minute YouTube video would probably be much more effective and free. I personally would not recommend this certification at all. If someone is curious to learn about the cloud, I’d go on YouTube and learn for free. Even if you get this cert, I’m not sure what you would do with this paper? This is a tough sell for CompTIA in my opinion. Out of all the certs we’ve discussed so far in this podcast, this has to be the dumbest one I’ve looked at so far. Please don’t waste your money on this one.

There you have it, your overview of the CompTia’s Additional Professional certifications. This just about wraps it up with CompTIA, but there are many more different certifications you can earn beyond those offered by CompTIA. We are going to be exploring the EC-Council cybersecurity certifications, so make sure you are subscribed to this podcast so you do not miss out on those final details.  This is the forth episode and just a reminder, if you haven’t listened to my previous three episodes, you’ll want to listen to those as I covered the first three sets of certifications offered by CompTIA. Do you currently have any of these certifications?  I personally had the security+ certification but I let it expire because I didn’t have any need for it in my current line of work.  Are you planning on getting any of these certifications?  I’d love to hear from you and if there is anything I can do to help you prepare for the exams, please let me know.  If you look on Amazon, you will find books for each of the exams that will help you prepare.  If you are not sure if a certification is right for you, please feel free to reach out.  I’d be more than happy to discuss with you and determine what is best for you based on your specific needs.  

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