Should I get A+ or Network+?

The three primary entry-level CompTIA certifications are A+, Network+, and Security+. Because so many people begin their careers focusing on one or more of these certifications, the question of which certification to take first and which of these you need for your career frequently arises.

People who are new to IT should get the A+ certification. If you wish to work in IT, we believe that you should have a basic grasp of computer hardware, software, and how everything works together.

If you’re configuring a network and a few PCs won’t connect, your A+ troubleshooting skills will come in helpful. Some students opt to take Network+ before taking the A+ certification tests. The CompTIA Network+ training course material is less comprehensive and concentrates on networking expertise, whereas A+ covers many topics.

Which Certification Should You Take First?

The A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications can be taken in any order. The benefit of taking these three courses is that they are all given by CompTIA, which is not tied to a specific vendor. 

Passing the test and receiving the certification is dependent on your understanding of these technologies. Because these are all fundamental certifications of equivalent difficulty, neither creates a knowledge basis for the other. The only prerequisite for these courses is a basic grasp of computer usage.

The only question you need to answer is which CompTIA certification is best for you. There is no definitive answer to which course you should take first. It all comes down to what works best for you. Once you understand what each of these courses entails, you can make an informed selection.

CompTIA A+ Certification

For people with no prior experience in the IT sector, the CompTIA A+ certification is an excellent starting point. 

It provides a fundamental grasp of IT, software, and hardware and a solid understanding of how to further one’s career as an IT professional. An A+ certification will provide you with the knowledge and abilities required to set up a computer network and troubleshoot any networking problems.

The A+ certification is made up of two examinations that must be passed to earn the certification. The first is the 220-301, which covers hardware and networking fundamentals. 

The second test, 220-902, focuses on cloud computing, security, and the installation and setup of various operating systems. This is a well-known certification for those who wish to begin their careers in IT.

CompTIA Network+ Certification

Many students find that getting the CompTIA Network+ certification before attending the A+ course is beneficial. This is because Network+ is less intense than A+ and focuses solely on networking fundamentals.

In comparison, A+ has a broader scope, making it more difficult for many students to acquire various knowledge areas simultaneously.

Passing a single test is all that is required to obtain a Network+ certification. This course covers network configuration as well as network administration and problem-solving.

It provides you with knowledge of both conventional and wireless networking. Advanced topics such as virtual networks and unified communication systems are also covered.

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CompTIA Security+ Certification

The CompTIA Security+ certification can also be obtained without any prior qualifications. However, having a basic prior grasp of networking fundamentals such as ports and networking tools will assist you in learning the ropes of networking and completing the course with ease.

This is because the Security+ certification assumes you already know this information. Furthermore, your existing expertise allows you to easily follow the Security+ course content without the need for extra help or mentorship. 

If you do not have this prior knowledge, or if you choose to take Security+ before A+ or Network+, you will need to commit to self-learning outside of this course to catch up to other students pursuing the same course.

Security+ covers security concerns and ideas such as risk and threat identification, risk management, intrusion detection, vulnerability assaults, access control configuration, and cryptography.

Who Should Take the CompTIA A+ Exam?

This is the first certification in the CompTIA certification route. It is designed to serve and benefit those just starting in their IT careers and want to learn relevant skills that will make them useful in current IT organizations.

CompTIA A+ is highly beneficial for entry-level workers seeking careers such as computer technician or data center operator.

This certification is quickly becoming essential for such individuals because IT departments are increasingly expecting it as a fantastic representation of an individual’s skill set and validation.

Who Should Take CompTIA Network+ Exam?

The CompTIA Network+ certification is more sophisticated than the CompTIA A+ certification since it is regarded as a stepping stone course for those who wish to continue on CompTIA’s network certification route.

If you want to be a network administrator or operate in a similar role in a networking environment, this certification is highly recommended for you.

Individuals who pass this certification have a significant advantage in obtaining a better salary than those who do not.

Which is better for you, CompTIA A+ or Network+?

The solution to this question may be found in two locations. The first is your present level of IT expertise, and the second is the path you intend to pursue in terms of CompTIA certifications.

CompTIA’s certifications follow two distinct routes beyond these entry-level qualifications: the network path and the cybersecurity path for those who are unaware.

So, if you want to pursue a career in cybersecurity, you may forgo the Network+ certification and instead opt for the A+ and Security+ certificates and then proceed from there.

However, if you wish to pursue a career in networking, you must first obtain Network+ certification.

As previously said, A+ certification is designed for people with little to no expertise in the IT industry. This course acts as a primer for them to the technologies and systems they would meet in their job responsibilities. Network+, on the other hand, is best suited to those in mid-level jobs.

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It would help if you also remembered that the A+ certification is not a prerequisite for Network+ or Security+; thus, skipping it will not influence your prospects of enrolling in CompTIA’s more advanced level certifications.

What You’ll Learn in CompTIA Network+ and How the Exam Works:

Once you have completed the Network+ certification, you will be able to learn how to build and execute functional networks, how to manage a slew of network devices, how to make networks more resilient, network segmentation, traffic optimization, work with and implement relevant standards and protocols, run troubleshooting, and provide support.

The Network+ test, also known as the N10-007, will consist of 90 multiple-choice questions that you must complete in around 90 minutes. 

The passing score is 720, and the total cost of the exam is $319. While the course materials are doable, some individuals want more support to ace it. For that, Quickstart provides CompTIA certification online training, which allows you to get through the Network+ course topics and study thoroughly for the test.

What You’ll Learn in CompTIA A+ and How the Exam Works:

Once they have completed the CompTIA A+ certification, entry-level professionals can brush up on their skills in initial security protocols in IT systems, running and managing different OS on multiple devices, running basic level data backup and recovery services, troubleshooting, and support and maintenance of IT infrastructure and related devices.

The test methodology for the A+ certification, on the other hand, is a little different, consisting of two separate examinations, Core 1 and Core 2. To obtain the certification, a candidate must pass both of them. Each test lasts 90 minutes and consists of 90 multiple-choice questions (MCQs).

The cost of each of these examinations is $219, making it costly. But what works in the A+’s favor is that it makes it a whole lot simpler for folks to obtain employment for entry-level roles, which is a challenging task when you don’t have much experience to offer while hunting for opportunities.

Why is CompTIA A+ Certification Important for Your Career?

If you want to work in cybersecurity, your hiring manager will want to see proof of networking skills on your CV. Because Security+ focuses solely on security concerns and does not cover other networking topics such as hardware and software, you can improve your chances of getting the initial interview by obtaining an A+ or Networking+ certification.

Is Network+ required to comprehend Security+ material?

While you may enter a CompTIA Security+ certification course as a novice, it will be beneficial to have a solid grasp of topics like networks, computer ports, and other tools in a Windows computing environment. 

Because it is expected that you already know this material, these topics are not addressed as thoroughly as they are in the A+ and Network+ examinations.

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Having that knowledge foundation comes in handy while trying to understand the ideas of the Security+ course content. If you opt to train for this test first, you may discover that you need to go out on your own and examine some additional knowledge that will help you better grasp the Security+ exam subjects.

It’s crucial to know that if you’re looking for a career in cybersecurity and just have a Security + certification, hiring managers may look at your CV with mistrust. 

When HR managers are screening for interviews, they look for evidence demonstrating your understanding of hardware, software, and networking.

Is A+ Certification difficult?

The CompTIA A+ is a professional industry certification with the same difficulty level as any other entry-level professional license test. Many A+ test candidates misjudge the exam’s difficulty and the amount of preparation required.

Is Network+ or Security+ more difficult?

CompTIA recommended that you have a prior understanding of hardware and networking before attempting security+. It is preferable to acquire both A+ and Network+ certifications before Security+. 

You may have observed that you need a 760 or so to pass Security+, but this is significantly lower for A+ and Network+. Security+ is unquestionably more difficult for that reason alone.

Do I Require A+ FOR NETWORK+?

Many IT professionals begin their careers with the A+ certification. While the A+ certification is suggested, if you have the necessary experience and don’t feel the need for the A+, you can proceed directly to the CompTIA Network+ certification.

How can I know whether I’m prepared to take a certification exam?

  1. Examine several sources.
  2. Examine a few hundred test questions.
  3. Teach people about it.

Examine several sources.

Reviewing any one certification resource is unlikely to be sufficient to ensure that you are well-versed in any certification topic. Different writers and professors describe topics differently, and studying from several sources is your key to fully grasping a particular topic.

Examine a few hundred test questions.

Exam question review is beneficial since it may immediately reveal where your knowledge is lacking. Because most certification tests at this level will include 50 or so questions, you should review four times that amount, or at least two hundred questions, to ensure you’ve seen everything they can throw at you.

Teach people about it.

Spend some time attempting to teach someone else about a topic covered in the test. You should explain the subject thoroughly and answer any questions they may have without difficulty or reluctance. When you can accomplish it, you’re almost there.

Final Words

CompTIA certifications are beneficial for those seeking high-level positions in their IT-related employment if one pursues the complete road. 

All of the certificates discussed in this post are at the beginning of this trip, making them critical for laying a solid basis for higher-level courses that you will experience later on.

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