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October 4, 2019

Launching a cybersecurity career, starting with CompTIA A+ certification

According to the nonprofit Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, some 10,411,109,922 records have been breached since 2005.


That’s more records breached than the world’s current population.


The need for knowledgeable and effective cybersecurity experts to help protect data is greater than ever. Indeed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of cybersecurity analyst jobs will increase 32 percent between now and 2028, making it one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country.


Cyber Seek reports that at the time of this posting, there were 313,735 cybersecurity-related job openings in the United States — a situation it called “a dangerous shortage…that puts our digital privacy and infrastructure at risk.”


Not only are cybersecurity jobs plentiful, but the pay is generous, too. CompTIA reports that in recent years, the median annual salary for an information security analyst was $92,600.


With October being National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, now is a great time to examine why a career in cybersecurity is worthwhile — and how that career is closer than you may think, starting with CompTIA A+ certification.


CompTIA A+ certification: A great first step toward a cybersecurity career


CompTIA A+ certification tells an employer a lot about a potential new technologist. The certification shows that the job candidate knows core technologies, such as operating systems, cloud, data management and baseline security skills – including malware detection and removal, physical security and device hardening.


New research from CompTIA and International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that CompTIA A+ certified technologists are more confident, more knowledgeable, able to reach job proficiency more quickly, more reliable, and perform at a higher level than technologists who are not certified.


“CompTIA-certified professionals better understand their working environments and can more clearly identify and communicate issues and opportunities than do uncertified staff,” says Charles Eaton, CEO of Creating IT Futures, the tech workforce charity founded by CompTIA. “They also add value more quickly to the entire enterprise.”


Value proposition increases even more with CompTIA Security+


In a comprehensive new report about cybersecurity, CompTIA details how and whyDSC_0328 copy cybersecurity is becoming a distinct discipline within Information Technology and within corporations — in much the same way society and companies differentiate operational disciplines such as accounting and legal.


“Cybersecurity has broadened beyond the IT function,” Eaton says. “Where companies once could have viewed security as one of many skills needed by every IT employee, there is now a need to consider employees whose sole responsibility is the security of digital assets.”


CompTIA has outlined a pathway that leads people from CompTIA A+ certification to CompTIA Security+ certification. Following this pathway, technologists can gain the base knowledge necessary for any cybersecurity role such as junior IT auditors, systems administrators, network administrators and security administrators.


According to research conducted by CompTIA and IDC, CompTIA Security+ certified professionals are 85 percent more likely to believe they have the knowledge and skills needed to successfully carry out their jobs.


“This confidence helps certified security experts properly assess risks, design and implement interventions, and correct policy weaknesses,” Eaton says.


Earn CompTIA A+ certification in weeks


IT-Ready classes in Illinois and Minnesota prepare participants for CompTIA A+ certification in just eight weeks. During training, IT-Ready students learn a wide range of hardware and software skills, including how to build a computer from parts, install new applications, troubleshoot problems, and set up and manage networks.


Participants also cover critical professional comportment skills – known as “soft skills” – such as workplace etiquette, communication, customer service and job interviewing.


To learn more about Chicago’s IT-Ready program, click here. To learn more about IT-Ready in the Twin Cities, click here.


IT-Ready is the signature training program developed and operated by Creating IT Futures, whose mission is providing pathways to tech careers for groups traditionally under-represented in technology fields, such as women, veterans and people of color. IT-Ready helps adults in transition enter the technology workforce through education and job placement assistance.


Related Information from Creating IT Futures