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  1. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #1

    Default In a bit of a predicament...

    Hello fellow IT enthusiasts and Cert-Geeks! My name is Ryan and this is my first post. I've lurked on here before and even had an account but could not remember the email I used to sign up with, unfortunately.

    I won't small talk anymore than that, I have a very simple question and I highly value this websites memberships opinions and advice.

    I'm currently studying for the CompTIA A+ and am nearly ready to take it, however I am also a student in college and next semester I am taking a class that prepares you for the SYO-401. After a google search I saw the SY0-401 is no longer the most current certification in that field. I am majoring in computer science with a focus on InfoSec. My concern is I have very minimal networking experience and in addition would rather have the more recent certification. So my questions/concerns are two fold:

    1. I will have taken the A+ sometime between late February and early March, will the information about networking on the A+ be enough to understand the material covered in the Security+ exams?

    2. Even though this class prepares for the SY0-401 should I hold out and just learn what I can from this class and whatever additional objectives were added to the 501 during the summer break? Is it even a good idea to be studying for two certifications simultaneously? I'm also very well versed in Linux and do fairly well on most practice exams without hardly even cracking open a book to learn about it so where would that fit in?

    My general idea was A+, Linux+, Net+, Sec+ and with the new CSA cert I'm still figuring out where that would fit into all of this. However, now with this class I have to take for the Security+ when I don't even have my A+ yet just doesn't seem like a good idea to me (it's a long story why I wasn't able to pick my own schedule and would rather not write an essay about it). I took a Networking course in college years ago that was more focused on the CCNA but I hardly remember any of it.

    I'm just simply asking if jumping over straight from the A+ to Sec+ is an uncommon and/or ill advised plan of action especially when the CompTIA websites stresses having networking experience before taking Sec+. Especially when I'm not even done studying for both exams (901 and 902) yet. I'm also concerned with having a more outdated Sec+ cert should I decide to take the exam since the cost of the class also includes a voucher for it.

    Sorry this was such a long post, just wanted to give as much info as possible so I can receive the best advice since I know the majority of the membership on this forum knows damn well what they're talking about.

    Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing your responses and one day helping out others in the position I am in myself with beginning the "Path to Multiple Certifications"

    Take care!
    -Ryan
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  3. Senior Member 636-555-3226's Avatar
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    Lots of security certifications, yet the more I learn, the further I have to go...
    #2
    A+ is quite different than Security+. You're not going to find a lot of overlap. The only prereq that I know of for Security+ is a recommended ?2? years in the infosec field, or comparable studies (everybody here, including me, recommends Darril Gibon's book to help). Since they're not very similar, you're not getting ahead of yourself if you do Security+ first.
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  4. Senior Member yoba222's Avatar
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    CySA+, LFCS, GCIH, eJPT, CCNA, CAPM, CompTIA Trifecta
    #3
    I wouldn't worry about missing out on new stuff by taking the 401 instead of the 501. The 501 adds a bit of attack stuff and risk management stuff. From a learning value perspective, you'll see this stuff either in the CSA+ or in one of your school's security classes.

    The advantage of taking the 401 is all the books/videos/practice exams are already written, tried and true. And the cert you get in the end will be a Security+ CE, which is renewable every three years whether or not you earned it by taking the 401 or 501 exam. Go for the 401.
    2018: CySA+ | CCNA Cyber Ops
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  5. Senior Member stryder144's Avatar
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    CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, Server+, Linux+, CySA+, & Cloud+; MCSA: Windows 7, ITIL F/CSI/OSA
    #4
    I second yoba222's post above. Take the 401. Be advised that it will not be available after the end of July, so plan accordingly. I've never had an employer ask me which version of Security+ I took.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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  6. Level 99 Wizard Skyliinez92's Avatar
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    CompTIA A+ Net+ | Sec+ | MCTS: Win 7 MCP | MTA NF | MTA OSF
    #5
    Go for the 401. You're doing the course in it, there's a lot of study material already out there and it doesn't expire until July/August so if you can do it before then go for it. Having the 501 won't make any difference, and because it's a new exam there won't be much study material out there yet. Employers don't care if you got the 401 or 501, they just care that the Security+ title is on your Resume.

    If I were you I would do the Net+ before the Sec+ as there's some overlap and may make the Sec+ easier. If you go straight to Sec+ from A+ you're going to find it difficult, but if it needs to be done before the summer then so be it. At least you're doing a course in it so it should help. Plus once you've done the Sec+ the Net+ will be a piece of cake.
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  7. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #6
    Well I guess the verdict is unanimous. I'll worry about the 401. I always complicate things and also have a Java programming course I'm required to take and I can't program to save my life. I can memorize syntax in a day but come time to write a program I freeze up. But that's neither here nor there. I'll focus on finishing up the A+ 90x maybe even as soon as first week of Feb so it won't cut into too much school time. One last question/concern I do have however while on the subject of programming: how much programming experience does someone in the InfoSec field typically require? My dream job is either a freelance PenTester or working or a gov't defense contractor (Northrup Grumman or Lockheed Martin ideally) protecting their proprietary information. My father worked as a QA Manager for the former and made quite a pretty penny lol and they treat their employees right after retirement. Anyway, sorry for rambling. You'll all soon get to know me as the guy who means well but talks too much.... /:

    Thanks again for helping me calm down and not feel like I'm pushing myself too hard.

    -Ryan
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