What are my chances at passing?

techtiatechtia Member Posts: 144
Hello, I am currently studying for the A+ and will take it rather soon. I have a bachelors in a non-IT major but hasn't worked out very well for me at all. I am not exactly 'changing careers' but IT could be a possibility for me.

I was wondering if after passing the A+, without any experience in the IT field, would it be hard to pass the Security+ (skipping Network+)?

I want to take exams that are most valuable today to employers.

Thanks for your help, appreciate it.


  • johnnyqt25johnnyqt25 Banned Posts: 51 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Going for S+ without N+ is generally not a good idea, because many concepts in S+ builds on the knowledge of N+. It's definitely doable to do S+ without N+ though. It'll just be harder to pass S+ without getting N+ first.
  • SwaswaswaSwaswaswa Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Agreed. In Security+ a lot of concepts rely on previous knowledge or experience. techita, I recommend you visit the CompTIA website and take a look at the exam objectives; compare Network+ to Security+ and see what you come up with.
  • techtiatechtia Member Posts: 144
    Well thanks guys, I am just a little behind my peers job wise and I just wanted to catch up the fastest way I can. I'm new to all these IT certs and such, don't really have an idea what area of IT I might enjoy most.
  • dhay13dhay13 Member Posts: 580 ■■■□□□□□□□
    i can understand that but there are no shortcuts to learning this stuff. i took my network+ in 2010 and now i'm studying for the security+ and there is alot of stuff from the network+ that i have forgot
  • cdxcdx Member Posts: 186
    There is a lot of net+ in the sec+ exam. I would recommend the path that Comptia recommends and is what I did as well. A+ > N+ > S+
    Bachelor of Science - Information Technology - Security
    Associate of Science - Computer Information Systems
  • $bvb379$bvb379 Member Posts: 155
    I took the Security + without reading anything on the Network + or A +. Just use CBT Nuggets and Darril Gibson's book and you will be fine.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    techtia wrote:
    I want to take exams that are most valuable today to employers.


    What is most appropriate only matters to what your IT goals. Your employer likely doesn't care what you have or do not have so long as you can perform at your role. If you are looking to change your role, then it will be time to invest in measuring your knowledge. Most exams encourage candidates to have some experience, many folks but the cart before the horse, attempt to rack up a few certifications and have zero experience with that particular certified area...making them and the cert almost useless.

    Slow and steady wins the race.

    I know several great techs who do not have the A+, but almost all go for the NET+ before anything else simply because it is a nice segue into certifications that deal with networking and security.

    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • techtiatechtia Member Posts: 144
    Would a Microsoft certificate such as a MCSA be a lateral move or are there any recommended prerequisites? Thanks.
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Removed unnecessary quote

    you should start with something more fundamental and entry level than MCSA. The higher up you go in the certification ladder the more knowledge you require, that is assumed you have build from lower certifications. MCSA requires more knowledge than lets say Net+ or Sec+ as MCSA is specific to Microsoft products. Look at the below pdf for the Microsoft certification paths and start from something that you can manage, learn and build knowledge and experience for the next higher level. As you will see from the roadmap, many do require per-requisites or at least some IT related knowledge

  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod

    Going the MS route is not necessarily lateral, it would be more of a beginning for a different set of goals. MCSA is a combination of OS and NOS exams but focus on the usage/setup/administration of software and has little to do with hardware or networking per se.

    Just pick a course, stay on it. Gaining certs that match your experience and skillset takes time, there are no shortcuts. If you truly wish to work in IT, where is the fire to get certified? Set a goal for 2-6 certs a year depending upon what you work with or can lab and just start plugging away.
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • techtiatechtia Member Posts: 144

    Wow that is really well made visual. Very helpful.


    For sure, I'm going to start by passing the A+ first. Hopefully I can get an entry level job after passing and that will probably help me to better understand which path I'd like to pursue. Great help from everyone.
  • User2097User2097 Member Posts: 41 ■■□□□□□□□□
    You can easily study for S+ without N+. I took N+ after a bunch of other CERTS and N+ in it's own is easy.... but they are two different areas. SEC+ is just an introduction to several terms and concepts.
    Cert Goals: CISSP-ISSAP (May 2016) | CISM (2016) | GSEC (2016) | OSCP (2017)
    College: MBA Project Management (2012) | Bachelors IT Management (2010)
    Experience: Cyber Security, Information Assurance, and IT Management Officer
  • BillHooBillHoo Member Posts: 207 ■■■□□□□□□□
    techtia wrote: »
    Would a Microsoft certificate such as a MCSA be a lateral move or are there any recommended prerequisites? Thanks.

    Many of the government contracts are now moving toward requiring both a security cert AND and OS specific cert like an MCSE or MCSA (ie. for windows)

    Are you working in the private sector? Or going into government or military / contracting? For gov/mil/contractor, the path is clear and the DoD 8570 provides an easy to follow path that matches your career with the needed cert.

    Certifications put you ahead of the pack when applying for government jobs, because many gov hiring people have no technical knowledge.

    IAT Levels = Information Assurance Technician (includes Helpdesk techs, desktop support, network and sys admins, etc.)
    IAM Levels = Information Assurance Manager (includes Information System Security Officers, ISS Managers, Information Assurance Officers etc.)

    Handy DoD 8570 Chart provided below by ISC2

  • techtiatechtia Member Posts: 144

    Actually sir, sadly I am not doing any of those. I am a person looking for employment in IT field coming from non-IT background. You can call me a rookie or a newbie since I only got A+ certified last month. My route now is to pass the Security+ (this month), skipped the Network+ (will return to it later) since there is more agreed upon study method for the S+, which is the Darril Gibson book.

    All this certification thing is new to me, I am coming from a general business degree. Hasn't done too well for me, I am trying IT as a potential career path.
  • Goteki54Goteki54 SSCP, A+, Network +, Security + BaltimoreMember Posts: 79 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I am also studying for Sec+. I checked out CompTia's objective for the exam and a lot of the objectives are also on the Network+ exam. It would be ideal to go Net+ and then Sec+, because the principals of Sec+ are based on the foundation of Net+. If you go into Sec+ without, you can still pass, but in my opinion it will be harder.
    CompTIA A+, Network+, Security +., SSCP
  • BillHooBillHoo Member Posts: 207 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well, it seems you ae well on your way to a career in IT. The A+ gets you a good foot in the door for desktop support or helpdesk work. TIP: 70 percent of IT trouble calls can be resolved by telling the user to shut down the computer, wait 10 seconds and then start it up again.

    The Security+ is good, if not for gov, mil/contract work, you can take that into Financial industries or Medical IT support. Both are good paying industries for IT if you don't have government, mil/contracts in the area.

    As for passing Sec+, I would swear by Gibson's book.

    I have some Sec+ tips listed here:

    There is a link somewhere in there to a website to train yourself on memorizing all the ports. It took me about a half hour to master it. I went to bed and forgot half of it. So my strategy was to go to the class and log onto the site just before I went in to take the test.

    They give you a piece of scrap paper to write on. As soon as the clock started, I wrote down all the port tables before the info slipped from my mind.

    Security+ can be passed even without a strong technical background. Think of it as a reading comprehension exam. Both in studying the book and examining each question on the exam.

    Good luck!
  • techtiatechtia Member Posts: 144
    Hey yeah, thanks so much BillHoo. Got me laughing at that 70-percent-shut-down troubleshooting method icon_lol.gif. My last job in business, we had an IT department and most calls were about unlocking passwords from too many failed attempts.

    I feel somewhat comfortable in IT since my generation grew up using computers, so I've encountered many familiar problems along the way, googling answers and such. I have a knack for memorizing odd things so naturally memorizing numbers come easy to me. Passing the A+ was a pretty cool experience and I plan on passing the Security+ my first attempt like the A+ (don't think I can afford to fail).

    If I manage to get a business job and stay in business, then great but if not at least I have spent my time wisely studying for certs and have something to fall back on, plus IT is practical in life anyway. If I get into IT, that will be awesome too. I know what you mean by 'reading comprehension exam' luckily I am a decent test taker. I think my IT knowledge will really be tested once I try to go after vendor specific certs.
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If you are good with numbers or memorizing things, you might want to learn some SQL too. SQL is very in demand right now as it is used everywhere! Microsoft has a certificate for SQL administrators also and a path as well.
    Here is a good tutorial for beginners on SQL. Spend 30 minutes going over the tutorial and see if you likw it. Various roles in IT require some SQL knowledge SQLCourse - Interactive Online SQL Training for Beginners but if you are good with numbers, logic, or memorizing, this might be worth exploring as it will open more doors than any Comptia certificate like S+ or N+.
  • techtiatechtia Member Posts: 144

    Sweet! I've have been applying to many job applications and I have seen a lot of required SQL experience but had no idea what that was, I am about to look into it today. Is there a forum section for it like sections for A, N and S+? Thanks for the info so many possibilities.
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Most of the sql stuff are under the Microsoft section so you might want to ask there for specific sql requirements. The link i posted has only a basic tutorial but SQL is very powerful and used everywhere. Just do some searches on google for SQL and you will find plenty of books. If you want to test sql and learn try downloading MySQL which is free and you can practice on it.
  • techtiatechtia Member Posts: 144

    Filling out the minimum 7 characters limit
  • mikes88mikes88 Member Posts: 6 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I just passed Sec + this morning on my first try. I have my A+ Cert from 2010. Multiple Microsoft Certifications and my a.s. And B.s. Don't listen to these people about the Net+, Sec+ study comparison. A+ is focused on computers, Net + Network and of course Sec + is security. Just know the basic popular ports and ENSURE you Understand the objectives and concepts like the back of your hand. Read every question throughly and you'll pass.

  • techtiatechtia Member Posts: 144

    Thanks Mike, I intend on passing first attempt sometime this month. I just found reading about Security was more interesting at the moment.
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