Security+ still relevant?

jude56gjude56g Senior MemberMember Posts: 107 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hey all,

I'm asking this question in an attempt to educate myself, not to flame.. Is the Security+ cert still relevant when compared to the Cisco certs, specifically, CCNA Security?

I ask this because In my workplace (ISP) the emphasis is placed most highly on switching and routing skills as opposed to security techniques. I find the security aspect of my job interesting, but I'm curious if I should go down this path, or stick exclusively with Cisco.

Does anyone have both certs that can speak to this, or does anyone have any opinions on the CompTia certs in general?

Thanks All!

Comments

  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure / Core Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016 Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    The Security+ cert is definitely relevant to IT in general, but I think the position you're in calls for a more specific thought-process.

    If you're working for an ISP, then the technology-specific security skills that Cisco teaches will probably benefit you more than broader, more general security knowledge in the here and now. If you're using Cisco equipment at your work, definitely go down that path instead and focus your energies on learning things that will benefit you directly. If you're primarily using another vendor, like Juniper for example, then look into training and certifications from them.

    You're also looking at comparing the level of in-depth knowledge you get from each cert-path. You won't get as much networking-specific learning out of Security+ as you would from CCNA Security, but the Cisco cert doesn't go into as many topics as the CompTIA cert does. On the other hand, once you're getting up into CCNP Security territory, you're digging much, MUCH deeper into how to secure routers, switches, security appliances, etc. than any vendor-neutral cert does.

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  • DarrilDarril Member Posts: 1,588
    I don't have Cisco certs, but I can definitely say that the Security+ cert is relevant. Not only "still relevant" but becoming more relevant as time moves forward and organizations recognize the value of security-conscious IT employees.

    One of the biggest driving factors is a US Department of Defense directive (DOD 8570.1) which mandates a variety of different certifications for different IT jobs. I know hiring managers of government contractors won't give a resume a second look if Security+ is not included. In other words, if he's looking for someone with a CCNA Security and runs across someone that has CCNP Security, but no Security+, he drops the resume and moves on. Beyond the government sector though, I'm also hearing people recognize the value of employees that understand the basics surrounding IT risks, and the necessity to implement (and follow) security controls.

    One of the primary values in CompTIA certs in general (specifically A+, Network+, and Security+) is they lay a solid foundation for anyone pursuing a career in IT. The knowledge gained from these certs is valuable in most IT jobs. That doesn't mean that someone has to have one or all of these certs, but the knowledge is valuable and when someone pursues the cert, they gain the knowledge.

    Can you bypass all these CompTIA certs in just pursue other avenues. Absolutely. This is especially true if your employer doesn't value them. You could stay in your current job, advance to CCIE, and become very successful without pursuing any CompTIA cert.

    HTH,

    Darril Gibson
  • jude56gjude56g Senior Member Member Posts: 107 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Wow! Thank you both for your well thought out and thorough responses. You have given me more to think about. I appreciate your feedback!
  • charlesc09charlesc09 Member Posts: 89 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I already feel more knowledgeable having both A+ and Network+ than I did without. Back then when I apply for my 1st IT jobs, I was tested on alot of those technical issues that I was either unable to answer during the interview, or answering them with uncertainty. Nowadays, it's alot better when I do technical assessment on interviews.
  • techdudeheretechdudehere Member Posts: 164
    I am studying for Security+ now after having been in IT for 10 years. Definitely having the knowledge from the books is going to help me keep security in the back of my mind and the broad focus of this I am actually finding helpful to better understand why the specific techniques used on the job site are the way they are. It will allow me to speak more confidently about the details of certain technologies and why they should be used in a given situation. For general IT workers I think it's a good one and not just a piece of paper, I really think it will make small differences that will add up over the course of a career.
  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    jude56g wrote: »
    I ask this because In my workplace (ISP) the emphasis is placed most highly on switching and routing skills as opposed to security techniques.

    I think this is the main issue. Security+ is probably less relevant to what you do at your job than CCNA Security. I would say Slowhand's post is spot on. Security+ is more about broad security concepts, while CCNA Security is more relevant to your specific employer.
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  • ahphotoahphoto Member Posts: 103
    Security+ and CCNA Security are both valuable. The first two responders hit the nail on the head. Get a cert that will benefit you AND your employer. If you use Cisco at work, focus on CCNA Security. If you use something else, focus on that cert.
    Ipsa scientia potestas est.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    ahphoto wrote: »
    Security+ and CCNA Security are both valuable. The first two responders hit the nail on the head. Get a cert that will benefit you AND your employer. If you use Cisco at work, focus on CCNA Security. If you use something else, focus on that cert.

    I agree with this.
  • ShaunNorthupShaunNorthup Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Darril,

    I'm taking a course on Security + through New Horizon and wanted to talk to you about the exam. I'm not sure if I should buy the kindle version of the practice questions, because I have the Ipad and Iphone.
  • redline5thredline5th Member Posts: 119
    I would say that this certification is one of the reasons that I have the job that I do today. Everyone else had the A+ and others *might* have had the Network+....however, out of all candidates I was the only one with the Security+. I highly recommend it and I also highly recommend Darril Gibson's book "Get Certified Get Ahead". It's a winner for sure. I took a class for it and used his book to supplement. His book outshines the class I took. It was shameful. I wasted cash on the class, but I had to take it to get my degree.... his book is great.
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