Skip N+ for Security+

TheMontuTheMontu Member Posts: 44 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi, I've been in a help desk role for about 4-5 years now. I work in a DoD environment so its quite restrictive as far as what I can mess with and what I can't. (lucky to be able to add/remove from AD)

Anyway I would like to be able to advance my career in IT and think its time to get off my a** and get a cert. I currently only have A+ good for life and the DoD made me enroll in the Ce program.

I want Security+ because where I work that is what is required for any Sys admin roles but I was thinking should I get network+ first? Will that help me understand the material in Security+ ? or is it a waste of time to get N+ ? The likely hood of getting a promotion isn't very high so I am also open to suggestions on other certs that are likely to land me a new job.



  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    First Welcome!

    Second, when considering obtaining certifications, remember they benefit YOU. Regardless of the likelihood of you being promoted in your current situation, think further out...say, three or five years.

    It has been my experience that if you want a promotion for the company where you work, you 'make' the promotion happen by showing that you are valuable in other capacities...frequently (or the easiest IMO) is to promote to a managerial position, but not always what the goal may be. The other option is to make yourself marketable to MOVE outside of your current organization and take your experience with you.

    So, the real question is, what do you WANT to do when you 'grow-up'? CompTIA certs are great for vendor neutral certifications and can give you a stamp of 'yep, this guy/gal has a general albeit limited understanding of x,y and z'. If you see networking in your future than move over to the Cisco forums and begin looking at the entry-level certs there. NET+ maybe helpful, but you'll want some experience same is true for the Cisco certs. You may be setting up a lab for yourself. Looking for some volunteer opportunities and such, but get some real hands-on experience if you want to pursue this avenue.

    If you want to move more into security, then yes, Sec+ may be more appropriate. Again, like Net+ it provides a baseline of knowledge and a stepping stone for what you will jump into next.

    My main recommendation is not to focus on the 'I'm not going to get a promotion from this place" into "how much more can I learn?" and "How much better can I become at doing what I do so I can use these skills down the road in my career?" Don't jump ship until you have a plan.
    "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?
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Here is my theory on this topic.

    From your situation Security + leads to system adminstration. Real world experience is the best teacher. It's a no brainer to me go for Security +.

    Don't worry about missing out on the material for network +. You can always get a network + book and read it casually and/or use it as a reference guide while going through the security + material.

    If I were you I would want to get into system admin as fast as I could and Security + is the answer. Besides in your environment Security + means a lot and at the end of the day it's still an entry level certification. You should be fine do Security + and don't look back.
  • DCDDCD Member Posts: 453 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I would do the security+ since you work for the DOD. Now the question is how comfortable are you with network devices and TCP/IP?
    Comptia recommends CompTIA Network+ certification and two years of technical networking experience, with an emphasis on security but I think that's a little overboard. I would take the Cisco INCD1 over the Network+
  • DarrilDarril Member Posts: 1,588
    Welcome to the forums.

    Will the Network+ material help you understand the material in Security+? Absolutely. If you take the Network+ and then the Security+, you'll find that you'll have a lot of knowledge about networking that directly applies to the Security+ cert.

    Can you take the Security+ without Network+? Sure. However, if you don't have the networking knowledge, you'll find some topics in the Security+ exam more difficult.

    Within the DoD community, the Security+ cert is certainly valued more than the Network+ cert, though depending on your current role, it might not be needed. I'm not sure if you're active duty or a contractor or how big the organization is. However, if you get a Security+ you'll have more mobility allowing you to move into different jobs (with administrative access) and gain more experience.

    In other words, the Network+ is certainly not a waste of time; it will help you build your IT knowledge and will help you take and pass the Security+ exam the first time. However, you can skip it and pursue the Security+.

    Good luck.
  • teancum144teancum144 Member Posts: 229 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I think it depends on where you are at in your knowledge. I studied for and passed the N+ exam and gained a significant amount of knowledge from the material learned. Previously, while studying for a Red Hat certification, I kept hitting road blocks due to holes in my networking knowledge. I switched to Network+ to fill this gap. I would argue that understanding networking fundamentals is as important as understanding security fundamentals for becoming a good sysadmin. I would add that understanding networking fundamentals is critical to being a good security practitioner.
    If you like my comments or questions, you can show appreciation by clicking on the reputation badge/star icon near the lower left of my post. :D
  • TheMontuTheMontu Member Posts: 44 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks Guys, due to the fact that security+ is more valued in the DoD world and my company (I'm a contractor) I think I'm going to try and go strait to the Security+. I guess if I encounter too many road blocks I can always take a step back and take Network+ first.

    I am trying to be well rounded here so I might even take another networking cert after security+, I just don't want to loose out on any opening positions by not having the right cert at the right time.

    Thanks for the help and I'm still listening.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    No way losing out on a awesome gig because you wanted to do the CompTIA exams in some certain order is completely foolish. You made a very wise decision.

    Besides if you are paying out of pocket less is more. The less you can spend to get to where you want to be the better off you are.

    Security + and a System Admin job is a great place to be. Even in year 5-6. Again well played.
  • dbrinkdbrink Member Posts: 180
    I am currently studying for the Security+ exam but was intending to do Network+ first. After reading about 2 chapters of a Network+ book I decided to skip it and work on the Security+. I have about 12 years of systems admin experience that has given me a good base knowledge of networking so I felt comfortable with skipping it. Everyone is different so if you feel you can skip it I would, especially if you are paying for the test out of your own pocket.
    Currently Reading: Learn Python The Hard Way
  • naftalirnaftalir Member Posts: 38 ■■□□□□□□□□
    i passed the Security+ exam with almost no security experience and i thought it was really easy.
    i think you should go straight for the Sec+ since alot of the material for the Network+ is on the Security+ (vise versa) and as of right now im pretty sure the Sec+ does not have any Performance based Questions so if you get it over with quickly it should be a breeze.
    after you finish with the Sec+ if you want to take the Net+ im sure u can do it in 2 weeks easily, just be careful of the performance based questions which ARE on the Network+.

    Good luck!
  • TheMontuTheMontu Member Posts: 44 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the continued feed back, I'm feeling good about this.

    I've ordered the book by Darril Gibson and it will be here Friday. Any other resources? My company provides us with books 24/7 that has about 10 other books on Security+ online.

    also just started watching Professor Messor's video's.
  • spiraloutspiralout Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hey, Just wondering how your Security+ went? I started studying on 8/01/14 using the CBT Nuggets videos. I'm almost half way through the vids. I've been clocking at least 4 1/2 hours a day, writing notes as I watch the videos. I can't say I've retained everything though. Like others I've skipped A+ and started studying Network+ to get a review of networking concepts I'd forgotten in college (I have taken about 5 college classes in Information Science but never finished my degree). I got bored with Network+ very quickly and jumped into Sec+ and I feel more at home. I plan to take the exam on 10/01/14, which will give me two solid months to study. My other two primary resources are Messer's videos and the Gibson text. Any other books you recommend? After I pass Sec+ I'm either going for CEH or CASP (or both), but my ultimate goal is OSCP of course!
  • jaywalkerjaywalker Member Posts: 90 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hello, not sure if you'll get a reply from the OP but the professor Messer/CBT Nuggets videos and Gibson text is more than enough to pass. You will do fine as long as you understand the material and memorize the ports emphasized in Darril's book.

    Good luck!
    Goals for 2015: ICND1 [], ICND2 []

    A winner is you
  • spiraloutspiralout Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    @jaywalker: Awesome! I understand the material on a theoretical level so far. I don't feel like it's difficult to understand. The amount of material is slightly overwhelming though, so retaining all of it will take a while. I'm going to start making notecards soon so hopefully that will help me sift through what I know from what I don't. Thanks for the luck!
  • DonM34DonM34 Member Posts: 139
    Before moving forth to Security+ ask yourself how's your knowledge overall in Networking. If you feel you have a great deal of knowledge in Networking I would say, Jump straight to Security+. Just remember, If you don't have the networking foundation. Studying for the Security+ will be 3x harder to grasp.
    2014 Goal [ ] CCENT [ ] MCTS (Active Directory) [ ] CompTIA Security+
  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I wouldn't say the Network+ is a waste. As someone that has already passed the Security+ and taking the Network+ this week, it fills in a lot of gaps. If you have a good amount of networking experience and it's not a cert you'll need for a job then you can skip it, but if otherwise I would recommend taking it.
  • spiraloutspiralout Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm about to start day 6 of studying for Sec+. As others have said, I wouldn't recommend jumping right in unless you have been exposed to networking. I've considered getting Net+ after Sec+ but I really just want to use my time and money to move on to CASP or CEH. I haven't decided which yet though.
Sign In or Register to comment.