A+ or Security+ NEED ADVICE ASAP

slfournierslfournier Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello, I just started a job at the help desk at the agency I work at. I have VERY light IT knowledge. I am required to obtain either A+ or Security+ within 90 days or lose my job. I've always heard that A+ was the easiest... however, I'm thinking maybe not so true. LOTS to memorize and I've barely touched the inside of a computer except to install new RAM or trade out a hard drive. I have a very basic understanding of computer security - difference between phishing and a virus. I have 90 days. Please help me understand which may be easiest to obtain - from a memorization and study perspective.


  • 5ekurity5ekurity Member Posts: 346 ■■■□□□□□□□
    A+ would probably be your best bet. It should provide you with the foundation of knowledge with regards to general computing and troubleshooting and would give you the biggest bang for the buck with the limited experience you have. I think the Sec+ would be overwhelming at this point; focus on the basics, get comfortable with working through issues and using some tools, then begin to explore Sec+ or Network +.
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    I wouldn't think both are 'easy'. These certification tests, you need to know and feel comfortable with the concepts as well. Wording is tricky. I, also had to take the security + test before 90 days as a requirement to keep my job. So, take a deep breath, read (ALOT)and take practice tests (ALOT). Good luck, you will do fine. Also, will they pay for you to take a class (I took a class, it was out of my pocket, I was just reimbursed for passing..)
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • slfournierslfournier Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    scaredoftests, did you have any prior knowledge about security before you started studying and took the test? Did you pass?
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    I had 'some' knowledge. I did not pass the first time, but after I found this website and bought Mr. Gibson's book, I passed with a 820.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • j.petrovj.petrov Member Posts: 282
    based on your experience A+ would definitely give you a better foundation, you can then build on it with the likes of Sec+. Plus an A+ would help you more in your current position than Sec+.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,015 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I'd get the Sec+ actually.

    Less to memorize. 1 test instead of 2. And in my opinion, more interesting topics.

    I did Net+ -> Sec+ -> A+ in that order. And even still, it took me 4 weeks to get Sec+ as opposed to ~ 10 weeks for A+, even tho I had both my Net+ and Sec+ knowledge under my belt and hardware knowledge from building computers in the past.

    For Sec+ I'd recommend Darril Gibson's book and Professor Messer's videos. That should be all you need. Make sure you wait and don't take the exams in the back of the book until after you've finished reading. Then make sure you understand why each correct answer is correct and why each wrong answer was wrong.

    Good luck.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • LittleBITLittleBIT Member Posts: 320 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Professor Messer is your new best friend. 3 months is plenty of time to get BOTH certifications - if you want to impress your boss on your motivation to succeed.

    'Lite' experience is a vague word. Look at the Exam objectives for both and decide which one you feel more comfortable with. Security+ introduces lots of concepts that some would feel are advanced compared to A+ (viruses and malware is like 2% of the exam…). A+ is a foundation of pretty much overall technology, and it may be the easier route if you understand it.

    I do think DoubleNN's thought on the Security+ is actually a good idea, because there IS less to memorize, but still, if you don't understand what a firewall is or a port, then you might run into some trouble. DGibson does explain it -- but he clearly states that the book is for someone with experience...

    In my opinion, I think you should go A+ just because it'll benefit you. But again, review the exam objectives for both exams and decide which one you feel you can do without issue. Look at reading material as well. Theres ton's of people in the A+ Forum who would recommend a book. Professor Messer has free videos to get you A+ certified and Darril Gibson's book pretty much is spot on with the Security+ exam (Read cover to cover, do all the practice tests).

    90 days is plenty to get all that stuff done. Good luck.
    Kindly doing the needful
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