When it comes to IT certifications, Network Plus and Security+ are two of the most popular options. Both cover important aspects of computer networking and security and can greatly enhance an IT professional’s career prospects. But which one is harder? In this article, we will take an in-depth look at both certifications and determine which one is more challenging.
What is Network Plus certification?
Network Plus certification is an entry-level certification from CompTIA that validates an individual’s ability to configure, manage, and troubleshoot basic network infrastructure. Network Plus certification covers fundamental networking concepts such as network architecture, protocols, and addressing. It also covers practical skills such as installation, configuration, and maintenance of network hardware and software. Network Plus certification is ideal for those who are starting their journey in the IT industry and want to develop a foundational understanding of computer networking.
Moreover, Network Plus certification is recognized globally and is highly valued by employers in the IT industry. It is a vendor-neutral certification, which means that it is not tied to any specific hardware or software manufacturer. This makes it an excellent choice for individuals who want to work with different types of network technologies and equipment.
Additionally, Network Plus certification is a prerequisite for many advanced certifications, such as Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). Therefore, obtaining Network Plus certification can open up many career opportunities and pave the way for further professional development in the field of computer networking.
What is Security+ certification?
Security+ certification is another certification from CompTIA that focuses on information security. The certification covers a broad range of topics related to security, including network security, cryptography, identity management, and access control. Security+ certification is ideal for those who want to specialize in the area of IT security and develop skills that are highly valued in the industry.
One of the benefits of obtaining Security+ certification is that it is recognized globally. This means that individuals who hold this certification can work in various countries and industries. Additionally, Security+ certification is a requirement for many government and military IT positions. The certification is also a stepping stone for those who want to pursue more advanced security certifications, such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).
Are Network Plus and Security+ certifications equally important?
Both Network Plus and Security+ certifications are important for individuals looking to pursue a career in IT. Network Plus certification is a prerequisite for many advanced networking certifications, such as Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP). Security+ certification, on the other hand, is a prerequisite for many cybersecurity certifications, such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).
However, while both certifications are important, the level of importance may vary depending on the specific career path an individual wants to pursue. For example, if someone is interested in becoming a network engineer, Network Plus certification may hold more weight. On the other hand, if someone is interested in becoming a cybersecurity analyst, Security+ certification may be more valuable. It’s important to research and understand the specific requirements and expectations of the career path you want to pursue in order to determine which certification may be more important for you.
Exam format and pattern of Network Plus and Security+ certifications
The structure of the exams for Network Plus and Security+ certifications is similar. Both exams consist of multiple choice questions, drag and drop questions, and performance-based questions. The Network Plus exam consists of 90 questions, and candidates have 90 minutes to complete it. The Security+ exam consists of 90 questions, and candidates have 90 minutes to complete it. Both exams require a passing score of 750 on a scale of 100-900.
It is important to note that the Network Plus exam focuses on networking concepts and technologies, while the Security+ exam focuses on cybersecurity concepts and best practices. Candidates for the Security+ exam are expected to have a strong understanding of network security, cryptography, and risk management. Additionally, both exams are updated regularly to reflect changes in technology and industry best practices, so it is important for candidates to stay up-to-date on the latest exam objectives and study materials.
Difficulty level of Network Plus certification
Network Plus certification is an entry-level certification, so it is not as difficult as some of the more advanced certifications in the industry. However, the exam still requires a solid understanding of networking concepts, and candidates need to be familiar with different networking technologies and protocols. The exam also includes performance-based questions that require candidates to troubleshoot network issues, which can be challenging for those without hands-on experience in networking.
One way to prepare for the Network Plus certification exam is to take a training course. There are many online and in-person courses available that cover the exam objectives and provide hands-on practice with networking equipment and software. Some courses also offer practice exams and study materials to help candidates feel more confident and prepared for the actual exam.
Another factor that can affect the difficulty level of the Network Plus certification exam is the candidate’s background and experience. Candidates with prior experience in networking or IT may find the exam easier to pass, while those without any background in the field may need to spend more time studying and practicing. However, with dedication and effort, anyone can earn the Network Plus certification and start their career in the exciting field of networking.
Difficulty level of Security+ certification
Security+ certification is a more advanced certification than Network Plus certification, and the exam reflects this. The exam covers a broad range of topics related to cybersecurity, including network security, access control, cryptography, and threat management. The exam includes performance-based questions that require candidates to solve real-world scenarios related to cybersecurity.
One of the reasons why Security+ certification is considered difficult is because it requires a deep understanding of cybersecurity concepts and practices. Candidates need to have a solid grasp of network protocols, security protocols, and encryption algorithms. They also need to be familiar with different types of cyber attacks and how to prevent them.
Another factor that makes Security+ certification challenging is the time limit. The exam is 90 minutes long and consists of 90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions. Candidates need to manage their time effectively to ensure they have enough time to answer all the questions and review their answers before submitting the exam.
Which certification should you choose and why?
The choice between Network Plus and Security+ certification depends on your career goals and interests. If you are interested in pursuing a career in networking, then Network Plus certification is a good choice. However, if you want to specialize in cybersecurity, then Security+ certification is a better option. Both certifications are highly valued in the IT industry and can greatly enhance your career prospects.
It is important to note that Security+ certification covers a wider range of topics than Network Plus certification. Security+ certification includes topics such as cryptography, risk management, and threat analysis, which are not covered in Network Plus certification. Therefore, if you are interested in gaining a more comprehensive understanding of cybersecurity, Security+ certification is the way to go.
Another factor to consider when choosing between Network Plus and Security+ certification is the level of difficulty. Security+ certification is considered to be more challenging than Network Plus certification, as it covers more advanced topics. However, with the right preparation and study, both certifications are achievable.
How to prepare for the exams of Network Plus and Security+ certifications
Preparing for the exams of Network Plus and Security+ certifications requires a combination of study materials and hands-on experience. CompTIA offers official study materials, including books, practice exams, and online courses. Candidates should also gain hands-on experience in networking and cybersecurity by participating in internships, working on personal projects, and seeking mentorship from IT professionals.
Additionally, candidates should familiarize themselves with the exam format and content by reviewing the exam objectives and taking practice tests. It is also recommended to join online forums and study groups to discuss and share knowledge with other candidates. Time management is crucial during the exam, so candidates should practice answering questions within the allotted time frame. Finally, candidates should maintain a positive attitude and stay motivated throughout the preparation process.
Resources for preparing for the exams of Network Plus and Security+ certifications
There are numerous online resources available for candidates preparing for the exams of Network Plus and Security+ certifications. Online courses, YouTube videos, and practice exams are just a few of the options available. Candidates should also participate in online forums and communities to get support from other professionals and share their experiences.
One of the most effective ways to prepare for these exams is to create a study plan and stick to it. This plan should include a schedule for reviewing the material, taking practice exams, and seeking help when needed. Candidates should also make use of flashcards and other study aids to reinforce their knowledge.
It is important to note that these exams are constantly updated to reflect changes in the industry. Therefore, candidates should stay up-to-date with the latest developments in networking and security. They can do this by reading industry publications, attending conferences, and participating in online training programs.
Success rates of people taking Network Plus and Security+ certifications
According to CompTIA, the pass rate for Network Plus certification is approximately 73%, while the pass rate for Security+ certification is around 80%. These pass rates vary based on a candidate’s previous experience, study habits, and preparation techniques.
It is important to note that the difficulty level of these certifications also varies. Network Plus certification focuses on networking concepts and technologies, while Security+ certification covers topics such as network security, cryptography, and access control. Therefore, candidates may find one certification more challenging than the other, depending on their background and expertise.
Additionally, obtaining these certifications can lead to various career opportunities. Network Plus certification can lead to job roles such as network administrator, network technician, and help desk technician. On the other hand, Security+ certification can lead to job roles such as security specialist, security consultant, and security engineer. These certifications can also increase earning potential and demonstrate a candidate’s expertise in their field.
Salary and career prospects with a Network Plus or a Security+ certification
Individuals who hold Network Plus or Security+ certification can expect to earn a competitive salary in the IT industry. According to Payscale, the average salary for a Network+ certified professional is around $70,000 per year, while the average salary for a Security+ certified professional is around $80,000 per year. These salaries can vary based on the level of experience and expertise of the individual.
Do you need to take both Network Plus and Security+ certifications?
While it is not necessary to obtain both Network Plus and Security+ certifications, having both certifications can greatly enhance an individual’s career prospects. Network Plus certification is a prerequisite for many advanced networking certifications, while Security+ certification is a prerequisite for many cybersecurity certifications. Having both certifications demonstrates a broad range of skills and experience in the IT industry.
Differences between the skills needed for Network Plus and Security+ certifications
The skills needed for Network Plus and Security+ certifications are different. Network Plus certification focuses on networking concepts and troubleshooting network issues, while Security+ certification focuses on cybersecurity concepts and protecting information systems from threats. However, both certifications require a strong foundation in IT fundamentals, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
Future trends in network security that will affect your choice between Network Plus and Security+
As technology continues to advance, network security will become increasingly important. This will create a high demand for professionals with cybersecurity skills and certifications such as Security+. Additionally, the rise of cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) will create a need for professionals with networking skills and certifications such as Network Plus. Individuals who can demonstrate expertise in both areas will be highly sought after in the IT industry.
In conclusion, both Network Plus and Security+ certifications are valuable certifications for individuals pursuing a career in the IT industry. While Network Plus certification is an entry-level certification, it still requires a solid understanding of networking concepts and practical skills. Security+ certification, on the other hand, is a more advanced certification that covers a broad range of topics related to cybersecurity. Your choice between Network Plus and Security+ certification depends on your career goals and interests. Regardless of which certification you choose, preparing for the exams requires a combination of study materials and hands-on experience. With the right preparation, you can achieve success and take your career in the IT industry to the next level.