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Answers to Your Questions About CompTIA Security+ Exam Changes

Cybersecurity is paramount in every industry, with terms like risk management and mitigation dominating business conversations. IT pros need to keep both cloud and on-premises networks secure. With hacking techniques constantly advancing and evolving, security technicians need to be able to meet these changing challenges. 

The recent changes to the CompTIA Security+ exam reflect the changing environment but can also lead to plenty of questions. We’ve put together a list of some common questions, along with the answers.

Why Did They Release an Updated CompTIA Security+ Exam?

A new version of the CompTIA Security+ exam is released every three years, which is a standard practice and helps ensure the exam is meeting industry standards. Since malware and other threats are evolving, updating the exam gives IT personnel the skills they need to meet the changing challenges.

The new version—CompTIA Security+ (SYO-701)—covers essential skills and knowledge but also emphasizes practical skills.

What Topics Should I Study for the CompTIA Security+ Exam?

The latest version of the exam covers five domains and you should expect to find a mix of multiple-choice and performance-based questions. Here’s a look at the five domains included on the CompTIA Security+ exam, along with the percentage each section makes up in the test:

  1. General Security Concepts – 12%

  2. Security Architecture – 18%

  3. Security Program Management and Oversight – 20%

  4. Threat, Vulnerabilities, and Mitigations – 22%

  5. Security Operations – 26%

You should also expect to find questions relating to the latest security trends. Security in hybrid environments is something else you should plan on studying.

What Are Some Jobs That Prefer CompTIA Security+ Certification?

Passing the newest version of the CompTIA Security+ exam indicates that you’re familiar with the latest cyber threats and mitigation techniques, which is something employers are looking for more often in IT pros. 

It doesn’t mean you don’t need your college degree—only that passing the CompTIA Security+ exam gives you an edge over other job applicants. Think of CompTIA Security+ certification as an additional level of training.

With CompTIA Security+ certification, you can choose from primary and secondary positions in the IT industry. If you’re looking to advance your career, Security_ certification opens the doors to roles like security or systems administrator. The certificate also indicates you’re ready to assume the responsibility that comes with being a security specialist.

If your career in the tech industry is just starting, Security+ certification can make it easier to find a position as a security analyst or engineer. The certification can also help you land the role of a help desk analyst. There are only a few examples of some of the jobs that prefer hiring candidates with CompTIA Security+ certification.

Do I Need To Pass CompTIA Network+ Before the CompTIA Security+ Exam?

The latest version of the CompTIA Security+ exam doesn’t require you to hold a CompTIA Network+ certificate. You can take one course without the other. However, most industry experts recommend you go through the CompTIA Network+ course.

Why? The Network+ course helps prepare you for the Security+ exam by giving you foundational cybersecurity skills. CompTIA Security+ builds off of what you learn in CompTIA Network+. After all, if you don’t understand how the network functions, it’s difficult to know if you’re managing the risks.

Should I Stop Studying Version SYO-601 and Focus on SYO-701?

Version SYO-601 expires in July 2024. If you’re taking the exam before the July expiration date, You should be taking the older version (SYO-601) of the CompTIA Security+ exam. Anyone taking the exam after the 2024 expiration date should switch over to the updated version (SYO-701).

Even though the new version of the CompTIA Security+ exam follows the older one fairly closely, it does contain some updated information. To ensure that you’re ready to meet any cyber challenge at work, it’s a good idea to study the updated CompTIA Security+ material regardless of when you’re scheduled to take the exam. In other words, go ahead and switch over to the updated study guide.

How Long Is CompTIA Security+ Certification Valid?

Your CompTIA Security+ certificate is valid for three years. You can renew your certificate by enrolling in continuing education credits, which can include courses like CompTIA PenTest+ Another option is to go back to your lower CompTIA certifications.

Even though the CompTIA Security+ exam is changing, it’s nothing to worry about. If you’re in the middle of studying for the SYO-601 exam, it should be a problem including the new material. With your CompTIA Security+ certificate, you can advance your career in the IT industry.

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