Spring Sale. Ends April 30th

CompTIA Stackable Certifications Explained

CompTIA Stackable Certifications Explained

Whether you have always dreamed of following a career path centred around IT or have recently discovered that you have a new-found interest in IT, then the question that follows is what next? Perhaps you already live, breathe, and sleep IT and want to find a way to grow your career. You may ask yourself the same question.

IT is not an overnight cram of knowledge or something you can walk into with natural talent. You need valid qualifications behind you to establish a successful career path. If you are asking yourself what the next step is, then the most likely answer is CompTIA Stackable Certifications. They are still a relatively new concept within the education sector, but they are one of the best ways to build up your skill set. CompTIA is the world's leading vendor-neutral technology, and while it is a growing movement today, it has been around since 1982. Sounds interesting? Sure it does! Continue reading as we explain CompTIA stackable certifications in more detail.

What Are Stackable Certifications?

Before we tuck into CompTIA stackable certifications, let's break it down and explore the concept of stackable certifications on its own. Every day, the technological advancement of the world progresses a little more; technology isn't standing still. This means continual education is essential for career growth to stay on top of all the recent updates and to develop into more specialised jobs. This is especially the case for those working within the IT industry. With so many advancements, IT staff must acquire new academic knowledge to broaden their existing skills.

A Pew Research Center study reported more than half of adults within the workforce understand the need to acquire new skills throughout their careers. 72% note that the onus of obtaining further education lies with them. Typically, continuing education and expanding on existing qualifications meant earning an advanced degree. However, stackable certifications allow working adults to obtain more qualifications and advanced training at their own pace.

Stackable certifications are a collection of qualifications that come together to provide you with an entirely new qualification – as the name says, they stack together. These CompTIA certifications can grow as your career does. You can think of stackable certifications as building blocks. You achieve greater heights in your career when you start stacking each block. Better still, there is room to add more!

The Benefits of Stackable Certifications

The benefits of stackable certifications include the following:

  • They help provide guidance with a clear career pathway.
  • You know what the expectations are from the qualifications you choose and how you can progress with each one.
  • You can grow your existing knowledge base.
  • You can learn at your own pace and progress to the next qualification when you are ready. This is especially helpful if you are already working.
  • Degrees are expensive. Stackable certifications are typically more cost-effective, allowing the learner to pay for the qualification in “bite-size” chunks.
  • Should you decide not to continue to the next certification level, you will still have a valid qualification that looks great on a CV.
  • Stackable certifications are a great introduction to learning for those students who haven't achieved qualifications outside of school yet. It eases them into a learning journey that doesn't weigh heavy on the funds and on any learner's abilities.

What Are CompTIA Stackable Certifications?

As mentioned earlier, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has been around since 1982. They helped revolutionise IT certifications in 1993 that are not tied to specific IT hardware, software, or manufacturers. The broader spectrum of learning gained massive traction worldwide, since it responds and adapts so well to the IT industry.

CompTIA first launched its own collection of stackable IT certifications in 2018. Today, they are acknowledged in over 120 countries, allowing learners a great opportunity to work globally. CompTIA stackable certifications indicate that you’ve earned several CompTIA IT certifications and have gained the knowledge, skills, and experience required to take your professional IT career to new heights. For an employer looking at your CV, having CompTIA stackable certifications validates your skills in various IT roles. It is a reflection of the mastery you achieved in thriving for advanced education in the field. In other words, you will have greater job opportunities available to you.

CompTIA says: “Stackable certifications demonstrate that you’ve earned multiple CompTIA certifications and have the knowledge and experience needed to grow your IT career. They… show a deeper mastery, opening up more job opportunities for you.”

CompTIA stackable certifications suit learners wanting to break into IT for the first time to advanced students looking to achieve the highest skill level possible. For example, the CompTIA A+ course is ideal if you want to learn essential maintenance and troubleshooting skills and how to keep machines running. The popular second step CompTIA Network+ course suits those who would like to gain the knowledge and skills to design, implement, maintain and troubleshoot wired and wireless networks.

Where these certifications become stacked is when you start achieving more than one. For instance, you can gain the CompTIA A+ and N+ qualifications; you are not limited to only completing one. In fact, if you have both of these certifications under your belt, you are certified to work globally on the most commonly used hardware, software, and network infrastructures. What will your CV say? You can proudly boast that you are certified as a CIOS (CompTIA IT Operations Specialist).

CompTIA Career Pathways

CompTIA stackable certifications have several valuable benefits. They create a sequence of credentials to build up your skills and knowledge over a period of time that suits you as the learner. While the course offers guidance in obtaining new skills, it also recognises that not all careers follow the same pathway, even if they are all centred around IT.

The CompTIA currently offers two separate pathways for its stackable certifications range, namely:

CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway

For those learners who want to focus on the administration and management of hardware, software, servers, and networks.

CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway

CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Pathway

For those learners who want to focus on both reactive and proactive protection against cyber threats, including malware, phishing, and denial of service attacks.

CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Pathway

Students can move from the infrastructure career pathway to cybersecurity (and vice versa) because there is some familiar overlap between the two courses. Each pathway is further categorised into three experience levels, including:

  • Specialist: Early-career IT professionals with 0–2 years of experience.
  • Professional: Mid-level IT professionals with 2–5 years of experience.
  • Expert: Established IT professionals with more than 5 years of experience.

Current CompTIA Stackable Certifications

Below is the list of all the current CompTIA stackable certifications and the individual qualifications needed to achieve each specific one.

Infrastructure Specialist

  • CIOS: CompTIA IT Operations Specialist (A+/ Network+)
  • CSSS: CompTIA Systems Support Specialist (A+/ Linux+)

Infrastructure Professional

  • CCAP: CompTIA Cloud Admin Professional (Network+/Cloud+)
  • CNIP: CompTIA Network Infrastructure Professional (Network+/Server+)
  • CLNP: CompTIA Linux Network Professional (Network+/Linux+)

Cybersecurity Specialist

  • CSIS: CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist (A+/Network+/Security+)

Cybersecurity Professional

  • CSCP: CompTIA Secure Cloud Professional (Security+/Cloud+)
  • CSAP: CompTIA Security Analytics Professional (Security+/CySA+)
  • CNVP: CompTIA Network Vulnerability Assessment Professional (Security+/PenTest+)
  • CNSP: CompTIA Network Security Professional (Security+/PenTest+/CySA+)

Cybersecurity Expert

  • CSAE: CompTIA Security Analytics Expert (Security+/CySA+/CASP+)
  • CSIE: CompTIA Security Infrastructure Expert (Security+/CySA+/PenTest+/CASP+)

Each individual qualification takes between 20 and 30 hours to complete, excluding any exams.

Making the Most of Your Comptia Stackable Certifications

Acquiring CompTIA stackable certifications is an accomplishment in itself. To maximise the benefits, it is essential to strategically leverage these certifications in your job applications and career advancement opportunities. Highlight your certifications on your resume and LinkedIn profile to catch the attention of hiring managers and recruiters.

Moreover, continued learning and certification upgrades are integral to maintaining a competitive edge. Stay updated with the latest developments in your field and explore opportunities for specialisation or advanced certifications within the CompTIA framework. This ongoing commitment to growth not only solidifies your existing skills but also ensures you remain relevant in an ever-changing industry.

When it comes to job applications, having CompTIA stackable certifications can significantly enhance your chances of securing an interview. Employers often search for candidates who possess relevant certifications, as they demonstrate a commitment to professional development and a desire to stay ahead of the curve. By prominently displaying your certifications on your resume, you can instantly grab the attention of hiring managers and make a strong first impression.

Additionally, don't forget to optimise your LinkedIn profile to highlight your CompTIA stackable certifications. LinkedIn has become a powerful platform for professional networking and job searching. Many recruiters and hiring managers rely on LinkedIn to find qualified candidates. By including your certifications in the “Certifications” section of your profile, you increase your visibility and make it easier for potential employers to find you.

In conclusion, acquiring CompTIA stackable certifications is a commendable achievement, but to truly make the most of these certifications, you need to strategically leverage them in your job applications and career advancement opportunities. Highlighting your certifications on your resume and LinkedIn profile, staying updated with industry trends, exploring opportunities for specialisation, and building a strong professional network are all essential steps to maximise the benefits of your CompTIA stackable certifications.

Grow Your IT Career with CompTIA

CompTIA certifications provide a clear pathway for IT professionals to enhance their knowledge, skills, and career prospects. By understanding the importance of CompTIA stackable certifications and exploring the different types available, you can make informed decisions to build a strong foundation for success. By embracing the process of obtaining these certifications and harnessing their benefits, you can gain an edge in the competitive IT industry and position yourself for a fulfilling and lucrative career.

We have answers!

Speak to us about your career.
Image link
Image link
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *