Monthly Archives: March 2014

CompTIA A+ 200-801 and 200-802: Now Available in Arabic

comptia a, arabic, it certification examsTo better target the needs of IT professionals in the Middle East and other Arabic speaking countries, CompTIA has made the latest version of its A+ certification exams (220-801 and 220-802) available in Arabic. This has been officially announced today through the press release available on the company’s website.

Although the change has apparently been introduced to target the booming markets of the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman, the Arabic version of A+ exams is available worldwide, making things easier for aspiring Arabic-speaking IT professionals who prefer to take the exams in their native language.

“The IT technician’s role is increasingly more complex and sophisticated than in the days of the break-fix PC repairman,” said Terry Erdle, executive vice president, certification and learning, CompTIA. “Their responsibilities have expanded into areas such as mobility, security, virtualization and other emerging technologies. CompTIA A+ reflects this reality.”

CompTIA A+ is an ANSI accredited certification to the ISO 17024:2012 standard. CompTIA A+ validates foundation-level knowledge and skills necessary for a career in IT service and support. Nearly one million IT professionals have earned the credential since it was introduced in 1993.

Employers rely on CompTIA A+ when hiring IT staff because certified workers have a greater ability to understand new and complex technologies; are more productive; and bring more insightful problem-solving to the workplace.

Moreover, Oman Ministry of Education has used CompTIA A+ and other certifications to strengthen the hardware and software skills of some 900 IT technicians and engineers working in the ministry’s headquarters, regional offices and schools.

PMI CAPM vs CompTIA Project+. Which One Should You Go For?

pmi, capm, comptia, project management, it certification examsRecently, we have discussed PMP, the ultimate project management credential. Yet, building up the experience and knowledge to be eligible to attempt this certification takes years of hard work, and, perhaps some entry level certifications. Among the ultimate stepping stones towards the PMP, we have picked two best options you should consider: PMI’s CAPM (Certified Associate In Project Management) and CompTIA’s Project+.

Obviously, the CAPM looks like a better option compared to the Project+ as it’s developed by PMI, the organization that sets standards in the project management industry. The good news about the Project+, however, is the fact that it was developed on the same PMBOK (project management body of knowledge), hence, it covers the same information as the CAPM. So, what’s the difference between these two credentials?

First, prerequisites. Like with the PMP, PMI does not make it easy with the CAPM. To be eligible for the Certified Associate In Project Management credential, candidates need to have either 1,500 hours of documented on-the-job experience (approximately 9 months of full-time work) or 23 hours of project management classroom training. Project+, however, does not have these requirements.

Both CAPM and Project+ require sitting one exam that covers more or less similar areas. Neither of the two exams is easy, and some people fail, but the CAPM fail rate does not even come close to the PMP, which is notoriously hard.

The CAPM is definitely a great option for IT professionals interested in project management. Yet, it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s still an entry level certification, meaning that it’s is unlikely to provide a ticket to a proper project management job. However, it may be great for those IT professionals who have to deal with a number of project management aspects in their daily work, and need some project management training to work more efficiently. For the very same reason these candidates may want to consider CompTIA Project+ certification.

CompTIA has an excellent reputation as a certifying body for its balanced and quality certifications. The Project+ is another example of CompTIA doing a good job. Compared to the CAPM, Project+ comes from a computing industry-spanning organization that develops its certification programs based on the needs and input from industry stakeholders, from leading IT companies to government organizations, education institutions etc. This way, CompTIA Project+ credential targets the needs of project management with a special focus on the IT industry – which adds a huge value to this certification.

CompTIA Project+ certification does not have any prerequisites, and candidates have to take one exam: PK0-003.

Many certification holders and project management experts agree that the Project+ is easier to obtain, which makes it seem somewhat less valuable compared to the CAPM. In spite of that, Project+ is just as good a stepping stone to the PMP, as CAPM. Yet, if you google for entry level positions in project management, many mention having the CAPM as an advantage while very few list the Project+.

Summing up, both credentials are definitely worth your attention if you are looking for an entry level project management certification. The CAPM definitely has the challenge and edge to it, while CompTIA’s Project+ is more IT industry focused, and this fact may come as a significant advantage to many candidates.

70-410 Exam: Windows Server 2012 R2 Updates

windows, windows server 2012, 70-410,  exam updates, r2The 70-410 Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 exam is one of the most googled Microsoft exams this year. This is a required exam for MCSA and MCSE credentials, and it has faced some crucial updates earlier this year.

This exam validates your ability to implement and configure Windows Server 2012 core services, such as Active Directory and the networking services. Passing this exam along with the other two exams confirms that a candidate has the skills and knowledge necessary for implementing, managing, maintaining, and provisioning services and infrastructure in a Windows Server 2012 environment.

  • Install and configure servers (15–20%)
  • Configure server roles and features (15–20%)
  • Configure Hyper-V (15–20%)
  • Deploy and configure core network services (15–20%)
  • Install and administer Active Directory (15–20%)
  • Create and manage Group Policy (15–20%)

In January 2014, Microsoft updated this exam to include content covering Windows Server 2012 R2. While publishing houses and tech writers hurried up to publish new books for The 70-410 Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 R2 exam (there is a tendency to add R2 to this exam after the update), many potential exam candidates were left wondering how significant the update was, and how much different the exam had become.

The truth is, yes, the updates are significant, and ignoring them is a sure way to fail the 70-410 exam. Yet, is you have been using the old exam blueprint to study for the 70-410, here’s what has been added to some exam sections:

Install and configure servers (15–20%)

  • Configure servers: Install and configure Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC).
  • Configure local storage: Create storage pools by using disk enclosures

Configure server roles and features (17%)

  • Configure file and share access: Create and configure Work Folders
  • Configure servers for remote management: Manage non-domain joined servers

Configure Hyper-V (15–20%)

  • Create and configure virtual machine settings: Create and configure Generation 1 and 2virtual machines; configure and use enhanced session mode
  • Create and configure virtual machine storage: Manage checkpoints; configure storage Quality of Service (QoS)
  • Create and configure virtual networks: Configure network interface card (NIC) teaming in virtual machines

Install and administer Active Directory (14%)

  • Install domain controllers: Deploy Active Directory infrastructure as a service (IaaS) in Windows Azure

This is the summary of the R2 updates to Microsoft 70-410 exam. Is it a lot to master? It may be, but making an effort and mastering these sections will sure be useful as putting this exam on your resume will definitely boost your career potential. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.




Another Reason to Get CompTIA Mobility+: Fiberlink – CompTIA Dual Program

comptia mobility, fiberlink, it certification examsBreaking News! CompTIA Mobility+ Certification becomes part of New Dual Certification Program from Fiberlink, an IBM Company. From now on, Mobility+ serves as prerequisite for entry into Fiberlink’s MaaS360 Partner Academy.

Launched recently, CompTIA’s Mobility+ certification has instantly rocketed into popularity this year- due to the growing trend of mobile technologies and the ever-rising demand for mobile app development. Yet, this week mobility professionals and wannabes got another reason to get on with this credential.

CompTIA teamed up with Fiberlink, an IBM company and leader in enterprise mobility management (EMM). Fiberlink has unveiled a new partner certification – the MaaS360 Partner Certification Program, and CompTIA Mobility+ certification is a prerequisite to this program. As a prerequisite, anyone entering the MaaS360 Partner Academy must first earn the CompTIA Mobility+ certification.

This winning combination of CompTIA Mobility+ and the MaaS360 Partner Academy optimizes the holder’s mobility proficiency to drive new opportunities and effectively design, manage and secure any mobile environment.

Fiberlink has praised CompTIA Mobility+ certification for being extremely well designed for candidates to master smooth delivery of mobility services and technical skills. “By adding our own content on top of Mobility+, we know partners will be well equipped for success in the mobility space,” stated Francois Daumard, vice president of channels at Fiberlink.

“This is precisely the role that CompTIA certifications are intended to fill; to provide IT professionals with solid, foundational skills that they can use as a stepping stone to more specialized, vendor-specific credentials,” said Terry Erdle, executive vice president, certification and learning, CompTIA. “We’re extremely pleased to collaborate with Fiberlink in their effort to train and credential their channel partners.”

Launched in November 2013, CompTIA Mobility+ is an industry-built, internationally-recognized certification that covers the knowledge and skills IT professionals need to deploy, integrate, manage and secure mobile devices and platforms to optimize performance and mitigate risks and threats. Click here to find out more about Mobility+ Certification from CompTIA. Find out more about Fiberlink and its programs here.

What You Need to Know About ITIL Qualifications and Certifications

itil qualifications, itil certifications, it management, it certification examsITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) certifications are often mentioned among the most popular and most useful IT management credentials. But what exactly is this ‘Information Technology Infrastructure Library’?

ITIL practices are designed to help organizations identify areas that need improvement. These are vendor- and industry-neutral guidelines that help companies optimize and streamline their processes, maximize the efficiency and reduce costs. To understand what ITIL is about, it helps to know a little of its history.

Back in 1980s, the UK Government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) developed a set of recommendations to respond to the growing dependence on the information technology. CCTA recognized that without standard practices, government agencies and private sector contracts were forced to come up with their own IT management practices.

As a result, IT Infrastructure Library came along as a collection of books, each covering a specific practice within IT service management. ITIL was built around a process-model based view of controlling and managing operations. The initial publication (ITIL v1) covered 7 years from 1989-1996 and included over 30 volumes.

In 2001, ITIL v2 was released. It consolidated the publications into nine logical sets, making the library more accessible (and affordable). The edition grouped related process guidelines to match different aspects of IT management, services and solutions. Although ITIL version 2 has been amended since 2001, it remains the current version today.

How can ITIL help organizations today? It includes valuable guidelines for streamlining the processes by maximizing the potential of technology, which leads to better efficiency and balanced workload. The relevance of ITIL is proven by the popularity of ITIL qualifications and certification exams. ITIL certifications validate their holders’ understanding of the best management practices, with this expertise being highly valuable to government organizations, non-profits and commercial enterprises alike.

ITIL Qualifications

ITIL’s Qualification Scheme is based on the modular approach when all ITIL and ITIL-related qualifications are assigned a specific credit value. There are 5 levels of qualifications in the ITIL qualification layout.

  • ITIL Foundation (worth 2 credits). ITIL Foundation exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions and has no prerequisites. It covers basic terminology, elements and concepts associated with ITIL service lifecycle management.
  • ITIL Intermediate Level (worth 15 credits)- is open ITIL Foundation holders who have completed an accredited training course. The intermediate level covers two areas: Service Lifecycle examinations (including Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, and Continual Service Improvement) and Service Capability examinations (Planning Protection and Optimization, Release Control and Validation, Operational Support and Analysis, and Service Offerings and Agreements).
  • ITIL Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC, worth 5 credits) is the final required module that a candidate must take prior to achieving ITIL Expert Level. Upon successful completion of the education and examination components related to this qualification, candidates can expect to gain competencies in the following: Key concepts of the service lifecycle; Communication and stakeholder management; Integrating service management processes across the service lifecycle; Managing services across the service lifecycle; Governance and organization; Measurement; Implementing and improving service management capability.
  • ITIL Expert Level requires the candidate to have accumulated 22 credits that have been gained by passing the ITIL Foundation, Intermediate Level and MALC exams.
  • ITIL Master Qualification requires the candidate to already be ITIL Expert-level qualified. To achieve the ITIL Master Qualification, candidates must “explain and justify how they selected and individually applied a range of knowledge, principles, methods and techniques from ITIL and supporting management techniques, to achieve desired business outcomes in one or more practical assignments.”

When a candidate completes a given level of the ITIL examination, he or she is given the certification and the attributed credits. Each level of certification has its own requirements, all of which include earning a specific number of credits.

The ITIL Credit System also recognizes ‘ITIL Complementary Qualifications’ by giving credits for some credentials the candidate has received from other vendors, relevant to the ITIL body of knowledge. These credentials include APMG-International qualifications: Problem Analyst, Lean IT, ISO/IEC 20000, Service Catalogue, Configuration Management Database, Change Analyst, Sourcing Governance Foundation (SGF), BiSL, ASL2. Other recognized certifications are IT Service Management Foundation (EXIN), Certified Process Design Engineer (LCS certification), and BCS Specialist Qualifications in IT Service Management.

While the ITIL website allows for convenient calculation of your credits, the most common question ITIL candidates and wannabes ask is ‘How high up do I have to go? Is ITIL Foundation enough? Do I need to have an Expert level certification? Experts agree that ITIL Foundation is way too basic to be taken as a serious career step in the long run, so we recommend that you aim for the Expert or Master qualification to maximize your career potential and validate your knowledge and understanding of current information technology management practices.

PMP – Is It Really THAT Good?

pmp, project management professional it certification examsProject Management Professional (PMP) certification is one of those credentials that keep coming up in every ‘best paid certifications’ list. Is it really THAT good (meaning should YOU pursue it?) Let’s take a closer look.

Developed and offered by Project Management Institute (PMI), PMP has over 500,000 active certified holders. The credential is known to boost a professional career in project management industry.

In spite of the popularity of the credential, many project managers claim that high level industry knowledge and professionalism that supposedly comes from certification and translates into high salaries, does not come from the credential. Instead, it is grown by the years of hard work and professional experience. On the other hand, many object to that saying that there may be different quality to project management, e.g. managing a project for a small or even medium-sized company vs. Fortune 500 company. And PMP opens the doors to working with Fortune 500 companies.

Project management experts agree that the PMP certification establishes a common language among project managers and helps them work within a common framework. The PMP equips its holders with a better level of applying the processes, tools, and techniques to projects. It builds on Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) framework and demonstrates that through actions, you’ll build your own personal brand within the company as someone who can deliver. Consistent and successful delivery using PMBOK framework is a must for managers to be moving up the project ladder, to larger and more complex projects and more reputable business organizations. By demonstrating greater competency managing more complex projects, you’ll also be able to compete for more senior positions.

Yet, like any certification, which is basically an exam that validates academic competency, it does not guarantee the success of your career. Neither does it prove your track record of successful projects. It certainly sets successful candidates apart and makes it easier for them to secure great jobs, especially candidates with less experience, to whom the credential can be very helpful. It’s an excellent way to kick start your project management career and give it a huge boost – from getting your CV through initial HR screenings to being taken more seriously by your project team.

But what about those professionals who have been in the project management for years, and are happy with the way their career advances and do not feel the need in any formal validation of their skills? If this sounds like you, congratulations, you do not need to invest the time and money in this credential. Chances are, you doing great just wherever you are!

Yet, there is still something to consider. Many PMP holders report that the credential has really helped them in terms of perception management, of how they are viewed by other project managers and teams, and the credibility they are granted as a result. Which, once again, is especially helpful to candidates who have not worked up their name and reputation yet.

Another reason PMP is great for newer project management candidates is its networking opportunities. You get to meet other PMP holders and people working in the industry. This is the same value many get from MBA, MA or just high-end college programs – networking, getting to know people and forming the circle with high potential for excellent professional opportunities, references, endorsements etc. We all know that personal connections go a long way these days!

So, if you are ready to get around $1000 out of your pocket (PMI and PMP registration + preparation materials, courses, books etc), you better get ready to study hard. PMP exam is very complicated, and it does have a high fail rate. Yet, if a certification is associated with truly high salaries, it cannot be a piece of cake, right?

So, before you get your credit card out to pay for your PMP certification, you need to ensure that you are eligible for this credential. Candidates need to have:

A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent) with at least five years of project management experience, with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.


A four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent) and at least three years of project management experience, with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.

To proceed, candidates need to register with PMI and login to their online system to apply for their PMP certification. Be sure to get PMP Handbook, which will become your best friend until you pass the exam.

Summing up, PMP is definitely a high potential certification. It can be especially valuable for candidates who still have room to grow their project management career, and want to give their professional skills and reputation a boost. This is a very challenging certification, but it sure opens the doors to great future – and excellent pay slips.

What is Citrix XenApp?

citrix xenapp, it certification examsWe may hear the name of Citrix XenApp often enough, but does everyone understand what this product is about? Let’s take a closer look at this solution, and on the XepApp-focused certification.

Formerly known as WinFrame Server, Citrix MetaFrame Server and Citrix Presentation Server, XenApp is an application virtualization solution that enables users to connect to their corporate applications from a wide range of computer systems and mobile devices. XenApp hosts applications on central servers and allows users to interact with them remotely or stream and deliver them to user devices for local execution. Citrix Xen App extends Microsoft Remote Desktop Session Host desktop sessions and applications to users through the Citrix HDX protocol. XenApp was originally built on top of the Windows Terminal Server platform (which was developed by Citrix in mid 90s).

Citrix XenApp and Remote Desktop Services enable organizations to centrally manage their Windows applications and computing resources in a secure data center, which is especially important for organizations whose operations involve the flow of sensitive data.

As a cross-platform solution, Citrix XenApp enables users to access these applications from anywhere, including non-Windows clients. Here’s how it works: XenApp sessions and applications can be accessed by client devices using a software client Citrix Receiver which is available for a variety of client form factors and operating systems.

HDX protocol provides smooth remote display capabilities, multimedia redirection, USB redirection, and a variety of other capabilities, depending on the client device.

Citrix XenApp direct competitors are Microsoft Terminal Services for Windows Server 2008, Quest Software vWorkspace, Systancia AppliDis Fusion, Spoon Server and Ericom Software WebConnect. Win4Lin Virtual Desktop Server provided similar functionality for serving Windows desktop sessions from Linux servers, while Sun’s application virtualization offering, the Oracle Secure Global Desktop, serves to provide a complete solution allowing for the delivery of both Windows and Unix applications on all major platforms.

Citrix XenApp Certification

Citrix has recently revamped its certification program making its credentials more solution-based and tailored to the current and ever-changing needs of IT professionals and organizations. There are three standard levels proving candidates’ skills and experience required to deliver successful Citrix solutions:

  • Citrix Certified Associate
  • Citrix Certified Professional
  • Citrix Certified Expert

The company offers the credential of CCA for Citrix XenApp for those willing to certify knowledge of Citrix XenApp 6.5 solutions. To attain this certification, candidates need to pass the Basic Administration for XenApp 6.5 exam. IT tests the knowledge and skills required to install, configure, and administer Citrix XenApp 6.5 on-demand applications.

The Citrix XenApp 6.5 Administration exam is divided into the following sections which can serve as a preparation guide:

  • Understanding the Citrix Architecture
  • Licensing and Installing XenApp
  • Configuring XenApp Sessions
  • Configuring XenApp Policies
  • Publishing Applications and Content
  • Additional Management
  • Managing Performance and Load
  • Configuring Printing
  • Enabling and Securing Web Access to Published Applications and Content
  • Troubleshooting

So, getting XenApp certified seems like a smart career move for many IT professionals trying to find their high-potential role in medium-and big companies and corporations, since the demand for remote access solutions backed up by the latest functionality and security advances will definitely keep growing.

Citrix offers XenApp official training available on the company’s website. You can also check out the Citrix section at ExamCollection.

Red Hat 15 Years Anniversary Offer: Promo Code Inside

promo, promo code, discount, special offer, red hatBreaking News! As Red Hat Training and certification program celebrates its 15 years, the company came up with an incentive on their courses and exams

From now until May 31, 2014, you or your team can save 15% on any two Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® courses or course-plus-exam bundles. One student can take both courses, or two students can take one course each.

Here’s how you do it:

Register for two courses for yourself or one course each for you and a friend. Choose from courses and course-plus-exam bundles. Use code CERT15YEARS at checkout.

Only the following courses and courses-plus-exams bundles qualify for this offer:
RH124, RH124VT, RH124R, RH135, RH134, RH134VT, RH134R, RH190, RH190VT, RH199, RH199VT, RH200, RH254, RH254R, RH255, RH299, RH300, RH290, RH290VT, RH242, RH242VT, RH299, RH299VT, RH401, RH401VT, RH402, RH413, RH414, RH413, RH413VT, RH413R, RH423, RH436, RH437, RH442, RH442VT, RH443, RHD355, RHD251

Keep in mind that to receive the discount you have to use the promotional code (Cert15Years) during your online registration – no way you can do it afterwards. You also need to take your exams before May 31 – not just register for them.

Click here for full Terms and Conditions of this Red Hat Incentive.

Is There Any Value to Apple Certifications?

apple certification program, creative professionals,  it certification exams, acmt While we see Apple products all the time in our daily life, and the Apple certification program has been around for years, many still do not consider Apple certifications to be worth the time, money and effort. Is it just the lack of Apple’s marketing of the certification program (we know that this company can be good at selling anything and everything they put their brand on, right?), or is it just not that good?

To answer this question, let’s take a closer look at Apple certification program. Apple certifications aim to create a high level of technical proficiency among professionals working with Apple/Mac technology and solutions. Are these certifications useful? They actually are, especially if you consider working in creative/advertising agencies, visual production companies, etc. These types of businesses tend to rely on Apple solutions more heavily than other industries. And if at least some people in the office work on Macs, the company may consider hiring an Apple technician. And if they don’t, they will eventually run into trouble of needing someone ASAP, and there aren’t that many Apple certified professionals out there! Adding this line to your CV can be a great USP to boost your career.

Apple Certifications – Closer Look

Basically there are two types of certification paths available for Apple: Creative Professionals (application oriented) and IT Professionals (support oriented). Depending on the area of your career, you can choose the track more applicable to you. Either way, there are many layers of training that include top credentials like Master Trainer and Master Pro.

Apple Creative professional certification path comes in 2 levels: Apple Certified Associate and Apple Certified Pro.

Apple Certified Associate credential validates basic entry level skills in a specific application. Unlike an Apple Certified Pro exam, you can take Associate exams online from the comfort of your home or office. Apple Certified Associate seems especially suitable for students or anyone interested in earning entry level Apple certification. It really sets candidates apart when they apply for schools, jobs and prospective clients as an Apple Certified Associate. All in all, this is a significant competitive edge in the current job market. As this certification requires candidates to pass an iWork exam, it is nice and easy to attain.

Pro Applications Certifications

Apple’s professional applications have become the industry standard for photographers, editors, sound designers, visual effects and multimedia artists. Certifications are available for Aperture, Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, and Motion.

Apple Certified Pro – Level One demonstrates essential operational knowledge of an application. Level One exams are administered at the end of the associated course.

Apple Certified Pro – Level Two attests to a deeper understanding and mastery of advanced features. Level Two exams can be taken only after Level One certification is earned.

Apple IT Professionals Certification program currently offers three paths:

  • Mavericks (10.9) Certifications
  • Mountain Lion (10.8) Certifications
  • ACMT (Apple Certified Macintosh Technician) Certification

While the first two are pretty straightforward, Apple Certified Macintosh Technician (ACMT) certification definitely deserves a closer look. This credential verifies the ability to perform basic troubleshooting and repair of both desktop and portable Macintosh systems, such as iMac and MacBook Pro. ACMT certification exams emphasize identifying and resolving common Mac OS X problems, and using Apple Service and Support products and practices to effectively repair Apple hardware.

So, summing up, there is a definite value in Apple certifications, especially if you personally love Apple solutions, and wouldn’t mind building your career around them.

Security Focused: CompTIA’s CASP Vs. CISSP

casp, cissp, comptia advanced security, it certification examsAs Information Security industry is more on the rise now than ever before, it’s time we take a closer look at the most popular advanced security certifications. Today we focus on CASP (The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner) Certification and the way it fits into the whole security certifications map. Simply speaking, should you opt for it, or go for something else?

While Cisco is now redesigning and re-adjusting its Security track, it does not compete with CASP that much. The way the way Cisco and CompTIA certifications compare remains the same: Cisco certifications are vendor-based, and focus entirely on Cisco solutions and technology. CompTIA certifications, on the other hand, are vendor-neutral, and focus on the general security approaches, technologies and solutions. So, CASP’s direct competition would be CISSP (which was one of the best paid IT certifications last year by the way), and not Cisco. But before comparing CASP to CISSP further, let’s take a closer look at this CompTIA certification and the exam it requires.

The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) Certification And Exam

Like other CompTIA credentials, the Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) Certification is vendor-neutral. While it does not have any formal prerequisites, it requires candidates to have 10+ years of experience. This is a way more advanced step after the CompTIA Security+ certification.

The CASP exam is an internationally targeted validation of advanced-level security skills and knowledge. As mentioned earlier, the CASP certification is intended to follow CompTIA Security+ or equivalent experience and has a technical, hands-on focus at the enterprise level.

The CASP exam validates that the successful candidate has the technical knowledge and skills required to conceptualize, design, and engineer secure solutions across complex enterprise environments. Successful candidates apply critical thinking and judgment across a broad spectrum of security disciplines to propose and implement solutions that map to enterprise drivers.

The CASP exam consists of 80 queries covering the following areas:

  • Enterprise Security
  • Risk Mgmt, Policy/Procedure and Legal
  • Research & Analysis
  • Integration of Computing, Communications, and Business Disciplines

Detailed CASP exam blueprint can be downloaded from the CompTIA website.

So how does CASP compare to CISSP? The latter is widely recognized, and is often considered to be the global standard for security professional certifications. Many IT professionals choose CISSP as it’s perceived to carry more weight and be more popular among employers.

This is partially explained by the fact that CISSP has been around much longer that CASP, but also by the fact that the CISSP exam is much longer and significantly harder, as many experts state. CISSP exam is 6 hour long and consists of 250 queries (CASP exam consists of 80 queries and lasts 2 hours). Candidates are also required to have verified prior experience, and, after they pass the exam, they need to acquire a written authorization from someone who holds the certification and thinks they’re worthy of holding the certification.

So what are the benefits of CompTIA’s Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) certification? The US Department of Defense has recognized CASP as certification required for its employees at a IAT-3 or IAM-2 level. While it’s evident that CISSP certification is more comprehensive and offers more knowledge about information security. Yet, CompTIA’s CASP has its clear benefits (easier and cheaper exam, no formal prerequisites, easier to obtain, no written recommendations required, etc) and can be a huge career booster for experienced IT security professionals in the government structures and business enterprises alike.