Learning Paths

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Choosing a career path, or knowing how to advance within your current path, requires information and the right guidance. People in IT and Cyber Security can choose to narrowly focus a career on a particular line of study, or to develop a wide skill set.

CompTIA developed an IT Certification Roadmap that lays out some of the more common pathways associated with IT and Cyber Security, and the training / certifications that go along with those paths. Have a look:

CompTIA Career Path Roadmap
2014 IT Average Salaries

Common IT and Cyber Security Career Path Scenarios

1) I have no experience at all and am looking to begin a career in IT or Cyber Security. Where should I begin and what should I do from there?

If you have no experience or certifications at all, and you think that a career in IT or Cyber Security may be something you want to pursue, then you definitely should begin with the A+ certification class, followed by the Network+. A+ and Network+ will provide you with a foundational knowledge which can help direct you towards your next steps of learning or career pathway within IT and Cyber Security.

Since the A+ and Network+ teach you the fundamentals of a variety of skill sets, it makes for the perfect place to start for any career in IT or Cyber Security. First, and most importantly, the A+ and Network+ classes provide you with fundamental knowledge that you will be assumed to know for future classes. Secondly, the A+ and Network+ certifications show you enough about most of the industry, so that you will be able to make a well informed decision on which IT or Cyber Security career skill set path is best fit for you, once you have completed these first ones.

If your goal is to be a top talent in Cyber Security, then we would recommend completing CCNA, MCSA and Linux+ after the A+ and Network+.

So in beginning your IT or Cyber Security career, your course path will commonly go like this: A+ -> Network+ -> and then one or more of the following: Security+, MCSA / Linux+ / CCNA


2) I have one to two years of basic IT experience, or I have completed my A+ and Network+ classes, and I am pretty sure I want to go into Cyber Security, what should I study?

Welcome to the fastest growing field in technology, Cyber Security. Today’s Cyber Security professionals are focusing their careers in certain paths. The most common Cyber Security professions include offensive penetration testing and security, defensive penetration testing and security, information assurance, malware analyst, tools developers, security analysts, forensics, secure coding and more. However, you should begin your Cyber Security learning with the fundamentals, so start with Security+.

Security+ will teach you a little bit about a lot of topics. After that class, to further assess which path you may be most interested in, give a few of our classes a try, such as:
– Penetration Testing (to begin a Hacking / Pen-testing career)
CISA (to get deeper into Information Assurance)
Computer Forensics (to explore Forensics)

So in getting started in Pen-testing and Forensics, your course path should probably look something like this: Security+ – > Ethical Hacking -> Forensics -> and then the advanced classes.

If your plan is to go into Information Assurance, it typically goes like this: Security+ -> CISA -> CASP -> CISSP


3) I have been in IT, Cyber Security or Information Assurance for a few years, I believe security management and leadership is best for me. What should I focus on?

Assuming you have built some hands-on experience, you may be ready to move into management. If so, policy, procedure and strategy are areas you should place your focus. This often means you should look at getting your CASP and CISSP.

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