CompTIA A+ Vs CCNA: Which Certification Is Better in 2024?

Both A+ and CCNA are significant certificates in the IT field. What is the difference between CompTIA A+ vs CCNA? Let's learn more in this post!

Updated at April 1, 2024

Do you have experience managing the help desk as an IT professional? Or are you just beginning your career in this area? Whatever your background, you must enroll in as many certification programs as you can if you want to succeed in your IT career and grow.

You can enhance your career and receive recognition in the information technology industry by earning a variety of certifications. For instance, one of the most frequently debated advanced certifications in the industry is between the CompTIA A+ vs CCNA. Choosing which of the two certifications to pursue initially has already proven to be challenging for many users across various platforms.

So, which certification is better CCNA vs CompTIA A+? Continue reading if you’re having trouble choosing between them for your first certification since we’ll give you some things to consider.

But before performing the face-off, we must first understand exactly what these two exams include.

Table of Contents 

1) Introduction to Cisco CCNA and CompTIA A+

2) 7 Keys to Consider Between CCNA and CompTIA A+

3) CompTIA A+ vs CCNA: Which certification is right for you?

4) Conclusion 

Introduction to Cisco CCNA and CompTIA A+

Overview of Cisco CCNA

The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is an advanced-level certification created by CISCO, the world’s foremost networking equipment manufacturer and seller. The CCNA test is designed to verify your knowledge and skills, as well as your ability to diagnose, repair, and set up diverse networks.

Unlike other certification exams, the CCNA test is short, lasting only 120 minutes. Approximately 100 to 120 questions on real-life topics are usually included in the test. Furthermore, multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, fill-in-the-blank, simulation, simplest, and test questions are frequently used.

Following are some of the topics of information technology that you may anticipate to be covered in the CCNA exam:

  • Network fundamentals
  • IP services
  • Security fundamentals
  • Network access
  • Automation and programmability
  • IP connectivity

Overview of CompTIA A+

The Computing Technology Industry Group (CompTIA), a non-profit trade association based in the United States, created the A+ certification. 

You must pass two tests to achieve this certification: Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102).

The CompTIA A+ is a performance-based certification that verifies a candidate’s ability to repair PCs, diagnose, and resolve a wide range of networking, operating system, mobile device, and security issues.

Furthermore, to pass the CompTIA A+ exam and acquire the certification, you must become familiar with a larger range of information, which includes the following:

  • IT support personnel must be able to demonstrate basic security skills
  • Having the ability to set up a variety of operating systems, including Linux, Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, Android, and iOS
  • Troubleshooting to identify fundamental service and support issues and give viable solutions to fix them
  • Basic IT infrastructure and networking are supported
  • Configure, assemble and disassemble the hardware of PC, mobile, and IoT devices
  • Implement suitable information security controls for helpdesk and technical support jobs.

5 Keys to Consider Between CCNA and CompTIA A+

Now it’s time to discuss the differences between the two certificates and why one is preferable to the other. Before we get started, you should know that both the CCNA and A+ certifications have been around for a long time. They’re industry-recognized qualifications governed by two industry behemoths: CompTIA and Cisco.

Cost for Exams

Another factor to look at is how much it costs to obtain each of the certificates. The CCNA test is divided into several categories, in case you didn’t know. The CCNA Routing and Switching, which costs around $330, is the most popular. The following are some others:

  • Security CCNA – $465
  • $600 for CCNA Service Provider
  • Wireless CCNA – $465

The CompTIA A+ exam cost, on the other hand, is marginally less than that of its equivalent. You will be required to take two examinations, each of which will cost around $232.

Career Paths

One of the most crucial factors to consider when choosing which certifications to pursue is your true goal. Although both qualifications are well-known, they are well-known for various reasons. When determining which certification is right for you, keep this in mind.

The A+ is troubleshooting, hardware, software, printers, and basic networking certification that focuses on helpdesk and computer repair. The A+ is designed for roles like IT support jobs such as helpdesk technician, field service technician, and desktop support administrator. CompTIA’s list of A+ using jobs is entirely comprised of entry-level professions, with only one mentioning a computer networking function.

The Cisco CCNA, on the other hand, is said to concentrate on networking technology, security, and automation. While the CCNA only covers the associate level of these technologies, it definitely qualifies you for a higher job classification than the A+ positions, such as helpdesk technicians.

Average Salary

Another factor to consider while deciding between CCNA and CompTIA A+ is the average yearly pay. According to ZipRecruiter, a Cisco CCNA-certified professional earns an average yearly income of $66,802. That works out to around $32 per hour when converted.

Regarding CompTIA A+ salary, CompTIA A+ certified professionals, on the other hand, may expect to earn $63,909 per year. If you’re fortunate enough to land a job as a desktop support analyst, you can expect to earn an average of $60,000. IT support workers who have earned their A+ certification can earn up to $54,500 per year.

Levels of Difficulty

After taking both examinations and working with many people who have, it appears that both the CCNA and the A+ are equally hard as entry-level IT exams. Both require sufficient study and practice, but in distinct areas and with different exam objectives in mind. That is to say, to pass and get any of the certificates, you must devote a significant amount of time and effort to studying and practicing.

Because there isn’t any easier or harder test for any of these certifications, most people will be better suited to select their exam depending on their area of interest and career ambitions.

The mainline is that, regardless of which certification you choose between A+ and CCNA, you must study thoroughly, get familiar with, and comprehend every subject they cover.

Is The CompTIA A+ Hard? How To Pass It In 2024?

CompTIA A+ vs CCNA: Which Certification Is Right for You?

There are several IT certifications that, once achieved, can significantly boost your career path and expertise. The CCNA and CompTIA A+ certifications remain significant despite the wide diversity of courses available. You can choose either certification based on your job objectives, skill set, experience, time, and expense.

For example, CCNA examinations require significantly more preparation time than CompTIA A+ exams since applicants must thoroughly comprehend the topics covered. So, if you are short on free time, the CompTIA A+ certification is the ideal option.

Your certification choice is also determined by the sort of employment required. Let’s take a look at the finest course options if you’re seeking an entry-level position or if you have years of expertise in the IT area and want to advance in your career:

a) Entry-level jobs: If you have limited IT expertise, obtaining a CompTIA A+ certification is the ideal option. This is because it covers topics that may offer a basic understanding of computer hardware and operating systems, both of which are important in information technology.

A CompTIA A+ certification allows you to apply for a variety of entry-level positions. Because it is a worldwide recognized qualification, it might boost your credibility as a candidate, increasing your chances of landing the position.

b) For career advancement: Experienced IT workers may seek certifications that will allow them to grow in their jobs or improve their current skill set. The greatest option for such experts is CCNA. The certification opens up prospects for high-paying professions while also providing a thorough understanding of how to use CISCO products.


If you’re choosing between the CompTIA A+ vs CCNA for your first certification, there is a lot to consider. 

Your educational background, professional aspirations, and timetable for entering the IT or cyber sector are all very important considerations.

We hope you can quickly decide which of these two tests is ideal for you using our list of seven considerations to take into account. If it’s possible, you might do as many others have done and get both credentials, taking advantage of both in the process.