do you need a+ for security+

Do You Need A+ For Security+? Which One Is Worth It In 2024?

Many people are faced with confusion when deciding between taking CompTIA A+ and Security+ first. So, the question arises: Do you need A+ for Security+? Let's find the answer in this post!

Updated at April 18, 2024

Certifications are essential in the field of information technology for career advancement and demonstrating expertise across various domains. One ongoing debate revolves around whether CompTIA A+ is a prerequisite for Security+, a prominent certification in the IT sector. This blog article will provide an in-depth analysis of both certifications and offer a conclusive answer to the question of whether A+ is required for Security+.

Don’t forget to take our free CompTIA Security+ practice exam if you want to excel on the actual test right from the start.

Understanding the CompTIA A+ Certification

do you need a+ for security+

The CompTIA A+ certification has established itself as a widely recognized standard in the realm of Information Technology. It equips individuals with a comprehensive understanding of core principles and methodologies in the IT field, encompassing hardware and software technologies, security, and troubleshooting. The certification’s objective is to validate the competence of professionals working in IT support positions, including desktop support technicians, help desk technicians, and field service technicians.

What the A+ Certification Covers

The A+ certification encompasses a broad spectrum of subjects, including:

  • PC hardware and peripherals
  • Networking technologies
  • Mobile devices
  • Windows operating systems
  • Security and operational procedures
  • Troubleshooting and problem-solving

The certification assesses candidates’ understanding of these topics through a series of performance-based and multiple-choice questions. These questions aim to evaluate the candidates’ capability to execute common IT support tasks and ensure that they possess the essential skills required to perform their job responsibilities effectively.

Prerequisites for A+ Certification

While there are no strict prerequisites for the A+ certification, CompTIA advises that candidates have at least 12 months of hands-on experience in the IT sector before taking the certification exam. This experience can be gained through working in an IT support role, internships, or any other relevant IT experience. Furthermore, CompTIA suggests that candidates should have a fundamental understanding of computer hardware and software concepts before attempting the A+ certification exam.

Advantages of Acquiring the A+ Certification

Acquiring the A+ certification offers several benefits to those working in the IT industry, including:

  • Validating entry-level IT skills and knowledge
  • Improved job prospects and higher salaries
  • Increased credibility with employers and clients
  • Better grasp of fundamental IT concepts and best practices
  • Enhanced ability to troubleshoot and solve IT problems

In addition, the A+ certification is vendor-neutral, meaning it is not restricted to a particular technology or vendor. This feature allows individuals to showcase their broad understanding of IT concepts and best practices, rather than being confined to a single technology or vendor. This versatility can be particularly advantageous for individuals seeking career advancement or aiming to broaden their skill set across diverse areas of the IT industry.

Read more >> CompTIA Network+ Vs Security+: Which One Should You Choose?

Understanding the CompTIA Security+ Certification

CompTIA Security+ is a globally acclaimed certification that validates a candidate’s competencies in the field of IT security. This certification aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of various security concepts, including cryptography, threat management, identity and access management, and network security. The Security+ certification prides itself on its vendor-neutral stance, which means it embraces universally accepted security principles and practices applicable across multiple platforms and devices.

What the Sec+ Certification Covers

The Security+ certification extensively covers a wide range of security domains, including cryptography, risk management, network security, threat management, and access control. The certification assesses a candidate’s ability to secure a network, identify and respond to security incidents, and implement security measures to protect confidential data. Additionally, the certification keeps pace with the latest security trends and advancements, incorporating subjects such as mobile security, virtualization, and cloud security.

Prerequisites for Security+ Certification

Although there are no strict prerequisites for obtaining the Security+ certification, CompTIA suggests that aspiring candidates have at least two years of hands-on experience in IT administration with a focus on security, as well as a fundamental understanding of network security and security protocols. Additionally, while not mandatory, CompTIA recommends having the A+ certification.

Advantages of Acquiring the Sec+ Certification

The Security+ certification presents an array of benefits to individuals pursuing a career in IT security. Firstly, it endorses an individual’s security knowledge and skills, making them more appealing to potential employers. Secondly, the certification acts as a testament to an individual’s expertise, separating them from the crowd in job interviews. Additionally, the Security+ certification is recognized worldwide and is a sought-after requirement by employers in security-related job positions. By obtaining this certification, individuals exhibit their dedication towards enhancing their knowledge and skills in the realm of IT security.

Do You Need A+ for Security+?

do you need a+ for security+

Differing Opinions on the Requirement of A+ for Security+

In the IT world, the argument regarding the necessity of obtaining A+ certification before Security+ certification remains convoluted and ongoing. On one hand, there are those who believe that A+ is vital for success in the field of IT security. On the other hand, there are those who argue that A+ is unnecessary and that focusing solely on Security+ will be sufficient.

Arguments for the Requirement of A+ for Security+

IT Fundamentals

The A+ certification encompasses a broad range of IT fundamentals, including hardware, software, and problem-solving techniques. This foundational knowledge and these skills are imperative in the IT industry and provide a robust base for individuals aspiring to have a career in IT security. By obtaining the A+ certification, individuals can demonstrate their understanding of basic IT principles, which can be advantageous when pursuing higher-level certifications such as Security+.

Career Opportunities

A+ is often seen as a stepping stone for individuals aspiring to pursue a career in IT. By obtaining the A+ certification, individuals can demonstrate their foundational IT knowledge and abilities, opening up new opportunities for career advancement. This is particularly valuable for those seeking a career in IT security, as the A+ certification showcases their understanding of the basics and enhances their appeal as candidates for security-related positions.

Improved Security Understanding

A+ covers a wide range of security topics, including network security and physical security. By obtaining the A+ certification, individuals can gain a better understanding of various security concepts and apply this knowledge to their pursuit of the Security+ certification. This can provide a stronger foundation for individuals aspiring to have a career in IT security and enhance their chances of success in the field.

Arguments Against the Requirement of A+ for Security+

Investment of Time and Cost

Obtaining the A+ certification requires a significant investment of time and resources, including the cost of certification exams and study materials. For some individuals, the time and cost associated with obtaining A+ may not be worthwhile, especially if their ultimate goal is to obtain the Security+ certification.

Focus on Security

The Security+ certification is specifically designed for individuals pursuing a career in IT security and covers a wide range of security-related topics. For those who are focused on a career in IT security, dedicating themselves solely to the Security+ certification can provide a more direct path to success in the field.

Relevance to Security

A+ covers various topics, some of which may not be directly relevant to the field of IT security. For individuals aiming for a career in IT security, the additional time and effort required to obtain A+ may not offer a significant advantage compared to focusing exclusively on the Security+ certification.

Finally, the debate over the requirement of A+ for Security+ is complex, with valid arguments on both sides. Ultimately, the necessity of A+ for Security+ depends on an individual’s career goals and experience. While obtaining A+ can provide a solid foundation in basic IT knowledge and increase the chances of success in the field of IT security, it is up to the individual to determine whether the extra investment of time and resources is worthwhile.

Read more >> CompTIA Security+ vs CISSP: Which One Is Better?

Understanding the Relationship Between Network+ and Security+

Besides A+, many candidates are uncertain about which exam to take first: Network+ or Security+.

It is recommended to take the Network+ before the Security+ certification, not only because the knowledge gained in Network+ provides a foundation for Security+, but also because CompTIA expects candidates to follow this sequence and has designed the examinations accordingly.

This implies that when you take the Security+ test, CompTIA assumes you have the necessary networking knowledge, and their exam style and questions will reflect that. By not having a strong grasp of the required networking topics, you make the test more challenging for yourself.

Taking the Network+ exam first offers an additional advantage in that it immediately qualifies you for entry-level cybersecurity or networking positions. This means you’ll have more internship and career opportunities right away if you complete the Network+ certification first.

Employers often seek additional qualifications beyond just the Security+ certification when considering candidates for roles with higher responsibilities. Security+ is associated with a higher skill set and job classification. Completing the Network+ certification can help you secure entry-level employment more quickly, which is why it is advisable to prioritize it.


Which certificate is harder to acquire: A+ or Security+?

A+ covers a wide range of topics, while Security+ primarily focuses on cybersecurity. If you have numerous study topics to cover, A+ may be more challenging. However, if you prefer to concentrate on a single area, Security+ is the way to go.

Is A+ necessary once you’ve completed Security+?

No, such a requirement does not exist. A+ is not necessary before or after completing Security+. If you aspire to work in the security field, it is recommended to focus on Security+ and Network+ certifications.

Is Security+ sufficient to secure a job?

Yes, CompTIA Security+ is sufficient for obtaining an entry-level position. However, additional credentials, skills, and experience are typically required for career growth and higher income. After earning the Security+ certification, you can consider pursuing certifications such as CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) or CompTIA PenTest+ to further enhance your qualifications.

Read more >> CompTIA Sec+ Salary, Jobs and Certification


Do you need A+ for Security+? In short, there are strong arguments on both sides of the debate regarding the requirement of A+ for the Security+ certification. The necessity of A+ for Security+ ultimately depends on an individual’s career goals and experience, despite the complementary nature of the two certifications. While the Security+ certification is essential for those aiming to work in IT security, obtaining the A+ certification first can provide a solid foundation in general IT expertise.

In the end, it is the individual’s decision to determine whether investing additional time and financial resources to earn the A+ certification is worthwhile for their career aspirations. Regardless of the chosen path, the most important aspect is to continuously enhance knowledge and skills in the ever-evolving field of information technology.