All You Need To Know About Security+ (SY0-601)

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Destroying things has always been an easier way to assert power than building things, but if you can protect things from destruction, then you certainly have the most power. 

Imagine receiving a call one day and the website on which all of your business activities run has been hacked down, and all of your customer information has been leaked, then the caller tells you she knows of someone who can fix it for you: a cybersecurity expert. 

Think about how fast you’d dial the expert’s number, and how you’d be willing to do anything to get your activities up again: that’s how much power cyber security experts could wield.

Developers create, hackers destroy, but the most powerful are cyber security experts who prevent destruction. 

Cybersecurity is one of the most lucrative IT fields right now, and entering the cybersecurity world is now easier than ever with CompTIA’s cybersecurity certifications. 


Cybersecurity is a very lucrative field: a cyber attack launched with less than $50 could return over $10,000 according to Deloitte, a cyber risk service company, and don’t think too far, your company would be the party paying $10,000 as you would not want your site crashed and secrets leaked. 

The pay for cyber-security professionals is humongous, but the pay when cyber attacks occur is even more humongous. 

Preventing cyber attacks by hiring experts may be costly, as cyber security experts earn a lot, but it is nevertheless a win-win deal for both IT professionals and companies as the companies would have to pay far more if they were to be attacked. 

CompTIA Security+

The best bet for anyone hoping to delve into the world of cybersecurity, or for companies looking to secure their systems, is to seek the necessary knowledge necessary for the CompTIA security+ certification. 

The certification is regarded as the first security certification any IT professional should earn: Security+ is the first in a series of cybersecurity certifications that CompTIA offers.

It is also preferred by more employers than any other IT certification for validating hands-on core cybersecurity skills as it focuses on the latest trends in risk management, risk mitigation and threat management. 

Having the globally recognized CompTIA security+ certification certifies that you can detect threats, attacks, vulnerabilities and understand vulnerability scanning concepts and penetration testing. 


What Jobs Can I Get With Security+ Certification?

The way CompTIA Security+ lays a good foundation for you to step into the cybersecurity world, you would think that is all it offers you: a good foundation.

But, In reality, it offers you much more: CompTIA Security+ certification course is basically an illustration that a person has the basic skills to detect threats and vulnerabilities and to test for penetration; it is not a very good place to stop, but apart from laying a very good foundation for your other steps in the cybersecurity world, Security+ is also enough to secure you a job.

Planning the entry-level point for your cybersecurity career, as well as your aspirations and how much work you’re willing to put into growing your career, have a great impact on how much you can make in any job, and security is no exception. Here are a few common job titles that use CompTIA Security+:

  • Systems administrator
  • Security administrator
  • Security specialist
  • Security engineer
  • Network administrator
  • Junior IT auditor/penetration tester
  • Security consultant

A+ does not prepare you, as cheap as it sounds, for just any job, but for averagely good-paying jobs.

Here are a few CompTIA Security+ jobs and their average salaries:

  • Network Administrator

Network administrators are responsible for day-to-day operations of their organization’s networks. 

Pay: median annual wage of $83,510

  • Cybersecurity Specialist

Cybersecurity specialists continually analyze risks and develop strategies to prevent breaches by securing an organization’s information systems.

Pay: average annual wage of $89,000.

  • Junior Penetration Tester

This role is for those who like to be on the legal side of a hack; Junior pen testers are cybersecurity pros who act like the bad guys to identify weaknesses in a network.

Pay: The average annual wage for a seasoned penetration tester is $104,000 according to CyberSeek. 

  • Security Administrator

Security administrators focus on the security-related issues around developing secure systems to protect data and updating policies within an organization

Pay: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, security administrators can earn a median annual wage of $83,510.

  • Systems Administrator

If you like to manage and maintain the information systems (IS) infrastructure and enterprise application systems while evaluating, recommending and implementing security improvements, then systems administrator may be the job for you.

Pay: According to CyberSeek, sysadmins performing incident response can earn an average annual wage of $85,000.

All About Security+ (SY0-601) Certification

How Much Does The Certification Cost?

In order to take the certification test, you’ll need to buy an exam voucher. A voucher represents a unique code that you can buy at the CompTIA Store and use to take your test at a Pearson VUE testing center. If a voucher is all you need, then the cost is $370 per exam.

However, some additional costs might go into preparing for the exam. 

Launch Date

November, 2020 

Number of questions

Maximum of 90

Types of questions

Multiple choice and performance-based

Length of test

90 minutes

Recommended experience 

CompTIA Network+ and two years of experience in IT administration with a security focus

Passing score

CompTIA Security+ SY0-601: 750 (on a scale of 100-900)


Security+ Exam Objectives

Exam objectives can be thought of as a competency standard. Each objectives document outlines knowledge and skills that the industry has deemed important for candidates to be successful on the job. The objectives also comprise the topics that will be covered in the exam you are studying for. They are designed to guide your studies and prepare you for a future job.

In general, an exam objectives document is split into several domains that are followed by the various objectives. The exam objectives for all CompTIA exams are available to download for free here

For CompTIA Security+ (SY0-601) these are the domains and how much weight each carries in the certification test. 

  • 1.0 Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities 24%
  • 2.0 Architecture and Design 21%
  • 3.0 Implementation 25%
  • 4.0 Operations and Incident Response 16%
  • 5.0 Governance, Risk, and Compliance 14%
  • Total 100%

The CompTIA Security+ certification exam will verify the successful candidate has the knowledge and skills required to: 

  • assess the security posture of an enterprise environment and recommend and implement appropriate security solutions
  • monitor and secure hybrid environments, including cloud, mobile, and IoT
  • operate with an awareness of applicable laws and policies, including principles of governance, risk, and compliance
  • identify, analyze, and respond to security events and incidents

CompTIA Security+ Study Guides 

Study guides are books written to prepare you for the certification; they cover all the domains, and if you get the right study guide, along with some practice test, then this would be enough to prepare for the CompTIA Security+ exam. 

There are many available study guides on the internet, some for free and some are paid. 

CompTIA publishes their own study guide but it comes for a price and can be downloaded here

Other highly recommended study guides are:

  • CompTIA Security+ Certification Guide, Second Edition (Exam SY0-501) by Mike Meyers and Scott Jernigan
  • CompTIA Security+ All-in-One Exam Guide, 5th Edition by Wm. Arthur Conklin, Greg White, Dwayne Williams, Chuck Cothren, Roger L. Davis

Other CompTIA Security+ Preparation Resources

CompTIA Security+ Training 

For many people, using the study guides and taking practice tests are never enough, rather, they often need to take full training where a tutor guides them through the preparation steps. This is far from necessary if you lay hands on the right study guides and practice tests, but in a case where you still find the need, some of the best training can be gotten from CompTIA’s official partners here

Other highly recommended places where you can find full trainings are: 

YouTube Videos 

If you do not want to take paid trainings, YouTube videos are what you should stick to to complement your study guide and practice tests. 

There are whole playlists explaining the course and available for free on YouTube. 

Some of the best you can find for CompTIA Security+ are:

Professor Messer’s videos   

My CS videos. 

You should also follow this channel for other beneficial CompTIA certification videos. 

Practice Tests 

There are several ways, several resources to prepare for CompTIA certification exams, but whatever preparation method you choose, one thing that shouldn’t be left out is practice tests. 

Having the knowledge is not enough, you need to be familiar with the examination environment and question modes in order to excel in the exams. 

CompTIA exam questions are often similar and confusing, and being familiar with practice tests gives you an edge. 

You can take reliable CompTIA Security+ practice tests here, and by the time you are ready for the exam, you would have been very familiar with many of the questions you would come across. 

Security+ (SY0-501) VS (SY0-601)

The new Security+ SYO-601 covers one domain less than the older version, SYO-501, but is nevertheless better tailored to suit the current demands of the security world better. 

CompTIA Security+ (SY0-601) has 35 exam objectives, compared to 37 on SY0-501. 

SY0-601 includes more examples under each objective – the number of examples increased by about 25%. This helps you understand better the meaning of each objective. 

Attacks, threats and vulnerabilities” domain now takes 24% of the exam objectives, 3% more than the SYO-501 and this highlights the tailoring of the new SYO-501 to focus more on our current needs. 

Closing Thoughts

Cybersecurity challenges change day by day, and CompTIA Security+ exams adapt to the changes by constantly upgrading their exams and ensuring that only experts with the most relevant skills get certified. 

Employers would, on any blessed day, go for an expert with a certification that certifies knowledge of the latest and more relevant problem-solving skills than ones with a less recent certification.

Taking the SYO-601 certification exam seems to be the best choice when deciding on means to learn cybersecurity. 

This is due to the recognition CompTIA certifications have, as well as the good roadmap they give you to becoming am expert security specialist, and also how CompTIA certifications are tailored to the demands of the fast evolving cyber security world.


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