CompTIA Certifications vs. Degree

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CompTIA Certifications vs. Degree

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Not so many degrees can be earned for $400, but not so many job listings list compTIA certifications as part of their requirements too, so maybe you should rather take a degree course than focus on the CompTIA certifications in order to go into the IT world?

Firstly, CompTIA certifications are not meant to replace degrees, so it would be wrong to think that with one, the other is unneeded; the two serve different purposes.

Degrees are usually there to certify your commitment and learning potential while certifications such as CompTIA’s are there to certify that you have hands-on skills in the area of specialization.

Generally it can be said that degrees are the best way to get a potential employee to trust you, while your certification (what you learn in the process of earning it) is the best way to get an employee to keep you.

When both can be obtained, they should be, but in a case where the two cannot be combined, can CompTIA certifications actually be considered in place of computer science degrees?  

If You Have One Degree Already...

This article is not written for those who have no degree at all, but for those who have one but think they need a Computer Science degree to go into the IT world.

Many of those looking to move into the IT industry already have a job and often, a degree; so is the drive to move into the IT industry enough reason to go back to school and start a course jn Computer science? no, absolutely no! In most cases, having any degree is enough for the employee to trust you, in such a case, there is no doubt that going for IT certifications are your best bet, and here is why! 


Taking the certification route into the IT industry is much faster than the degree route. For a CompTIA certification, although it is subjective, but oftentimes, most applicants report spending around 10-12 weeks preparing for the certification. This is pretty good amount of time to spend changing career paths. If you have prior IT experience though, it could much less time.

By the time you take three successive certification exams in a particular field, you would have a very reasonable amount of hands-on knowledge that could rival all that you would learn in your degree course from what is related to your area of specialization.


Preparing for CompTIA courses is easier than ever, and in fact, with just as little as $0, you could prepare for the certification.

Today, there are tons of free and comprehensive courses and resources that help prepare for CompTIA certifications, but of course, no one trusts free things, maybe that’s why CompTIA certifications are not absolutely free.

But even if you are to enroll for paid courses, then most courses that prepare you for the CompTIA certifications are quite cheap, almost too cheap.

Some of the most comprehensive paid courses on CompTIA certifications could be found on Udemy or other sites for less than $100.

Most CompTIA certification exams themselves cost less than $400, but the fear of most participants is that they would have to spend some “hidden fees” while preparing.

But, certainly, if all the “hidden fees” is just about a $100 to buy a course, then preparing for the certification is certainly still a steal.

When you compare this amount with what you have to pay to obtain a CS degree from a prestigious university, you see a good reason to go for CompTIA.

More Focused

One of the biggest problems of universities, or schools in general, is that we learn a lot of things we do not need. You memorize facts, names and data and look into fields you are not interested in.

With certifications, you can focus solely, based on your interest, on what is needed for your specialization.

If, for example, you are interested in cyber security, going for a Computer Science degree will most certainly not be enough to give you the practical knowledge needed in the workplace. You will spend three or four years learning a lot of useful, but irrelevant (to your path) information.

Certifications are focused, specific and tailored towards specific fields and so you can be sure you wouldn’t have to force yourself to learn too many things outside of your interest-base.


The biggest challenge for those who want to change career paths often, is that they need money to fend for themselves while learning what they need for their new career path. Balancing these two is often a problem.

With CompTIA  certifications you work at your own pace and can decide to strike a very good balance between work and learning, and advancing in your new career.

This level of flexibility is not very easily attainable when taking a degree course.

Would You Get A Job?

You certainly would! With a degree in any field and relevant CompTIA certifications, you certainly would be very much trusted in the IT world.

CompTIA certifictions hold ISO/ANSI accreditation status, which means they meet or exceed the global benchmarks set forth by ISO ‚Äď the worldwide organization that sets the standard for certifications, processes and products ‚Äď and ANSI ‚Äď the U.S. representative to ISO.

Many big companies like Dell, Canon, Nissan, HP and Intel require or at least indicate their preference for employees with CompTIA certifications.

This shows the level of recognition the certification has, and the fact that it can be easily used to secure jobs.


If you already have a degree, but want to change paths, then you do not have to go for a Computer science or related degree in order to get into the IT world, with CompTIA certifications, you certainly have a very good, if not better, faster, cheaper and more flexible alternative.

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