Hi, everyone! This installment of our Everything you Need to Know Series features the CompTIA Partnership. If you have any lingering questions after reading, let me know via the Cyber Skyline Slack or Twitter (@MistressVen0m), and I will be more than happy to hunt down an answer to your question (if I do not know it) and update this blog with additional information.
Who is CompTIA?
CompTIA is the Computing Technology Industry Association, and they are the provider of many industry standard certifications that you may have heard of, such as the Security+, the Network+, and the PenTest+. These certifications have become industry standard due to their accurate reflection of real-world scenarios that you will encounter in various roles in the cybersecurity industry. CompTIA is filled with passionate individuals who want to see the next generations of the technology industry learn and succeed and carry on the CompTIA mission of developing more students who are passionate about tech.
What do they offer?
CompTIA offers 13 certifications broken into 4 main categories: Core, Infrastructure, Cybersecurity, and Additional Professional. All 4 categories are useful to National Cyber League (NCL) competitors no matter which route of the cybersecurity industry they choose to take. For example, a well-rounded cybersecurity education would include:
- the Security+ and Network+ from the Core category.
- at least one from Infrastructure—the broadest certification to train for that would serve you well would be the Linux+.
- any of the Cybersecurity certifications: the CySA+ for blue team/SOC work, the PenTest+ for red team work, and the CASP+ for policy, procedure, and best practices.
Certifications from the Additional Professional category are more specialized for those who may want to go in a different direction from the high-level red vs. blue, such as a cybersecurity project manager or a cloud server administrator. To see additional pathways, please click here.
I’m a student. How does this affect me?
This partnership offers NCL competitors a mapped training plan that demonstrates which areas of the Games align to specific CompTIA certifications, so that students can better focus their efforts on paths that interest them. For students ready to apply to internships or full-time jobs, the mapped connection between the NCL and CompTIA certifications will give employers insight into your strengths and areas of focus based on your Scouting Report.
There are additional benefits for students which you can read about on the CompTIA website in the links at the end of this post.
I’m a coach, how does this partnership affect me?
The new NCL CompTIA partnership offers a new resource for your classes and training: the CompTIA Instructor Network, often referred to as the CIN (https://cin.comptia.org/). It is free to NCL coaches and will provide access to CompTIA’s renowned “Train the Trainer” sessions, which provide useful information about their certifications and associated curriculum. Additionally, if your school is a CompTIA Academy Partner, you are eligible to receive complimentary exam vouchers.
I heard about a CompTIA student membership. What are the details?
The CompTIA student membership provides additional training resources and a wealth of information and access to fellow students who are working through the certifications all around the United States. This student membership provides discount vouchers, as well, to verified students! The cost to become a CompTIA student member is $29.
Are there prizes?
Yes, of course! Students who place at the top of each NCL bracket during Individual Games will win a free CompTIA student membership (mentioned above). Additional prizes are given to the top teams during the Team Game. Each student will receive a free exam voucher, as well as study materials for their exam and a full CompTIA membership.
Are there any additional resources or bits of information out there about this?
- An Open Letter from the ambassadors about the partnership: https://cryptokait.com/2020/08/12/an-open-letter-about-the-ncl-comptia-partnership-from-the-ncl-player-ambassadors/
- CompTIA Original Press Release: https://www.comptia.org/newsroom/2020/07/07/game-on-comptia-teams-with-national-cyber-league-to-promote-hands-on-cybersecurity-skills-competitions
- CompTIA Student Cybersecurity Competition (NCL): https://www.comptia.org/membership/it-pro/student-membership-and-benefits/comptia-student-cybersecurity-competition
- Ambassador Blog on the Security+: https://cryptokait.com/2020/06/13/comptia-security-one-certification-to-rule-them-all/
- CompTIA Blog on National Cyber League: https://www.comptia.org/blog/cybersecurity-competitions
- February 2021 Coaches Call with Stephen Schneiter from CompTIA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BnBDmwS78g
- CIN Instructor Toolbox Series – National Cyber League Student Competitions: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/2977213/FA2E4E0346227DFF59C8D5818EE72BD5