Category Archives: Exam Experiences

Thoughts on the CompTIA Linux+ Exams

A couple of months ago, I successfully completed both of the required tests to obtain the CompTIA Linux+ certification:  the LX0-103 and  LX0-104 exams.  I made the decision to pursue the certification as recent job opportunities have moved me slightly away from the enterprise networking I had been embroiled in, to instead working with Linux servers far more than I previously did.

The exams are the standard CompTIA format 60 questions in multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank.  You have a generous 90 minutes to complete them, and I certainly wasn’t hard up against the clock when question 60 rolled around.  A 500 on a scale from 200-800 is required to pass, the scoring system remains as opaque as it always has been.

I’d say there was as great of a need to split the material into two separate exams as there was for A+, which is to say, there is no need at all.  Let’s not mince words here, it feels like a cash grab and it probably is.  $400 US is a lot of money for someone to pay for a CompTIA certification if the cost comes out of their own pocket.  Obtaining the LPIC certification afterwards, which I discuss more a bit later, carried no additional cost.

In terms of content, I feel like the Linux+ study guide I purchased (LPIC-1/CompTIA Linux+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide by Robb Tracyprepared me well enough for the exams.  I labbed with the OpenSUSE virtual machine image provided on the book’s included CD, a Ubuntu Server VM I have had for some time, and a CentOS Digital Ocean droplet I’ve been experimenting with.  As with any of these blogs, I won’t discuss any specific questions on the exam.  Overall, I’d say it was a mixed bag, it probably could have had more general admin best practice questions and less (or none) of the neckbeard-y interrogations about command minutiae.
The Linux+ certification does not currently expire.  I would expect, should that change in the future, that existing Linux+ holders will be permanently grandfathered while they likely add a minor “Continuing Education” designation to anyone who obtains the new, expiring version of the cert.   Additionally, I applied for the Linux Professional Institute LPIC-1 System Administrator certification, the Linux+ examinations are based on LPIC-1 content, and I would be curious to know how similar the exams were, had I the money and the time for such endeavours.  There is a simple form that one needs to fill out to link the Linux+ achievement on LPI’s site and the process was fairly painless.

More information about the Linux+ exams, and the process to obtain your LPIC-1 certification after achieving Linux+, can be found on CompTIA’s site here.

Thoughts on the CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CAS-002) Exam

It’s been a long time since my last blog update, but as a young father, it’s been a struggle to find cert study time in between all of my new parental duties. I imagine there are a lot of IT professionals, not to mention other career paths, that have to come to grips with the fact that with a new child, or perhaps children, in your life there is a definite change in your priorities that takes place. With that said, this has been the first cert study/exam cycle I’ve been able to complete, and I hope to get things back on track, albeit at a little more relaxed pace!


CompTIA’s Advanced Security Practitioner cert currently lies at the top of their CompTIA Certification Hierarchy, thought it’s worth noting that not all of their offerings are linked into that same ladder. As my CompTIA certs are now into their last year before expiration, I decided that I would choose a new cert from their catalog to work towards and renew everything below it. My choices were Storage+. Cloud+, and CASP. Storage+ has definitely been of interest to me in the past, but I decided that with my background of security certs that I should just go for the gusto and take a shot at their highest ranked cert.

As with any cert exam, the NDA prevents one from getting too in-depth about the exact content of the questions, so I will keep things fairly general. The exam documentation mentioned that simulations were a part of the exam, and it turned out they were all at the beginning. I definitely have mixed feelings on these sims, but I do think it’s important for exams, especially those that are for “higher level” certifications, to challenge people beyond simple multiple choice questions. To that extent, the simulations in this exam are somewhat successful. There are some clever tasks that challenge you to complete a set of objectives in the most secure many possible. Conversely, I found some of the other tasks to be a little vague, with no clear way to tell you if you’ve completed your goal or not, or even if you’re on the right track. An example of what I was looking for was what would be found in many Cisco certifications tests where they provide a simple tool, such as a ping test simulation, to verify that you have completed the necessary steps. The biggest issue I have with the CAS-002 sims is that the background documentation for all of the questions could be more in-depth. Maybe CompTIA believes that having to infer what some subnets in a network are used for is part of the challenge, but it came across as incomplete documentation. You shouldn’t have to attempt to guess at information that you need to complete the task, the challenge of the sim should be to put your knowledge to use to complete the task with either all of the needed information, or at least a clear understanding of what missing information you must gather as part of the process of completing the task.

Following the simulations, the remainder of the exam was made up of the typical multiple choice questions that you would expect to find on a CompTIA exam. These felt more challenging than the Security+ questions, but sometimes the challenge came from large amounts of acronym memorization or, worst of all, vague wording. I will give credit where it is due in that there didn’t seem to be any eye-rolling easy “gimme” questions in the pool I was presented with. I have no idea what the weight of the multiple choice questions is versus that of the sims, but I suspect it was my performance in the multiple choice section that allowed me to squeak out a pass.

In an interesting change from most certification exams, you do not get to see a final score, only a simple Pass or Fail statement. The exam will tell you what exam objectives were related to questions that you got wrong. In some ways, it is better than the vague percentage of correct answers you selected for a particular category (a la Cisco), but ultimately still somewhat obfuscates what you need to focus on if you need to rewrite the exam, mostly because exam objectives don’t always get mapped one-to-one with sections of a study guide. However, if you were to tell me that I did really lousy in the Encryption category, I would easily know where to start my refresher studies.

Lastly, and this is something I try to avoid focusing on, but I feel needs to be addressed in this case, is the cost of the exam. CompTIA also does not currently offer the Deluxe packages that can be purchased for A+, Net+, and Sec+ that provides a re-take voucher and access to CertMaster training material (which I have briefly reviewed previously). There is currently no CertMaster material for CASP, so that makes sense, although a retake voucher sure would be nice! The current cost of the exam voucher is $402 US, which came out to nearly $500 Canadian with our current exchange rate. I was fortunate enough that my workplace covered the cost for me, but many others will not be able to take advantage of such a situation. It really is a high asking price for an exam that frankly is not as desired in the job marketplace as CCNP Security or the grandmaster of them all, CISSP.

It was good to get into the swing of cert studies again after too long a hiatus, and I hope to keep the momentum going. My overall impression of the CASP study experience is middling, however, I’m always happy to learn new things and I will certainly explore any opportunities to apply my new found knowledge and use CASP to further my career!

Thoughts on the ITIL Foundation Exam

ITIL Image

Just a month ago, I obtained the ITIL Foundation certification. While I don’t have any current aspirations to branch out into IT management, I do some project work in my current role and I thought it would be a good idea to familiarize myself with ITIL’s widely accepted set of IT best practices. The subject matter, mostly talking at a very high level about the processes and relationships between different sections of IT management, didn’t really strike a chord with me. This is a common issue in certification studies, sometimes you come to topics that you just cannot bring yourself to care about, and that usually creates problems with regards to your motivation to keep on going through your study material. ITIL Foundation truly felt like a slog to me.

I began by reading the ITIL Foundation Exam Study Guide by Liz Gallacher and Helen Morris. A perfectly good study guide, to be sure, but again, the material was so dry that I almost felt it physically draining to complete reading a page and then move on to the next. This made for slow progress, and there’s no one really to blame but myself. I also made use of the CBT Nuggets ITIL Foundation video series, which features Michael Shannon as the instructor. I will say that I found some of the graphics used to explain some of the theories, such as the Service Lifecycle, that were featured in the CBT Nuggets videos to be superior to their equivalencies in the paper study guide. I did find myself getting distracted and having to rewind portions of the videos at times, a problem that was caused almost as much by the multitasking power of my computer and much as my boredom with whatever the current topic happened to be.

Now, what training topics an individual finds interesting is a purely subjective thing, and I don’t mean to run down the cert or imply that it isn’t worth your time. I thought it was worthwhile enough to put dozens of hours into studying the material necessary to obtain the cert, after all. I do, however, have to bring up a point of frustration with gathering information about the how and where to write the exam. The ITIL Foundation information page provides links to training partners and exam institutes. While I’m not surprised they didn’t include direct links to vendors such as CBT Nuggets, it was very odd there was no readily available link to their officially sanctioned study guide. In addition, it took a Google search and some reading to put together the fact that I needed to select EXIN as the company to find the ITIL Foundation exam within the Pearson Vue catalog.

The exam itself proved to be a very minor obstacle, it consisted of forty multiple choice questions (always choosing one correct answer, though said answers may encompass several choices from a list), and I only encountered one question that I felt was worded poorly enough to cause confusion. I will say that I didn’t feel like any questions came out of left field, they all seemed to draw on knowledge that could be obtained from commonly available training material, which is not something that can be said about every cert exam. With only 65% (26 out of 40) required to pass, you have plenty of room for error. I believe that an exam’s difficulty can heavily effect the prestige of a certification, and while this is an entry level cert, I felt a bit more challenge would have been appropriate.

There is no current news about the current ITIL Foundation 2011 (the previous version was v3) material being phased out in the near future, but as with any cert, practice due diligence and try to determine if you might be writing an exam that you have to essentially rewrite in less than a year. It appears than in previous changes to the material, a bridge exam was needed to keep your cert valid.

A general overview of the ITIL qualifications can be found here.

As always, feel free to post your own thought regarding ITIL Foundation in the comments section!

Thoughts on the Juniper Networks Certified Associate Junos (JNCIA-Junos) JN0-102 Exam

Juniper Certification Logo

I very recently completed the requirements to achieve the Juniper Networks Certified Associate (henceforth referred to as JNCIA in this article) certification. Well, it was a singular requirement, and that was passing the JN0-102 exam, which I managed to do on the first attempt.  As with every certification exam, I cannot go into detail about specific questions or anything like that, but I did make a few general observations as I proceeded through my studies and my test attempt.

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a two day Juniper training classes through my work to help me prepare for this exam, so I studied and labbed with official Juniper materials.  Having experience with both Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent entry level networking certs I noticed that Juniper`s material for JNCIA focused quite heavily on how to configure and maintain Juniper devices, with surprising little networking theory involved.  Now, this did not really bother me as I have my CCNP in Routing and Switching, so I feel confident that I have my basic networking down pat at this point.  In that regard the training fulfilled my needs quite well, as I was there solely to learn about how things work in Juniper`s neck of the woods.  However, if you are just starting in the networking world (and you went with Juniper over Cisco), I would strongly recommend starting with Network+ as a primer, even just studying the material if not necessarily obtaining the cert.   I should note that I also attended a two day course regarding switching that made up one half of their JNCIS-ENT (roughly the equivalent of the CCNA Routing and Switching cert) recommended training, and that did cover a reasonable amount of switching theory, so it is not as though Juniper leaves you to figure out the theory yourself as the material gets deeper.

Onto the exam, Juniper is up front about what to expect.  The exam consists solely of multiple choice questions and for those of us who decisively select their exam and move on, makes for a short affair.  Juniper, unlike Cisco, will let you return to questions to review them, which is nice for those that fret over possible wrong answers.  In my opinion, over-thinking a question is a recipe for disaster, but everyone should stick with the test-taking approach that they feel comfortable with.  Speaking very generally, the test leaned heavily on Juniper configuration questions, with some “gotcha” moments about knowing when to be in operational or configuration mode.  The only other significant category of question was subnetting, and the difficulty of those questions was right around what you would encounter at the CCNA level.

I now have my JNCIA for the next two years, a shortened period (compared to other vendors) that I am not particularly crazy about, but not really sure if I am going to pursue Juniper certifications any further as this point in time.  I already need to keep two different vendors`operating systems (and all their variations) fresh in my mind for my job and I struggled to keep the Juniper method of doing things fresh in my mind as my study time flowed into my work time.  As always, I will chronicle my further study with whatever vendor I happen to select next!

Thoughts on Preparing for the CCNP Routing & Switching Exams

Recently, Cisco has announced updates to the CCNP: Routing and Switching exams, with the old exams being phased out as of Jan 29. 2015. All discussion in this blog post refers to the previous versions of the exams: 642-902 ROUTE, 642-813 SWITCH, and 642-832 TSHOOT.

GN3 Capture
Pictured: One of the CCNP troubleshooting topologies available from GNS3 Vault

The blog has already jumped between multiple topics, but I’ll change gears yet again to talk about my preparation for the Cisco Certified Network Professional – Routing & Switching cert, which has been going on since the beginning of 2014.

Since the Cisco exams lean heavily on simulations, working with a training lab becomes the most important thing you’ll do in your Cisco exam preparation. While working with equipment, physical or virtual, in a hands-on scenario is important for any technical training, it will be the difference in an exam where the simulations make up a large portion of your mark. And sure enough, if you can’t pass the labs on a Cisco exam, it’s very unlikely you’ll pass the exam proper. Cisco does reward partial credit for lab questions, so even if you’re completely lost, you’ll want to complete as much configuration that you believe to be correct as possible. Cisco will provide a percentage achieved in each category of the exam, so if you happen to fail a lab related to that section, discovered by a low percentage in that category, it gives you at least one thing to focus on as you prepare for your next exam attempt.

Cisco Packet Tracer, a simulation tool for simple Cisco switched and routed networks, served me extremely well in my CCNA Routing & Switching preparation, it featured support for most if not all of the protocols and features that the exam will test You on. If you’ve used Packet Tracer then you know there are several idiosyncrasies in the program that you don’t find on actual production routers and switches, the most common example being that show run int will not work, forcing you to use show run and filter through to the interface information. It’s not a show stopper, none of the differences in the way the virtual equipment works, but it does slow you down. The trouble with Packet Tracer is obtaining it, I won’t advocate software piracy or using exam dumps on the is blog (in fact, to be clear I outright condemn them), so know that the only legitimate way to obtain Packet Tracer is to enroll in Cisco Networking Academy courses, more information on that can be found here.

So, if that option is a non-starter for a lot of people, what other ways to create a practice lab are there? Well, of course you can purchase actual used routers and switches through places like eBay. This is a fairly popular option, but while there is a lot of reward is working with the real thing when it comes to labbing, there is also a lot of risk. When you purchase a switch or router from eBay, you get whatever version of IOS happens to be currently installed on it, and because you purchased it second hand, you don’t have a software license that would enable you to download a backup or perhaps even newer version of the OS from Cisco. As for what equipment you’ll want to gather, well, Wendell Odom has excellent write-ups about creating your own lab with real equipment on his blog, so I’ll defer to the master on the subject. Head over there and read up!

What I’ve probably used the most in my personal lab studies is another virtual solution, an alternative from the exclusive (and by that nature, expensive) Packet Tracer. That solution is GNS3 ( a set of emulators that recreate Cisco IOS routers (but not only Cisco devices) to allow you to build a virtual lab. There are some limitations, the biggest is that switching using ASICS (read about GNS3’s switching capabilities here) . Some Cisco platforms allow you to add in switching modules that will emulate some switching functions, but not enough to cover the full topic list that Cisco will test you on. The other big limitation is that you must provide the copies of IOS software yourself, which can be done by simply removing the Compact Flash card, provided that router uses one, and placing it unto a card reader to copy the image file, if you happen to have access to a suitable router. Cisco also lists some alternative methods for copying IOS images here. I used GNS3 quite heavily for my ROUTE training and now that I’ve completed my readings for TSHOOT I’ve actually begun to use the TSHOOT labs available for free at GNS3 Vault for practice, and they can be found here.

Sticking with your lab work, self-analysis of your work to identify the topics you struggle with, and then subsequently spending additional practice time on those topics all require a lot of dedication. I believe that those that stick with it, especially at the CCNP and above level, will be rewarded in time. With only a couple weeks to go, I am eager to complete my CCNP: Routing and Switching and move onto my next big goal, which will NOT be a networking cert to allow me a chance to both expand my own skillset and provide some interesting new material for this blog!

A Look at the Alcatel-Lucent NRS I Exam

Since the beginning of 2014, I have been worked towards my CCNP – Routing and Switching certification. So far, I have completed the ROUTE and SWITCH exams, and I found them both the prep and actual exam attempts to be quite grueling. At the beginning of June, however, I decided to deviate from the obvious path of completing the exam trifecta with TSHOOT and take a “break” to complete the Alcatel-Lucent Network Routing Specialist I (NRS I) certification. Obtaining the cert currently only requires the completion of one exam, the 4A0-100.

Alcatel-Lucent NRS I

Be honest, have you even heard of Alcatel-Lucent’s Service Routing Certification (SRC) program? I hadn’t, that is until very recently through a conversation with some coworkers, though I wasn’t shocked to find out it existed. It makes perfect sense for a company to other a certification program for their expensive and intricate routing and switching equipment and the proprietary OS that runs it all. And if such a program is executed really well, it could become a revenue stream of its own for both the company and third-party training providers. I’m sure, for example, that Cisco’s training program isn’t operating at a loss right now, but correct me if I happen to be wrong. With all that said, you might be curious as to what my motivation was in pursuing the cert if it didn’t seem to have a lot of cache for HR departments? My employer uses Alcatel-Lucent equipment in our core and transport networks, but the classroom training offerings available to the employees for this equipment are a bit sparse, so I decided that with my successive self-learning history in tech certs that I would make Alcatel-Lucent’s introductory level cert my next goal to boost my familiarity with equipment that my company is going to continue to use for a long time to come. Was this the only way to route to take? Certainly not, the technical manuals for both the 7750 Service Router and the 7450 Ethernet Service Switch are available to me, but I thought the cert guide would be more digestable. I was right. Buying the cert guide before reviewing the exam objectives is a bit like putting the cart before the house if you’re new to tech certs, but I felt sufficiently comfortable with what I expected to be tested on to do exactly that in this case.

Reviewing the exam objectives, which can be found here, they stack up with the CompTIA Network+ and the previous generation (pre October 2013) of the Cisco CCENT exam, although the CCENT has become more intensive in its latest incarnation. In all cases you’ll see similar themes: OSI/TCPIP models, dynamic routing protocols, spanning tree, VLANs, subnetting, and so on. The Network+’s exam objectives look like the most expansive of the three, but there’s an old saying to keep in mind where: the objectives are a mile wide but an inch deep. The NRS I and Network+ will cover a broad range of topics, but outside of the odd question or two, you are only going to be asked introductory level questions about the theory of any particular protocol. As an example, you’re not likely to be expected to memorize the scope of all of the LSA types of OSPF in these entry level exams.

Without reviewing the alphabet soup of my currently held certs, the only portion of the exam objectives that I expected a challenge in were the first two bullet points: describing the use of the stated Alcatel-Lucent equipment and knowing basic Command Line Interface (CLI) commands. As I mentioned earlier I’m fortunate enough to work with the exam’s tested equipment in my job, so this wasn’t completely foreign territory for me I purchased the official study for the exam and was a little amused by the suggestion of creating a practice lab consisting of several SR1s for practical application of the book’s lesson. Take a second and check out the eBay prices of a 7750 SR1. Can you see yourself putting together a home lab at that expense? Thankfully, Alcatel-Lucent does offer a saner alternative in the form of being able to buy time in their own practice labs, but that does come with an additional cost.

NRS1 Study Guide Alcatel-Lucent Scalable IP Networks Self-Study Guide: Preparing for the Network Routing Specialist I (NRS 1) Certification Exam

I was generally happy with the content of the study guide itself, written by Kent Hundley. it won’t knock your socks off in the multimedia department, but I was pleased to discover it was well written. In terms of concisely providing the information needed for an entry-level exam, I’d actually say Hundley does a somewhat better job than Wendell Odom’s Cisco ICND 1 and 2 study guides. Odom’s strengths, and he is a fantastic author, become evident when the topics become more complex. Walking out of the exam, I felt like the written guide, which I’ll repeat over and over in this blog series is only part of preparation equation, did a sufficient job in covering the topics I found myself tested on. One knock against the book is that it contains no real bonus material such as practice exams. You can download a supplemental ZIP file from the publisher’s website but it simply contains PDFs of material already found in the book. Convenient, sure, but I’ve come to expect a certain amount further exam prep material to be included in these guides.

The fee for sitting the exam is currently $125 USD, a reasonable cost in comparison to other companies. For example, the Network+ currently costs $279 USD (hope your work will cover that one!) and the Cisco ICND1 costs $150 USD. Another matter entirely is the value of the certification in the eyes of employers, whether they are your current employer or one you hope to land a position with in the future. Cisco is light years ahead of the competition in this regard, their certifications have a desirability factor that networking certification rivals. An easy way to check this is to use your job search engine of choice to look for networking technician/analyst/engineer jobs and it’s a good chance that if a specific vendor is mentioned for certifications, it will be Cisco. In this situation, it was my current job duties that enticed me to pursue the certification as opposed to attempting to make my resume more attractive for a new position.

I am fortunate enough to have a private Pearson-Vue exam facility operated by my company, but this was the first exam I have written that was instead proctored exclusively by the other big certification exam company, Prometric. So for the first time I found myself venturing out to the private Prometric facility and I’m happy to say the experience was quite positive. The location was well-kept and the staff was polite and efficient. Obviously the state of testing facilities should have no bearing on my opinion of the exam and certification program at large, and to be clear they did not, but it did help make the whole process just that much better.

While I cannot go into detail about the exam contents, I can say that the objectives were accurate and that the difficulty level, relative to my knowledge and experience, of course, was just a little bit higher than the CompTIA Network+ exam. Know your subnetting! The Alcatel-Lucent CLI commands are obviously unique to these exams but there were no proprietary protocols, routing, switching, or otherwise, to study. It was industry standards only, a nice break from Cisco! The exam consisted entirely of multiple choice questions, it seems that labs are isolated to their own separate exam at the NRS II level. I passed the exam, and I’m quite happy to say than I am now Alcatel-Lucent NRS I No. 6766!

This exam was a break from my last year or so of Cisco-intensive study, and certain aspects of the Alcatel-Lucent program felt a little underwhelming. The biggest issues are the lack of variety in study guides, there being only one available, and a lack of any sort of video training. When you’ve been living in the world of the network certification leader (and the material from third-parties such as CBT Nuggets) it seems to warp your expectations when it comes time to venture out from the safety of multiple training options. With that said, what Alcatel-Lucent does offer the study material and practice labs was sufficient for me to achieve my cert goal. If you’ve written any of the Alcatel-Lucent exams and want to share your experiences, feel free to comment below or email me:

Until next time!

The CompTIA Mobility+ Beta Experience

What better way to start this blog than with a somewhat unique certification exam experience?  With 3 CompTIA certifications under my belt (A+, Network+, and Security+), the organization guessed, quite correctly as it would turn out, that I might be interested in participating in the beta exam process for their new certification, Mobility+. I’m also sure the fact that I had failed to unsubscribe from their various newsletter also played a small role in receiving the offer.   Now, I’m not trying to imply that I was one of the few, the proud, and the elite of the certification world, not at all.  In fact, I suspect I was simply one of thousands who received this email invitation.  The caveat to the invitation was that simply grabbing the registration code (needed for the Pearson Vue registration process) and booking a nice and safe time a few months in the future was not good enough, you had to be one of the first 400 people to write the exam and if you were not, your booked time would be cancelled.

Regarding the exam itself, the only preparation material provided by CompTIA prior to the beta commencing was the typical exam topics list that they would provide for any of their exams.  There was no real context to the list provided nor was there anything resembling a usable study resource at the time.  In addition to the topic list, CompTIA also recommended that exam candidates have their Network+, which I had obtained previously, and some mobility experience.  In the dark days of my past, I was…fortunate enough to have spent some time on a cellular provider’s Tier 1 support desk.  As such, I had become fairly comfortable with current cellular terminology and also had some mobility troubleshooting experience, both items being a part of the exam topic list.  
With no handy study guides available and with the beta costing nothing to write, I took the worst possible approach to exam preparation…I did nothing!  On exam day I went to our only publicly available testing centre in the city and sat down, I had no idea as to what to expect.  I quickly progressed through well over a hundred questions and if I had to guess, likely exhausted the majority of the beta exam’s question pool .  To avoid breaking any sort of NDA, I will simply state the exam focused more on Mobile Device Management (MDM) than I suspected it would, with very little emphasis on understanding current cellular technologies.  It could have simply been a result of the questions that happened to be assigned to me, time will tell.
Upon completion of the beta exam, a participant did not received a mark, nor any indication of a pass or a fail.  This was because that CompTIA had not even determined a passing mark as of yet.  I wrote the exam on June 16, 2013 and it wasn’t until late November that I found out, via snail mail from Pearson Vue, that I had passed the exam.  The CompTIA certification kit followed shortly after and I (somewhat) proudly posted the contents of the package on Facebook and Twitter!
Mobility+ will be a certification that I’ll try to keep an eye on in the coming months.  There certainly seems to a gap in tech certifications when it comes to the mobility world.  If I had to guess, I imagine the large vendors have been preparing their own certification programs, but in the meantime, CompTIA has drawn early blood in another round of the cutthroat tech cert battle!  

For more information on CompTIA’s certificate programs, check out this section of their site: