CCNA VS Security+: Which one is best for Network Security?

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Are you looking for the best career in the IT industry? Or do you find difficulty in choosing the best path among CompTIA Security+ and CCNA? If yes, then you landed on the right page. These two certifications are the most demanding ones and are mostly chosen by professionals who want to have a great career either in cybersecurity or networking. 

But the real question is how they are even relatable as both have different dimensions to cover. 

So for you, we have shared each point which can be set as parameters for making a professional career decision. In this blog, we are going to share their comparison. We will discuss their objectives, main exam details, outline of syllabus, cost incurred, and possible benefits that a professional will get after attaining these certifications.

Real comparison between CCNA or CompTIA Security+

Both CCNA and CompTIA Security+ credentials are globally recognized certifications. They increase proficiency among candidates from different departments of the IT industry. Although the basic objectives of both are different, their target audience is entry-level graduate students. If you want to aim your career in the networking and switching department, you can take CCNA certification but if you want to step into the security department, the Security+ is more suitable for you.

Overview of Security+ Credential

The Security+ credentials were offered by CompTIA. It is a globally recognized and vendor-neutral certification. This is the initial step towards upgrading knowledge and expertise in security and system concepts. It possesses a strong foundation for professionals to implement and maintain basic security techniques. Practitioners get real situations to solve problems and exhibit strong skills in the IT industry.

Overview of CCNA Credential

The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Certificate is specially designed for updating basic understanding and expertise regarding networking, security, and IP services. This is developed by CISCO Systems to offer advanced troubleshooting solutions to professionals to identify and evaluate internal and external threats. The professionals will gain a strong familiarity with the CISCO network structure.

Exam Details of Security+ and CCNA Certifications:

For Security+

Name
CompTIA Security+ SY0-701 Certification
Lunch Date
November 7th, 2023
Number of Questions
90 Questions
Type of Questions
Multiple Choice Questions or Performance-Based Questions
Time Limit
90 Minutes
Passing Score
750 (Scale of 100 - 900)
Languages
English, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish
Retirement Date
Three Years After Launch
Approved Work
DoD 8140
Testing Provider
Pearson VUE (Testing Centers | Online Testing)

For CCNA

Name
CCNA 200-301 Certification
Lunch Date
24 February 2020
Number of Questions
50 - 60 Questions
Type of Questions
Multiple-Choice Questions
Time Limit
120 Minutes
Passing Score
800 - 850 (Total of 1000)
Languages
English and Japanese
Retirement Date
Three Years After Launch
Testing Provider
Pearson VUE (Testing Centers | Online Testing)

Main Domain for CCNA & Security+ Certification

Security+

Main Domain
Weightage
General Security Concepts
12%
Threats, Vulnerabilities, & Mitigations
22%
Security Architecture
18%
Security Operations
28%
Security Program Management & Oversight
20%

CCNA

Main Domain
Weightage%
Network Fundamentals
20%
Network Access
20%
IP Connectivity
25%
IP Services
10%
Security Fundamentals
15%
Automation & Programmability
10%

Skill Set for professionals for Secruity+ and CCNA Certifications

Both possess different industry expertise in Information Technology Markets. 

For CompTIA Security+

Following are some mastering proficiency of CompTIA Security+ certification:

  • Offer updated knowledge detection tools and penetration testing techniques
  • Create and utilize different network systems to examine and detect organizational security issues.
  • Deploy a basic understanding of network architecture and implement updated management controls, risk administration techniques, and wireless security settings.
  • Explore and troubleshoot security vulnerabilities and threats.

For CCNA

Below-mentioned are some expertise, a professional will get after attaining this certification;

  • One will get basic networking fundamentals and problem-detection techniques to secure organization networks.
  • Utilize a diverse range of IP addresses, follow redundancy standards, and get familiar with different domains of the routing table.
  • Examine and deploy different training programs to get practical experience in ensuring the security of official devices and networks.
  • Employ different techniques of application programming interface, configuration, and network management while offering detailed differences between traditional and controller-based networking.

Prerequisites

For Security+ credentials, a professional should have Network+ certification and also have 2 years of prior working experience in Security and systems administration jobs.

While there is no need for any prerequisite for CCNA, a practitioner should be the one who wants to take advantage of executing and directing updated Cisco Solutions.

Target Audience

The target audience for CCNA is all professionals having all levels of experience in the IT industry. Moreover, they possess expertise in networking and looking for advanced job opportunities. 

While Security+ targets those who have experience in security and system management. This certification is a great choice for those wanting to start their cybersecurity career.

Find out the worth of CCNA Certifications 

Cost incurred for Security+ Certification

The cost of Security+ SY0-701 Credential is $404 (USD) and they are offering the following four bundles of services for the exam, Let’s have a look at them;

Bundle Title
Exam Voucher
Basic Bundle
Exam Prep Bundle
eLearning Bundle
Price Incurred
$404
$581
$741
$1005
Service
CompTIA Security+ Exam Voucher
Exam Voucher + Retake Self-Paced Study Guide
Exam Voucher + Retake Self-Paced Study Guide CertMaster Practice
Exam Voucher + Retake CertMaster Learn + Labs

CCNA is an Associate level exam so it costs $300 (USD).

Job Opportunities for Security+

Following are some job roles that Security+ certification possesses:

  • Cloud Penetration Tester 
  • Network Security Operations 
  • Penetration Tester 
  • Network Security Analyst 
  • Web App Penetration Tester 
  • Security Architect

Job Opportunities for CCNA

Some job outlooks for CCNA certification are mentioned below:

  • Network Engineer & Administration
  • Help Desk Management

Salary Expectation for Security+ & CCNA Exam:

The average salary per year for CompTIA Security+ Credential is $85,000(USD). This will increase up to $142,000. The annual pay scale for CCNA Certifier is $88,000 (USD) and this will be improved up to $166,000. 

Estimated salary according to job role:

For Security+

Job Title
Average Salary
Systems Administrator
$71,413
Cyber Security Analyst
$81,256
Information Security Analyst
$77,091
Network Engineer
$82,963
Cyber Security Engineer
$101,625

For CCNA

Job Title
Average Salary
Network Engineer
$83,223
Senior Network Engineer
$113,400
Network Administrator
$68,114
Information Technology (IT) Manager
$93,633
Information Technology (IT) Director
$117,346

Average Salary expectation according to location

For Security+

Locations
Average Salary
Santa Clara, CA
$87,740
Federal Way, WA
$86,660
Washington, DC
$86,392
San Francisco, CA
$84,536
District Heights, MD
$83,653

For CCNA:

Locations
Average Salary
Berkeley, CA
$139,802
Daly City, CA
$132,307
San Mateo, CA
$128,315
Irvine, CA
$128,005
Orange, CA
$127,387
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Potential Benefits of CCNA or Security+ Exam

For CCNA

Some of the benefits a professional will offer to different organizations after acquiring this credential;

  • One will implement advanced security standards, and direct and apply methods for fixing security threats. 
  • Get practical and master skills in employing upgraded solutions. 
  • Opens doors of new job opportunities in the networking and security department.

For Security+

Below mentioned are some benefits one will possess in an organization:

  • When one practitioner starts their career, he has to perform diverse duties, including threat and network management, cryptography, and network resources. 
  • As it is a vendor-neutral certification, one will apply basic concepts in the creation of networks, platforms, and operating systems.

Read more: CompTIA Network vs CCNA: Which one is Best

Preparation techniques for CCNA and Security+ credentials

1. Download the official syllabus and guidelines

One can use official sites, including Cisco and CompTIA, to download the exam curriculum and guide for starting preparation. 

2. Appropriate helping materials and dumps

Edurely has recently upgraded their dumps, videos, and practicing questions for both credentials to help practitioners in monitoring preparation.

3. Learning Plans

Our official website offered diverse learning plans for professionals to ace in both exams.

3. Online Webinar & Preparation Resources

Our official website offered diverse learning plans for professionals to ace in both exams.

4. Online Webinar & Preparation Resources

CCNA also organizes preparation resources which include quizzes, webinars, and preparation maps. Moreover, Cisco CCNA also conducts an online webinar to get you familiar with the latest network technologies. This webinar consists of three episodes:

Webinar Series
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Topics
The CCNA Certification and Networking Basics
CCNA – Getting Acquainted with Internet Protocol (IP), Connectivity & Services
CCNA - Building on the Basics with Security, Automation, & Programmability
Duration
90 Minutes
60 Minutes
Languages
English

These above-mentioned three episodes help you clear the complex understanding of topics. 

While security+ also provides exam objectives and practice questions. This certification facilitates e-learning materials, virtual labs, and training sessions for exam preparation.

5. Digital Community Forums

Most of the forums and social groups are designed to deliver extensive discussion sessions, study materials, quiz questions, and on-time feedback with senior professionals in the field. They will share the right directions with seniors.

6. Video Tutorials

Every official website shares relevant videos for each topic. With our detailed exam dumps, Edurely also shares comprehensive videos of experts with professionals so that they have a strong grip on topics.

Read more: How Difficult is CompTIA Security+

Conclusion

To conclude this all above, one will get a detailed overview of both CCNA and Security+ certifications. Before making a wise decision, one needs to decide which credentials will fulfill the basic purpose. If someone wants to pursue a career in networking at a Cisco organization, he needs to choose a CCNA credential. But if one wants to have a career in cybersecurity, he will take Security+ exams. 

For you, we already dissected both certifications and shared all relevant information with you. So, we hope you make a wise decision.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

The CCNA is designed by CISCO organization to share advanced knowledge about security, IP services, and networking, while Security+ is introduced by CompTIA, the basic objective of this is to upgrade the basic knowledge and expertise about security and systems concepts.

The target audience for both exams is entry-level and junior IT professionals.

If you want to have some in-depth knowledge about Cisco networking and security, you need to start your journey with CCNA certification. Then after gripping a strong command in the network, one can pursue Security+ credentials.

The Ideal time for preparation for CCNA and Security+ certifications is two months.

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