CompTIA Security+ vs CySA+ – Start Here
Published on: August 1, 2020
Written By Colin
Cysa+ vs sec+

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If you have done any research around certifications in the field of cyber security, we are sure that you have heard of CompTIA. CompTIA is one of the largest and most highly regarded certification and training companies out there. When It comes to CompTIA’s cyber security certifications the Security+ and the CySA+ are the most popular.

Should I take the Security+ or the CySA+?

When choosing whether to take the CompTIA Security+ or the CySA+ you need to identify both your current knowledge and which path you are aiming for. If you have previous experience in cyber security and are following the cyber security analyst path, then the CySA+ will be the better option for you. If you are new to the field and are looking for a good first certification, then you should start with the Security+.

Choosing the right certification for you can be tough.

Let’s face it if you are entering the field of cyber security, identifying and committing to a certification can be a very daunting task.  You are putting up your hard-earned money and investing it in furthering your education, so you want to make the best well-informed decision possible. There are also a lot of mixed messages regarding certifications out there. Some serve as resume boosters and come with high praise from recruiters while having little to no application within the field.

This is not meant to scare anybody away from investing in their continued education by pursuing a certification. Our goal by stating this warning upfront is to simply inform you to fully research the options before making the commitment.

Why CompTIA?

CompTIA offers a number of industry-leading certifications like the A+, Network+, Security+, and the CySA+ just to name a few. In this article, we will compare and contrast the Security+ and the CySA+ and by the end, you will be able to decide for yourself whether you should one or both of these certifications.

If you’re looking for an entry level security certification, the Security+ and the CySA+ are a great place to start. Both of these certifications come with industry recognition and provide you with skills that you can directly apply in your position as a security professional.

Now that we have honed in our focus on the CompTIA Security+ and the CompTIA CySA+, let’s compare and contrast these two certifications. Which is right for you and do you need both? I personally hold both of these certifications, so stick around to hear our honest opinions on both of these exams.

CompTIA Security+

The CompTIA Security+ is one of the most popular entry-level cyber security certifications. It holds this level of acclaim for good reason. The Security+ provides the student with a great foundation of cyber security topics. The certification is “a mile wide and an inch deep” but when you’re just getting into the field, that’s exactly what you need!

Is The CompTIA Security+ For Beginners?

The CompTIA Security+ spans a wide range of information and is a great introduction to the field of cyber security. CompTIA Security+ is the industry standard for establishing a career in security and is the preferred qualifying credential for early career cybersecurity professionals.

Is The Security+ Difficult?

The Security+ certification is difficult for beginners. The Difficulty of the exam is related to the wide breadth of information that is covered by this exam. The individual topics are not difficult, but due to the wide scope of the exam it can be seen as difficult.

Does the Security+ Help You Pass The CySA+?

Taking the Security+ will help you pass the CySA+. The CySA+ applies the topics and theories that are introduced by the Security+ to hands-on problems. Taking the Security+ before the CySA+ will ensure that you have a strong foundation before attempting the more difficult CySA+.

The Security+ touches the surface level of a lot of topics and prepares you well for additional certifications. We advise people who are newer to the field to first get the CompTIA Security+; it will make the CompTIA CySA+ a whole lot easier!

The Security+ Will Get Your Resume Seen

Having the Security+ certification will surely help get your resume seen and provide A LOT of talking points when it comes time to interview. We will be writing a blog on how to ace the interview soon, and it will certainly emphasize the power of obtaining the Security+.

The Security+ Is Authorized By The US Department of Defense (DOD)

The DOD uses the Security+ as a baseline of accreditation for individuals who are tasked with handling privileged information. According to Microsoft, the Security+ is an authorized certification for the US Department of Defense and a subset of a much broader initiative commonly referred to DoD-Directive 8140/8570; a compliancy policy required of all authorized users of a DoD Information System

See How I Passed The Security+ in 3 Weeks


  • CompTIA Security+ Exam Difficulty 60% 60%


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What is the CompTIA CySA+

The CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+ (CySA+) falls after the Security+ in CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Roadmap. This is for good reason. The CompTIA CySA+ is more advanced and more specific towards blue teamers and security analysts. If you are applying for a blue team role, specifically as a SOC analyst, the CySA+ is a great certification to obtain!

The Security+ is more of a general certification, while the CySA+ takes a smaller area of the Security+ and focuses in on it. If you took the Security+ and wished that you could go deeper on the blue team topics, CySA+ is the cert for you!

Is The CySA+ Difficult?

The CySA+ exam is difficult for many students. The exam consists of several hands-on simulation type questions, in addition to multiple-choice questions. For most test-takers, the most difficult portion of the exam is examining logs and command-line output. These sections require adequate time and practice.

Is The CySA+ Worth It?

The CySA+ is worth both the time and the money. Holding the CySA+ certification will establish that you have the necessary knowledge and hands-on skills to perform as a cyber security analyst. The CySA+ holds a lot of weight in the field and is a big resume booster.


  • CompTIA CySA+ Exam Difficulty 70% 70%


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How To Study For These Exams

Everyone is different when it comes to studying methods, but here at Cyber Career School we have really honed in on the approach of utilizing 3 main study methods.

  1. Reading the Book
  2. Watching the Video
  3. Taking Practice Questions

While it sounds simple, this proven approach is effective for visual learners, auditory learners, kinesthetic learners, and reading / writing learners.

Below we have provided a book, video, and practice exams for both the CySA+


You can’t really go wrong in choosing either of these exams. Both will set you up for success in the field of cyber security. When choosing between the two, it really comes down to where you are at in your career path and where you going. If your brand new, your best option is the Security+. If you have worked in the field for a year or more, consider taking the CySA+.

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