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Now Serving All: CompTIA Divides its Certification Program into Tiers

The go-to program for vendor-neutral entry-level IT certifications is bursting free of it's entry-level label.

You knew it was coming as soon as CompTIA’s first advanced certification – CompTIA Advanced Security Professional (CASP) – was announced, and now it has arrived: The CompTIA certification program has been reorganized and repositioned from a collection of entry-level credentials to a multi-level program. CompTIA now categorizes its certifications into 4 tiers called Series: Mastery, Professional, Specialty, and Basic. This is how the new structure breaks down, from the ground up:

  • Basic Series: Foundational credentials for those new to a computer career. The only credential in this group so far is Strata IT Fundamentals, which is a lot like a mini-version of A+.
  • Specialty Series: Credentials covering business and technical knowledge tied to vertical or niche markets. Includes credentials for green IT, cloud computing, healthcare IT, and IT sales. (We predict that the cloud computing credential will be relocated to the Professional group)
  • Professional Series: Technical skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a specific IT career. This essentially includes all the “plus” credentials formerly referred to as entry-level, including A+, Network+, Security+, etc.
  • Mastery Series: Advanced practice of a specific discipline - currently only CASP.

As part of this reorganization, four credentials appear to have migrated from “certificate” to “certification” status: Healthcare IT Technician, Green IT, Strata IT Fundamentals, and IT for Sales. The subject of certificate vs. certification is something we’ve discussed many times on GoCertify. No doubt CompTIA had a reason for opting to refer to them as certificates in the first place, so hopefully CompTIA will (or has already) step up the requirements to match the new names.

The new structure is a natural extension of the growth of CompTIA’s certification program and gives them plenty of room and a nice scaffolding for future expansion. Given the rate at which they’ve been adding new credentials, frequently through partnerships with other organizations, expect to see more credentials in the more sparsely populated tiers in the near future. Visit CompTIA's dedicated certification website to view the revamped structure, and follow @GoCertify on Twitter to keep up on the latest IT certification news.