Some credentials that you earn will last a lifetime. Others you have to renew, especially when it comes to a fast-paced, rapidly-changing industry like IT. CompTIA takes care to keep their certifications current, which means that some need to be retaken at specific intervals.
If your certifications expire, potential job opportunities may disappear. Employers like to see certifications on resumes, especially if they are up to date. This is always true for those cybersecurity professionals who must be certified to work in this branch.
If you would like to earn your CompTIA certifications, click here for more information.
Now, here’s what you need to know about CompTIA certification renewal.
Good for Life Certification
If you earned any of the following certs before January 1st, 2011, they are considered good for life (GFL) or lifetime certification:
- CompTIA A+
- CompTIA Network+
- CompTIA Security+
These certificates do not expire. To get them up to date and update your knowledge, you will have to pass your certifications’ new exam. This means you will have two types: your Good For Life (GFL) cert and your Certification Renewal (CE) cert.
Certification Renewal Cycle
On January 1st, 2011, CompTIA created the Continuing Education Program. From this date on, almost all of their certs have a three-year expiration date from the day you earn them. They must be renewed by the end of that period.
To renew a cert, you need to earn enough CEUs or Continuing Education Units. Each cert requires a specific number of CEUs for renewal. You can collect CEUs by doing certain tasks. There are two main options for you to choose from:
Renew With a Single Activity
A single activity that will renew your CompTIA cert can be any of these:
- Pass the latest version of your CompTIA exam. For example, if you’ve earned the A+ exam in the 901/902 cycle, you can retake it in the 1001/1002 cycle.
- Earn a higher level certification from CompTIA. A higher-level CompTIA certification automatically renews a cert below it. An example of this is when you pass the Network+ exam, your A+ is renewed as well. The Security+ renews both Network+ and A+ if you have them.
- Earn an IT industry certification outside of CompTIA. Each CompTIA cert can be renewed by getting similar certifications elsewhere. For example, you can earn CEU points for renewing the A+ by passing Google’s Cloud Architect, Cisco’s CCNET or CCDA, or any other similar certification.
- Complete CompTIA CertMaster CE. The CertMaster CE is an e-learning course that you can take at your own pace. It is currently only available for the A+, Network+, and Security+ exams.
Renew With Multiple Activities
If you’re not keen on any of the above, you have the option of completing multiple activities to earn the correct number of CEU points you need.
Choose a combination of these:
- Earn another CompTIA certificate. Different CompTIA exams come with a different number of CEUs. Pass more than one to meet the requirement.
- Earn multiple certifications outside of CompTIA. Instead of choosing one cert that can earn you many CEUs, you can also choose to earn a few certificates. For example, you can pass the Amazon, Cisco, Google, or IBM certifications to earn points.
- Complete training and higher education. CEUs can also be earned if you complete a training course, attend a live webinar or a conference, or complete a college course.
- Participate in IT industry activities. Activities such as teaching or mentoring, writing instruction manuals, and being a Subject Matter Expert in a CompTIA Exam Development Workshop can help you earn CEUs.
- Publish an article, blog post, or book.
- Gain related work experience
Before you decide how you will renew your certification, make sure you check the number of CEUs required for each renewal. Each CompTIA certification exam requires a different number of CEUs.
Submit Your Activities
Once you’ve figured out how many CEUs you need and you have finished the activities you need to renew your cert, there are two ways that you can submit them to CompTIA:
- Manual submission – In most cases, you need to manually submit what you have completed. For example, work experience, a training course, a conference, published writing, etc. You will need to log in to your account on CompTIA’s website to submit your activities to receive your earned CEUs.
- Automated submission – In some cases, such as when you have passed the latest version of your exam or when you have earned a higher-level certification, CompTIA will automatically renew your certificates.
Before you submit, do some of the research on what kind of information you will need for manual submission so that you do not get caught off-guard. For example, to submit relevant work experience, you may need to provide your name and your current job title. You may also need to provide the year for which you’re submitting work experience, the tasks that you performed, and your supervisor’s signature.
A decade ago, CompTIA certifications could last a lifetime. However, now CompTIA certs have to be renewed on a three-year cycle. There are multiple ways that you can renew your certs, and they all include collecting CEUs. A CEU is a Continuing Education Unit that you obtain when you complete specific tasks, such as earning a higher-level certification, earning a college degree, attending a live webinar, or earning an IT certificate outside of CompTIA.
The CEUs that you earn can be submitted to CompTIA automatically or manually, depending on the type of activity that you complete. It is best to do some research beforehand to know which steps you need to take for recertification.
If you have any questions about this process and would like some help, please contact us at MyComputerCareer.