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Computing Technology Industry Association
CompTIA (January 1, 1982-present)
FoundedJanuary 1, 1982; 39 years ago (1982-01-01)
Headquarters3500 Lacey Road
Suite 100
Downers Grove, IL 60515, U.S.
Number of locations
United States
Area served
ProductsTechAmerica (2014-present)

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is an American non-profit trade association, issuing professional certifications for the information technology (IT) industry. It is considered one of the IT industry's top trade associations.[1] Based in Downers Grove, Illinois, CompTIA issues vendor-neutral professional certifications in over 120 countries. The organization releases over 50 industry studies annually to track industry trends and changes. Over 2.2 million people have earned CompTIA certifications since the association was established.[2]


CompTIA was created in 1982 as the Association of Better Computer Dealers (ABCD).[3] ABCD later changed its name to the Computing Technology Industry Association.[4]

In 2010, CompTIA moved into its world headquarters in Downers Grove, Illinois. The building was designed to meet LEED CI Certification standards.[5]

The CompTIA portal moved to a hybrid version of the open-access model in April 2014 with exclusive content for dues-paying members.[6][7] The move expanded the organization's reach to engage a broader, more diverse set of members and within a year, CompTIA's membership grew from 2,050 members to more than 50,000 in 2015.[8] By the close of 2016, the organization boasted more than 100,000 members worldwide.

CompTIA launched the Dream IT program in 2014 to provide resources for girls and women in the United States interested in the IT industry. In October 2015, the program was expanded into the UK.[9]

Skillsboost, CompTIA's online resource for schools, was launched in June 2015. It contained resources for students, parents and teachers to promote the importance of computer skills.[10][11] CompTIA held its first annual ChannelCon Vendor Summit in 2015. The Vendor Summit is exclusive to people attending ChannelCon, the industry's premier conference for collaboration, education and networking. It addresses issues within the IT industry.[12]

In January 2017, CompTIA launched an IT professional association built on its acquisition of the Association of Information Technology Professionals.[13][14]


CompTIA administers its vendor-neutral certification exams through Pearson VUE testing centers. (Note: For A+ up through CASP+ one can renew or extend their certification by satisfying in these cases 20 to 75 CEUs a.k.a. "Continuing Education Units," over the three-year period.)[15]

Basic certifications[edit]

The CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ certification covers foundational IT concepts, basic IT literacy, and terminology and concepts of the IT industry. It is considered the first step toward the A+ certification.[16]

CompTIA also offers the Cloud Essentials certification as a pathway to its Cloud+ credential.

Professional level certifications[edit]

The CompTIA A+ Logo
The Network + Logo used for certified programs, repair shops, contractors, and technicians
  • A+: earned accreditation from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 2008.[17] A+ certification represents entry-level competency as a computer technician and is a vendor neutral certification that covers various technologies and operating systems.[18] By 2014, over one million people worldwide had earned A+ certification.[19] Expires in 3 years.[20] Certification prior to January 1, 2011 is considered good-for-life (GFL) and does not expire.[21]
  • Cloud+: released in October 2013 including both cloud computing and virtualization. It is accredited by ANSI and maps to DOD 8570 Standards.[22] Expires in 3 years.[20]
  • CySA+: Cybersecurity Analyst; released in February 2017. The certification focuses on cyber-threat detection tools and analysis to identify vulnerabilities and risks. CSA+ was accredited by ANSI.[23][24][25] In January 2018, the certification was renamed from CSA+ to CySA+ due to trademark issues.[26] Expires in 3 years.[20]
  • Linux+: A single exam known as XK0-004[27] that is renewable through the CE program,[28] the certification covers Linux operating systems, from their installation and use to the basics of applicable free software and open source licenses. Was formerly a two-part exam LX0-103 and LX0-104 in partnership with Linux Professional Institute.[29]
  • Network+: accredited by ANSI in 2008.[17] The entry-level certification is used to measure skill as a network technician.[30] Expires in 3 years.[20] Certification prior to January 1, 2011 is considered good-for-life (GFL) and does not expire.[21]
  • PenTest+: intermediate-level certification focusing on penetration testing. Released July 31, 2018, the PenTest+ covers risk analysis, threat detection, and penetration testing and ethical hacking tools and methodologies.[31] PenTest+ is ANSI and ISO 17024 accredited and currently aligns with the DOD 8570 standard. Expires in 3 years.[20]
  • Project+: In 2001, CompTIA acquired the Project+ project management certification program from the Gartner Group. The program, previously called "IT Project+", was updated in 2003.[32][33]
  • Security+: also earned its ANSI accreditation in 2008.[17] Security+ is an entry-level vendor-neutral security certification that builds off of the network security knowledge covered by the Network+ certification.[34] Expires in 3 years.[20] Certification prior to January 1, 2011, is considered good-for-life (GFL) and does not expire.[21]
  • Server+: focuses on server-specific hardware and operating systems, IT environments, disaster recovery and business continuity.[35] It was developed in 2001, with updates released in 2005, 2009, and 2015 with an update planned for 2021.[36]

Master level certification[edit]

"Advanced Security Practitioner certification" (CASP) is a certification intended to follow Security+. The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner certification was accredited by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on December 13, 2011.[17] The CASP exam will certify that the successful candidate has the technical knowledge and skills required to conceptualize, design, and engineer secure solutions across complex enterprise environments. In March 2013, the Department of Defense approved the certification as a baseline certification accepted for Information Assurance Technical Level III, IS Manager Level II and IA Systems Architect and Engineer Levels I and II.[37]

Specialty certifications[edit]

"Certified Document Imaging Architect", or "CDIA+", is a certification for competency in document imaging, document management, and enterprise content management.[38]

The "Certified Technical trainer" or "CTT+" certification is a vendor-neutral certification that is applicable to training professionals in all industries. Originally administered in 2001 through The Chauncey Institute, the CTT program was acquired by CompTIA and renamed as CTT+. It was created through a collaboration of the Information Technology Training Association, Inc. (ITTA) and the Computer Education Management Association (CedMA).[39]

The CompTIA "Healthcare IT Technician" certificate focused on IT in the healthcare industry and was aimed at IT professionals who install and maintain electronic health record systems. It was retired in 2017.[40][41]

Stackable certifications[edit]

In January 2018, CompTIA released stackable certifications:[42]

CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway[edit]

  • Specialist
    • CompTIA IT Operations Specialist (A+/Network+)
    • CompTIA Systems Support Specialist (A+/Linux+)
  • Professional
    • CompTIA Cloud Admin Professional (Network+/Cloud+)
    • CompTIA Network Infrastructure Professional (Network+/Server+)
    • CompTIA Linux Network Professional (Network+/Linux+)

CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Pathway[edit]

  • Specialist
    • CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist (A+/Network+/Security+)
  • Professional
    • CompTIA Secure Cloud Professional (Security+/Cloud+)
    • CompTIA Security Analytics Professional (Security+/CySA+)
    • CompTIA Network Vulnerability Assessment Professional (Security+/PenTest+)
    • CompTIA Network Security Professional (Security+/PenTest+/CySA+)
  • Expert
    • CompTIA Security Analytics Expert (Security+/CySA+/CASP)
    • CompTIA Security Infrastructure Expert (Security+/CySA+/PenTest+/CASP)

SLED Public Sector Council[edit]

The State & Local Government and Education (SLED) division of CompTIA is a consortium of executives from leading technology companies "focused on advancing the interests of the IT industry in the SLED market".[43]

Right to Repair[edit]

CompTIA initially lobbied against the right to repair.[44] On February 21, 2020, CompTIA posted the statement below in relation to its prior position on Right to Repair legislation:

"On February 3, 2020, CompTIA permanently stepped back from all lobbying activity related to right to repair legislation."[45]


CompTIA established a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation called Creating IT Futures.[46] In 2012, Creating IT Futures worked with the Wounded Warrior Project to provide 5,000 CompTIA certification testing vouchers to injured military veterans.[46]

Certification expiration[edit]

Previously, CompTIA marketed its flagship A+, Network+ and Security+ certifications as being valid for a lifetime. In January 2011, CompTIA changed the status of these certifications so that they would expire every three years. Under this proposal, certified individuals would have to re-certify for the exams or pay a yearly maintenance fee for a CEU (Continuing Education Units) system. CompTIA modified the guidelines so that only certificates received after January 1, 2011, would need to be renewed every three years; however, a certain amount of documented hours geared towards use of the certification will automatically renew the certification.[47] The un-expirable certificates, issued before 2011, are officially called Good-for-Life, and getting a more updated (and expirable) certification does not replace the Good-for-Life one – the professional can have both.[48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peter Fabris (2015-12-11). "CompTIA's Update Ready to Install". Sync Magazine.
  2. ^ Mark Zonca (August 2016). "CEO Profile – Todd Thibodeaux". Naperville Magazine.
  3. ^ Peter H. Gregory, Bill Hughes (April 24, 2015). Getting a Networking Job For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons.
  4. ^ "ABCD to CompTIA Explaining the History of CompTIA Security Training". The Art of Science. November 5, 2009.
  5. ^ "CompTIA: The Computing Technology Industry Association Inc". The Journal of American Institute of Architects. April 27, 2012.
  6. ^ "CompTIA Opts for New Open-Access Membership Model: Associations Now". 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  7. ^ "CompTIA adds free open-access option to membership structure". SearchITChannel. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  8. ^ "From 2,000 to 50,000: Lessons Learned From CompTIA's Open-Access Membership Model". ASAE. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  9. ^ "CompTIA brings Dream IT programme to UK to inspire girls and create role models". We Are The City. October 26, 2015. Archived from the original on April 9, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  10. ^ Ronald Moore-Colyer (2015-06-24). "CompTIA launches Skillsboost website to entice more students into IT". V3.
  11. ^ Joshua Bolkan (June 24, 2015). "CompTIA Launches Online Resource for Students Interested in IT Careers". The Journal.
  12. ^ "CompTIA ChannelCon 2016 Vendor Summit Examines How To Thrive in the IT Channel". Business Solutions. June 15, 2016.
  13. ^ Conner Forrest (January 9, 2017). "CompTIA launches professional association to help fill skills gap in IT". TechRepublic.
  14. ^ Rich Freeman (2017-01-10). "CompTIA to Create New Association For IT Professionals". ChannelPro Network.
  15. ^ "Earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) | CompTIA IT Certifications". CompTIA.Org. CompTIA, Inc., the IT Industry Association. January 25, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2020. (website has a visual chart of CEUs needed per various certifications)
  16. ^ "IT Fundamentals Overview". IT Pro TV.
  17. ^ a b c d "Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA)". Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  18. ^ "What is the CompTIA A+ certification". Indiana University.
  19. ^ "One in a million: CompTIA A+ passes certification milestone". Certification Magazine. October 21, 2014.
  20. ^ a b c d e f CompTIA Continuing Education Overview, access date November 21, 2017.
  21. ^ a b c CompTIA Good-for-Life Certifications, access date April 3, 2018.
  22. ^ Ed Tittel, Mary Kyle (November 17, 2016). "Best Cloud Computing Certifications For 2017". Tom's IT Pro.
  23. ^ Tara Seals (February 20, 2017). "CompTIA Unveils Cyberanalyst Certification". InfoSecurity.
  24. ^ Simon Quicke (February 20, 2017). "CompTIA extends security certification coverage". Computer Weekly.
  25. ^ Sara Barker (February 21, 2017). "CompTIA zeroes in on behavioural analytics with new global security certification". Security Brief.
  26. ^ COMPTIA CIO. "R/CompTIA - PenTest+ Beta Testers Needed - Registration now available". Reddit.
  27. ^ Kristin Ludwig (Apr 3, 2019). "The New CompTIA Linux+: Your Questions Answered". CompTIA.
  28. ^ "CompTIA Linux+ XK0-004 Renewal". CompTIA.
  29. ^ Ed Tittel, Mary Kyle (November 21, 2016). "Best Linux Certifications For 2017". Tom's IT Pro.
  30. ^ "CompTIA A+ Certification vs. Network+ Certification". Vista College.
  31. ^ Shebli, Hessa Mohammed Zaher Al; Beheshti, Babak D. (2018). A study on penetration testing process and tools. 2018 IEEE Long Island Systems, Applications and Technology Conference (LISAT). pp. 1–7. doi:10.1109/LISAT.2018.8378035.
  32. ^ "Project+ - combining the technical world and the business world: An Interview with Ayana Nickerson, for CompTIA". c. August, 2004.
  33. ^ Emmett Dulaney (November 12, 2003). "Seven things to know about the new IT Project+ certification". Tech Republic.
  34. ^ Ed Tittel (December 13, 2016). "Best Information Security Certifications For 2017". Tom's IT Pro.
  35. ^ Ed Tittel, Mary Kyle (December 19, 2016). "Best Computer Hardware Certifications For 2017". Tom's IT Pro.
  36. ^ "CompTIA Server+ Certification Training". Computer Training Schools.
  37. ^ Ellen Messmer (March 22, 2013). "DOD accepts CompTIA's Advanced Security Practitioner certification". Network World.
  38. ^ Steve Rowe (September 1, 2004). "A Look at the CDIA+ Certification".
  39. ^ Warren E. Wyrostek (February 1, 2002). "Now What? – Becoming an IT Trainer and The CTT+ Certification". Inform IT.
  40. ^ "Retired CompTIA Certifications". CompTIA.
  41. ^ Michael Gabriel Sumastre (September 24, 2012). "Get to Know More About CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician Certificate". Pluralsight.
  42. ^ Sears, Teresa (January 19, 2018). "Introducing CompTIA Stackable Certifications". CompTIA. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  43. ^ "The State & Local Government and Education (SLED) Council", Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  44. ^ ""Right to Repair" Legislation is Wrong for Nebraska Consumers and Businesses".
  45. ^
  46. ^ a b "CompTIA Creating IT Futures Foundation Helps Wounded Warriors Conquer Their Next Challenge: Preparing For Careers In The IT Field". Business Solutions. 19 March 2012. Archived from the original on 14 September 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  47. ^ Anderson, Nate (January 26, 2010). "CompTIA backs down; past certs remain valid for life". Ars Technica. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
  48. ^ Good-for-Life Certifications

External links[edit]