Why CompTIA PenTest+? A Review of CompTIA’s Newest IT Certification

CompTIA’s newest IT certification, CompTIA PenTest+, assesses the knowledge and skills needed to run a comprehensive, responsible and successful penetration testing program. Beta tester Molly Stewart shares her views on the certification.

Molly Stewart holding a coffee mug that says, 'I run on caffeine, cats and cuss words.' CompTIA’s newest IT certification, CompTIA PenTest+, assesses the knowledge and skills needed to run a comprehensive, responsible and successful penetration testing program. Released on July 31, 2018, it tests individuals in five technical areas:

  • Planning and scoping
  • Information gathering and vulnerability identification
  • Attacks and exploits
  • Penetration testing tools
  • Reporting and communication

As part of the exam development process, CompTIA enlisted cybersecurity professionals to preview the exam as beta testers.

A Beta Tester Reviews CompTIA PenTest+

Molly Stewart is a Linux cloud engineer from St. Louis, Missouri, and was one of the beta testers for CompTIA PenTest+. She shared her experience with us and the value she finds in the certification.

1. Please tell me a bit about your job and how it’s related to cybersecurity.

I help design secure solutions for customers who plan to migrate their existing architectures or build new capabilities into the cloud. It is important that I am aware of all implications and risks associated with the decisions I make both when I make suggestions and during implementation. I often work very closely with the security auditing teams.

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2. How did you hear about CompTIA PenTest+, and why did you decide to take it?

I hold other certifications from CompTIA and was sent an email about it. I wanted to sharpen my skillset and see where [CompTIA PenTest+] stood against my other cybersecurity certifications:

  • GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN)
  • GIAC Exploit Researcher and Advanced Penetration Tester (GXPN)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Systems Security Certified Professional (SCCP)
  • CompTIA Security+
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

4. How did you prepare for the CompTIA PenTest+ exam?

I studied the exam objectives posted on CompTIA’s website, and I reviewed my other certification course materials and books I have on offensive security.

5. Did you feel the content related to your current job?

Yes. The skills outlined in CompTIA PenTest+ are useful to anyone in cybersecurity or dealing with cybersecurity concepts.

The skills outlined in CompTIA PenTest+ are useful to anyone in cybersecurity or dealing with cybersecurity concepts.

The skillset definitely aligns to that of a pen tester but can be useful to those who perform the work securing their systems, as it shows a great understanding of how the attack vectors can be taken advantage of.

6. Would you recommend CompTIA PenTest+ to others?

Yes, I definitely would. It is more in depth than you would expect from CompTIA, and nearly half the price of other tests like it. (The CEH voucher runs about $1,199, and the GPEN voucher is $1,899 without an attached course.) I think it’s the best deal for your money in skills versus voucher cost.

7. How do you think CompTIA PenTest+ will help your career?

I’m waiting to see how the corporate and [U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)] markets feel about CompTIA PenTest+ before I make any assumptions, but I believe it can open up some opportunities for me. Editorial Note: CompTIA is in the process of applying to get CompTIA PenTest+ approved for DoD 8570. Stay tuned for updates!

Are you ready to get certified? Download the exam objectives for CompTIA PenTest+ to start studying.

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