CompTIA “Stackable” Certifications

It’s the interview question we’ve all likely been asked: Where do you see yourself in 1 year, 5 years or even 10 years? But, it’s the question for which most of us don’t have a definitive answer. I mean, sure, we’d like to have been promoted, be making more money and have more responsibility – but how do we get there? Our mentors will tell us to set small goals along the way and take the necessary steps to achieve them. But even then, how do we know we’re on the right path? CompTIA Stackable Certifications are here to help.

CompTIA Stackable Certifications create a sequence of credentials over time to build up your qualifications. The program not only offers guidance in skills acquisition, but also acknowledgement that not all career journeys follow the same path.

Our career pathways are divided into three categories:

  • Specialist: Early-career IT pros with 0 to 2 years of experience
  • Professional: Mid-level IT pros with 2 to 5 years of experience
  • Expert: Established IT pros with more than 5 years of experience

The certification you first earn and the one you choose to pursue next depends on the experience you bring to the table and your career goals. Now we have a question for you: What’s your perfect stack?

If You Have an Interest in Infrastructure…

When taken together as the CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Server+, CompTIA Linux+ and CompTIA Cloud+ validate the skillsets needed across IT operations, deepening your mastery of skills and broadening the number of IT infrastructure roles in which you can contribute. What route will you take?

CompTIA IT Operations Specialist (CIOS)
Stack CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+
 An IT operations specialist manages the flow of a workplace and optimizes day-to-day activities. In this role, you will analyze business operations and identify customer needs.

CompTIA Systems Support Specialist (CSSS)
Stack CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Linux+
 A systems support specialist is responsible for all aspects of help desk support and technical assistance, addressing a variety of user issues, including troubleshooting software, hardware and networks.

CompTIA Cloud Admin Professional (CCAP)
Stack CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Cloud+
 A cloud admin professional will help an organization maximize the business opportunities that the cloud creates.

CompTIA Network Infrastructure Professional (CNIP)
Stack CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Server+
 A network infrastructure professional delivers complex infrastructure design projects from inception through development and delivery.

CompTIA Linux Network Professional (CLNP)
Stack CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Linux+
 A Linux network professional provides hands-on support and monitoring of critical internal and client systems.

If You’re Seeking a Role in Cybersecurity…

With CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+), the forthcoming CompTIA PenTest+ and CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP), the CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Pathway helps technical specialists achieve cybersecurity mastery, from beginning to end. Where will you start?

CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist (CSIS)
Stack CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+
 As a secure infrastructure specialist, you’ll not only be able to support hardware and software systems, but will also be able to protect your organization’s assets from internal and external threats.

CompTIA Secure Cloud Professional (CSCP)
Stack CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Cloud+
 As a secure cloud professional, you’ll be ready to address the business and technical security challenges in an enterprise’s cloud computing environment.

CompTIA Security Analytics Professional (CSAP)
Stack CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA CySA+
 A security analytics professional plans and carries out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems.

CompTIA Network Vulnerability Assessment Professional (CNVP)
Stack CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA PenTest+
 A network vulnerability assessment professional scans applications and systems to identify vulnerabilities that can be used as a blueprint for improvements.

CompTIA Network Security Professional (CNSP)
Stack CompTIA Security+, CompTIA PenTest+ and CompTIA CySA+
 As a network security professional, you will monitor networks for threats or unauthorized users as well as analyze security risks and develop response procedures.

CompTIA Security Analytics Expert (CSAE)
Stack CompTIA Security+, CompTIA CySA+ and CASP
 A security analytics expert engineers security solutions and generates research results for security based on data analytics.

CompTIA Security Infrastructure Expert (CISE)
Stack CompTIA Security+, CompTIA CySA+, CompTIA PenTest+ and CASP
 As a security infrastructure expert, you’ll be responsible for managing and leading the information security infrastructure and projects in a global organization.

I’m Already Stacked!

If you already hold the certifications that make up a CompTIA Stackable Certification, congratulations! Make sure you add your newfound accomplishment to your resume and LinkedIn profile. You can also log in to your certification account to download a certification to display in your workspace.

I Found My Perfect Stack!

If you already hold a CompTIA certification, you may be on your way to your perfect stack. Now’s the time to take a look at other certifications that make the most sense for your career and make a plan to cross those certifications off your list.

Not sure which pathway to follow? Take our quiz, What’s Your Certification Pathway?

How to Become the Most Valuable IT Pro 5 Traits of MV(IT)Ps

by CompTIA

Ask yourself a question: What makes someone the most valuable?

When you walked the halls of your school, it was easy to identify those who were the most likely to succeed. You knew those individuals who had top-notch grades and were admired for their ambitions, intelligence and unmatched abilities. You may have seen them traversing the halls, sporting an air of confidence that others tried to imitate. Adulthood also has its fair share of most valuable members. Similarly, they are not difficult to spot. That easy manner, the self-assured confidence and, of course, the spark of innovation.

The MV(IT)P isn’t the person who knows every single detail involving networks or the one who knows how to perform each and every high-level IT task. The MV(IT)P is resourceful and knows how to make it all work together. A jack-of-all-trades, the MV(IT)P can fix problems when push comes to shove.

In the IT world, this person is the Most Valuable IT Pro or MV(IT)P.

Going for the Gold: Why You Need to Be an MV(IT)P

Every industry needs superstars. The IT industry is no exception. Certain trends, such as cloud computing, internet of things and artificial intelligence, are emerging in the IT world as the rate of technological development continues to skyrocket. So, you might find yourself asking, “Where do I fit in?” We can help with that. When problems arise, the IT world needs a hero who can swoop in and save the day. This is where an MV(IT)P comes into play.


In our advancing technological world, IT departments are becoming more of an integral part of business functionality rather than separate entities.

Previously, IT departments would act in support of business operations. Now, the IT department dips its toes in nearly every nook and cranny of the business, from infrastructure needs to marketing, communications, data analysis and even basic functions such as hiring and recruiting.

This integration is spawning a growth in the need for IT professionals who understand how this all works together to form a cohesive unit and keep businesses running smoothly.


Instead of limiting your skillset to a single specialty, you can save the day and become the MV(IT)P by gaining a versatile set of relevant IT skills.

Growing your IT certifications list will help you gain a broad knowledge base so that you can be the all-purpose IT pro who knows how to make things work. The MV(IT)P isn’t the person who knows every single detail involving networks or the one who knows how to perform each and every high-level IT task.

The MV(IT)P is resourceful and knows how to make it all work together. A jack-of-all-trades, the MV(IT)P can fix problems when push comes to shove.

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How to Win Your IT Budget Battle

Developing an IT budget is one of the most challenging aspects of being a decision-maker. If your budget is too low, your service suffers, making it difficult for your team to be productive. Too high and it gets rejected by executives. These tactics will help make the process smoother and keep everyone on your team happy.

What is the Company’s Expected Growth?

This factor will require input from other managers. Each new employee hired is more overhead for IT, administration, and infrastructure. You’ll need to incorporate growth including the possibility that more staff must be hired.

Account for Large Infrastructure Projects

Project managers gain insight into what’s needed by business stakeholders. Then they plan projects to account for changes. These changes could be software, infrastructure or both. You’ll need to identify if any of these changes affect your proposed budget. For instance, marketing might have plans to build new websites around analytics and user data. IT must plan and deploy solutions, so this greatly affects your budget and the resources required to maintain it.

Emphasize That Your Team is Valuable

IT often goes unappreciated. Because employees usually don’t what IT does behind the scenes, it’s hard for them to appreciate the effort that goes into the work. Organizations may also see IT teams as a revenue drain, so it’s even harder to convince executives to see value in each team member.

To win the budget battle, you’ll need to detail goals, solutions, and what IT did for the company in the previous year. Helping executives understand the value the IT team brings to the business helps strengthen the argument for a better budget to support your unique team.

Compare Spending to Competitor IT Budgets

No one wants to hear that their competitor does it better. Take your business’s main competitor and compare their infrastructure to your own. You can often estimate a competitor’s budget and use it as leverage to convince your executives to provide a better budget for your team. Use the comparison to highlight possibilities of what can be improved to increase revenue. Even a website speed boost can increase revenue, and that can be added to the IT budget.

Draft Your Budget and Be Detailed

The person reviewing your plan is likely not technical, so you need to explain why you need your desired budget. A draft that highlights benefits and a roadmap of future IT projects and the importance of each project will help demonstrate the importance of your budget. If you just say you need more equipment, it might not be obvious to the reviewer why more infrastructure is required. Putting requirements and a roadmap in layman’s terms will help drive your point home. It could be that network resources are overburdened. In this case, you can tell executives that a slow network cuts into employee productivity which ultimately cuts into revenue.

Describe Key Stakeholders that the Budget Effects

Any change in IT, including budget, affects stakeholders. Stakeholders are anyone that manages a department up to C-level executives, including the CEO. They must agree to the changes, but with the help of your project managers, this process should be fairly smooth.

Leveraging the needs of stakeholders helps you develop a plan that includes IT upgrades that positively affect these stakeholders. Some organizations have more to spend than others, but IT’s budget can span multiple departments and the benefits should be highlighted.


Having your budget approved isn’t easy, but once it is, your team and the people you support will be happier. The happiness of users helps improve productivity and gives you additional leverage when planning for the future.

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