For those of you who gained the CompTIA A+, Network+, or Security+ certification prior to December 31, 2010, time is running out to enroll in the CompTIA Continuing Education (CE) Program. Becoming certified prior to 2011 deems you “certified for life”. What this means is that you are not mandated to enroll in the CE program unless an employer requires you to do so. Even though there is no strict rule in place, the benefits and personal growth candidates will see when participating in the Continuing Education program is priceless. The deadline to enroll in the program is December 31, 2012.
The Continuing Education program works off of credits which must be earned over a three year time frame. These credits can be completed in a variety of ways such as successfully passing the latest version of the certification, completing training courses, certain on the job experience, or by publishing articles in approved sources. More information on how many CE’s will be earned for completing certain activities can be found here.
So, what are the benefits of enrolling in the CE program if you are already going to remain certified? Well to start, it is required to join if your certification is functioning to help you comply with the DoD 8570 IA Directive. This is because the CE program will ensure that you are up to date on the best practices and ideas being discussed in the world of information technology. The field of IT is constantly changing. It is imperative that everyone involved in the function and protection of a network is knowledgeable and remains current in their field of expertise. Another reason is that it gets you involved and engaged with a variety of different activities and research that you may otherwise not do.
CompTIA was always known for their certifications being good for life. The reason for the change is that when CompTIA became accredited through ANSI, the American National Standards Institute, on January 1, 2011, a new set of regulations was placed upon them. ANSI is an international body who standardizes the procedures used by certifying bodies and requires them to meet certain guidelines. One of these guidelines in requiring certified participants to renew and improve upon their respected certification on a regular basis. This will only deepen the value of each CompTIA certification.
Those who become A+, Network+, Security+, Storage+, or CASP certified in 2011 or later will be automatically enrolled into the Continuing Education Program so they can experience the benefits. As always, CompTIA remains a not for profit association so all money earned from the CE program is re-invested in research and programs which serve those in the IT community.