CompTIA Security+ CE: Continuing Education & Renewal

Taylor Karl
CompTIA Security+ CE: Continuing Education & Renewal 5431 0

CompTIA Security+ CE: Continuing Education & Renewal

When you work in a fast-evolving industry like IT, you have to continue learning to stay up to date with the latest industry trends and technologies. The work you do to earn a specific certification will be relevant when you complete the requirements. But continuing education extends your certification so that your knowledge is always up to date.

What's the Difference Between CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Security+ CE?

CompTIA Security+ is one of the certifications offered by CompTIA. In contrast, the CompTIA CE is not a certification. Instead, it is a program that provides a pathway to keep your certification in good standing and your skill set current. CE stands for continuing education, and you should be aware of the requirements you need to complete every three years to maintain your CompTIA certifications.

Continuing Education Program

CompTIA certifications are good for three years. At the end of the certification period, you have the option to let qualifications expire or complete the necessary continuing education path to renew them. The process includes completing your certification's continuing education unit requirements — or CEU requirements — and paying the renewal fee. If the certification expires before you do this, you'll need to take the certification exam again to qualify.

CEU Requirements

CompTIA maintains a list of approved CEUs on its website, including additional certifications, college courses, webinars, work experience, and more. The website also includes an easy-to-use assessment tool that can help you determine whether the CEUs you've completed meet the requirements for the certifications you want to renew. Select from a pre-populated list the type of activity you completed, and provide details about the activity to find out how they qualify.

CE Fees

In addition to the CEU activities, you will need to pay the renewal fee before you submit your documentation. The renewal fee for CompTIA Security+ is $50 per year for a total of $150 for the full three-year renewal period. When you have to pay depends on CompTIA's renewal cycle instead of the calendar year, so your exact deadline may be different from someone else you know.

Renewing Multiple Certificates

If you hold multiple CompTIA certifications, you only have to complete the CE requirements for the highest certification you hold. The rest of your certifications will automatically renew with it. For example, if you have CompTIA Network+ certification in addition to Security+, the work you do to renew the Security+ certification will also let you renew the Network+ qualification.

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Renewal Path

You can choose between a single-activity or multiple-activity renewal path. This lets you complete the types of CEUs that best work for your schedule and interests.

Single Activity Renewal

The single activity renewal path is a simplified process that renews the certification with a single task, typically earning a higher certification or completing a course. You can do any of the following to meet the renewal requirements.

Complete CompTIA CertMaster CE Courses

Through CompTIA CertMaster CE courses, you learn the information that's included in the most current release of the certification exam. This works as a bridge between the competencies you demonstrated when you first earned your certification and those now required. If you choose this option, you don't have to retake the exam for your certification.

Earn a Higher Level Certification

If you earn a higher-level CompTIA certification, you can automatically renew lower-level certifications. For example, if you earn CySA+, PenTest+, or Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) certification during the Security+ renewal period, you will also be able to renew the Security+ certification without paying CE fees. This option can be useful if your career plans require additional certifications that you don't currently hold.

Earn a Non-CompTIA IT Industry Certification

In some cases, CompTIA will accept other industry certifications as CEUs. For example, Cisco CCNA Security, ISACA Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and Junior JNCIE-SEC certifications meet the requirements for CompTIA Security+ renewal. However, the list of qualifying industry certifications is subject to change, so check the CompTIA website for the most current list.

Take a Newer Version of a Certification Exam

If CompTIA has released an updated version of the exam you took to earn your certification, you can pass that to renew your qualification. This is because the updated exam assesses the most current content and skills relevant at the time you renew. You may find this option easy to fit into your schedule since you can choose the exam time, and CompTIA exam cycles run about three years—so there's a good chance you can take advantage of this renewal path at some point.

Multiple Activity Renewal

The other renewal option is to complete multiple activities that qualify for renewal when combined. For example, you may earn four CEUs for attending a live webinar and 20 CEUs for completing a college course for a combined total of 24 CEUs. To renew CompTIA Security+, you need at least 50 CEUs from the following list:

  • Attend a conference
  • Attend a live webinar
  • Complete an American Council on Education (ACE) course
  • Complete a training course
  • Complete a college course
  • Create instructional materials for an industry course
  • Participate as a subject matter expert in a CompTIA exam development workshop
  • Publish an article, a blog, a book, or a white paper
  • Submit verified work experience

The actual number of CEUs you earn for each activity can vary, so check the CompTIA website for the most current information. In general, the number of CEUs you earn correlates with the amount of time and effort required to complete the qualifying activity. You can expect to receive more CEUs for completing a course than for attending a conference.

Submitting Activities

When you're ready to submit your renewal activities, visit the CompTIA website to submit them online. You'll need to upload the documentation to indicate the activities you completed and provide proof of completion. Most people use the manual submission option to upload their documentation. Completing a CertMaster CE course, passing a test, and earning a higher-level certification qualify for automated submission.

If you're in a hurry, you can use the quick renewal option. You'll be directed to the CertMaster CE course most relevant to your certification.