CompTIAⓇ Security+ in Colorado: Securing Your Cyber Career

You wouldn’t leave your car unlocked with valuables in the front seat. Connecting your business to the internet without robust security infrastructure is no different. And in a world where everything is online, from our smartphones to our fridges, there are endless opportunities for cybercriminals to infiltrate our homes, our work, and our infrastructure. That’s why the cybersecurity industry needs skilled professionals—and today, there aren’t even enough of those.

While this is bad news for information security, it’s great news for individuals looking to break into the cybersecurity industry. But if you’re looking to change your career, level up your existing core skills, or find a cybersecurity role in Colorado, you’ll need proof that you have what it takes to foil cybercriminals. 

Certifications are one of the most widely recognized ways to show off your abilities, and the CompTIA® Security certifications are a great place to start.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this blog post:

  • What is the CompTIA® Security+ certification
  • Who can take the CompTIA® Security+ certification
  • The CompTIA® Security+ certification journey
  • CompTIA® Security+ exam essentials in Colorado
  • Impact of the CompTIA® Security+ certification on Colorado’s job market
  • FAQs about the CompTIA® Security+ certification

What is the CompTIA® Security+ Certification?

In order to understand the certification, you first need to know what CompTIA® stands for. It’s the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA®) and functions as an independent source of technological information, including education, training, certifications, philanthropy and market research.

The CompTIA® Security+ certification is a globally recognized credential that validates the baseline skills needed to succeed as a cybersecurity specialist.

Key features of this certification

  • Validates a broad knowledge of various technologies and environments
  • Is globally recognized by employers 
  • Illustrates hands-on skills to identify, mitigate and respond to security vulnerabilities
CompTIA security plus certification

Who Can Take the CompTIA® Security+ Certification?

The Security+ certification exam is perfect for anyone with a foundational understanding of IT security, so whether you currently work in tech or plan to learn the skills needed to enter the cyber industry in Colorado, it can serve as a great stepping stone. 

You can prepare for Security+ through 

  • Self-study
  • Online courses
  • Practice tests
  • Instructor-led training
  • Lab simulations

How much time you need to train will depend on how much you know. If you decide to use self-paced courses, they can have 20 to 50 hours of video content, while instructor-led training might span from a few days to several weeks.

Programs like the University of Colorado Boulder Cybersecurity Bootcamp can help prepare people with little or no tech background. This bootcamp accelerates the learning process and provides Security+ exam prep so its learners can enter the industry in under a year. 

CompTIA® Security+ Exam Essentials in Colorado 

Exam Specifics

The CompTIA® Security+ certification exam can be taken online or in person at a test center. The exam is 90 minutes long and includes multiple-choice and performance-based questions covering six domains (or topics). 

The Security+ exam throws real-world problems at you in both simulations and virtual environments. Simulations act like simplified models. They give you a taste of how to solve problems with limited options. Virtual environments, on the other hand, give you full access to the tools and tech, just like you would on the job. This hands-on approach helps you prove you can think, not just answer textbook questions.

CompTIA® Security+ Domains

Here are the six Security+ topics covered on the exam: 

1. Network Security

  • Network components and security principals, including firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS), secure protocols like HTTPS and SSH, network segmentation, and access control lists (ACLs).
  • Common network threats, such as denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, malware, data breaches and wireless network vulnerabilities.
  • Security controls and mitigation strategies to implement network segmentation, encryption, secure authentication and vulnerability scanning.

2. Compliance and Operational Security

  • Security policies and procedures for creating, implementing and maintaining security policies aligned with industry standards and regulations.
  • Risk management to identify, analyze and mitigate security risks through risk assessments and vulnerability management.
  • Incident response for building and testing incident response plans to effectively handle security breaches.

3. Threats, Attacks and Vulnerabilities

  • Types of cyber threats include malware (viruses, worms, ransomware), social engineering attacks, phishing, zero-day exploits and insider threats.
  • Understanding attack vectors such as injection attacks, cross-site scripting (XSS), man-in-the-middle attacks and denial-of-service attacks.
  • Vulnerability management for identifying, prioritizing and patching vulnerabilities in systems and applications.

4. Application, Data and Device Security

  • Application security principles to secure coding practices, input validation, data encryption, and access controls for applications.
  • Data security such as data classification, data loss prevention (DLP), data encryption and data backup and recovery practices.
  • Device security for securing laptops, desktops, mobile devices and IoT devices, including endpoint protection and configuration management.

5. Identity and Access Management (IAM)

  • Authentication and authorization methods including passwords, multi-factor authentication (MFA), single sign-on (SSO) and role-based access control (RBAC).
  • Identity lifecycle management such as user provisioning, de-provisioning and access reviews.
  • Privilege management for granting least privilege access and protecting privileged accounts.

6. Security Assessment and Testing

  • Vulnerability scanning for identifying and prioritizing system and application vulnerabilities.
  • Penetration testing to simulate cyberattacks to identify and exploit vulnerabilities.
  • Security audits and assessments such as evaluating the overall security posture of an organization.
A guy is reading a code on his computer screen, compTIA security plus on Colorado's job market

Impact of the CompTIA® Security+ Certification on Colorado’s Job Market

Here’s why Security+ matters in Colorado: 

  • High job growth: The number of cybersecurity jobs in Colorado grew 53.1% between 2014 and 2024, and the National Cybersecurity Intelligence Center is based in Colorado Springs.
  • Competitive salaries: For entry-level cyber security positions in Colorado, the average wage is $128,838 a year.
  • Diverse opportunities: From Denver’s booming tech hub to military and government centers, Colorado offers a variety of cybersecurity roles across industries.

The CompTIA® Security+ certification will help you stand out to future employers and signal you have what it takes to excel in the industry. Once you earn the Security+ certification, you will be eligible for the following cybersecurity positions: 

  • Cloud Penetration Tester: This role involves securing an organization’s cloud environment through rigorous testing. Responsibilities include safeguarding against emerging threats, ensuring compliance, and maintaining the integrity of cloud services through simulated cyberattacks to uncover weaknesses in cloud configurations, applications, APIs and databases.
  • Network Security Operation: This position continuously monitors and analyzes network traffic to detect and respond to potential security incidents, and fortifies network defenses with firewalls, intrusion detection systems and vulnerability scans. Additional responsibilities include developing and enforcing security protocols and staying up-to-date on emerging threats. 
  • Penetration Tester: This role is also sometimes called an “ethical hacker.” Responsibilities include exploring the defenses of computer systems, networks and web applications to identify vulnerabilities before hackers can exploit them. The primary goal of a penetration tester is to mitigate potential security weaknesses. 
  • Network Security Analyst: This role is tasked with protecting an organization’s computer networks and systems by monitoring, analyzing and improving the security infrastructure to prevent, detect, and respond to cyber threats and breaches. It is not uncommon for individuals in this position to collaborate with IT professionals to strengthen protection against evolving cyber threats.
  • Web App Penetration Tester: Primary responsibilities in this role include testing and evaluating the effectiveness of current security measures by simulating cyber attacks, uncovering weaknesses in code and comprehensive testing to identify vulnerabilities in web applications. Their findings and strategies to secure web-based systems then get reported to other stakeholders. 
  • Security Architect: As a vital role within the cybersecurity framework of an organization, the security architect is the mastermind behind complex security systems. This role requires a deep understanding of hardware and software security to approach threat intelligence proactively, with additional responsibilities including researching security systems, deploying robust security solutions, and providing strategic direction in securing system frameworks.

As the Colorado job market expands, cybersecurity professionals with CompTIA® Security+ certification will be in high demand, especially in industries like healthcare and biotechnology, clean energy, and skilled trades. 

FAQs About the CompTIA® Security+ Certification

Where can I find CompTIA® Security+ certification training in Colorado?

CompTIA® Security+ certification training is offered through various channels in Colorado, including community colleges, technical schools and private training centers. The University of Colorado Boulder Cybersecurity Bootcamp, for example, includes an exam prep course. Additionally, online platforms like the CompTIA® website, Udemy, and Coursera provide flexible options for Colorado residents.

What is the average salary for CompTIA® Security+ professionals in Colorado?

The average salary for CompTIA® Security+ certified professionals in Colorado can vary widely based on experience, role and specific sector within IT. Generally, salaries range from approximately $50,000 to over $100,000 annually. Websites like Glassdoor, Payscale, and Indeed can offer up-to-date salary information specific to Colorado.

Are there online options for taking the CompTIA® Security+ exam in Colorado?

Yes, CompTIA® offers online testing for the Security+ exam through the online exam proctoring service Pearson OnVUE. This allows candidates in Colorado to take the exam remotely while ensuring the integrity of the testing process.

Can I pursue CompTIA® Security+ certification without an IT background in Colorado?

While an IT background is beneficial, it’s not strictly necessary to pursue CompTIA® Security+ certification. This baseline certification is designed to be an entry-level qualification for those entering the cybersecurity field. However, it’s recommended to have a foundational knowledge of computer systems and networks, which can be achieved with the University of Colorado Boulder Cybersecurity Bootcamp.

Which testing centers in Colorado offer CompTIA® Security+ exams?

Testing centers offering CompTIA® Security+ exams in Colorado are located in cities like Denver, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins. You can find the nearest testing center and schedule an exam through the CompTIA® website.

Are there any specialized cybersecurity job opportunities in Colorado after obtaining Security+ certification?

Obtaining a Security+ certification in Colorado can open the door to various cybersecurity job roles, including cloud penetration tester, network security operations, penetration tester, network security analyst, web app penetration tester and security architect positions. Read more about these roles in the article.

How long does it typically take to complete CompTIA® Security+ training in Colorado?

The duration of CompTIA® Security+ training in Colorado varies depending on the training provider and the individual’s study pace. Courses can range from intensive week-long boot camps to several months of part-time study.

What are the prerequisites for enrolling in CompTIA® Security+ courses in Colorado?

There are no formal prerequisites for enrolling in CompTIA® Security+ courses. However, it’s recommended that candidates have a basic understanding of computer and network fundamentals. Some course providers may suggest prior IT experience or certifications.

Are there any discounts or financial aid options for CompTIA® Security+ training in Colorado?

Financial aid options for CompTIA® Security+ training can vary by provider. The University of Colorado Boulder Cybersecurity Bootcamp includes an elective CompTIA® Security+ training course and a voucher to sit the exam.

Where can I find reviews or testimonials from individuals who have completed CompTIA® Security+ certification in Colorado?

Reviews or testimonials can often be found on the websites of training providers or through online forums and communities. These can provide insights into the experiences of past participants with specific courses in Colorado.

A woman is reading  a comptia security plus code on her computer screen

Your Path Forward

There are many avenues for obtaining the CompTIA® Security+ certification in Colorado. No matter where you are in your journey, the University of Colorado Boulder Cybersecurity Bootcamp provides hands-on training and career development to assist you in your pursuit to become a cybersecurity professional. The accelerated, expert-led courses will prepare you for the industry in under a year.