The other day I was asked about getting the CEUs required to maintain a Security+. For those of you that don’t know or haven’t cared to look, after 2011, people passing the CompTIA Security+ exam have the option to maintain their certification every three years by continuing their education (CE) in the field of IT and Security.
This is a great way to avoid having to retake the exam, which continues to get more difficult year after year and expires 3 years from the date you pass. Renewing your cert is especially important if you are in software development, like me, and don’t have to cover a lot of the material that is in the Security+ exam on a regular basis.
The privilege to participate in the CompTIA CE track does cost money though. You must pay $50/year each year during the renewal cycle (3 years – Total of $150). You must participate in CompTIA sanctioned training, events, webinars, etc. CompTIA has a comprehensive list of acceptable CE here: https://certification.comptia.org/continuing-education
So you don’t want to fork out a lot of money to renew your cert and you were wondering, what is the cheapest way to renew my certification. Well, aside from the $150 you will have to spend, you can get all of your CEUs for FREE or very close to free. Below, I compiled a way for that to happen, but you would have to be very dedicated to pull it off.
First, if you haven’t already, you can take the following courses below from Cybrary for free:
- https://www.cybrary.it/course/comptia-security-plus/ – 8 CEUs free
- https://www.cybrary.it/course/itil/ – 3 CEUs free
Second, your work experience can count. If you can get a signed letter on official letterhead, you can submit for up to 9 CEUs (3 CEUs per year in a cycle) for FREE.
Finally, CBT Nuggets (https://www.cbtnuggets.com) has a 1-week free trial. For every CompTIA training hour you complete, you get 1 CEU.
Here are examples of eligible classes:
- https:https://www.cbtnuggets.com/certification-playlist/CompTIA/comptia-a-220-1001/ – 9 CEUs
- https://www.cbtnuggets.com/certification-playlist/CompTIA/security-plus-sy0-501 – 17 CEUs
I would do the Cybrary courses first. There is no time limit. That would give you 11 CEUs. 9 hours of CEUs from your work experience gets you 20 total CEUs. Then I would create my CBTNuggets free trial account and try to get the other 20 CEUs under the 7-day free trial. If that doesn’t work, you could pay the $99 for one month of unfettered access to CBTNuggets and knock out the remaining CEUs.
Hopefully, this helps and may even provide you a reminder to make sure you keep your Security+ up to date.