Many people have recently asked me about earning continuing education units (CEUs) and how they can earn them.
One simple way if you can write is to write blog posts. You can earn 1 CEU for each blog post. (You can earn a total of eight CEUs for A+, 12 CEUs for Network+, 16 CEUs for Security+, and 20 CEUs for CASP by writing blog posts.)
If you don’t want to set up a full blog, you can write blogs as a guest blogger on the Get Certified Get Ahead blog site.
The post should be a minimum of 1,000 words for CEUs (CompTIAs requirement, not mine.) You can split it into two related 500 word posts if that works better for you.
If you’re interested, identify a topic you want to write on and propose it. If it ties into a specific objective, list the objective. If you’re not sure of a topic, I suggest you look at the objectives for the certification you’re trying to earn CEs on, and pick a topic that interests you.
We can include a footer at the bottom of the post with information about you so that it’s clear that you wrote it.
If you’re interested, send me a note with the topic you’d like to write about.
Combined with work experience, you might be able to earn most of your CEUs just by writing occasional blog posts. (You can earn three CEUs a year for properly documented work experience for a total of nine CEUs for any CompTIA certification).
As a reminder, CompTIA has identified the following requirements for some of its certifications:
|Certification||CEUs required for renewal|
|CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP)||75|
You can find more information on the CompTIA requirements and acceptable activities here.
Many Professionals Require CEs
Some people are critical of CE programs but the truth is they are widespread.
Medical doctors are required to earn CEUs. If doctors earned their degrees 20 years ago but never updated their medical knowledge, they would be treating people with outdated knowledge. CEU requirements help ensure medical doctors stay up-to-date.
Similarly, the first A+ certification I earned in 1999 has little relevance when compared to current technology. If I never updated that knowledge, my usefulness in IT would be very limited. CEUs help verify that technology professionals stay up-to-date.
The CompTIA Trio
Many people purse the CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications, in that order. Each of these certifications build on each other and combined they provide a solid foundation of IT knowledge for a successful IT career. Of course, this isn’t a requirement, but if you do earn these certifications in this order, you’ll find that they can help you earn the required CEUs.
As an example, imagine you earn the A+ certification in January. If you never earned another certification, you would need to earn 20 CEUs within three years and pay the program fees. If you don’t, your A+ expires.
However, imagine you earn the Network+ certification in May. This automatically meets the requirements for the A+ and you no longer need to worry about earning your A+ CEUs or paying your A+ CE fees. Instead, you need to earn the 30 CEUs for Network+ (and pay the program fees) within three years of the May certification.
If you complete the CompTIA Trio and get the Security+ certification in July, you no longer need to worry about earning your Network+ CEUs or paying your Network+ CE fees. Instead, you need to earn the 50 CEUs for Security+ (and pay the program fees) within three years of the July certification.
Beyond the CompTIA Trio
If you stay in IT, you can continue to earn certifications beyond the CompTIA trio of A+, Network+, and Security+. As an example, you could earn the (ISC)2 SSCP certification or CISSP certification. This gives you the 50 CEUs you need to keep your A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications updated. A difference is that you will need to pay the program fees to register non-CompTIA certifications.
How To Enter the CEUs
You can enter all your CEUs (and pay the program fees) via your CE account. You can access it here. You use your CompTIA Candidate Career ID and a password. That page also has instructions on how to start if you’ve never logged in before, or you do not know r CompTIA Candidate Career ID.