Did you hear about the new Security+ (SY0-501) exam?
Someone’s talking about it because I’ve recently received several queries asking me about it.
Yes, it’s true that CompTIA updates their exams every three years. And yes it’s reasonable to expect that they’ll update the Security+ exam this year.
When CompTIA updates their exams, it often causes anxiety with many people. They wonder how they should respond. And many of them send their queries to me.
Here’s a list of some of the questions I’ve received recently, and some of the questions I anticipate based on past transitions to new exams.
Q. Did CompTIA release objectives for the SY0-501 exam to the public?
A. No. At least not as I write this. Check the source here.
If you see a change before I do, please let me know and I’ll update the page.
Q. When will CompTIA release objectives for the SY0-501 exam?
A. Only CompTIA knows. When they do release the SY0-501 objectives, you’ll be able to access them on their Security+ page.
Q. Will the SY0-501 exam be live the same day the objectives are released?
A. That is highly unlikely. In the past CompTIA has released the objectives to the public, and then the exam has gone live a few months later.
Note that they typically update the exam every three years. The launch date for the previous version was in May, 2014. It’s reasonable to expect the next version of the exam will be in 2017.
Q. When the SY0-501 exam goes live, can I still take the SY0-401 exam?
A. Yes. In the past, CompTIA has had an overlap period of several months. For example, if the SY0-501 exam goes live in October 2017, you will probably be able to still take the SY0-401 exam at least until New Year’s Eve in 2017.
Update: The SY0-501 exam will launch in October 2017. You will be able to still take the SY0-401 exam until July 2018.
Update 2: CompTIA announced that the SY0-501 exam will launch on October 4, 2017.
Q. Should I wait for the SY0-501 exam?
A. If you want to delay your career, then by all means, wait.
A better approach is Carpe Certum! Seize the cert today.
If you have a need or desire to earn the Security+ certification, then study for and take the exam that is available now.
Q. Will the SY0-501 objectives be different than the SY0-401 objectives.
A. Absolutely. CompTIA doesn’t release the same objectives and call them new.
Q. Are your materials for the SY0-401 exam good for the SY0-501 exam?
A. While there is likely to be some crossover between the objectives, it is best to use a source for the exam that you plan to take.
In other words, if you plan to take the SY0-401 exam, use materials targeted for the SY0-401 exam.
If you plan to take the SY0-501 exam, use materials targeted for the SY0-501 exam.
Q. When will you have materials available for the SY0-501 exam.
A. Stay tuned. I fully expect to have materials available for the SY0-501 exam by the time the exam goes live.
Q. Which exam should I take? (Sy0-401 or SY0-501).
A. It really doesn’t matter.
Hiring managers want to know that you have the certification. They rarely care what your score was (as long as you passed) and they rarely care what version you take. Security+ certified is Security+ certified.
Q. What is the benefit of taking the 501 exam as soon it comes out?
A. Bragging rights.
You can tell your peers that you took the newest version of the exam even though there were only minimal materials available to study from. This indicates that you truly understand the materials at a deeper level than beginners.
Some people might be very impressed. Others might wonder how you’re doing on the CCIE Security certification.
There are two simple messages in this post.
- Yes, you can expect a new Security+ exam to come out sometime this year.
- You don’t need to wait for it.