Is the CompTIA Server+ Worth It? Benefits, Comparison, Cost
In this article, we discuss the CompTIA Server+ certification. For an analysis of all CompTIA certifications, see our article here. You can see our recommended resources for the CompTIA Server+ here.
The CompTIA Server+ is certainly one of CompTIA’s lesser-known certifications. Far less popular than other certifications from CompTIA, such as the Security+ or the Network+, the Server+ has long been a certification that just never seemed to gain much traction or interest in the IT or cybersecurity fields. But just because a certification isn’t terribly popular doesn’t mean it has no value or isn’t worth adding to your resume.
So, is the CompTIA Server+ worth it? While not well known, the CompTIA Server+ is a good certification for anyone just entering the IT or cybersecurity field and is interested in earning their first certification. The Server+ is also great for any existing IT professional that wants to add another certification to their resume quickly.
Let’s take a closer look at the CompTIA Server+ and see if it’s worth your investment of time, money, and effort.
What is the CompTIA Server+?
The CompTIA Server+ is a single exam certification specifically designed to test candidates on networking-based server concepts, such as Active Directory, server deployment, and Linux server support. The certification is a lower-level certification intended for current or aspiring network engineers or server administrators that are supporting LAN-based server deployments.
Ready to Earn Your Server+?
Server+ Exam Details
|Number of Questions||100|
|Question Type||Multiple Choice|
|Test Length||90 Minutes|
|Scoring||750 out of 900|
|Recommended Experience||18 – 24 months of IT experience, and A+ certification|
|Suggested Prerequisite||CompTIA A+, and preferably Network+|
Key skill areas of the Server+
|Server and Network-Related Security|
Who Should Consider the CompTIA Server+?
Any current or aspiring IT professional that is or will be working within a server-based local area network environment, or any technician that will be supporting similar equipment for clients would benefit from earning the Server+ certification.
Should You Consider The CompTIA Server+?
If you are within the first three years of your IT or cybersecurity career and are working in a role directly supporting network-based technology, the Server+ may be a good certification choice for you. Additionally, aspiring professionals with a limited hands-on technical background that are looking to earn their first technology certification would benefit from earning the Server+ certification. Also, existing professionals that need to renew their current A+ or Network+ certifications, or that want to add a new certification to their credentials quickly would benefit from passing the CompTIA Server+
What experience is required to sit for the CompTIA Server+?
CompTIA recommends that test-takers looking to sit for the Server+ certification have already earned the CompTIA A+ certification and have at least 18 months of dedicated IT support experience, however, there is no mandatory requirement in order to sit for the exam.
This amount of experience is not completely necessary, however, as even entry-level professionals that lack the A+ certification but have strong technical skills will find the CompTIA Server+ achievable.
What is the cost of the Server+?
The standard price for a CompTIA Server+ voucher costs $319, however, student discounts and other incentives do exist and may lower the voucher price. Additionally, CompTIA offers a variety of purchase options that will include the voucher and other optional items, such as training and an exam retake, if necessary.
What is the DoD compliance of the Server+?
While most CompTIA certifications are recognized, unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Defense does not list the CompTIA Server+ as an 8570 approved baseline certification, meaning that it will not be directly recognized by the DoD for professionals that are working for the Department of Defense or on a related contract.
How long will it take to prepare for the Server+?
Being that the CompTIA Server+ is an entry-level exam with no performance-based questions, most potential test-takers will not need a great deal of study to prepare for the exam. Aspiring IT professionals that have no prior certification exam or IT experience will benefit from taking at least 6 weeks of study to prepare for the Server+, depending on prior technical knowledge.
Established IT professionals, especially those that have extensive computer hardware, networking, or server support experience, may be able to prepare for the CompTIA Server+ in as little as two weeks.
Is the CompTIA Server+ hard?
One of the first questions that any potential test taker asks about a certification is if the exam is difficult.
So, is the CompTIA Server+ hard? Most IT or cybersecurity professionals will find the Server+ a relatively easy certification to earn, regardless of the number of years of experience. Current IT professionals that have strong hardware, networking, and server deployment experience should find the Server+ undemanding.
What certifications are comparable to the Server+?
There are a few certifications on the market that could be considered similar to the CompTIA Server+, especially the A+ and Network+ from CompTIA as well. While these two certifications have a different focus, the Server+’s extensive focus on hardware and networking means that there is a great deal of overlap between these exams.
Other vendor-specific certifications could also be considered similar to the CompTIA Server+, such as offerings by Dell or IBM, however, these certifications will most likely be more difficult and go into greater depth than what you could expect to see in the Server+.
How well known is the CompTIA Server+?
The Server+ is one of the least recognized certifications in the industry and by CompTIA in particular. This is possibly due to the increased focus on security in IT support as well as the dramatic shift of server deployment to the cloud, meaning that there is less technical server work to be done on premises in many cases.
What should you expect on the Server+ exam?
For professionals that have already earned the CompTIA A+ and/or Network+, the format of the exam and style of the questions on the Server+ will seem very familiar. One major difference is in the number of questions, where the Server+ has 100 questions to be completed in only 90 minutes. This means that test-takers need to be mindful of their time as they move through the exam. Fortunately, the Server+ does not have any PBQ, or performance-based questions, which take up more time than the standard multiple-choice questions that are on the exam.
How long is the CompTIA Server+ good for?
Currently, the Server+ was last updated in 2015, and is good for life, meaning that any successful test-takers will never have to renew their Server+ certifications. Additionally, passing the Server+ certification automatically renews current, valid A+ and Network+ certifications.
Which positions would benefit from the Server+?
Any IT or cybersecurity professional that is currently in, or aspiring to be in one of these career roles would benefit from earning the CompTIA Server+ certification.
- Systems Administrator
- Network Administrator
- Server Administrator
- Help Desk Technician
- Computer Repair Technician
- Consider earning the Server+ if you need to earn a certification and are not ready for the CompTIA Security+
- Consider the Server+ as a way to quickly renew your existing A+ and Network+ certifications, or as a way to add another certification to your credential.
- Consider the Server+ if you have extensive hardware and network support background, and can devote some time to preparing for the exam.
- Consider taking the Server+ if your employer requires certifications, or if you believe earning the Server+ would help increase salary or promotion opportunities.
- The Server+ is an entry-level certification that never expires, making it an ideal certification for nearly any current or aspiring IT professionals.
- The Server+ is becoming outdated, as it hasn’t been updated since 2015, and is light on newer server technologies, especially cloud deployments.
- Passing the Server+ renews existing and valid A+ and Network+ certifications.