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A+ Network+ & Security+ Certification Prep



These online courses will prepare you for the IT and cybersecurity industry’s essential certification exams: A+, Network+, and Security+.

Why Get CompTIA Certified?

  • Industry Recognition: These certifications are widely recognized in the IT industry. Earning them can provide immediate evidence of your competencies in specific areas.
  • Skill Validation: Passing these exams demonstrates to employers that you possess the knowledge and skills required to handle varied IT functions, as the exams are designed based on industry-wide job task analyses.
  • Career Advancement: Certifications can make you more attractive to employers, possibly leading to job opportunities, promotions or salary increases.
  • Stay Updated: The IT field is constantly evolving. Earning these certifications ensures you're up to date with the latest practices and technologies.

Why do your CompTIA exam prep with CSUSM?

  • Flexible Options. Prepare for one certification exam, or bundle 2 and save.
  • Prepare like a pro: 100 hours of test prep, including practice tests. Join 95% of students that pass the exams on their first attempt!
  • Learn from the best: Courses are taught by in-house, CSUSM faculty with extensive industry experience.
  • Set your own schedule: The prep courses are delivered asynchronously online for 1-2 semesters—so you can fit them into your busy schedule
  • Nationally recognized and compliant: Our courses not only meet the rigorous ISO 17024 standard but are also approved by the U.S. Department of Defense, meeting DoD 8570.01 compliance.

WIOA Funding Available  

CompTIA certification preparation courses at CSUSM qualify for funding under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Many students, particularly adults and dislocated workers with outdated job skills, may be eligible for these WIOA grants. For detailed information on grant eligibility and application, please visit the CSUSM WIOA Funding page.

Program Details

    Course Registration

    A+ Certification Exam Prep

    A+ Registration

    Network+ Certification Exam Prep

    Network+ Registration

    Security+ Certification Exam Prep

    Security+ Registration

    Network+ and Security+ Certification Exam Prep Bundle

    Network+ and Security+ Bundle Registration

    A+ and Network+ Certification Exam Prep Bundle

    A+ and Network+ Bundle Registration

    Course Details

    • Classes held online
    • Instructor-led 
    • Courses run during the fall and spring semesters
    • Register for a course bundle and save up to $195!

    Fee Includes

    • Exam voucher
    • Required books and course materials
    • Using Third Party Funding To Register? Please contact us


    • This course is eligible for a 10% military discount, view veteran and military funding options
    • The following programs are MyCAA and WIOA funding approved
      • A+ Certification Exam Prep
      • Network+ and Security+ Certification Exam Prep Bundle
      • A+ and Network+ Certification Exam Prep Bundle
    • CSUSM alumni are eligible for a 10% discount

    Please note: All rates are subject to change without notice.



    CompTIA™ A+ Certification is a critical first step in opening the door to your IT career. Throughout this program, you will learn the essential skills needed to start a career working within the industry. CompTIA™ A+ Certification is vendor neutral and internationally recognized, giving you a competitive advantage no matter what country you're working in and what hardware you're working with. Upon completion of the program, you will be given a voucher to take CompTIA A+™ certifying exam (CompTIA 220-1001 and 220-1002). This program is fully online and instructor-led.


    Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) Network+ is a globally recognized certification in networking that helps develop your career in IT infrastructure by covering troubleshooting, configuring and managing networks.

    This certification ensures you are able to:

    • Design and implement functional networks
    • Configure and maintain essential network devices
    • Use devices such as switches and routers to segment network traffic and create resilient networks
    • Identify benefits and constraints of existing network configurations
    • Implement network security, standards and protocols
    • Troubleshoot network problems
    • Support the creation of virtualized networks

    Jobs that use Network+:

    • Junior network administrator
    • Network field technician
    • Junior system engineer
    • IS consultant
    • Network field engineer
    • Computer technician
    • Help desk technician
    • System engineer
    • Network support specialist
    • Network analyst


    Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) Security+ is a globally recognized certification that focuses on the core security functions that enable you to pursue an IT security career. It is recommended as the first security certification IT professionals should earn.

    This certification focuses on:

    • Core knowledge required in any cybersecurity role
    • Preparing you for intermediate-level cybersecurity jobs
    • Hands-on troubleshooting to ensure you have practical security problem-solving skills
    • Identifying and addressing security incidents

    Jobs that use Security+:

    • Systems administrator
    • Security administrator
    • Security specialist
    • Security engineer
    • Network administrator
    • Junior IT auditor/penetration tester
    • Security consultant

    Charles Nicholson

    Instructor, CompTIA A+ Certification Prep
    Charles graduated CSUSM in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. He also achieved a Master's cert in Software Engineering from The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University in Plano, Texas. From there moved across the country as a video game programmer for 8 years and has published several AAA titles. He's worked in IT for over 20 years in the private, academic, and healthcare sectors.


  • FAQ

    What are the job prospects for these CompTIA certifications?

    1. CompTIA A+

    This is often considered an entry-level certification, so it's beneficial for those starting out in IT. Many employers require or prefer this certification for tech support roles.

    Potential Job Roles: IT support specialist, IT technician, IT operational roles and technical support specialist

    2. CompTIA Network+

    This certification demonstrates a foundational understanding of networking concepts. It's beneficial for those looking to specialize in network support or administration.

    Potential job roles: Network analyst, network field technician, system engineer, network support specialist and network administrator.

    3. CompTIA Security+

    This certification is in high demand due to the growing prevalence of cybersecurity threats. Additionally, it's approved by the U.S. Department of Defense for specific IT roles, enhancing its value for those aiming for government IT positions.

    Potential job roles: Security specialist, security consultant, security analyst, systems administrator and network administrator.

    How long does each certification prep class take?

    Each certification prep class is designed to span one semester. Additionally, we provide a cost-effective bundling option where you can combine two courses (either A+ and Network+ or Network+ and Security+) and complete them over two semesters.

    Will I be given a voucher to take the certification exams?

    Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a voucher (valued at approximately $400) to schedule your certification exam at any authorized Pearson VUE testing center.

    How long do the certifications last once I pass the exams?

    CompTIA certifications are valid for three years. There are a number of ways to renew your certification through continuing education programs or by earning additional higher-level certifications.

    What services do you offer to active military, veterans and dependents?

    Please visit our military and veteran services page to learn how we can help.

    What are the course topics?

    • ARP - spoofing and poisoning
    • Firewall - enterprise and local
    • Network architecture
    • Authentication - centralized vs. decentralized
    • Centralized control model (AD and GPOs)
    • DNS - poisoning
    • DHCP - rogue DHCP
    • WiFi - rogue WiFi
    • Traffic - encripted or not and how to detect
    • Services - listener
    • Server hardening
    • Permissions - access controls list
    • NTFS vs. share permissions
    • CIFS vs. SMB
    • Packet captures - looking at email headers, etc.
    • Non-IP traffic
    • Hidden shares
    • SSIDs
    • Mobile operating systems
    • Anti-virus
    • VPNs - split tunneling, IPSEC
    • Content delivery networks
    • CLI primer
    • Flow of data and network diagrams
    • Patching and patch cycles
    • Proxies
    • Password cracking
    • BASH, powershell scripting and loops
    • Common OS problems
    • Virtualization
    • Social engineering
    • Vulnerability and network scanning
    • WiFi cracking
    • Session hijacking
    • And more!

    What is the enrollment policy?

    Completion Requirement

    Students are responsible for completing by the course end date.

    Extension Policy

    Extension requests must be received within two (2) weeks prior to the student’s original end date. In general, students may be granted one extension within the same fiscal year (July 1- June 30) free of charge. Student shall be responsible for the cost of new materials (if applicable). Extensions requested beyond the current fiscal year is $50 per semester, plus the cost of new course materials (if applicable). Extension fees are not refundable. Email us to request extension.

    Hold Policy

    A "hold" is a permitted suspension of the student's participation in the program without penalty. In general, the student may request a hold for 1 semester, which may be granted for those with extenuating circumstances such as military deployment or documented medical concerns. Extension policy (above) applies. Email us to request a hold.

    Enrollment in this program shall not exceed 12 months. After which students are required to re-register.

    To review drop, refund, and transfer policies for online noncredit classes:

Exam preparation with experience

Prepare for the A+, Network+ and Security+ exams with these online prep programs that include hands-on experience using online simulation resources

Meet government standards

Courses meet the ISO 17024 standard, are approved by the Department of Defense to fulfill directive 8570.01-M requirements and are compliant with Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) regulations

Prepare for graduate studies

These programs will help prepare you for CSUSM’s online master’s degree in cybersecurity

Range of topics

Course topics include identifying and addressing security incidents, configuring and managing networks, implementing security protocols and more


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