There have been so many good cybersecurity certifications that have come out over the past 10 years, and new certs seem to keep popping up with each year that passes. If you are a seasoned cybersecurity pro or a beginner in the cybersecurity space, there is a certification out there that will fit your needs. Certifications such as EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and GIAC’s GIAC Certified Enterprise Vulnerability Assessor (GEVA) are two great examples of cybersecurity certifications to aspire to. In this installment of Cleared & Certified, we will look at one of the newer cybersecurity certs on the market, CompTIA’s PenTest+.  


CompTIA’s PenTest+ cert is very unique in that it is the only CompTIA exam that includes both hands-on lab type questions along with multiple choice questions. The Pentest certification was released worldwide on July 31, 2018. The certification is meant to present the candidate to organizations around the globe as one who can successfully manage a comprehensive penetration testing program.  

According to James Stranger, Chief Technology Evangelist at CompTIA, “As organizations become more proactive when it comes to cybersecurity, penetration testing is one of the tactics that they are employing.  But for penetration testing to be effective, the tester must have a range of skills, from pre-test preparations through post-test assessment and reporting. CompTIA PentTest+ covers the entire process and skill set of penetration testing.”  


There are several good training courses available for anyone who wishes to prepare for the PenTest+ exam.  Here are a couple of the best courses available:

CompTIA CertMaster Learn:

The CertMaster Learn training solution will provide the student with the following benefits: 

  • 100% coverage of exam objectives that focus on job roles
  • Over 40 hours of engaging content
  • 10 lessons with interactive Performance-Based Questions (PBQs)
  • 100 practice questions with immediate feedback
  • 90-question final assessment simulates the test experience 
  • Narrative instruction, images, videos and games to keep you engaged
  • Achievement badges, flashcards and a personalized dashboard to track progress
  • PBQs and practice questions show what you’ve mastered and what to revisit
  • Countdown calendar to keep you on pace

This course is very good and very comprehensive. The cost of this course is $529 and gives you lifetime access.  

Udemy PenTest+ Course & Practice Exam

Udemy offers a fantastic training course that is very in-depth and covers all of the exam objectives at a level that is both easy to understand and highly interactive.  Here is what you can expect to learn and a list of benefits you would receive from taking the Udemy PenTest+ Course & Practice exam:

  • Understand how to plan and scope a penetration test
  • Understand how to exploit networks and systems during a pentest
  • Understand the penetration testing methodology
  • Understand how to conduct information gathering and enumeration
  • Understand how to prepare a report and communicate your dingins
  • Taught by a best-selling certification instructor
  • Video lectures and downloadable resources
  • Practice exams
  • Certificate of completion

This training option is more for the individual who has some knowledge of networking and operating system fundamentals both Windows as Linux. The training is periodically on sale, but normally will cost $199.  


The PenTest+ exam is comprised of a maximum of 85 questions which are a mixture of both performance-based questions and multiple choice questions. The exam gives you a total of 165 minutes to complete all 165 questions. The passing score is 750 on a scale of 100-900. The exam is available in both English and Japanese languages currently. The cost of the exam is currently $349 USD.  


There are many options to tackle for your next certification in cybersecurity. The CEH certification is a good option to take if you are looking to solidify your penetration testing skills. CompTIA also offers the Cyber Security Analyst+ (CYSA+) certification as well as the CompITA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) certification. Other options to advance from the PenTest+ cert would be any cert offered by GIAC


If you are interested in getting into the cybersecurity field and you have a foundational knowledge of networking and operating systems fundamentals, then the PenTest+ cert is a good start. It is hard to say whether the CEH or PenTest+ is a better start, they are both such good certifications to get a start in cybersecurity. If you are already an experienced cybersecurity analyst, then this cert probably isn’t for you unless you specifically want to boost your penetration testing knowledge and skills. Anyone that is in college in a cybersecurity degree program should be required to get both the CEH and PenTest+ cert. Either way, this cert is a good one, if you can afford it and have the time, go for it… it will be well worth your while.

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Greg Stuart is the owner and editor of He's been a VMware vExpert every year since 2011. Greg enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids. He has 20 years of IT experience and currently works as an IT Consultant both in the private and public sector. Greg holds a BS in Information Technology and an MBA degree. He currently resides in Southeast Idaho. You can follow him on Twitter @vDestination, read his blog ( and listen to his podcast (