For people who are not independently wealthy, retirement is no sure thing. Not the way that, say, death and taxes are. It's like you can't quit your job before you die because you had to pay so much in taxes that you never managed to save anything for retirement. This upbeat outlook brought to you by the Center for Positivity, Optimism, and Hopeful Platitudes.
Certification exams, on the other hand, are not like people and don't have to worry about whether there is enough cabbage in the checking account to make a mortgage payment AND pay down the credit cards this month. A certification exam is footloose and fancy-free, right up to the day that it gets yanked from circulation and abandoned in some cold and dark electronic records archive.
The key takeaway from the preceding paragraph is that certification exams, almost by default, have a built-in expiration date. Even with certs that don't require recertification, the exam and associated training materials are constantly being revised and rewritten to reflect the latest technology. In such instances, whichever exam or training you tackle is almost always the most current version.
With exams that are on a regular, predictable refresh cycle, however, it's important to know when a new exam has been released. If you aren't keeping track, then its possible that you could end up using study materials intended to prepare you for the old exam, then go to get certified and find out that only the new exam — the one you're not prepared to take — is available.
CompTIA renews almost all of its certification exams on a three-year cycle. After new exams are released, however, there's a 6-to-8-month overlap period during which the new exam and its predecessor are both available. Such is currently the case for both Security+ and Network+. Right now, you have the option to take either SY0-401 or SY0-501, and either N10-006 or N10-007.
Both SY0-401 (on July 31) and N10-006 (on Aug. 31) will expire this summer. So if you're about to jump into training and exam prep with both feet, then its imperative that you train using updated courseware. Whatever study materials you choose, be sure that you're brushing up on either SY0-501 content (for Security+) or N10-007 content (for Network+).
Because of TestOut's partnership with CompTIA, our courses are CompTIA Approved Quality Content (CAQC). We release updated study and training materials the same day that CompTIA releases new exams. And that's a big benefit to you. Don't get caught studying for an exam that's already in a rocker. Use TestOut CE courseware and you'll never be behind the curve.