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Passing the Security+

By Khalilah Scott


The Beginning

My journey to obtaining the CompTIA Security+ certification started back in September of 2020. Keirsten Brager made a post about giving away a free security+ exam voucher along with a Darryl Gibson’s study guide and a financial literacy book. A friend of mine named John Breth recommended me for the giveaway and I end up being one of the winners! I immediately started to study for the exam using the study guide and Jason Dion’s Udemy course for the security+ which you can find here.


The Motivation

I knew that passing this exam could lead to new opportunities for my career like internships or potential entry level SOC Analyst positions. It took me five months of studying to take the exam because it was hard to focus between working a full time help desk job and being a full-time student at Purdue University Global majoring in Information Security and Assurance. I also continued to feel like I was not ready and kept postponing the exam out of fear of failing.


The Exam

Fast forwarding to the exam in January, I took the SYO-501 version and the difference between that version and the objectives for the SYO-601 are not very different. I passed it on my first try and both exam versions cover objectives and topics that are similar except for cryptography and PKI being removed from the SYO-601. Here is a brief list of the domains to study for:

· Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities

· Architecture and Design

· Implementation

· Operations and Incident Response

· Governance, Risk, and Compliance

The Opportunities

Passing this exam has lead to many opportunities including an internship with Cover6 Solutions with my mentor Tyrone E. Wilson and another one with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (Florida Blue) over the summer. Both of these opportunities came from people networking through Twitter.


The Sisterhood

One great thing that came out of this experience is that my organization that I started for women called the TechSecChix has been a great support system for me throughout this journey. I started a tradition after I passed the Security+ exam and signed and dated the book that was gifted to me and sent it to another one of the chix to use to study and she also passed the exam. So far, we have sent the book to 4 other members, and they have passed the exam as well. It is nice to see what the possibilities are when we all come together as a community!

Feel free to follow and reach out to me if you have any questions on my Twitter page. Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog post!

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