When considering certifications in the cybersecurity field, you will see that some of them appear very related to others. For example, the CompTIA PenTest+ and the CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) certifications are very related in content. Anyone preparing for a job concerning penetration testing will require to determine which exam is more beneficial for their time and money.
PenTest+ vs. CEH: Which certification should you earn? Despite whether you are working in the field and have significant experience with penetration testing or are new to the field, the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification is an excellent investment for your time and money.
Let’s now take a closer look at the pros and cons of each exam and see why gaining the Certified Ethical Hacker is more meaningful for you than the CompTIA PenTest+, and what the PenTest+ could do better on.
Factor 1: Cost
The cost of each certification is essential to factor in when determining between two similar certifications. You are possibly going to choose the one that will give you the most bang for your money. When you look at the fees of each exam, you will probably start to think why the CEH costs a substantial $950, while the PenTest+ is only $349, especially when they are such similar certification exams relating to the cybersecurity field.
If you are starting, you may see the immense cost on the CEH exam as a major turn-off. Keep in mind that either one you choose will be worth it in the future and that a lot of penetration testers have taken the CEH certification, even despite its cost. Those professionals have reasoned it a valuable investment.
Factor 2: Exam Difficulty
Take a look at any online community or forum about CEH vs. PenTest+, and it will report that the PenTest+ is a much more difficult exam. The PenTest+ has been considered a challenging exam, even to those who are well-versed in penetration testing. While PenTest+ and CEH include similar syllabus exam topics, it seems that CompTIA highlights some of their exams around what they want you to know and not what you will necessarily use in a live-work environment, which makes it more challenging if you are vigorously in the field. The Certified Ethical Hacker, on the other end, is pretty basic with its exam questioning and appears more relative to the job than the PenTest+. With that being said, the CEH is the appropriate exam for this factor.
Factor 3: Prerequisite
Many cybersecurity certifications you take requires some training and/or work experience as an eligibility criterion for the exam, or are advised to sit for the exam. Usually, that is the reveal minimum that you should have to even think of earning some of these certifications. The CEH suggests that you have a minimum of 2 years of work experience in the Information Security field. On their exam certification path, they also advise you to take the CND (Certified Network Defender) exam before appearing for the CEH.
They also expected you to pay a $100 non-refundable application fee. The application itself requires 5–10 business days to method once you react to the requests for information. They also have a principle about how you must study for the exam. You are not permitted to take any “brain dumps” due to that being a breach of the non-disclosure agreement that you must sign. If you are caught using a brain dump, you will be consistently banned from taking future EC-Council exams, and any certification you do have earned them will be canceled.
On the other hand, PenTest+ advises that you have a minimum of three to four years of work experience. They also suggest that you have received the Network+, Security+, or equal qualifications.
Keep in mind that with the PenTest+ requires more experience and being considered more complicated, it is not to be taken smoothly.
Factor 4: The exam
When considering at certifications, you should bear in mind what the exam includes and how the exam will measure you. The PenTest+ exam addresses penetration testing and vulnerability assessment, while the Certified Ethical Hacker exam only emphasis on penetration testing.
Another determining factor is that the CEH is a four-hour long exam and has a massive 125 questions, while the PenTest+ is two hours and 45 minutes, and has up to 85 questions. The PenTest+ has a few built-in simulations that you must finish alongside the multiple-choice questions. When you take the CEH, you will take only multiple-choice questions, which support it is the simpler of the two exams for most exam-takers.
Factor 5: Job Opportunities
Whenever you are contemplating at certifications, you want to review what jobs you can get with it. Unlike the PenTest+, the CEH is a DoD 8570 benchmark certification. This qualifies you for four various cybersecurity service provider jobs and different government-related jobs. Henceforth, CompTIA is in the operation of applying to get the PenTest+ DoD 8570. Before taking up for either certification exam, you should check the DoD 8570 benchmark certifications list before deciding to verify compliance with this regulation.
Factor 6: Recertification
For almost all certifications you achieve, you will have to recertify after some time. For some certifications, the recertification process is trouble. The CEH and the PenTest+ are consistent in their recertification process. The PenTest+ is comparatively easy to recertify, requiring 60 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) to be acquired to your certification account in the 3 years. You can get these by accomplishing approved activities and training programs from CompTIA.
The CEH is a bit more tough to recertify because it demands more time, but it is still simple. They need that you get 120 ECE (electrical and computer engineering) credits. They also demand you to pay an annual membership fee that is a fixed price, irrespective how many certifications you have beneath the ECE policy. That fee is $80, but it will only cost you $20 if you have other certifications that are not within the ECE policy.
Factor 7: Which Exam is More Valued?
The amount of respect an exam holds is essential when going in for job interviews. The more widely known and recognized an exam is, the more weight it holds in the cybersecurity field. The PenTest+ is a quite new exam and isn’t widely known yet because the exam has only been around for a short period of time.
The PenTest+ is highly-respected because of the difficulty level of the exam, the acquaintance that the industry has with CompTIA as a certification vendor, and that the certification implements hands-on examples.
The Certified Ethical Hacker has been around for more than fifteen years and has had quite a long time to develop a positive reputation. The CEH is a very distinguished exam and is widely known. The fact that it is also a DoD 8570 baseline certification further adds to its authenticity and respectability. Most penetration testing jobs will demand or recognize the CEH.
Which Certification should you earn?
While each exam has its advantages and drawbacks, the CEH is a more well known, esteemed, and reliable exam than the PenTest+. While the PenTest+ does have a lot of advantages, such as cost, it still has a way to go before it is considered competent to the CEH. Once the PenTest+ gets accepted as a DoD 8570 Baseline Certification and wins more recognition in the field, it will become a great option to the Certified Ethical Hacker certification.
Get certified and have a bright career in cybersecurity!!