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CompTIA Reaches The 'Two Million Certifications Granted' Milestone

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

CompTIA has just awarded its two millionth IT certification, which means the vendor-neutral association has now joined the ranks of Microsoft and Cisco. See how the numbers stack up.

Back in 2013, CompTIA announced handing out its one millionth A+ certification. Last week, the industry association announced it had awarded more than two million certifications to people around the world. That's a lot of certs, perhaps not up into McDonald's territory just yet ("billions and billions served"), but then IT certifications aren't something you can gobble up on the spot and be ready for more the next day. It's quite an accomplishment and tells us some interesting things about the company's overall certification distribution, too.

MORE: CompTIA Certs & Career Paths

This is a lot of certifications granted, and I can think of only two other companies in the same league. Microsoft, which hit two million almost a decade ago, is one of them; Cisco, which isn't into sharing its total cert counts, but probably also hit that number sometime in the first decade of this newish century of ours, is the other. Thus, the three 800 pound gorillas can continue to flex their certification muscles and rightly be proud of what they've accomplished.

Here's the really interesting thing about CompTIA's two million number:

  1. We know that CompTIA's A+ hit the one million mark late last year, sometime in October. At current growth rates for that credential, today's number is probably in the 1.05 to 1.1 million range.
  2. CompTIA's Network+ comes in at number two, where the most recent estimate of total Network+ certified professionals is around 320,000 or so, about 0.32 million.
  3. CompTIA's Security+ comes in at number three, and I'm guessing generously that there are 150,000 Security+ professionals or thereabouts today, or roughly 0.15 million.

Add up these numbers and you get 1.57 million, which means there are somewhere around 430,000 individuals who hold other CompTIA credentials.

How many of these are there? The answer depends on how you count things. My best guess is that CompTIA is counting both retired certifications (of which I can find eight on the Wikipedia's page "Discontinued certifications" section) and current available ones. Then take the total of current certifications, which I count out to 16, subtract the big three as already counted, and you wind up with 21 other CompTIA credentials divided into that 430,000 count of leftover certifications granted. Though I'm sure it's not an even distribution, that produces an average count of around 20,500 per individual such credential. As most certification programs go, that's by no means a bad average. The numbers probably range from under 10,000 to as many as 70,000 to 80,000 for any given certification.

CompTIA's kudos is well earned, and the association's interest in preparing IT workers with useful skills and knowledge on the job is unquestionable. It's interesting that so few of their credentials account for so much of their certified population, but the program is still worth watching. It also remains a great place for entry level or reskilled workers seeking employment in IT to start building their education and professional credibility portfolios.

For more details, check out CompTIA's June 9 press release CompTIA Certification Program Surpasses Two Million Milestone.