Top 10 Study Guides for CompTIA Security+ Exam (SY0-501)

Top 10 Study Guides for CompTIA Security+ Exam (SY0-501)

The CompTIA Security+ Exam (SY0-501) is being retired July 2021. That is roughly 10 months from the date of the writing of this post. In the opinion of the Cyber Job Mentor that is plenty of time to prepare to pass this exam. Even if you do not plan to actually pay for and take the test it is enough time to study to become knowledgeable in the core competencies that the exam covers. There is a new exam coming that will be released in November 2020. You can wait for the new test or take the current one. I think there is plenty of time to take the current exam, though time is running out. With diligence, determination, and dedication you could study to increase your knowledge or study to take the test. There is no downside to either path.

Some people can study for exams using videos and really absorb the material. Other people need a boot camp or class to get the best results. Others need a good old-fashioned book or an eBook to tap into their best learning style. Here are 10 great choices for those needing to certify for the first time or professionals needing to re-certify. My advice is to always use at least two sources of study materials. So, use one of these books or another of your choice and videos like those provided by James Messer at https://www.professormesser.com/. The guides listed below are only recommendations. Not every guide is suitable for every learner. Find the study material and methods that work best for you and support your goals and success. Please do your due diligence. The links below do include affiliate links and a commission may be earned at no extra cost to you. Good luck in your professional development and reaching your goals.

CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide 4th Edition by Darril Gibson

CompTIA Security+ All-in-One Exam Guide, Fifth Edition (Exam SY0-501) 5th Edition, Kindle Edition

by Wm. Arthur Conklin, Greg White, Dwayne Williams, Chuck Cothren, Roger L. Davis

Mike Meyers’ CompTIA Security+ Certification Guide, Second Edition (Exam SY0-501) 2nd Edition

by Mike Meyers, Scott Jernigan

CompTIA Security+ Study Guide: Exam SY0-501 Kindle Edition

by Emmett Dulaney, Chuck Easttom

CompTIA Security+ SY0-501 Exam Cram 5th Edition

by Diane Barrett, Martin Weiss

CompTIA Security+ SY0-501 Cert Guide (Certification Guide) Kindle Edition

by Prowse David L.

CompTIA Security+ Certification Guide: Master IT security essentials and exam topics for CompTIA Security+ SY0-501 certification 1st Edition, Kindle Edition by Ian Neil

CompTIA Security+ Review Guide: Exam SY0-501 Kindle Edition

by James Michael Stewart

CompTIA Security+ Certification Study Guide, Third Edition (Exam SY0-501) 3rd Edition

by Glen Clarke

Mike Meyers’ CompTIA Security+ Certification Passport, Fifth Edition (Exam SY0-501) (Mike Meyers’ Certification Passport) 5th Edition

by Dawn Dunkerley

Top 5 Linux+ Study Guides CompTIA Linux+ (XK0-004)

Top 5 Linux+ Study Guides CompTIA Linux+ (XK0-004)

IT professionals need to learn Linux. It does not matter which specialty or focus. Whether you are in networking, system administration, software engineering, or cloud technology understanding the Linux operating system is a critical skill. Critical skills pay the bills.

There are many distributions of Linux that are available for free to download and use. Many distributions have been created for specific purposes that may be relevant to your career. It is possible to learn just by downloading almost any distribution and running it in a virtual machine. Some people need more structure with clear goals.

The Cyber Job Mentor suggests the following guide for studying for the CompTIA Linux+ (XK0-004) certification. Studying for certifications can be an excellent method of professional development. Choose professional development activities that work best for your situation. Look for opportunities that align with your goals and align with your learning style. Do your due diligence. The links below are affiliate links if you choose to use them there is no additional cost and a commission is earned.

CompTIA Linux+ Study Guide: Exam XK0-004 4th Edition by Christine Bresnahan  (Author), Richard Blum (Author) ISBN-13: 978-1119556039 ISBN-10: 1119556031

CompTIA Linux+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide: Exam XK0-004 1st Edition by Ted Jordan  (Author), Sandor Strohmayer  (Author) ISBN-13: 978-1260457346 ISBN-10: 1260457346

CompTIA Linux+ XK0-004 Cert Guide (Certification Guide) 1st Edition by Ross Brunson (Author), William “Bo” Rothwell (Author) ISBN-13: 978-0789760586 ISBN-10: 0789760584

CompTIA Linux+ Portable Command Guide: All the commands for the CompTIA XK0-004 exam in one compact, portable resource 2nd Edition, Kindle Edition by Rothwell William (Author) ISBN-13: 978-0135591840 ISBN-10: 0135591848

101 Labs – CompTIA Linux+ Kindle Edition by Paul Browning  (Author), Arturo Baldo (Author)

Best 17” Inch Laptops for 2020

Best 17” Inch Laptops for 2020

A laptop is an important tool. For some people it is their main computing and productivity device. For some people a 13.3-inch laptop is just right, for others 15.6 inch is the sweet spot. For people that do not need the most portability 17-inch laptops exist. This screen size has more room to work and play. A 17-inch laptop can replace a desktop or come very close. In a pinch they can be carried to other locations. The Cyber Job Mentor has compiled a list of laptops with screens about 17 inches. Hopefully, this list will provide guidance to those that need a little bit larger screen.

The Cyber Job Mentor recommends these laptops based on screen real estate, performance, and quality. These laptops were chosen because they would be good for video or photo editing, writing, and other content creation task. There may be priorities that are more important for your computing adventure so make sure that you get what you need for your use case. Do your due diligence. The links below are affiliate links if you choose to use them there is no additional cost and a commission is earned.

LG Gram Laptop – 17″ IPS WQXGA (2560 x 1600) Intel 10th Gen Core i7 1065G7 CPU, 16GB RAM, 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD (512GB x2), 17 Hour Battery, Thunderbolt 3 – 17Z90N (2020) by LG

Razer Blade Pro 17 Gaming Laptop 2020: Intel Core i7-10875H 8-Core, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 17.3″ FHD 300Hz, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, CNC Aluminum, Chroma RGB, Thunderbolt 3, SD Card Reader by Razer

MSI Creator 17M A10SE-216 17. 3″ 144Hz FHD Creator Laptop Intel Core i7-10750H RTX 2060 16GB 1TB NVMe SSD Win10PRO by MSI

HP Envy 17t (10th Gen Intel i7-1065G7, 16GB DDR4, 1TB HD+256GB NVMe SSD, NVIDIA GeForce 4GB GDDR5, Windows 10 Professional Key by HP

CUK ASUS VivoBook S17 Thin and Light Laptop (Intel i7-10510U, 16GB RAM, 256GB NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD, 17.3″ Full HD, Windows 10 Home) Slim Compact Notebook Computer by CUK

Top 5 Reasons to Get CEH v10 Certification

Top 5 Reasons to Get CEH v10 certification

Certifications can be a great way to start a career new career in cybersecurity or transition from a current I.T. role to a security-focused role. Is the CEH certification good if you are trying to start a career in cybersecurity? The Cyber Job Mentor has identified 5 reasons to pursue the certified ethical hacker certification version 10. Before investing time and money into a certification perform research. Do your due diligence. Each professional has the responsibility to manage their career and professional development. Find mentors, network, and practice your craft.

It is required for job.

A search of cybersecurity openings on many job boards will produce patterns. One of the patterns that will be noticed is that three certifications are in many job descriptions. It doesn’t matter the job title or specialization the three certs that show up the most are CompTIA Security+, EC-Council CEH, and ISC2 CISSP. Though there are other qualifications these show up frequently. These are very different certs with different scopes up understanding.

A recognized credential.

HR departments have recognized this certification as a baseline for cybersecurity roles. This certification is also an 8570 compliant certification recognized for Information Assurance workforce qualification for the United States Department of Defense. Other governmental agencies around the world also make this part of their training qualifications. This recognizability is why it is listed in so many job descriptions.

It aligns with goals.

The CEH fits within the goal of the individual cybersecurity professional. Some professionals new and seasoned choose goals based on many different reasons and sometimes the CEH fits for those personal or professional reasons. Professional development time and money are finite resources and everyone must make choices that maximize their desired outcome.

The test material.

The current exam as of this writing is version 10. It is difficult material to learn and apply. The exam is not easy and anyone who has taken will attest to that fact. To master the material does take time and effort. There are many areas to study.

Someone else is picking up the tab.

At the time of this writing in mid-2020, the price of the exam is $1199.00. Another dollar and that is $1200.00. There is also a yearly fee of $80. In 3 years $1440.00 is the cost not including materials that may have been purchase to study for the exam such as a class or a study guide book. If your workplace is paying for the exam that is the perfect reason to study for it and pass the exam.

Top 4 Reasons NOT to Get CEH V10 Certification

Top 4 Reasons NOT to Get CEH v10 certification

Certifications can be a great way to start a career new career in cybersecurity or transition from a current I.T. role to a security-focused role. Is the CEH certification good if you are trying to start a career in cybersecurity? The Cyber Job Mentor has identified 4 reasons NOT to pursue the certified ethical hacker certification version 10. Before investing time and money into a certification perform research. Do you due diligence. Each professional has the responsibility to manage their career and professional development. Find mentors, network, and practice your craft.

The cost.

At the time of this writing in mid-2020, the price of the exam is $1199.00. Another dollar and that is $1200.00. There is also a yearly fee of $80. In 3 years $1440.00 is the cost not including materials that may have been purchase to study for the exam such as a class or a study guide book. That cost can stretch a professional development budget. Each person looking to take the exam must consider if the cost is a worthy investment for them.

The testing format.

The current version of the CEH or Certified Ethical Hacker exam version 10 is currently delivered in the format of a multiple-choice exam. This format is very similar to a standardized test that is given to students around the world during formative education such as high school. There are entrance exams to colleges that rely on the same multiple-choice format. Educators have discussed this type of format as being less beneficial to students ultimately. The reason is it is possible to guess the right answer. This criticism is not unique to the CEH but standardized testing in general.

Perception of industry professionals.

Professionals within the industry have questioned whether people with this certification know anything. There is no national database of these complaints but the sentiment is growing that perhaps there are certifications that test skills and knowledge better. There are more specialized exams in the marketplace competing for the eyes of professionals and providers are offering more specialized products that test more specialized skillsets.

Does not fit goals.

The CEH does not fit within the goal setting for every cybersecurity professional. Some professionals new and seasoned choose goals based on many different reasons and sometimes the CEH just doesn’t fit for those personal or professional reasons. Professional development time and money are finite resources and everyone must make choices that maximize their desired outcome.

Top 5 Laptops for Creative Students

Best Laptop for Creative Students

Students in college majoring in creative arts need a computer just like every other student. Students who are preparing and training to become a writer, journalist, artist digital media, or other creative disciplines need a computer. A laptop is a great option because it is portable and can perform many tasks necessary. A laptop can be good for consuming media and creating it.

Students needing a good laptop to get them through school and a little bit beyond are lucky to have many options. The Cyber Job Mentor recommends these laptops based on usability, performance, and portability. A bright screen, a discrete graphics card, and good color reproduction were also considerations. These laptops were chosen because they would be good for video or photo editing, writing, and other content creation task. Remember, these are only suggestions. Do your due diligence. Perform your research and make your conclusions based on your findings. There may be priorities that are more important for your learning adventure so make sure that you get what you need for your use case. The links below are affiliate links if you choose to use them there is no additional cost and a commission is earned.

Apple MacBook Pro (16-Inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage) – Space Gray by Apple

Gigabyte AERO 15 SB-7US1130SH Thin and Light Gaming Laptop, 15.6″ Thin Bezel 144Hz FHD Panel, i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1660Ti, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD by Gigabyte


Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop 2020: Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, 15.6″ FHD 1080p 144Hz, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD by Razer

MSI Prestige 14 A10SC-229 14″ UHD 4K Ultra Thin and Light Professional Laptop Intel Core i7-10510U GTX1650 MAX-Q 16GB DDR4 512GB by MSI

Dell XPS 15 9500 15.6 inch UHD+ Touchscreen Laptop (Silver) Intel Core i7-10750H 10th Gen, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB SSD, Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti with 4GB GDDR6 by Dell

Best Computer for Computer Science Students

Best Computer for Computer Science Students

You do not need an expensive computer to learn or start programming. You can code on a smartphone. It is possible to code on a tablet. Cost does not have to be a barrier to entry. Using a smartphone for this purpose is not ideal but it is possible. The computer you have or have access to is the best one to start with. You do not have to purchase anything else just start. A student can learn networking, operating systems, programming, and more with the equipment that they have. No more monetary investment is required to learn. Do not let money be the barrier.

Though nothing is required other than an internet connection, quality learning materials,  grit, ingenuity, and time working in a hands-on environment can improve the quality of the learning experience. This may require a monetary investment, an investment in time, and an investment of effort. The Cyber Job Mentor recommends the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 1.5GHz 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU as an excellent tool to learn computer science, networking, Linux operating systems, and cyber security.

The Raspberry Pi is well documented and has a very robust online community. There are detailed instructions for many projects. Clustering, programming, robotics, and so much more. The Raspberry Pi is a single board computer the size of a credit card that only cost $45.00 depending on configuration. These devices require a monitor, a keyboard, and power, so they are not a stand-alone device but can be another tool to add to a home lab. The Raspberry Pi can even be made to be your desktop computer. Remember to do your research and decide whether this can help you learn and support your journey. The Cyber Job Mentor recommends the Raspberry Pi for anyone to learn and to explore computing. The kits are recommended because they include many of the accessories you would need to get started. The links below are affiliate links if you choose to use them there is no additional cost and a commission is earned.

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 Complete Desktop Starter Kit (4GB RAM)

Raspberry Pi 4 4GB RAM – Aluminum XTG Starter Kit – Vilros

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 4GB Starter Kit with Clear Case (4GB RAM)


CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 4GB Starter Kit – 4GB RAM

LABISTS Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 4GB Starter Kit with 32GB Micro SD Card Preloaded Noobs, Black Case, Heatsink Fan, Micro HDMI Cable x 2, SD Card Reader (4GB RAM)

Top 5 Laptops for School 2020

Top 5 Laptops for School 2020

A computer is an essential tool for modern learning. A laptop is a good option because of the portability and versatility. It can be carried easily and has nearly the same capability as a desktop depending on the hardware configurations. A computer can be expensive and one of the single most costly items in a student budget. Fortunately, this is a one-time purchase and will provide benefits for the length of the school. If you already have a device it is not necessary to buy another unless it no longer meets your needs. These are only recommendations. Do your due diligence.

Students have different needs depending on the focus of their studies. Creative students that work with images or film may require color-accurate monitors. Students in business or accounting may need access to specific suites of software. Computer science, information technology, or information systems students may need something different. So, no matter your major make sure the device supports and is compatible with everything you will be using for 3 or 5 years. Consider the operating system and the ecosystem, the hardware, the service from the OEM or retailer, and the ease of use. Remember, do your research and come to your conclusions. These are Amazon Affiliate links, if you choose to use them there is no extra cost, but revenue will be earned.

Lenovo Flex 5 14″ 2-in-1 Laptop, 14.0″ FHD (1920 x 1080) Touch Display, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor, 16GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, AMD Radeon Graphics, Digital Pen Included, Win 10, 81X20005US, Graphite Grey

by Lenovo

This device is recommended because of the included pen and the balance of performance. It is a good all-around laptop for writing papers, taking notes, and being portable. Normally this laptop costs about 599.99. The form factor of being a tablet and laptop adds to the versatility of the machine. Also, make sure to find a combination with a bit more storage if you think 256GB is insufficient.

HP Pavilion x360 14-inch 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD Storage, Intel UHD Graphics, Windows 10 Home, Amazon Alexa Voice Compatible (14-dh2011nr, Natural Silver)

by HP

This 2-in-1 device is recommended because of the ability to perform most tasks. It is good for productivity tasks. It is also good for media consumption. Creating reports, writing essays, or reading an e-book. It can go where you go. Whether working in bed or at your desk this device meets most needs. Typically found for under $700.00.

Acer Spin 5 Convertible Laptop, 13.5″ 2K 2256 x 1504 IPS Touch, 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7, 16GB LPDDR4X, 512GB NVMe SSD, WiFi 6, Backlit KB, FPR, Rechargeable Active Stylus, SP513-54N-74V2

by Acer

This device is recommended for its lightweight and included stylus. Being able to mark documents with a pen in a familiar fashion can help with editing documents. The touch screen also makes it easier to interact with the material. The typical price is more than $1000.00 and may not fit into every budget.

Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop, 14″ Full HD IPS, AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core Processor with Radeon Graphics, 8GB LPDDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, WiFi 6, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint Reader, SF314-42-R9YN

by Acer

The reason to consider it is it is pretty average. Average price, average specifications, average everything. It is good for most tasks. It only has 8GB of RAM, however, and that may or may not meet the needs of every user. It is relatively lightweight under 3lbs so it will not weigh you down. It typically costs about 649.99.

HP 15-inch FHD Laptop, 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB Solid-State Drive, Windows 10 Home (15-dy1036nr, Natural Silver)

by HP

This is recommended because of the price and its ability to be good for note-taking, essays, video calls, and web surfing or research. This laptop does all of those things adequately. It does them at a price of around $599.99.

Top Study Guides for CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner Certification CASP+ (Exam CAS-003)

Top Study Guides for CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner Certification CASP+ Exam CAS-003

The CASP+ certification validates advanced-level competency in risk management; enterprise security operations and architecture; research and collaboration; and integration of enterprise security. CompTIA recommends experience of at least five years but it is not required. CASP+ is considered a technical exam, so a successful candidate would have to be able to perform specified tasks. Also, this exam is geared towards front line facing roles and not managerial. The exam is $452.00. Learn more about it here  https://certification.comptia.org/certifications/comptia-advanced-security-practitioner#overview

Cyber Job Mentor recommends these guides to assist you in studying for the exam. These are affiliate links and income is earned at no extra cost to you if you use the links. Studying for certifications can be an excellent method of professional development. Choose professional development activities that work best for your situation. Look for opportunities that align with your goals and align with your learning style. Practice is still necessary to increase skill and knowledge.

CASP+ CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Second Edition (Exam CAS-003) 1st Edition

by Nicholas Lane, Wm. Arthur Conklin, Gregory White, Dwayne Williams

ISBN-13: 978-1260441338

ISBN-10: 1260441334

CASP+ CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Second Edition (Exam CAS-003)

CASP+ CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner Study Guide: Exam CAS-003 3rd Edition

by Jeff T. Parker, Michael Gregg

ISBN-13: 978-1119477648

ISBN-10: 1119477646

CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) CAS-003 Cert Guide (2nd Edition) (Certification Guide) 2nd Edition

by Robin Abernathy, Troy McMillan

ISBN-13: 978-0789759443

ISBN-10: 0789759446

Top 5 Guides for Certified Ethical Hacker v10

Top 5 Guides for Certified Ethical Hacker v10

Certifications can be a great way to start a career new career in cyber security or transition from a current I.T. role to a security focused role. Is the CEH certification good if you are trying to start a career in cyber security? Yes, if you are new to information technology this certification can provide the basic knowledge necessary to perform security work specially penetration testing. The CEH certification provides an excellent opportunity to learn the fundamentals of ethical hacking.

The Certified Ethical Hacking Certification is well regarded by human resources departments. If you were to peruse job postings for cybersecurity professionals you would find this cert as a requirement for employment or similar training. The latest test is 312-50. A certified ethical hacker will use many of the tools and knowledge that malicious hacker uses, but in a lawful manner and with permission. This exam is presented by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants, also known as the EC-Council. They provide many certifications that revolve around cybersecurity. The cost of an exam voucher is currently $1199.00. The experience requirements are having another CEH version cert, or 2 years of experience that will be verified, or take an approved training course. If you are interested in learning more about this certification please visit their website https://cert.eccouncil.org/certified-ethical-hacker.html. The Cyber Job Mentor recommends these five guides to assist you in studying for the exam. These are affiliate links and do support the website.

Studying for certifications can be an excellent method of professional development. Choose professional development activities that work best for your situation. Look for opportunities that align with your goals and align with your learning style. 

CEH Certified Ethical Hacker All-in-One Exam Guide, Fourth Edition 4th Edition

by Matt Walker

ISBN-13: 978-1260454550

ISBN-10: 126045455X

CEH v10 Certified Ethical Hacker Study Guide 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

By Ric Messler

ISBN-13: 978-1119533191

ISBN-10: 1119533198

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Version 10 Cert Guide (3rd Edition) (Certification Guide) 3rd Edition

By Omar Santos and Michael Gregg

ISBN-13: 978-0789760524

ISBN-10: 0789760525

Passing the CEH 10: Learning the Certified Ethical Hacker 10

By Sean Oriyano and Michael Janus

ISBN-10: 1792991029

ISBN-13: 978-1792991028

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition 2nd Edition

By Jon Erickson

ISBN-13: 978-1593271442

ISBN-10: 1593271441

This book has great examples. It is not so much a strict guide of CEH v10 as it is instruction on how to exploit software.