There are countless cyber security certifications. Discover the ones that are really worth it.
As a recruiter I see many different job descriptions, all with varying requirements; some require five different cyber security certifications, others just say a certain certification is preferred. In the cybersecurity industry there are many different certifications that one can get, but from working in the recruiting industry, there are some that are more valuable than others.
- CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) – This certification is probably the most useful certification to invest in. If not listed as a requirement, most senior-level cybersecurity jobs have it listed as a preferred requirement. This certification requires at least five years of paid full-time experience. Once you pass the exam, it also requires an endorsement from another certified professional and reaccreditation every three years. The (ISC)2 issues all certifications.
- CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) – For jobs that deal with penetration testing or vulnerability management, this certification is nearly always a requirement. To receive this certification, a candidate must take a training course at an Accredited Training Center or conduct a self-study and submit two years of relevant information security work experience. The current exam is the EC-Council’s.
- CompTia Security + – This certification is great for someone who is interested in becoming a CISSP, but is not quite there yet, experience-wise. According to the CompTia website, this certification will include, “the most important foundational principles for securing a network and managing risk.” This role requires 2 years of relevant work and the passing of the exam.
- CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) – This certification is useful if you would like a career as an auditor doing risk and compliance work in the information security industry. The ISACA holds the exams and conducts the certification process for the CISA.
While there are many more security certifications out there, these four are the most useful to have, as they are the ones that tend to appear most in job descriptions. To be a stellar candidate, you do not need to have all of these certifications. Start off with a Security+ and then decide what type of career path you would like to head down and pursue the certifications most relevant to those opportunities.