Bad actors have more opportunities to steal, damage, or disrupt as our interconnectivity grows. Cybercrime is on the rise, which has created a need for cybersecurity professionals. Between 2019 and 2029, the job outlook is expected to improve by 31%
10 cybersecurity certifications companies are hiring for
Although most cybersecurity professionals hold at least a bachelor’s in computer science, companies will prefer candidates with a certification to verify their knowledge of best practices. There are hundreds of cybersecurity certifications, from general to vendor-specific to entry-level to advanced.
You should research and find a certification that will give you an advantage in your field before you invest your time and money.
We searched for over 300 cybersecurity certifications on three of the most popular job boards: Simply Hired, Indeed, LinkedIn. These certifications were found in the highest number of US job listings (as of June 2021), indicating that they are certifications companies are actively seeking. The number of job listings containing our top 10 Cyber Security certification has increased by 33% since December 2020.
1. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
The CISSP certification by the cybersecurity professional organization (ISC2) ranks among the most highly sought-after credentials within the industry. The CISSP certification shows that you are skilled in IT security and can design, implement, and monitor a cybersecurity program.
2. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).
The ISACA credential is a certification from the IT professional association. It demonstrates your ability to assess security vulnerabilities, design and implement controls, and report on compliance. This certification is a top choice for cybersecurity auditing careers.
3. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM).
The ISACA CISM certification will also validate your knowledge in information security management topics such as governance, program development and incident management.
CompTIA Security+, an entry-level cybersecurity certification, validates core skills required in all cybersecurity roles. This certification will allow you to demonstrate your ability as a security assessor, to monitor and secure mobile and cloud environments, to understand and respond to security incidents, and to understand compliance laws.
5. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).
Ethical hacking is also known as white-hat hacking or penetration testing. It involves hacking organizations in order to find vulnerabilities before the malicious actors do. The CEH Certified Ethical Hacker certification is offered by the EC-Council. It is a certificate that can be used to prove your abilities in penetration testing, attack detection and vectors as well as prevention.
6. GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)
The Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), is an entry-level security credential that can be used by anyone with a background in networking and information systems. This credential is a validation of your abilities in security tasks such as active defense, network security and incident response.
7. Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP).
Employers will be able to see that you are able to manage, design, and maintain a secure IT infrastructure with this intermediate security credential (ISC). This exam measures your knowledge in access controls, risk identification, analysis, security administration and incident response. It also tests your skills in network, communications, systems and application security.
8. CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+).
CASP+ is for cybersecurity professionals with advanced skills who want to stay in technology, not management. Advanced topics such as enterprise security domain, risk analysis and software vulnerability are covered in the exam.
9. GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)
The GCIH certification validates your knowledge of offensive operations, such as common attack vectors and techniques, and your ability detect, respond to, and defend against attacks. This certification exam covers incident handling and computer crime investigation, hacker exploits and hacker tools.
10. Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP).
Offensive Security’s OSCP certification has been a popular choice for penetration testers. This exam measures your ability to compromise multiple target machines through multiple exploit steps. It also produces detailed penetration test reports for each attack.
Is it worth getting a cybersecurity certificate?
(ISC.2) found that 70% of cybersecurity professionals in the US required certification from their employers. According to the same study, security certification can provide a $18,000 salary increase. A credential that is relevant to your job can make you more appealing to hiring managers and recruiters.
How to choose the right cybersecurity certification
A certification in cybersecurity will validate your skills and help you move up the ladder. These are some considerations when choosing the right certification for you.
Start with a certification that matches the level of your experience. You can use the certification to help you move on to more difficult cybersecurity certifications later in your career. These beginner IT certificates and certifications are great for those who are new to IT.
Cost: The average cost of getting certified is several hundred dollars, plus any additional fees for maintaining it. While certification can lead to better job prospects and higher salaries, it is important to make wise investments.
General certification is a good option if you are just starting in cybersecurity or if you want to go into management. You might choose to specialize as you progress in your career. Potential employers can validate your skills by getting certified in the area you specialize in.
How to get into cybersecurity: The first steps
A lot of highly sought-after certifications require or recommend previous experience in IT and cybersecurity. There are steps you can take to get the experience you want if you have career goals that include this highly demanded industry.
Earn a degree as a computer scientist.
Although you don’t necessarily need a degree in cybersecurity to be successful, eight percent of professionals surveyed only required a high school diploma. However, it can help you establish a solid foundation. If you have a bachelor’s, master’s, or other related degrees in computer science, many of the most prestigious certifications will waive certain work experience requirements.
You can start in IT by starting at an entry-level position.
Practical experience is the best way to prepare for certification exams. You can start accumulating work experience by working as a cybersecurity analyst in an entry-level position. Many cybersecurity professionals begin their careers in general IT roles.
Earn an entry-level IT certification
A certification that doesn’t require any previous experience will enhance your resume and make you more appealing to hiring managers.