With governments and organizations facing an increased risk of malicious attacks and security threats, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is expected to grow. The right skills and certifications can set you up for a lucrative career in cybersecurity. This makes it crucial to strategically choose the best cybersecurity certifications to get based on your career goals, experience, and personal strengths.
Some certifications may require significant work experience in a relevant field, whereas others may be suitable for novices in the cybersecurity domain. Take a look at the three must-have cybersecurity certifications that will prove to be valuable in your career.
One of the best cybersecurity certifications to have is a CompTIA Security+ certification. This entry-level certification is vendor-neutral, making it the perfect place to start for aspiring cybersecurity professionals. It will help you build foundational knowledge on security concepts, issues, and practices.
This certification can qualify you for jobs such as a cybersecurity analyst, a security engineer, a network administrator, or an IT security administrator, among many others. According to PayScale, a professional with a CompTIA Security+ certification can expect an average salary of $78,000 per year.
How to Prepare
There are two ways to prepare for a CompTIA Security+ certification exam. You can enroll in the CompTIA Security+ Training Boot Camp, an Infosec-powered, online training program that lasts for five days and is conducted through live, instructor-led sessions. Alternatively, you can also sign up for a CompTIA Security+ Certification Training, which is a self-paced online course lasting for six months.
CompTIA Security+ Certification Eligibility: No prerequisites, although a minimum of two years of technical networking experience with a focus on security is ideal
Exam: CompTIA Security+ Exam SY0-601
Certified Ethical Hacker Certification
A Certified Ethical Hacker or CEH certification is another in-demand cybersecurity certification to consider. This is a good intermediate-level certification for those who want to advance in their ethical hacking career before they venture into the more advanced EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) certification.
This certification is provided by EC-Council, a leading certifying body in the cybersecurity space. It is, therefore, recognized worldwide and is a good option for individuals who plan on finding a cybersecurity job overseas.
Using this certification, you can qualify for roles such as a vulnerability tester, an information security analyst, a network security analyst, or a cybersecurity analyst, to name a few. Ethical hacking is one of the most profitable professions in the cybersecurity domain. According to Salary.com, you can expect to earn anywhere between $92,155 and $117,858, although the specific pay may vary depending on your experience, skills, and certifications.
How to Prepare
You have two ways to prepare for a CEH certification exam. If you are short on time, the Infosec-powered Ethical Hacking Dual Certification Boot Camp is the ideal choice. This intensive and accelerated training program lasts for five days and prepares you for two certifications–EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and CompTIA PenTest+. Training is conducted online through live, instructor-led sessions and includes hands-on labs and exercises to prepare you for the real thing.
Alternatively, you can also opt for the self-paced Certified Ethical Hacker course. This course takes six months to complete and prepares you for the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) exam. It provides you with foundational knowledge on penetration testing, security assessments, and various network security techniques.
CEH Certification Eligibility: Two years of experience working in the information security domain
Exam: Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Exam Number 312-50
Certified Information Systems Security Professional
A Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is one of the best cybersecurity certifications for those who want to advance in their career. This is not an entry-level certification and requires significant work experience in the information security domain in addition to advanced training.
The CISSP certification is given by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium or (ISC)2, the leading global certifying body in the information security domain. Therefore, the certification is globally recognized, making it an excellent option for those who plan on finding a cybersecurity job overseas.
With a CISSP certification, you can qualify for several roles, including security auditor, cybersecurity architect, security manager, security consultant, and chief information security officer. It is also one of the most profitable cybersecurity certifications. According to PayScale, professionals with a CISSP certification can expect an average annual salary of $119,000.
How to Prepare
You have two options to prepare for a CISSP certification exam. If you want a fast-paced course, you can enroll in the (ISC)2 CISSP Training Boot Camp powered by Infosec. This is an accelerated program lasting for six days. It involves intensive training carried out online through live, instructor-led sessions. The boot camp will provide you with essential tools and expert instruction that will prepare you for your CISSP certification.
Alternatively, you can also sign up for the self-paced Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) course. This is a 100% online course that takes six months to complete and can be started at any time, therefore, offering more flexibility for working professionals.
Both courses will provide you with advanced knowledge of the eight CISSP domain areas necessary to get certified:
- Security and risk management
- Asset security
- Security engineering
- Communication and network security
- Identity and access management
- Security assessment and testing
- Security operations
- Software development security
CISSP Certification Eligibility: Five years of full-time work experience in the information security field and direct experience in at least two of the eight CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) domains
Exam: (ISC)2 CISSP
Choosing the Right Cybersecurity Certification
The best cybersecurity certification for you largely depends on your skill level and experience. Although a CISSP can result in higher pay, you need relevant work experience to be eligible for the certification. On the other hand, CompTIA Security+ may be suitable for those who are just starting their cybersecurity career. Go through the different options and see which one would be ideal for you.