Cybersecurity Certificate: How to Earn It in 2022

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Hello Readers!

Welcome to an incredibly educational article about Cybersecurity Certifications that will help you build a lucrative career.

In this article, you will learn everything about Cybersecurity Certificate Programs and how to leverage them in your professional field.

By the end of this article, you will know about the best Cybersecurity Certifications, their benefits, and the resources to earn them.

Here is what we will cover in this career-building guide:

About Cybersecurity Certifications
Prerequisites for Cybersecurity Certifications
6 Best Career Defining Cybersecurity Certifications
Reasons You Need a Cybersecurity Certificate
Jobs You Can Get With Cybersecurity Certificates

Let us start with it!

Cybersecurity Certifications – The In-Demand Credentials You Need

Cybersecurity has seen massive expansion and growth in the last few years.

Especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, when almost the entire world transitioned online, the demand for Cybersecurity professionals has only been increasing.

By 2030, the job rate is expected to grow by 33 percent.

A Cybersecurity professional identifies and mitigates potential cyberattacks such as malware, hacking, data theft, and other vulnerabilities to keep the computer network and operating systems safe and functional.

They keep the hardware, software, and every ounce of information technology at bay from cyber crimes.

And even if an invited intruder finds a way into the system, Cybersecurity personnel know how to handle them.

Cybersecurity Certificate Programs can help you learn the skills (basic and advanced), and keep up-to-date with the “security trends,” so you can become the maestro of your field

Most job positions need a Bachelor’s degree in information security or relevant qualification in computer science.

However, technology is never the same, even by the next passing second.

There are innovations and advancements that a Cybersecurity professional must upkeep with and know about.

Moreover, many high-end organizations need certified Cybersecurity professionals.

Even if they have been working with the firm, their employer may suggest they take up certain credentials to boost productivity.

Cybersecurity Certificate Programs can help you learn the skills (basic and advanced), keep up-to-date with the “security trends,” and indulge in continual learning so you can become the maestro of your field.

But where do you learn all this?

How do you get started?

We will tell you how!

Prerequisites for Cybersecurity Certificate Programs

The prerequisites depend on the type of certification you opt for.

For example, if it is an entry-level certificate program, there might be some requirements.

However, there can be certain prerequisites if you target a specialization in network security like penetration testing or a specific programming language such as TypeScript or HTML5.

Also, a senior-level certificate program will require you to fulfill the eligibility criteria.

The prerequisites for Cybersecurity Certificate Programs depend on the type of certification you opt for

Some prerequisites include:

  • Certain years of professional experience or required courses
  • Another certification program to complete before the new one (usually an advanced level)
  • To take up and complete certain coursework relevant to the certificate program
  • And others, depending on your certificate program

For instance, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) requires the candidate to fulfill the following prerequisites;

  • Five or more years of full-time paid work experience in two out of the right (ISC)2 domains
  • Four years of full-time and paid work experience inexperience in two out of the eight (ISC)2 domains, along with a college degree

Another certificate exam, Certified Ethical Hacker or CEH, requires the candidate to have a formal training program by the EC-Council with other prerequisites.

These are only two examples that explain that you need to do proper research before enrolling in a certificate program.

In addition, it must be accredited and relevant to your field of work.

Subsequently, you need to find a certification that does not break the bank for you.

The good news is, you can learn many programs for free, only if you know what programs to look into.

6 Best Career Defining Cybersecurity Certificate Programs

CompTIA Security+

This is an entry-level certificate program that is most common among beginners.

CompTIA Security+ is an accredited program that teaches you the fundamental skills required in any and every Cybersecurity role.

CompTIA Security+ is one of the best career defining Cybersecurity Certificate Programs

With this certification by your name, you can earn up to a manual base salary of $107,947.

This certificate program costs $370 and can take up to 30-45 days to complete.

What Will You Learn?

  • To demonstrate the ability to assess the network and operating system security of an organization
  • Monitor and secure cloud computing
  • Secure all types of operating systems, including computers-Linux, Microsoft, macOS, Windows, and mobile devices
  • Understand and practice the security laws and regulations
  • Risk management  
  • Identify and handle or prevent security incidents (incident response)
  • And others

What Are the Job Prospects?

After passing the exam for CompTIA Security+, you can work as a;

  • Network and Systems Administrator
  • Help Desk Manager
  • Security Engineer
  • Security Consultant
  • Cloud Engineer
  • Security Administrator
  • IT Auditor
  • Software Developer

What Are the Prerequisites?

There are no requirements as such.

However, gaining IT experience (2 years or more) is recommended after getting your certification.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

This is one of the IT industry’s most desired yet advanced Cybersecurity credentials.

This (ISC) 2 certification yields the highest paying professionals earning an average salary of $140,000 annually.

This certificate program costs $749 and can take up to 3 to 8 months to complete.

What Will You Learn?

  • To learn the fundamentals of IT Security
  • Design, implement, and manage Cybersecurity Programs
  • Security Assessment and Testing
  • Management of Systems Operation
  • Understand the security laws and regulations
  • Risk Analysis and Management  
  • Communication and Network Security
  • Assert Security
  • Security Architecture and Development
  • And others

What Are the Job Prospects?

After passing the CISSP, you can work as a;

  • Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
  • Security Architect
  • Security Administrator
  • Information Assurance Analyst
  • IT Security Engineer
  • Senior Security Consultant

What Are the Prerequisites?

Five years of professional work experience in two of the eight Cybersecurity domains.

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

CISA is an accredited program for the ISACA, an IT professional association.

It is a mid-level certification that can bring exponential growth to your career.

After passing the exam for this Cybersecurity Certification, you can land jobs that pay an average annual wage of  $132,026.

This certificate program costs $760 for non-members and $575 for members.

The duration of this credential is approximately three to six months.

What Will You Learn?

  • Fundamental knowledge about information security and operating systems
  • Demonstrate expertise in identifying and analyzing security vulnerabilities
  • Designing, implementing, and executing security controls
  • Reporting on compliance
  • And others

What Are the Job Prospects?

After passing the exam for CISA, you can work as a;

  • IT Audit Manager
  • Cybersecurity Auditor
  • Information Security Analyst
  • IT Security Engineer
  • IT Project Manager
  • Compliance Program Manager

What Are the Prerequisites?

  • Five years of experience as an IT or IS professional
  • A two or four-year professional degree (that can substitute for 1 to 2 years of work experience)

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

CISM is another validated credential for ISACA that is an ideal choice for Cybersecurity professionals who want to transition to the managerial side from their technical role.

If you pass the CISM exam, you can get job offers with a salary of $123,000 per year.

This certificate program costs $760 for non-members and $575 for members.

The duration for this credential is only 4-7 days.

What Will You Learn?

  • Information Security Governance
  • Information Security Program Development and Management
  • Information Risk Management and Compliance
  • Information Security Incident Management
  • Understand and practice the security laws and regulations
  • Risk Management  
  • And others

What Are the Job Prospects?

After passing the exam for CISM, you can work as a;

  • IT Manager
  • Information Systems Security Officer
  • Director of Information Security
  • Data Governance Manager
  • Information Risk Consultant

What Are the Prerequisites?

  • Five years of work experience in IS, Information Security Management (with two years of work experience in General Information Security Experience), or
  • one to two years of experience in another certification or have a graduate degree in an IS-related field

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

CEH is a credential offered by the EC-Council, known as penetration testing, red team, or white hat hacking.

It prepares the candidates to appear for the CEH 312-50 exam and covers a wide range of technologies related to cyber crimes.  

Once you pass the CEH exam, you can expect an annual salary of $97,000.

CEH can cost anywhere from $950 to $11,99.

This course includes in-fluid training for five days.

What Will You Learn?

  • Learning Ethical Hacking to help organizations uncover vulnerabilities in penetration testing
  • Cyber Attack Detection
  • Cybercrime Vectors
  • Identification, management, and prevention of cybercrimes
  • Understanding of technical tools to “lawfully hack” various systems
  • Understand and practice the security laws and regulations
  • Risk Management
  • And others

What Are the Job Prospects?

After passing the exam for CEH, you can work as a;

  • Penetration Tester
  • Cloud Security Architect
  • Cyber Incident Analyst
  • Cybersecurity Engineer
  • Threat Intelligence Analyst

What Are the Prerequisites?

  • Two years of experience in IS – Information Security, or
  • After the completion of an official EC-Council training

GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)

GSEC is an advanced level of Cybersecurity Certification that takes the candidate’s knowledge way beyond simple skills and terminologies about network security and computer systems.

Instead, you learn to manage high-level computer and application security by maintaining the network and systems.  

After completing this certificate, you can earn an annual average salary of $130,00.

This program costs $2,499.

What Will You Learn?

  • Advance skills in Network and System Security Task
  • Defense of Network and Operating Systems
  • Cryptography
  • Cloud Security
  • Incident Response
  • And others

What Are the Job Prospects?

After passing the exam, you can work as a;

  • IT Security Manager
  • Computer Forensic Analyst (digital forensics)
  • Penetration Tester
  • Security Administrator
  • IT Auditor
  • Software Development Engineer

What Are the Prerequisites?

There are no requirements as such.

However, the GSEC course is difficult and expensive.

So, it is advisable to gain hands-on experience in computer networking or information systems before this certification.

While these are the top-of-the-list Cybersecurity Certificates, you can also explore other options.

Reasons You Need A Cybersecurity Certificate

The first question you may ask is why you should get a Cybersecurity Certificate when you already have a degree.

When it comes to learning, even the sky is not the limit.

Cybersecurity certificates can help you explore your new skills, which will enable you to become better at what you do

Practically speaking, many beneficial and career-building reasons will make you enroll in a certificate program the next minute, including:

Demand for Cybersecurity Is Never Ending

Cybersecurity is a fairly new yet fast-growing career field that is taking over the world as technology advances.

From 2017 to 2019, more than 6 million job opportunities came into being in the field of Cybersecurity, out of which 3.5 million job positions remained empty.

Shocking, right?

So, if you have a knack for problem-solving and dealing with technologies, a Cybersecurity Career can benefit you in endless ways.

You must get proper qualifications, gain work experience, and advance your career by leveraging the Cybersecurity Certificate Programs.

 It Is an Ever-Changing Field

There can be a new upgrade for innovation in technology right this minute.

You cannot let the cybercriminals catch you off guard because you were not up-to-date with the changes.

 What if they attack your operating system in a way that your old antivirus software cannot handle?

It will not be good for your career.

Cybersecurity Certifications help you stay aware of the latest advancements and learn and excel at them.

You must stay ahead of the potential attackers.

A Good Looking PayCheck

Adding experience and certifications to your name can help you increase the numbers on your paycheck.

You can do good work and get good money for it.

For instance, a US Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) can make an annual salary of approximately $1 million or even more.

Unravel New Opportunities

Cybersecurity Certificates can help you explore your new skills; they enable you to become better at what you do, unraveling myriad new opportunities in your career path.

Move Into Your Field Seamlessly

It can often be tough to survive in your career field and a competitive job market.

Too much competition, pressure, and a lack of knowledge can collapse your future.

With Cybersecurity Certificates, you can easily move in and up your field.

In addition, because you know what is happening around you, you can showcase your skills to get more leads.  

Choose your Cybersecurity Certification Wisely

Now that you have narrowed down the best choices for Cybersecurity Certification, it is time to pick the right one.

Choose your Cybersecurity Certification wisely by choosing a program that can unwind better opportunities, higher salaries, and lucrative job prospects for you

Here are certain things that will help you evaluate if the certification will benefit you in the long run.

Level of Professional Experience

  • An entry-level certificate will waste time and money if you are a senior Cybersecurity Analyst or Ethical Hacker
  • Choose a program that aligns with your skill set and will enable you to advance your career

Area of Interest

  • If you are interested in a managerial role or just starting, a general certificate covering Cybersecurity fundamentals will be a good option
  • However, decide accordingly if you want to specialize in a specific area, like security operations

Potential Workplace Requirements

  • Often, your employer would want you to enroll in a certain certificate program that suits your job title or can land you the next big promotion
  • If an employer suggests you do so, always ask about the financial aid because they often cover the program fee

Cost

  •  Cybersecurity Certifications are not cheap
  • Choose a program that can unwind better opportunities, higher salaries, and lucrative job prospects for you

In the beginning, you make your choices.

However, in the end, your choices make you!

So, do not get a certificate just for the sake of it.

Do it only if it can help you grow as a Cybersecurity professional.

Conclusion

From healthcare to e-commerce and IIT, every industry needs to keep its systems safe and prevent any malicious activities that can result in damage and loss, especially financially.

Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand, and the employment rate is only expected to increase in the next few decades.

However, it is important to choose your electives for Cybersecurity Certificates carefully and smartly to move up the ladder of success in this field seamlessly.

Even if you have a Master’s degree, you may need a certification to acquire new skills not in your academic program as a professional dealing with technology and cybercriminals.

Moreover, your investment in a certificate program promises a profitable long-term future in Cybersecurity.

FAQs

Reference

Coursera

Cybersecurity guide

Comtia.org

Buletin.sfsu.edu

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