Cyber Defense Related Certifications

According to a Cyber Seek report, the number of cybersecurity job openings in the U.S. stands at almost 302,000, with nearly 769,000 cybersecurity professionals employed in today's workforce. Projections continue to be robust further out: CSO expects that number to hit 500,000 by 2021, with more than 3 million cybersecurity jobs open for the rest of the world that same year.

When evaluating prospective InfoSec candidates, employers frequently look to certification as an important measure of excellence and commitment to quality. We examined five InfoSec certifications we consider to be leaders in the field of information security today:

  1. CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
  2. CISM: Certified Information Security Manager
  3. CompTIA Security+
  4. CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
  5. GSEC: SANS GIAC Security Essentials
 

 

This year's list includes entry-level credentials, such as Security+ and GIAC Security Essentials, as well as more advanced certifications, such as the CEH, CISSP and CISM. We also offer some additional certification options in the last section that cover choices outside our top five, because the field of information security is both wide and varied, with lots of other options.

Security-related job roles cover a lot of ground, such as information security specialist, security analyst, network security administrator, system administrator (with security as a responsibility), and security engineer, as well as specialized roles like malware engineer, intrusion analyst, and penetration tester. Average salaries for information security specialists and security engineers – two of the most common job roles – vary widely depending on the source. For example, Simply Hired reports $30,263 for specialist positions, whereas Glassdoor's national average is almost $68,000. For security engineers, Simply Hired reports almost $95,000, while Glassdoor's average is more than $131,000 with salaries on the high end reported at $144,000.

If you're serious about advancing your career in the IT field and are interested in specializing in security, certification is a great choice. It's an effective way to validate your skills and show a current or prospective employer that you're qualified and properly trained.

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