While the CISSP certification is not necessary to work in the field of cybersecurity, it does come with a series of benefits like better earnings and career potential, professional pride, and a better understanding of the cybersecurity landscape.
Plus, being CISSP certified means you have years of hands-on experience in the field, which is incredibly alluring for employers everywhere. Overall, if you plan on taking your cybersecurity career one step further, the CISSP certification is a fantastic option.
However, you should know that earning the CISSP is not an easy feat. That’s because you need a few more things besides hard work and dedication.
Here are some of the basic steps you need to understand and consider before you can be part of this exclusive club:
1. You’ll Need Prior Work Experience
In order to earn your CISSP certification, you need to prove you have actual work experience in two or more of the eight domains included in the Common Body of Knowledge (CBK). The work experience needs to sum up to at least five years of full-time paid employment.
You can shed one year off this term by earning a four-year college degree, a regional equivalent, or an additional credential from the (ISC)2 approved list. If you still don’t have the necessary work experience, you can become an (ISC)2 associate by taking and passing the CISSP exam.
As an associate, you have six years to gain the required experience while having access to the organization’s exclusive resources and support.
2. You’ll Have a Great Choice of Online Courses and Study Material
According to CBK mentioned above, a CISSP must be familiar with a wide range of notions, methods, and terminologies (there are eight exam objectives). Plus, the examination process is thorough and candidates will be tested on anything from cybersecurity fundamentals to advanced knowledge like specialized implementations and working with teams of developers.
So, the type of resources you use during your training for the exam can make a difference in your success rate. Also, you need to make sure the materials you use match your style of learning and your schedule. For instance, if you’re working and can’t participate in face-to-face classes, your best choice is online CISSP training.
The good news is that you can easily find a wide range of materials of all types and formats that will help you crush that test!
3. Passing the Exam is not Enough
The (ISC)2 also requires candidates to accept the CISSP Code of Ethics and to apply for membership with the organization (which is not free). Also, as a member in good standing, you will have to pay an annual fee (around $125) for as long as you have the certification. This money goes to the ongoing maintenance and development of the program.
Plus, you’re not off the hook once you pass the exam. Given that cybersecurity is one of the most dynamic industries, a CISSP certification must be maintained and recertified every three years. For this, you’ll have to earn 120 continuing professional education credits over the three years period between recertifications.
4. Who Should Take the CISSP?
By now, you may be wondering if this certification is worth it. Given that it’s quite difficult and a bit cumbersome, it’s only natural to ask yourself this question. However, if you work in cybersecurity and want more recognition and flexibility, the CISSP certification is the best path opener you could get.
The certification is broad and applies to many disciplines within the cybersecurity field. This means that everyone from technical experts to managers can benefit from being certified, whether they are juniors or seniors in their field.
Overall, if you dream of working with big names in the IT industry like Google or IBM, the CISSP certification will bring you one step closer to your goal. Plus, certified experts are always on top of all cybersecurity employers’ lists.