The median annual pay for information technology professionals was about $84,000 as of 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is more than double the median annual pay for all professions combined. Computers play a part in multiple functions for nearly all professions, and somebody has to take care of them all, making the IT profession a growing one. BLS projects the industry to add more than half a million jobs during the decade ending in 2026.
Most of the highest paying IT jobs require some form of certification, though, so it’s important to know what type of training will be necessary depending on the specific IT career you are pursuing.
1 CRISC: Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control
According to the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), this certification ensures that the holder is well-versed in risks to information systems, then designing/implementing solutions. This certification, according to the IT Skills and Salary Report, has an average salary of $119,227 per year and is a good certification for those interested in Information Systems Security positions.
2. CISM: Certified Information Security Manager
Another ISACA certification, the CISM certification recognizes proficiency in information security management, as someone who manages, designs, and assesses information security for a given organization. This certification has some prerequisites, such as existing certifications like GIAC. According to the Skills and Salary Report, holders of this certification earn an average of $118,348 per year.
3. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
4. PMP: Project Management Professional
5. CISA: Certified Information Systems Auditor
Another IASCA certification, the CISA ensures that Information Systems auditors have the skills necessary to evaluate systems and follow best practices to “support trust in and value from information systems.” The average salary of CISA holders is $106,181.
6. CCDA: Cisco Certified Design Associate
The CCDA is Cisco’s certification for network design. Make sure you’re certified with another Cisco certification (such as CCNP Routing and Switching or any CCIE certification), as it’s a requirement for the CCDA. The average income of a CCDA holder is $99,701. This certification, along with the CCNP, is good to have if you’re interested in becoming a network engineer
7. CCNP Routing and Switching
At $97,038 per year average annual salary, the CCNP Routing and Switching certification is good for someone with at least one year of networking experience and ensures that the holder can implement and maintain wide-area networks and work with specialists on solutions.
8. MCSE: Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer
Microsoft has changed the nature of the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert to be more of a wide-ranging certification focusing on implementing technology over a wide variety of versions instead of one focused on specific disciplines. However, an MCSE is still a highly respected certification to obtain, and the average salary for MCSE holders is $96,215 per year.
9. ITIL v4 Foundation
The updated ITIL v4 certification—the ITIL Master—recognizes those who can apply ITIL concepts of quality IT solutions in real-world situations. The average annual salary for ITIL Master certification holders is $95,434.
10. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
CEH is a vendor-neutral (not tied to any brand) certification for information technology workers who wish to specialize in “legally” hacking malicious hackers, using the same knowledge and tools that malicious hackers use. Two years of security-related experience is preferred before receiving a CEH. The average annual salary for CEH holder is $95,155.
11. CompTIA Security+
The CompTIA Security+ which has come to stay for very long time stands at an average salary that varies according to the designation, experience and background. According to PayScale, the average salary range of a network engineer with this cert varies from$42,128 – $95,829.
Certifications give your resume more credibility and can make you more marketable to recruiters and hiring managers. And at the entry-level, they’re a great way to stand out from other candidates — and even boost your pay.
As you grow in your career, you’ll want to consider more advanced certifications to continue your professional development. By then, you’ll know what specialties to focus on and what skills you need for your desired career path. But at the entry level, it’s better to stick with more generalized certifications that will help get your foot in the door.
Here are 10 IT certifications to launch your career, whether you just graduated or you’ve decided to make a career change.
Earning a Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCNET) certification will demonstrate your ability to install, operate and troubleshoot a small enterprise branch network. It’s a great place to start if you want to land an entry-level network support position or if you already know you want a career in networking.
To earn the certification, you’ll need to complete the course Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1). It’s a five-day course that takes place in-person or online and you’ll cover the fundamentals of network layers involved in routing and switching. The course also covers firewalls, basic network security, wireless controllers and access points. Once you complete the course, you’ll be ready to pass the CCENT certification exam.
Exam fee: $125
Cisco Certified Technician (CCT)
The Cisco Certified Technician (CCT) certification verifies your abilities to diagnose, restore, repair and replace critical Cisco networking and system devices at customer sites. There are two different CCT paths you can choose from: data center or routing and switching.
The CCT Data Center certification covers support and maintenance of Cisco Unified Computing systems and server. It’s targeted at field support engineers working with Cisco data center system devices and software. You’ll need to take the course Supporting Cisco Data Center System Devices (DCTECH) v2.0 before you can pass the exam. The course covers data center networking fundamentals, field servicing and equipment replacement and how to identify Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) component models, accessories cabling and interfaces.
The CCT Routing and Switching certification covers on-site support and maintenance of Cisco routers, switches and operating environments. It’s designed for on-site technical support and other support staff who work with Cisco Data Center Solutions. Before you can take the exam, you’ll need to take the course Supporting Cisco Routing and Switching Network Devices (RSTECH). The online self-paced course covers networking fundamentals, Cisco outer and switch models, Cisco IOS software operating modes and the Cisco command line interface (CLI).
The CCNA Routing and Switching certification is a good option for those who want to work in networking, but also a solid choice if you’re looking for an entry-level help desk position. The exam verifies your ability to identify Cisco router and switch models, accessories, cabling and interfaces. You’ll need an understanding of the Cisco IOS Software operating modes and the Cisco CLI.
The CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ (ITF+) certification is designed for those interested in starting a career in IT or who want to change career paths. The exam is intended to validate your foundational knowledge in IT and to give you a better idea of what it’s like to work in IT. The certification exam covers networks, infrastructure, IT concepts and terminology, applications and software, security, database fundamentals and software development. It’s also a good starting point if you want to continue down the CompTIA certification path, but it’s not a requirement for other certifications.
Exam fee: $119
Comp TIA A+
The CompTIA A+ certification is targeted at support specialists, field service technicians, desktop support analysts and help desk support. If you’re interested in landing a job in a related field, it’s a solid entry-level certification that is well-regarded in the industry.
The certification verifies your ability to troubleshoot and solve problems with networking, operating systems, mobile devices and security. The certification focuses on nine major IT skills, including hardware, networking, mobile devices, Windows operating system, hardware and network troubleshooting, operating system technologies, software troubleshooting, security and operational procedures.
Exam fee: $211
The CompTIA Network+ is an entry-level certification that covers networking concepts, troubleshooting, operations, tools and security as well as IT infrastructure. The certification is designed for junior network administrators, network field technicians, junior system engineers, IS consultants and network field engineers.
The exam verifies your knowledge with configuring, managing and maintaining network devices, implementing and designing functional networks, network troubleshooting and network security. If you know you want to work closely with IT networks, it’s a well-recognized and worthwhile certification that will set you apart from other entry-level candidates.
Exam fee: $302
Security is a crucial IT skill for any technology role, so it’s a good idea to earn your CompTIA Security+ certification at the entry-level. It’s suited for network, system and security administrators, security specialists, junior IT auditors, security consultants and security engineers.
The exam covers threats, attacks and vulnerabilities, risk management, architecture and design, technology and tools, cryptography and PKI and identity and access management. Earning your Security+ certification will show employers you have the skills to install and configure systems to keep applications, networks and devices secure in accordance with compliance laws.
Exam fee: $330
Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
The Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification covers IT fundamentals like infrastructure, databases and development. It was designed by Microsoft as an entry-level certification for workers just starting out in IT or for those looking to change careers. The exam is meant to help you establish your career track in IT, with a focus on databases, hardware, software or infrastructure. It covers what you’ll need to know as a Junior IT Auditor or as a systems, network or security administrator.
Exam fee: Varies by location
Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification is another entry-level option from Microsoft that covers designing and creating technology solutions across Microsoft’s services and software suites. It’s a little more advanced than the MTA certification, but you don’t need to complete your MTA to earn your MCSA. However, you will need to earn your MCSA if you want to continue down the Microsoft certification path to earn your MCSE, MCSD, MCPS or MCT certifications.
Exam fee: Varies by location
PMI Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification is a widely-recognized entry-level certification for project management offered through the Project Management Institute (PMI). You don’t necessarily have to be a project manager to get your CAPM — plenty of IT jobs require project management skills to oversee technical projects.
You’ll need at least 23 hours of project management education completed before you can take the exam — but you can accomplish that through PMI’s Project Management Basics course. The course is designed by PMI to prepare you for the CAPM certification exam — it covers project management basics and skills you’ll need for an IT project management job.
Exam fee: $225 for members; $300 for non-members
Course fee: $400 for non-members; $350 for members
When looking to break into the field of networking or aspiring to obtain a networking certification, the two most popular entry-level certifications are Cisco CCENTand CompTIA Network+.
What is CISCO?
CISCO is a company based in San Jose, California in the USA involved in the manufacturing, designing, and selling of Network Equipment. It has grown from its inception in 1984 to become the most significant networking company in existence. CISCO was added to the NASDAQ stock exchange in 1990 after going public, and in by the year, 2000 became the world’s most marketable company, showing a market capitalization of over $500 billion.
CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) is a non-profit trade association that was formed in 1982. The organization is vendor-neutral and provides certifications in the IT industry. It was at first known as the Association of Better Computer Dealers, but the name was later changed to better imply the company’s ever-changing role in the computer industry.
The organization’s increase saw them eventually include subjects such as networking, imaging, mobile computing, UNIX. In 2010, CompTIA launched the “Creating IT Futures” ambition which sees them offering IT training to individuals with a lower income and veterans returning from their military duties.
Their certifications currently available from CompTIA include:
CISCO CCENT is the first of two exams that can be passed for the student to earn their CCNA (Cisco Certified Networking Associate) certification. The review relating to CISCO CCENT is called ICND1 (Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1).
This exam will consist of the following topics:
Explain the operation of data networks:
The student will be required to identify the functions of different network devices and to select the correct components to meet the network’s specifications. Use the protocols of TCP/IP to explain the flow of network data, explain what common web applications and networking applications are.
Implement a small switched network:
Use the correct equipment to network devices, interconnect switches, network devices, and hosts and describe media access control and technology for Ethernet types. Describe what network segmentation is, describe the operation of CISCO switches and their necessary operation, perform initial switch operations and save, and verify them. Work through hardware failures on switched networks.
Implement an IP addressing scheme and IP services to meet network requirements for a small branch office:
Create and execute an addressing scheme to a network, assign and verify IP addresses for hosts, networking devices and servers on a Local Area Network. Describe what DNS operations are and validate them, configure, test and troubleshoot DHCP and DNS on a router and identify and remedy IP address problems.
Implement a small routed network:
Describe what the basic concepts of routing are, explain the basic operation of CISCO routers, interconnect routers with networking devices using the correct equipment, connect, configure, and verify device interface operational status. Verify the device configuration using commands and utilities and ascertain the state of the network and router operation.
Explain and select the appropriate administrative tasks required for a Wireless LAN (WLAN):
Define the standards of wireless media, describe the various components of a small wireless network, specify the parameters and configuration needed for devices to connect to the right areas on a wireless network and identify common issues with wireless networks.
Identify security threats to a network and describe general methods to mitigate those threats:
Describe common network security threats and how the correct security policy helps defend against them. Describe what the best security practices to follow in securing network devices.
Implement and verify WAN links:
Describe what the different methods are to connect to a Wide Area Network, configure an essential WAN serial connection and check that network.
Understanding CompTIA Network+
CompTIA Network+ has a much broader view of networking than CISCO does, but takes a lighter approach in their topics. The topics that are included in the CompTIA Network+ course include the following:
services including TCP/IP suite, Networking protocols default TCP, and UDP port numbers, addressing formats for IPv4, IPv6, and MAC addressing, discussing addressing technologies (subnetting, CIDR, supernetting, NAT, and PAT), a discussion on routing, and a reviewing wireless communication standards, authentication, and encryption.
Network Media and Topologies:
Standard cable types and their properties including transmission speeds, distances, duplexing, noise immunity, and frequencies; cable connector types and common physical network topologies (star, mesh, bus, ring). Various wiring standards, LAN and WAN technology types, and properties plus wiring distribution systems and components.
Includes the range of networking equipment like hubs, network interfaces, modems and media converters, switches, wireless access points, routers, firewalls, etc. Functions of specialized networking devices. There is a broader focus on switch details such as virtual LANs and port mirroring.
An explanation of management at the seven layers of the OSI model, configuration management and it’s documentation, describing how to use literature to verify a network. Monitoring network performance and connectivity, methods for optimizing a system, methods of network troubleshooting and common problem-solving issues.
Different types of software and diagnostic tools used to identify and troubleshoot networking issues. Essential command-line IP tools, different network scanners. Discovering different types of diagnostic hardware such as cable testers, protocol analyzers and TDRs, electrical tools like VOMs, temperature monitors, and various other devices.
An overview of security device functions and features then digs into firewall features and functions, Methods of network access security and user authentication. Device security problems including physical access and logical, secure vs. insecure network access methods and common security threats and security justification techniques.
Cisco CCENT vs. CompTIA Network+
The choice between CISCO CCENT and CompTIA N+ relies on how sincerely you want to delve into the world of networking. CompTIA N+ has a much broader, yet less involved scope towards the subject while CISCO takes a more in-depth approach to networking while having a smaller extent as far as topics covered is concerned.
Both the CISCO CCENT and CompTIA certifications have recognised the world over as good entry level certifications and, whichever of the two you end up choosing, it is sure to set you well on your way to a career in networking or to add that much sought-after certification to your name.
IT certifications can open many doors throughout your career, especially when you’re searching for your next challenge. Recruiters and hiring managers tend to look at the Certifications section of a tech resume before anything else. Why? They want candidates with up-to-date knowledge, and IT certifications quickly show them a person’s mastery of a particular technology or practice.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC)
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
Project Management Professional (PMP)
You can earn an IT certification in a wide range of practices, from help desk basics to mastery of complex cloud environments. So whether you’re a recent graduate or seasoned tech specialist, preparing for and attaining a certification is a great way to expand your skill set, impress prospective employers and stand out from the crowd. Here’s a roundup of some of the most valuable IT certifications today.
Best entry-level and intermediate IT certifications
Just starting out in the IT field? Or perhaps you’re ready to specialize? The following are some of the best introductory and mid-level certifications today:
CompTIA issues certifications for a variety of technologies and platforms, but one stands above the rest in terms of value to IT pros:
CompTIA A+: Get started in IT with this foundational certificate. It’s all about hardware, technical support and troubleshooting. It also covers best practices in security, networking, operational procedures, mobile devices and various operating systems.
The most valuable certifications from this tech giant include:
Microsoft Office Specialist: The MOS, MOS Expert and MOS Master certifications show your competence level in Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access, SharePoint, OneNote and Exchange. They’re not just for administrative professionals — these certifications are also helpful for IT workers in cloud computing and general tech support.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: MCSE certifications come in several specializations and show that you have the skills to manage servers, data systems, storage, private clouds, networking and more, depending on which ones you successfully complete.
Microsoft Certified Solution Developer: Getting the MCSD certification shows that you have what it takes to design and create apps across a wide range of Windows products.
As Cisco is a leading provider of infrastructure products, a certificate from this company confirms that the holder is prepared for the latest developments and best practices in networking. The most essential are:
Cisco Certified Network Associate: A step up from Cisco’s entry-level certification, CCNAs can specialize in one of the following areas: cloud, collaboration, cyber operations, data center, industrial/IoT, routing and switching, security, service provider, and wireless.
Cisco Certified Network Professional: A step up from the associate level, the CCNP is a more advanced IT certificate in one of the above specialty areas.
Best IT certifications for security
Hacking and cyber attacks are hot topics today, and many jobs in security and risk management are going unfilled. The following are some of the most valuable IT certifications in this booming field.
A professional organization devoted to IT security and governance, ISACA manages five global certification programs, including:
Certified Information Systems Auditor: According to the ISACA, the CISA is its cornerstone certification. As the name indicates, this exam is aimed at information systems (IS) professionals who monitor, control and assess a company’s IT or business systems. This certificate requires five years of professional experience in the field.
Certified Information Security Manager: The leading credential for information security managers, the CISM certification is designed for people who design, build and manage information security programs. To qualify, you must have at least five years of IS experience and three years as a security manager.
Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control: The CRISC (pronounced SEE-risk) accredits professionals and project managers responsible for information security and its overall impact on the enterprise. It covers risk identification, risk assessment, risk response and mitigation, and risk control monitoring and reporting.
Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT: The CGEIT demonstrates your understanding of enterprise IT governance principles and practices. It is one of the most sought-after certifications in IT, commanding some of the highest salaries.
Cybersecurity Nexus: In a time of constantly evolving cybersecurity threats, the CSX certification demonstrates that you are up-to-date on the most current security standards and risks.
Other valuable IT certifications for security include:
Certified Ethical Hacker: EC-Council offers several certification programs, and one of the most popular ones is the CEH. Holders of this specialize in penetration testing, which is why this IT certificate is often a prerequisite for positions like cyber forensics analyst, cybersecurity engineer and applications developer.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional: This is one of the most sought-after certifications in cybersecurity. Designed for experienced IT professionals, CISSP holders understand vulnerabilities in networked systems and create policies to safeguard systems and minimize risk.
Global Information Assurance Certifications: All about information security, the GIACs come in several categories: cyber defense; penetration testing; incident response and forensics; cybersecurity management, audit and legal proficiencies; developer; and industrial control systems. The highest level is the GIAC Security Expert (GSE).
Best certifications for cloud computing
As cloud computing becomes the new normal in IT, more cloud credentials are available. Many of them are specific to individual vendors, including Microsoft, VMware and Amazon. There are also a few certifications that focus on more general practices across this fast-growing area. Top certifications include:
MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure: Passing this exam testifies to your skills across a wide set of Microsoft’s cloud technologies, including storage, networking, virtualization, and systems and identity management.
Project management is indispensable to IT operations. Even if you’re tech-focused, it can be a very valuable soft skill to acquire. And because project management involves planning, scheduling, budgeting and execution, certification can be a key steppingstone to managerial positions.
Project Management Professional: Also offered by PMI, the PMP credential is among the most prestigious in the profession. A number of subspecialty certifications are also available.
Certified Scrum Master: The entry-level CSM certification is offered by the Scrum Alliance. It is an excellent way to show your knowledge of Scrum and Agile management practices.
Best help desk certifications
Many IT professionals begin their careers in technical support and help desk roles. And to give students a leg up, schools are increasingly offering courses that specifically prepare students to gain help desk certifications.
You can gain certification in either help desk functions as a whole, or you can concentrate on a specific vendor’s platforms and products.
ITIL: The UK organization AXELOS is charged with promoting best practices for IT service management (ITSM). ITIL, formerly an acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is the registered name for a widely accepted framework for managing IT service delivery. There are five ITIL certifications, ranging from Foundation to Master.
Best certifications in database, analytics and other data technologies
Database technologies remain foundational to IT operations, while growth in big data and analytics initiatives is driving new career opportunities. Certifications tend to be built around a single provider’s platform, including:
Oracle Certified Professional: Oracle, the world’s leading database provider, offers certification in a range of database professions, from database administration and database application development to analytics, data warehousing and big data.
Microsoft SQL Server certifications: Like Oracle, Microsoft offers a range of certifications, including database administration, business intelligence, and data management and analytics.
CCIE Data Center: This Cisco certification demonstrates expert-level skills required to plan, prepare, operate, monitor and troubleshoot complex data center networks.
According to the Robert Half Technology Salary Guide, employers prefer to hire certified professionals, especially those who also have college degrees and real-world experience to go along with them. Those who put in the effort to obtain credentials can expect larger salaries and quicker movement up the career ladder, not to mention a healthy shot of self-confidence.
Considering a career in Information Technology (IT)? Well, it all solely depends on some actionable plan. Depending mainly on strengths, many find it seemingly stress-free to decide a track to pursue in the IT field, ranging from Data Analytics, Programming, Networking, Audit, Risk assessment, Blue/Red teaming, database administration, Cloud and Cyber Security.
Bringing a professional IT certification to the table, whether as a prospective or as an existing employee, creates a room to stand out in the job market or being open for a salary renegotiation respectively.
We have arrived at a comprehensive list of top 10 must-have IT certifications for 2019 in ascending order:
#10CERTIFIED SCRUM MASTER (CSM)
A scrum master is the facilitator or coordinator of any team. In recent years, there exists a dire need to have someone who facilitates, moderates, documents and visualizes the team’s projects (called iteration or sprints). Scrum Masters make use of the Agile methodology which is dependent on the Scrum framework.
In an IT product development, for instance, employees are grouped into smaller subsets called sprints, for the primary intent of reviewing progress and analyzing the next line of action (usually called “show and tell”). Meetings are recurring daily and typically last between 30 minutes to 2 hours, with a lot of post-its, markers, and stand-ups.
The CompTIA Security+ is considered the best certification the properly covers the baseline of cybersecurity methodologies including Threats, attacks & vulnerabilities, Identity & access management, technologies & tools, risk management, architecture & design, cryptography & Public key infrastructure (PKI), and Internet of Things (IoT).
Most CompTIA Security+ certification exam takes prefer going the Trifecta route, which involves having to initially obtain the A+ exam, which covers more of IT hardware fundamentals and N+ which includes more of the Network portion of Security+ creating a tremendous overlap between both the Network+ and the Security+ certification exam.
The CCDP is an advanced Cisco certification for senior roles within the IT networking track including Network design engineers and system engineer analysts. Over the years, Cisco certifications are underrated, resulting to minimal attention drawn to advanced level Cisco certifications and Cisco enthusiasts going for the entry and mid-level Cisco certifications like CCENT, CCNA, CCNA Security, CCNP, CCIE and CCDA which are pre-requisites to the CCDP certification.
The CCDP certification tests advanced physical, logical and technical expertise in network design concepts as well as principles required in developing various layers on enterprise architecture for network devices
The CEH is called the ‘recruiter’s certification’ in IT, especially within the cybersecurity track, this is because many hiring managers/recruiters love to see this certification in their prospective employee’s resume. The CEH can land you a wide range of jobs from the Security Operations Centre (SOC) analyst or Incident Response analyst to even senior roles like penetration tester and other red teaming (offensive security) jobs.
Surprisingly, many will argue that the CEH, which remains one of the most expensive certifications has lost its value of credibility and given similar CompTIA certifications like CYSA+ and CompTIA Pentest+ a competitive hedge in recent years
The MCSE certification is a Microsoft certification program that specifically for Windows Operating System engineers. It is broad enough to be sub-categorized based on the career path into four main categories: MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure MCSE: Server Infrastructure MCSE: Business Intelligence MCSE: Private Cloud
“Is MSCE worth it?” is usually a question its enthusiasts can relate to for the one reason that Microsoft Certifications seem underrated and less threat posing in the recruiter’s niche today, or maybe Microsoft is just best at improving the almighty Windows Operating System
Amazon is indisputably the saving grace in e-commerce websites across America and the rest of the world. In 2015, Amazon introduced AWS which is a cloud-based web hosting service that beats its predecessors; Microsoft’s Azure and Google cloud platform hands down.
AWS is a fast-rising certification, gaining credibility and popularity with the intent of becoming IT’s most sought-after certification today. AWS covers the required coursework for cloud practitioners, Web Developers, IT architecture, Security operations and virtual storage techs with four main sub-divisions: – AWS Certified Foundational – AWS Certified Associate – AWS Certified Professional – AWS Certified Specialty
#4 OSCP – OFFENSIVE SECURITY CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL
Just like its name, the OSCP is the most recognized, top-tiered, respected and valued professional red teaming cybersecurity certification. It entails prior successful completion of the PWK (Penetration with Kali Linux) course as well as the 24-hour hands-on exam testing advanced technical knowledge using the latest ethical hacking tools and techniques and conducting penetration tests.
The OSCP certification is neither a beginner nor intermediate certification but for professional pentesters, blue/red team, security professionals, network administrators and threat hunters seeking an industry leading certification. It requires a strong background off networking, substantial usage of Linux OS and comfortability writing/using bash, Perl and Python scripts.
#3 CISSP – CERTIFIED INFORMATION SYSTEMS SECURITY PROFESSIONAL
The CISSP is an independent Information Security IT certification governed by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium or (ISC)², referenced as the “Zenith” of Cybersecurity certifications.
The CISSP is an ideal certification for Chief Information Security Officers (CISO), IT Managers, Security Architecture and Engineering, veteran-grade security practitioners and executives who deem it fit to crown their accomplishments with certifications. The requirements can be cumbersome, one of which includes a minimum of five years of direct full-time security work experience in two or more of the (ISC)² information security Common Body of Knowledge (CBK).
#2 CGEIT – CERTIFIED IN GOVERNANCE OF ENTERPRISE IT
The CGEIT is a highly competitive vendor-neutral certification with the primary aim of testing, validating and certifying IT governance skills, proudly managed by an international professional association known as Information Systems Audit and Control Association or ISACA.
The CGEIT aims at testing the abilities of IT professionals in the practice of delivering quality governance. Similar to the CISSP certification, the CGEIT certification also requires proof of at least five years of experience in job domains related to IT governance including Framework for the governance of enterprise, Risk optimization, Strategic management, Resource optimization and Benefits Realization.
Bearing in mind that a Security clearance is not a certification, a security clearance in “active” status is usually issued, administered and coordinated by the United States Government. It is a must-have document, before securing all Federal and most state jobs with an exception for individuals who demonstrate an ability to acquire one within a stipulated time (usually 3-6 months post-employment).
Most security clearances are issued by the Department of Defense (DoD) and categorized as Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret with the amount and detail of information varies accordingly with the level of clearance requested.
Information Technology (IT) is a fast thriving career path in the last decade, with the capabilities of improving age-old programs like C, Python, Java and eventually creating a new approach towards data analytics including practices implored in machine learning, AI and IoT thereby opening doors to new inventions within the IT sector in general. The modes of obtaining an IT certification are now seemed straightforward, as opposed to the last decades, where materials, exams were either too expensive, with limited availability, deliberately hardened for segregative purposes or simply optimized for senior positions.