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The 16 Best Cyber Security Certifications to Have on Your Resume

Last year saw a rise in cybersecurity breaches with most of them suffered by major entities like Facebook, which had over 80 million records breached. These breaches not only lead to massive losses, but they also create opportunities for IT security professionals. 

A report by Cyber Seek shows that there are over 700,000 cybersecurity professionals in today's workforce. Moreover, the cybersecurity job opening is over 300,000 in the U.S. The number is expected to hit 500,000 by 2021.

Employers often go through certification when evaluating potential InfoSec candidates. Getting the right certification acts as a commitment to quality and measure of excellence. Certifications help you learn and understand the field while considering your career options. 

In this article, we look at what cybersecurity is, and what are the best cybersecurity certifications you need to have on your resume.


What is Cyber Security?

Cyber Security is an IT security that helps to protect the data and secure the system. The technology handles the safety of the system. Cybersecurity experts spearhead the effort to protect networks and devices. 

Business person logging in to his laptop

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Why Should You Pursue a Cyber Security Certification?

Human error is a threat to cybersecurity. Getting cybersecurity training comes with various benefits like: 

An Excellent Way to Expand Your Knowledge

Being a subject matter expert makes you a valuable asset in the job market. Specializing in cybersecurity makes you stand out from other IT professionals.

Show Interest and Commitment 

An employer is looking for a potential employee who has an interest in and commitment to the job. Getting certified demonstrates your commitment to pursue further education and grow in the cybersecurity industry. 

Save Time

Cybersecurity certifications help you to save time by giving you skills on how to implement valuable, comprehensive, and repeatable processes particular to your role and to the company you’ll work. After the certification, you’ll have the confidence to implement an information security program that can handle any cyber threats.


The 16 Best Cyber Security Certifications 

You can now have access to different cybersecurity certifications if you’re looking to advance your skills and gain knowledge in specific areas. Depending on your experience and career goals, you may find one or more courses ideal for career growth. Some of the best cybersecurity certifications to pursue include:

Security +

Security+ is a beginner level certification ideal for those interested in joining the cybersecurity industry. The course by CompTIA covers the basics in cybersecurity with a focus on trends in threat management, risk management, and mitigation.

However, you need to have at least two years of experience in network security and pass an exam to get the certification. 


NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NCSF)

NCSF comes as a founder and practitioner certification. The course offers you an overview and skills necessary for management cybersecurity threats at every level in the organization. You can expect to learn the challenges organizations face, and how to mitigate risks with the foundation course.

The practitioner certification is ideal for operations professionals or cybersecurity engineers who need a detailed knowledge of the NCSF. 


Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification is an advanced course for information security professionals. Security professionals with this certification are in high demand in any industry. 

With this certification, you learn how to design, implement, and manage a cybersecurity program. CISSP also showcases your expertise and allows you to become an ISC member. The membership helps you unlock exclusive resources, peer2peer networking opportunities, and access educational tools. 

However, you need to have a minimum of five years’ experience before pursuing this course. Two of those need to be in the CISSP standard body of knowledge domains and the rest a four-year degree.

Also, it takes three years to be certified. You must earn 120 CPE credits during the three years. Nonetheless, after the three years, you’ll now have the skills to direct an IS framework. 

CISSP covers asset security, security operations, software development security, and security & risk management. It also focuses on security assessment &testing, security architecture &engineering, and communication & risk management. 


Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

You need to pursue a CISM if you plan to work as a government or an enterprise-level security management professional. 

To sit for this exam, you need to have at least five years in the Information Security sector, with three of those in management, position in ISACA approved practice areas. The course recognizes the person who manages, design, and oversees an enterprise’s information security. Professionals with this course can align their initiatives with broad business goals. 

It’s also an ideal certification if you plan to move into a CISO role. The course covers information risk management, information security governance, and information security incident management. Moreover, you’ll get to learn about information security program development and management. 


Systems Security Certified Practitioner

The Systems Security Certified Practitioner certification is an entry-level course for those interested in joining the cybersecurity industry. The ISC2 recognized certification is a requirement for CISSP certification.

You can expect to cover security operations, networks, access controls, cryptography, coding, and analysis. The only requirement is to pass the SSCP exam to earn this certification. What’s more, you can apply for jobs in security engineering, monitoring, and implementation positions. 


Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA)

The Certified Information Security course is another ISACA certification that focuses on information system controls and monitoring skills. Pursuing this certification shows that you’re competent enough to secure vital business assets.

Cybersecurity experts need to demonstrate their skills to identify risk and apply the best practices to mitigate any threats. Getting the CISA certification tells employers that you have the experience, but also a professional who can handle security issues.

CISA focuses on information systems acquisition, development and implementation, management of IT, IS operations, maintenance, management, and Auditing Information Systems.


Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)

A certificate in Risk and Information Systems Control shows potential employers that you can identify and assess IT risks, to help organizations meet their objectives. You’ll get the right skills to plan and implement the proper measures to mitigate risk. 

According to ISACA reports, most CRISC holders can work as CIOs, CEOs. CFOs, CISOs, or as security executives in enterprises. 

CRISC covers risk identification, risk response, and risk monitoring. You’ll also learn about risk assessment and evaluation. Other notable topic areas include Information Systems control monitoring & maintenance and Information Systems Control Design and Implementation. 


Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

CCNA or Cisco Certified Network Associate certification gives you the skills to recognize threats and vulnerabilities, come up with security infrastructure, and implement the best practices to handle security threats.

CISCO asserts that the course provides the right foundation for roles like network security support, network security technicians, and administrators. Certified professionals can secure devices and data with the latest CISCO security hardware and software solutions.

Some of the areas you can expect to cover are Cisco advance malware protection, SIEM technology, Identity Services Engine, and 802.1x authentication. The course also covers cloud &virtual network topologies and Cisco FirePOWER next-generation IPS. 


Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)

The CCNP course is ideal for Cisco network security engineers who have the task of securing routers, networking devices, appliances, and switches. Also, you should pursue this course if you support and troubleshoot IPS/IDS solutions and VPNs. 

A report by Cisco shows that the need for network security professionals will double by 2020. The course is broad and covers Cisco security devices, management services on Cisco devices, threat defense, and threat defense architectures. 


Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

The Certified Ethical Hacker course is perfect for people interested in ethical hacking. The certification helps to identify weakness and vulnerabilities in security systems. Most cybersecurity practices, governments, and fortune 500 companies seek professionals with the CEH certification. 

Some of the areas you’ll cover in this course include ethics, security in regards to threat modeling, cryptography, firewalls, and the regulations. Also, you can expect to learn data analysis, programming languages, and a background in malware operations, protocols, networking technologies, etc. 


Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)

Taking a CCIE certification helps you attain the necessary skills to implement, support, and maintain Cisco network security solutions using modern technologies and industry’s best practices. Candidates need to take a written exam and complete an eight-hour lab exam that tests their ability to secure the network in a timed manner.

You need to attempt the lab exam within a year and a half of passing the written exam. CCIE topic areas include evolving technologies, secure connectivity, advanced threat protection, virtualization, and intrusion prevention. 


GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)

The certification gives an IT professional the skills to detect and resolve computer security cases. Certified Incident Handlers can demonstrate various handling skills. It’s also an ideal course for security architects and system administrators looking to understand how cybercriminals crack passwords and infiltrate networks. 

The course covers incident handling, password attacks, network attacks, client attacks, and web application attacks. You can also expect to learn about cache poisoning, denial of service attacks, and covering tracks in systems and networks. 


CompTIA Security +

CompTIA Security + is an entry-level certification that provides you with technical skills and expertise in different security-related disciplines. Although it’s a beginner course, you need to have two years of experience working in network security.

The certification covers topics like security risk identification, identity management, threat management, network access control, security infrastructure, and cryptography. Another added advantage is that the U.S. Department of Defense approves the certification. 

You’ll need to take a single exam to get certified. However, you should note that those who took the Security + certification before January 2011 get the certificate for life, but if you take it after that date, you need to renew the license every three years.

The renewal involves taking 50 CEUs or take a CertMaster CE online course. 


Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

The CCSP course is ideal for anyone who would like to show his or her skills in data security and cloud computing. Also, the certification demonstrates your proficiency in cloud architecture and application in security considerations. 

The ISC2 approved course if ideal for system architects, security administrations, systems engineers, security consultants, and security managers. 

Nonetheless, for you to be eligible for this course, you need to have at least five years of work experience, three of which need to be in information security and a year in CSSP standard body of knowledge.

Alternatively, you can substitute the CISSP credential for CCSP experience. Moreover, you need to pass the exam and subscribe to the code of ethics for you to get an endorsement.


Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT)

The Licensed Penetration Tester is a course by the EC-council. With this expert-level certification, you can demonstrate to potential employers your cybersecurity techniques. For you to be eligible for the exam, you need to have at least two years of experience and hold the EC-council security analyst certification.

Furthermore, you need to have an industry-equivalent certification like the offensive security certified professional or the GIAC penetration tester.

You can expect to cover SSH tunneling, OS exploits, multi-level pivoting, and privilege escalation. 


Certified Protection Professional (CPP)

The Certified Protection Professional course is not an ordinary certification, as it’s advanced enough and one of the requirements most organizations look for when they want to hire a CISO.

You need to have at least nine years of security experience, three of which needs to be in a security function. 


Conclusion

Choosing the best cybersecurity certification depends on where you are in your career and what you're looking to achieve. As a beginner in cybersecurity, you can opt to start with Security + or Network+ to gain skills necessary to land a job and increase your experience.

After some years of experience, you can get hacker or CISSP certification to enhance your chances for a new role or promotion. 

 

the best it certifications to look for

The Best IT Certifications Every Tech Professional Should Have Under Their Belt

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A career in IT is rewarding and fulfilling. You can work for the government, an enterprise, businesses, and even in the healthcare industry. However, IT being a competitive field, you need to hone your skills by getting the best certifications.

Getting the best IT certifications can improve your chances of career advancement. Nonetheless, getting certified can be expensive considering the training, study materials, and classes. It’s best to do your homework and find certifications that will help advance your career.

In this article, we look at some of the benefits of getting an IT certification and some of the best IT certification you need to have.

What are the Benefits of IT Certifications?

Pursuing an IT certification has some benefits for both individuals and businesses. With an IT certification, you can:

  • Get current skills in an evolving field
  • Improve your career options
  • Help you get a promotion and earn a higher salary
  • Use the certification to win new businesses
  • Make you stand out among your peers

IT certifications can also benefit the company by:

  • Providing value to an organization
  • Ensuring IT reliability
  • Improving the level of support and service
  • Promoting qualified employees

The Best IT Certifications

certifications and documents

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If you’re looking to advance your career in IT, below are some of the best IT certifications you should pursue.

Project Management Professional

Project Management Professional also PMP is an industry-recognized certification by the Project Management Institute. The certification is meant to provide customers and employers with an assurance level that a project manager has the knowledge and experience to plan and deliver projects.

PMP relies on exam success and project management experience. For individuals to be certified, they need to undergo 35 hours of training and have at least 7500 hours of PM experience for those without a bachelor’s degree.

The process of becoming certified starts at the PMI website. After approval, you need to sign up for an exam through Prometric. Also, for you to maintain the PMP certification, you need to undergo 60 professional development units every three years.

ITIL Foundation

ITIL Foundation has over the last 30 years acted as a framework for IT management around the world. The course combines a set of best practices for aligning IT services with an organization’s needs.

The certification covers capacity management, incident, and change management. With the introduction of ITIL 4, you can expect advancements in the digital revolution like Lean IT, Agile, and DevOps.

The entry-level ITIL certification, which is ITIL Foundation offers a broad-based knowledge of the IT service lifecycle. The courses try to bridge the gap between the needs of the business, and the inclusion of IT.

All you need to be certified is to pass the exam. However, you need to pass the Foundation exam to pursuing other ITIL courses.

Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect

The Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect debuted in 2017, and it enables IT, professionals, to get certified as cloud architects on the GCP platform. With this certification, an IT professional can design, develop, and manage a scalable and secure cloud architecture using GCP technologies.

Every organization requires some cloud skills. You can find a vacancy in cloud jobs as most businesses are struggling to get qualified cloud experts. Also, it’s one of the highest-paying certifications.

The certification helps an architect understand what solutions to implement in a particular scenario. You need to take the exam in person at Kryterion Testing Center.

CompTIA Network+

As someone looking to start a career in networking, you should consider getting a CompTIA Network+ certification. The course is ideal for help desk and networking technicians, not to forget junior network technicians and infrastructure installers.

The exam covers network installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of other networks like Wireless and Ethernet. What’s more, the certification also tests you on network security and the different protocols for WAN and LAN.

With the CompTIA network+ certification, you can present yourself as an expert in network protocols and network infrastructure. You can use this certification as a bridge to pursuing other certifications like Cisco CCNA.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification helps you learn how to design and deploy scalable systems on AWS. The market needs qualified AWS solution architects, the reason why it’s one of the best IT certifications in the market.

Although the course has been running for many years, its demand is still high because of the growth in the cloud. You need to get certified to receive the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional Certification.

However, for you to get this certification, you need to have at least six months of hands-on experience with AWS. The computer-based exam can be taken at the PSI testing centers.

The certification exam handles various topics like estimating AWS costs, designing on AWS, choosing the right AWS services, ingressing data, and estimating AWS costs. Also, the course helps to identify cost-control measures.

Linux Essentials Professional Development Certification

Linux Essentials PDC is a beginner Linux certification. Linux is an open-source, free, and community based operating system for server and desktop computing. Linux professionals are always in demand, and this certification gives you a view of how Linux OS works.

The course gives you an overview of open-source software and its origin. Also, it handles the basic usage of different Linux tools and components.

Cisco Certified Network Associate

The Cisco Certified Network Associate or CCNA is an associate level certification that gives you skills on how to install, operate, and configure enterprise-level networks.

Becoming CCNA certified allows you to find and solve typical network problems. It’s a must-have certification if you’re looking to build a networking career. Moreover, you can choose to specialize in wireless networking and security.

You need to complete two exams and have prior networking experience. Some of the job titles include systems administrators, network engineers, and network administrator.

Certified Information Systems Auditor

The Certified Information System Auditor certification gives you skills to report on institute controls, compliance and allows you to identify vulnerabilities within an ES. With this certification, you can enjoy an IT auditing career.

You’ll need five years of work-related experience in IT auditing, go through the course and pass the exam, and submit the CISA application. Also, you need to adhere to ISACA’s code of ethics and commit to pursuing continuous education. It’s a requirement to comply with Information System Auditing Standards to achieve the CISA certification.

Some of the job titles that come with this certification are systems auditor, information technology auditor, and security analyst.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert certification is suitable for advanced IT professionals involved in the management of data centers. The accreditation covers desktop infrastructure, server infrastructure, enterprise devices, private cloud, and data platforms.

Also, the course gives you skills on business intelligence, SharePoint, and communications. However, for you to get the MCE certification, you need to have an existing MCSA windows server certificate and complete an extra MCSE entry-level course.

Certified MCSEs may be IT managers, system engineers, system administrator, or Field Systems Technicians.

Citrix Certified Associate

The Citrix Certified Associate covers troubleshooting, monitoring, maintaining, and management basics. It’s ideal for technical support staff and administrators. You only require hands-on experience and pass the exams for you to get this certification.

Although the number of certified CCA-V is low, the demand is high. It’s the reason why those certified earn a premium salary. You also need to get the associate certification before pursuing the Citrix Certified Professional Virtualization certification.

Apple Certified Associate

With Apple being the third largest computer system vendor in the US, it’s no wonder that Apple Certified Associate certification is in demand. The course focuses on getting Mac users integrated into an IT environment founded on Windows.

You can take the ACA exams online; you don’t need to appear physically at the exams venue. Also, you can access the training material online.

Certified Scrum Master

The Certified Scrum Master by Scrum Alliance gives you the skills to help scrum teams work. You acquire skills to work across departments and groups to ensure projects are on track. You need all the hard and soft skills to manage teams and projects.

You also get a logo once you become certified. Also, the CSM certification grants you a two-year Scrum Alliance membership; this allows you to access events, discounts, and online social networks.

Certification in Risk and Information Systems Control

Certification in Risk and Information Systems Control allows you to identify, assess, respond, and mitigate. Moreover, you acquire skills in control reporting and monitoring. However, you need to have three years of experience in this field. You also need to identify and manage risks.

Unlike other certifications, CRISC test runs for four hours and contains 150 questions.

Certified Information Security Manager

The Certified Information Security Manager certification is an internationally recognized course that showcases a person with skills to design, manage, oversee, and assess enterprise information security.

Getting a CISM comes with demanding responsibilities, but a good paycheck. CISM qualifies information risk managers and IT security managers as it needs a command of strategy and security policy.

You’re required to sit for an examination that covers information security incident management, information security governance, information risk management, and information security program development.

However, for you to sit for the exam, you need to have five years of experience in the field, with three of those in information security management. You cannot alternate education for an experience like the CISA.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional

The Certified Information Systems Security Professionals or CISSP is ideal for IT professionals interested in the design and maintenance of security infrastructure. The course by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium states that the certification allows you to detect new threats and implement practices and technologies to handle any risk.

When you take the exam, you’re expected to cover asset security, security & risk management, security operations, security engineering, software development security, security assessment and testing, and communications & network security.

However, you need to meet particular prerequisites like having a professional experience in any of those eight areas the exam covers. You also qualify for this course if you have a bachelor’s degree in an ISC-approved field.

CompTIA A+ Technician

The CompTIA A+ technician is an entry-level course for those who would like to handle operating systems, PC maintenance, printers, and other devices. It’s an excellent course to pursue if you don’t have any work-related experience.

You only need to complete two exams to acquire this certification. Some of the job titles include help desk technician, desktop support technician, and a help desk technician.

Microsoft Technology Associate

You should pursue the MTA certification if you’re looking to start a career developing and supporting Microsoft Products. The best part is that you don’t need any prerequisites to pursue the course.

What’s more, Microsoft gives you the chance to choose one exam out of many to complete, any of which will get you an MTA certification.

Cisco Certified Technician

The Cisco Certified Technician is an entry-level certification for those who would like to get to the networking side of IT infrastructure. With this certification, you can act as a Cisco hardware technician.

Some of the duties you could be responsible for include repairing network-related devices, installing network devices, and troubleshooting any network problems. The course has three specializations mainly telepresence, routing & switching, and Datacenter.

Conclusion

The courses above are the best IT certifications you need to have to have under your belt. IT professionals willing to acquire skills and get certified in networking, systems, cybersecurity, and cloud computing enjoy enviable salaries in the industry.

Do your research and find a course that fits your current needs and the career path you hope to follow. You can speak to a professional to understand what to look for in any certification to ensure you’re getting value for your money.x