Industry Certifications and How to go About Getting Them

Tailor Tolliver

What are the best certifications to get when entering the field of Cybersecurity? Newcomers ask me this question. Often I find myself recommending my personal favorites.  However, not everyone may require the same certifications as someone else. Cybersecurity is a vast umbrella and there are so many different titles one can acquire while pursuing this field. Degrees also do not hold as much weight in the field as they used to. Seeking to obtain industry certifications may be necessary to get the most out of your cybersecurity career. There are so many different types of  certifications ranging from security basics to ethical hacking.  Today, you are going to learn how to get an industry certification.

Types of Industry Certifications – Starting Out

One obtains these industry certifications by signing up with accredited organizations such as CompTIA, ISACA, and GIAC. CompTIA offers great entry level certifications. Specifically, it is for those who would like to obtain a position as a SOC Analyst, Network Admin, Server Admin, and Linux Admin. The CompTIA Security+, Network+, and CASP are great certs to start out with when entering the field. For those looking to take their knowledge and expertise further, I recommend looking into and preparing for more intermediate certifications such as CCNA, CCNP, CWSP, and CISSP.

Digging Deeper – More Specific Certifications 

CCNA and CCNP are both CISCO based industry certifications. These are for those who are more interested in securing and monitoring the network side of an infrastructure. CWSP is for those who would like to gain qualifications in securing wireless networks from hackers. In contrast, CISSP is for those who would like to focus more on the management and policy of security. IACRB and EC-Council are organizations for those looking to take their career in security to expert level. CEH, Certified Ethical Hacker, and CEPT, Certified Expert Penetration Tester are certs for those who are looking to get hands on with Windows and Linux exploits, network attacks, and memory corruption.

How Much Do They Cost

Deciding which cert is best for you all depends on what route you want to take in security. Whether that be wireless security, network security, penetration testing, forensics, the list goes on. Take some time to truly conduct solid research. It is important to know what each certification will entail and where it will take you in the long run. Industry certifications are highly expensive and can range anywhere from $300 – $600+ to take an exam. I also recommend that people prepare extensively before taking an exam. This is so you don’t waste your time with poor studying. Industry certifications ensure you have the hands-on practice you need to be successful.

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