Learn about the value of the CSA+ certification and how it contributes to career success.
- Why pursue a security certification? There are three important benefits to earning an information security certification as a step in your career development. Security certification demonstrates your commitment to information security as a profession, it can help you get a job, and it can increase your earning potential. Earning a certification requires dedication and an investment of time and money. When you earn a security certification you show your colleagues and potential employers that you have made an investment in your career, and specifically in information security.
You're not simply trying to find a job wherever you can. You have a passion and interest in our field, and have demonstrated a broad knowledge of the many different disciplines of information security. Certified individuals stand out. Certification can also help you get a job. In many cases employers consider a security certification as a minimum requirement for many positions in information security. If you don't have a certification on your resume, you won't make it past the keyword screening used by many human resources departments.
You have no chance of getting a job if you're screened out before your resume even lands on the desk of a hiring manager. Certified individuals also earn more than their non-certified counterparts. In the 2015 Global Information Security Workforce Study, the research firm Frost & Sullivan surveyed members of the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, or ISC-squared, about many different career topics. In that study, the average salary of members who did not have their certification was about $81,000 a year.
While those with certifications earned almost $100,000 a year on average. That's a tremendous difference. So which certification is right for you? If you're new to information security, the CompTIA Security+ certification is the premiere entry-level certification for information security professionals. If you have less than two years experience in the field it's definitely the right way to start. There's no experience requirement for the Security+ certification, and you'll get a broad exposure to the entire information security career field.
If you're planning to take the Security+ exam, I have an entire series of courses on this site designed to help you succeed on that test. As you gain technical skills in the cybersecurity field, you may wish to move a step further and earn the Cybersecurity Analyst Plus certification. This certification is designed for analysts who have about three or four years of experience. You don't need to have a Security+ certification to take the CSA+ test, but the background knowledge gained from the Security+ exam will be helpful when taking the CSA+ exam.
Once you've built up a solid base of experience, the logical next step is the ISC-Squared Certified Information Systems Security Professional, or CISSP certification. The CISSP credential is considered the gold standard of security certifications, and is often a requirement for senior-level security positions, including becoming a firm's chief information security officer. The CISSP curriculum covers many of the same topics as the CSA+ exam, but goes into more depth and detail.
The CISSP certification also has a strictly enforced work experience requirement. I have an entire set of courses on this site designed to prepare you for the CISSP exam if and when you decide to pursue that credential. I hope that you now understand the value of an information security certification. In the remainder of this course, you'll learn how you can earn your CSA+ certification and advance your career in information security.
- Careers in information security
- Exploring the CSA+ domains
- Threat management
- Vulnerability management
- Cyber incident response
- Security architecture and tool sets
- Reviewing the CSA+ exam environment and question types
- Passing the CSA+ exam