Looking for which cyber security certifications you should get your hands on? Here are 5 certifications that will boost your salary in 2018.
In response to the growing need for qualified cybersecurity professionals, salaries are on the rise in 2018. But to break into a rewarding cybersecurity role, you’ll need to prove your skills with industry-recognized certifications.
Certifications build your knowledge and prove to employers you’re as good as you say you are. Whether you’re looking for a new challenge or want to advance in your current role, gaining a new certification is an opportunity to improve your salary.
Using aggregate median salary data from PayScale and Firebrand Training’s insider industry knowledge of IT certifications, we’ve identified five certifications that will boost your salary in 2018.
1. GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) – $96,000
The entry-level GIAC Security Essentials is designed to prove your knowledge of core cyber security concepts and provide the technical expertise required to work in hands-on roles.
This certification will build your knowledge of networking concepts, defense-in-depth, internet security technologies and Windows/Linux operating system security.
You’ll also be on track to earning a great salary – the average monthly earnings for GSEC holders is $96,000. While it is unlikely that you’ll land this salary with just this entry-level certification, it may demonstrate that GSEC-certified professionals are committed to career development will go on to achieve top cybersecurity roles.
While the GSEC can be achieved through self-study, many professionals will opt for a training program that includes the exam. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay $1,699 to attempt the GIAC Security Essentials exam.
GIAC was founded in 1999 with the aim of validating the skills of information security professionals. The GSEC is just one of a range of certifications that address a broad range of cybersecurity skills, from entry to advanced levels.
2. (ISC)2 CISSP – $107,000
The CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) is aimed at the cybersecurity elite and is a fantastic way to demonstrate your expert knowledge, advance your career and join a worldwide community of cybersecurity professionals.
This certification shows you have what it takes to build and manage an information security programme. As a result, the CISSP certification is highly sought-after by security professionals, especially those aiming for CCISO (Chief Information Security Officer) roles.
To achieve the CISSP, you’ll need at least five years’ cumulative work experience across two or more of the eight CISSP domains – which cover cybersecurity topics like, risk management, software development security, and security operations. You’ll then need to pass an exam to gain the certification.
A major driver for professionals to achieve the CISSP is to improve their marketability. With an average salary of $107,000 for CISSP holders, it’s easy to see why.
3. ISACA CISA – $114,000
Since it was introduced by ISACA in 1978, more than 129,000 professionals have proved their skills with the CISA certification.
Earning the CISA showcases your information security auditing knowledge and demonstrates your ability to assess vulnerabilities, report on compliance and institute security controls within an enterprise.
Achieving the CISA is often seen as mandatory to work as an Information Security Auditor. As security demands create fresh challenges for businesses, employers continue to recognize the credibility provided by the CISA.
4. (ISC)2 CCSP – $117,000
Within two years, 41% of enterprises will be running business-critical IT services in a hybrid, public and private clouds, data from Traditional IT revealed.
Because of this greater reliance on cloud technology, the need for professionals with proven cloud skills is increasing.
(ISC)2’s CCSP (Certified Cloud Security Professional) is one of the leading cloud credentials and is a perfect benchmark for security professionals. A result of the unique partnership between (ISC)2 and the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the CCSP is ideal for experienced security professionals looking to move into cloud-focused roles or expand their existing skillset.
By achieving the CCSP, you’ll prove your expert knowledge of cloud application, data, and infrastructure security. You’ll also build your knowledge of cloud compliance, legality and privacy.
This high-level certification builds on the knowledge gained through the CISSP. CISSP-holders will be pre-qualified to sit the CCSP exam, otherwise, you’ll need five years of relevant security work experience.
5. ISACA CISM – $122,000
The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) offered by ISACA is highly-regarded in the cybersecurity industry as a managerial certification that also builds technical knowledge. There’s growing recognition for this expert-level certification, due in no small part to the success of the CISA certification, also offered by ISACA.
This certification is ideal for technical cybersecurity professionals that want to make the move into management and gain recognition of their managerial and communication skills. When preparing to pass the CISM exam, you’ll need to study governance, risk management, incident management, and security program development.
While there is some overlap between the CISSP and CISM certifications, the CISSP is more technically focused.
To sit the CISM exam, you’ll need five years of relevant work experience, with a minimum of three years’ information security management experience. However, you will be able to substitute years’ experience with other security certifications, like the CISSP, CISA or GIAC certification.
More cyber security certifications that pay
With hundreds of cyber security certifications on the market, they couldn’t all be squeezed into this shortlist. That said, we’d like to give some honorable mentions to certifications that didn’t make the top five.
To build knowledge of the tools and techniques used by cybercriminals, consider taking an ethical hacking course and achieving EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker certification. With an average salary of $79,000, this entry-to-intermediate certification is one to consider.
If you’re a networking professional looking to specialize in the security of Cisco certifications, the Cisco CCNA Security is ideal. You’ll prove your ability to develop security infrastructure and vulnerabilities on networks and set yourself up for a $77,000 salary.