Top 4 Cyber Security Certifications For Beginners

Top 4 Cyber Security Certifications For Beginners

Cybersecurity is a fascinating field. It is expanding and growing daily. The security side of information technology has many career opportunities. There are many paths that exist leading to a career in cybersecurity. You could study at a college or university, you could self-teach yourself, you could transition from another area of IT into cybersecurity, or you could transition from a non-tech related field. No matter which path you find yourself on actually being able to perform essential job functions is of critical importance. Having a baseline knowledge and skill makes the difference in getting started in any career field. There certifications that are great for getting that baseline knowledge for cybersecurity. The Cyber Job Mentor has selected the following four certifications as great to get started.

CompTIA Security+

A good certification to start with getting that baseline knowledge to begin cybersecurity work. It covers a broad range of security topics. Those topics include threats, vulnerabilities, attacks, identity management, and cryptography. This exam has no prerequisite knowledge or experience required so it is perfect for someone just starting out. The exam cost is $339.00 and is valid for three years before it must be renewed. For more information, you can go here https://certification.comptia.org/certifications/security#examdetails.

GIAC Security Essentials Certification

The GSEC is an excellent certification for individuals that want a career that is focused on security. This exam is provided by GIAC. Global Information Assurance Certification is an information security certification entity that specializes in technical and practical certification. GIAC does provide on-demand training and instructor-led training for a price that may beneficial in gaining the knowledge necessary to succeed on the exam. The cost of the exam is $1899.00, which is on the higher end of other certifications at the entry-level or beginning stage. Some of the topic areas covered are active defense, endpoint security, SIEM, and access controls. This may be a beginner level exam but some prior fundamental computing knowledge is good to be successful. You can learn more about the exam here https://www.giac.org/certification/security-essentials-gsec.

GIAC Information Security Fundamentals Certification

The GISF is designed for individuals who want to work in cybersecurity but have nearly zero prior knowledge about cybersecurity. This exam is provided by GIAC. Global Information Assurance Certification is an information security certification entity that specializes in technical and practical certification.  Some of the topics this exam covers are basic terminology, security principles, and incident response. The cost of the exam is $1899.00, which is on the higher end of other certifications at the entry-level or beginning stage. You can learn more about the exam here https://www.giac.org/certification/information-security-fundamentals-gisf.

(ISC)² Systems Security Certified Practitioner

The International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)², is a non-profit organization that specializes in training and certifications for cybersecurity professionals. The Systems Security Certified Practitioner or SSCP is a good certification for beginners. This exam does require at least 2 years of experience in two of the domains covered by exam. The domains are Access Controls,  Security Operations and Administration, Risk Identification, Monitoring and Analysis, Incident Response and Recovery, Cryptography, Network and Communications Security, and Systems and Application Security  Their website outlines in more detail about substitutions and equivalents. The cost of the exam is $250.00. Some would argue this is not a beginner’s cert because of the experience requirements but it is still novice level. This would be best for those changing from an existing tech role to a more security-focused one. You can learn more here https://www.isc2.org/Certifications/SSCP.

None of the certifications will make you an expert. None of these certifications guarantee competency. None of these certifications of this list will guarantee you a job. These certs can support a transition to a new cybersecurity career. They can also enhance skills or get new skills. Studying for certifications can be an excellent method of professional development. Choose professional development activities that work best for your situation. Look for opportunities that align with your goals and align with your learning style. There are other certifications that are great for beginners this is not a comprehensive list and they may not work for all people. Find what works for you.

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