Heading into 2021, cybersecurity remains one of the enterprise’s highest priorities as companies continue to support remote working conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. And demand for cybersecurity experts shows no signs of slowing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that employment of information security analysts will grow 31% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.
For those looking to advance their cybersecurity careers or break into the field, cybersecurity certifications can help in landing jobs, boosting careers or ensuring against a job loss — provided you choose wisely. Our guide provides insight into the 10 cybersecurity certifications deemed most valuable for aspiring and seasoned cybersecurity professionals:
- CompTIA Security+;
- (ISC)2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP);
- (ISC)2 HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP);
- ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (CISM);
- EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH);
- EC-Council CEH (Practical);
- CompTIA PenTest+;
- Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP);
- Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK); and
- vendor-specific security certifications.
In building this list of top 10 cybersecurity certifications, we talked to a broad range of people in the security industry. We heard from course providers and consultants, such as Cybrary and CyberVista; talked to a professor from University of Maryland Global Campus; sought advice from security providers, such as Cisco and Fortinet; and contacted the leading trade groups and certification providers, such as CSA, CompTIA, EC-Council, ISACA, (ISC)2, Global Knowledge and Offensive Security.
The list starts off with basic, entry-level and management track certifications and then moves on to the offensive security certifications for hands-on penetration testers (pen testers) and certified ethical hackers. It concludes with a mini 10 list of top vendor-specific certifications. Security professionals typically need a mix of all three types of certifications: management training, hands-on and vendor-/product-specific knowledge.