Why Do You Need an IT Security Certification?

by A Guest

In today’s challenging economy, many people are looking for ways to increase their chances of landing a new job or simply keep the one that they have. One way to improve your job prospects is to seek a certification in your field, a third-party designation that shows your knowledge and competence.

One area that virtually requires certification is IT security. Just having an IT security degree isn’t enough anymore.  With new threats to computer systems popping up every day, organizations of all sizes need trained professionals who can recognize those threats and protect against hackers, viruses and other dangerous (and costly) problems. This makes the need for certification a must.  If you still aren’t convinced, consider these facts:

Having an IT Security Certification Demonstrates Your Knowledge and Competence. Earning IT Security Certifications is not easy work. It requires several years of experience, as well as in-depth knowledge that can only be gained from studying. For example, to earn the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) designation, you have to pass a six-hour, 250 question exam covering everything from your knowledge of security procedures to professional ethics. In addition, there is cost involved with seeking certification; the CISSP exam costs $450 to take. Plus, you have to re-certify every three years. Spending the time and money to seek your certification shows others that you are committed to the field.

Having an IT Security Certification Gets You in the Door.  It’s a fact that today’s job market is more competitive than ever and without certain qualifications, you might as well just send your resume right into the garbage. It sounds harsh, but it’s the truth: with so many candidates for so few jobs, many employers refuse to even consider candidates who do not have their IT Security certificate. A great deal of knowledge and experience is great – and some employers may still consider applicants who only have experience – but the vast majority prefer someone with the demonstrated experience that a certificate shows. Putting the time into getting the certificate, then, just allows you to clear one hurdle so you can show your stuff to potential employers.

Having an IT Security Certification Gets You to the Front of the Line for Promotions. Once you have a job, chances are that you would like to move up the ladder and get more responsibility (and earn more money). Holding an IT certification pushes you to the front of the line when it comes time for promotions to be handed out. When your boss is considering members for promotion, if you have equal experience and skills to one of your co-workers, but you hold a certification and he or she doesn’t, chances are you’ll get the nod.

Having an IT Security Certification Increases Your Earning Power. Several surveys have shown that those who hold an IT security certification – whether the CISSP or another certification – actually earn more in salary and bonuses than those who do not. In fact, the Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals indicates that those who have a professional certification in IT security earn an average of $15,000 more per year, while holding specific vendor certificate can earn you an additional $5,000 per year. If you opt to work independently or in a contractor role, holding certifications allow you to charge a higher rate for your services – and increase your marketability to potential clients.

Seeking IT Security Certification Increases Your Knowledge. No matter how much experience you may have, or how many courses you have taken, it’s impossible to know everything about IT Security. The very act of preparing for the certification exam will increase your knowledge and skills base, as there is bound to be at least one area of the exam that you are less familiar with or have rusty skills. Taking the time to study your field builds that knowledge base, allowing you to feel more confident about your own skills and abilities.

Seeking certification in any field requires a commitment of time and money. But as these facts clearly demonstrate, if you want to work in the field of IT security, working toward certification is time and money well-spent.

This article was written by Justin Davis who has been pursuing an Information Security Masters Degree for the past few years.  He expects to have his degree by next year.

This post was written by A Guest

This post was written by a guest. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author box.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: