The total workforce in the cybersecurity field is 4.7 million, yet this growing field still suffers from a 3.4 million shortage of jobs. Demand for CISSPs suffers from a significant percentage of the total shortage of jobs in the cybersecurity field, with only 156,000 CISSPs worldwide. It’s worth noting that many cybersecurity professionals regard becoming a CISSP as a hard step due to the certification exam’s difficulty.
For this reason, we bring to you everything related to CISSP certification, what it is, its significance, and how it can help you further your career and increase your salary. We will give you the numbers and details about CISSPs and their job; then, we will finish the article by providing you with the best tips to prepare for the examination and how to keep ahead of your field.
What is the CISSP? Why is it Important to Get This Certification?
CISSP means Certified Information System Security Professional, a global certification that cybersecurity professionals can obtain as proof of their versatile skills in handling complex cybersecurity problems and solving cybersecurity threats. The International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or the (ISC)², is the organisation responsible for granting CISSP certifications around the world.
Statistics show that the high demand for CISSPs worldwide outweighs the number of certificate holders, indicating the importance of this certification for cybersecurity professionals. Here are some reasons to motivate you if you’re thinking about pursuing this priceless certification:
Comprehensive Knowledge of the Cybersecurity Field
As a cybersecurity professional, obtaining full knowledge is essential. CISSP certification will further solidify this knowledge by giving you the opportunity to study elements such as risk management, network security and security operations and testing, just to list a few. Furthermore, through your studies, you will learn how these studies will affect and interact with your surrounding work environment.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the number of CISSPs has yet to meet the high demand for certification holders in the cybersecurity field. With a total workforce of 4.7 million, the shortage of jobs in cybersecurity stands at 2.9 million, which is more than half. Obtaining CISSP certification is the right move for your career because it maximises your work potential. After receiving your certification, you can choose one of the (ISC)²’s other fields of study to major in, from engineering to architecture.
You Will Stand Out in the Cybersecurity Field
Despite the high demand for CISSP, passing the CISSP exam is intricate. For this reason, if you prepare well and obtain this valuable certification, it will prove your hard work and extensive knowledge of cybersecurity. Your peers will be impressed and look forward to witnessing how you use your expertise to serve the organisation you work for. The 2017 Spotlight Report about Cybersecurity Trends listed this certification as the highest prized certification for employers.
A Great Opportunity to Demonstrate Your Expertise
One of the assessment conditions for this certification is having spent years of service in the cybersecurity field; more specifically, you need to have worked for at least four years in the field. Another step for application is obtaining the endorsement of a previously certified professional by the (ISC)² who will need to attest to your hard work and cooperative character. Lastly, you will need to complete a three-year course of continuous education to obtain 120 credits and be able to acquire CISSP certification.
For a high-security risk job such as a cybersecurity professional, the salary must meet the extensive and gruelling work hours. A CISSP earns $131,030 on average a year. Several elements can affect this salary, such as the number of experience years, preferably four years of full-time work, knowledge of cybersecurity fields and commitment to codes of ethics. The respect employers have for such certification holders will also reflect on your salary.
CISSP Accreditation Puts You Among the Best
The CISSP certification took years of research and hard work to develop, as well as having to meet many global set standards for a certification of this calibre. Some of these tough standards include those of the US Department of Defense and being the first certification to meet the 17024 standard of the ANSI/ISO/IEC. Additionally, this certification is a prerequisite for IRAP or the Information Security Registered Assessors Program offered by the Australian Government. All these standards mean that if you obtain CISSP certification, you’ve been trained by the best and succeeded.
You Will become a Member of the (ISC)²
When you obtain CISSP certification, you are granted entry into one of the world’s most exclusive organisations of cybersecurity professionals, the (ISC)², with more than 156,000 members around the world. This non-profit organisation is the largest gathering of cybersecurity professionals worldwide, and this membership also offers extra advantages. The organisation offers its members professional developmental courses and endorses their professional education through technical webinars and Cyber Security Summits to discuss ongoing cybersecurity trends and developments.
How Many Certified Information Systems Security Professionals are in the World?
There are more than 156,000 certified professionals in the world, and the highest concentration of them is in the United States with 95,243 CISSPs, followed by the United Kingdom with 8,486 CISSPs, then Canada with 6,842 CISSPs, and China in fourth place with 4,136 CISSPs. The (ISC)² biannually updates their list of CISSPs on their official website, as well as holders of other certifications offered by the organisation.
Why is There Continuous Demand for CISSP?
The cybersecurity field, in general, is suffering from a shortage of 3.4 million jobs, despite the increasing size of the entire workforce. When it comes to CISSPs, there’s a shortage of 2.9 million in this area around the world, and the demand is still exceeding the number of certification holders. The reason behind this imbalance is the comprehensiveness of the CISSP certification since you are tested and trained in every possible aspect related to cybersecurity.
Acquiring CISSP certification will give you an opportunity to stand out in the cybersecurity field and will help you attain high-paying jobs. Additionally, you can further your studies by choosing one of the in-depth programs offered by the (ISC)², such as management and engineering, which will also boost your opportunities to secure high-paying jobs.
Is CISSP Certification Worth it?
Yes, working on obtaining CISSP certification is worth more than you think. It’s true there’s a payable fee at the beginning, and you will need to renew your certification every three years. But when you compare all these fees to the high-paying job opportunities this certification can get you, you’ll find that the fee is not huge at all. Besides, since the cybersecurity field is developing around the clock, you will need to keep learning and be up to date with everything in the field, and what’s better than having your knowledge attested to by one of the top cybersecurity organisations in the world?
On another note, there are many other certifications in the cybersecurity field other than the CISSP, such as the CISM, or Certified Information Systems Manager, and a CEH, or Certified Ethical Hacker. Even though these other certifications will secure you good-paying jobs, the CISSP still stands at the top with the highest-paying jobs. For this reason, in many industries, a CISSP certification has become a prerequisite rather than just an added bonus.
How can you Prepare for the CISSP Certification Exam?
Despite the difficulty of the CISSP certification exam, there are numerous ways through which you can prepare yourself well for it. Here are our tips:
The best method to prepare for the CISSP certification exam is by attending an instructor-led training course. Training courses offered by institutions such as Global Knowledge give you comprehensive training in the eight fields of the CISSP exam. You can look for both physical-attending or virtual classes, whichever suits your schedule and location. Still, they will both give you an opportunity to interact with your classmates, have your questions answered by a specialist, and will help you immerse yourself in your studies.
Self-studying for the CISSP certification exam is mostly recommended for those who have deep cybersecurity knowledge and are aware of the field’s main skills. It’s preferable to be objective about your skills. However, if you felt at the beginning of your study that you need help, then it’s wise to look for a professional training program instead. There’s a practice exam that you can take to assess your skills; if you score less than 80%, then it’s probably better to seek a professional training program instead.
If you’re attending a professional training program to prepare for the CISSP certification exam, it’s better to complement that with extensive self-study. A great study guide is always a good place to start. There are several guides available for purchase that can help you, such as the Gold Edition of The CISSP Prep Guide, which includes practice questions to help you assess your knowledge, and the (ISC)2 CISSP Certified Information Systems Security Professional Official Study Guide 9th Edition.
These study guides cover the main outlines of the topics in the certification exam, and they include never-before-published questions and their answers to help you test your knowledge as well as assess your skills by aiming for a test score higher than 80%.
Whichever studying method you choose to prepare for the professional certification exam, the (ISC)² official website offers resources in every method mentioned above, as well as the possibility of helping you find a training course near you that will suit your needs. It’s imperative to continue reviewing the Certification Exam Outline to make sure you have full knowledge of the topics listed in the outline.
Important Information About CISSP Certification
One of the direct effects of CISSP certification on your career is helping you improve it and possibly shift to a higher-paying one. However, there are additional elements that can still affect this proposition that you need to watch for:
It’s true that CISSP certification can help you obtain a higher-paying job, but your background education can affect how high your salary can get, even with such a high-ranking certification. For example, if you have a Bachelor of Business Administration, along with professional certification, your salary will range between $70,000 and $120,000 every year. This estimate will range between $80,000 and $130,000 a year if you have a Bachelor of Science.
Your work experience in the cybersecurity field, the number of years, the companies you’ve worked with as well as the major projects you worked on can all affect your starting salary. A great number of people reach the highest estimate for their salaries when they’ve worked in reputable companies for a period of 10 to 20 years. The CISSP certification requires five years of working experience in the cybersecurity field, which means many applicants have accumulated significant experience by then.
Where You Work
The organisation your desire to work for will affect your salary greatly. Applying to work for a startup company, still with limited resources, will most likely pay less than applying to work for an international and globally-recognised organisation such as Oracle or Google. The choice of industry as well can affect your salary, as organisations in the financial and healthcare fields offer the highest salaries for CISSPs. To determine the best industry and organisation for you, it’s best if you compare several organisations across different industries.
A CISSP can have several job titles, and every title can affect your salary. A junior certified professional won’t earn as much as a certified team leader or manager. One more point to consider is to know that some employers set certain additional skills for CISSP candidates, such as knowledge of accounting or HIPAA Compliance, so make sure to research the required skills of the industry you’re looking into.
When looking for a job in the cybersecurity field, you will find jobs such as IT security architects or cybersecurity engineers that don’t require this certification. Applying to these jobs might not help you maximise your qualifications, so it’s best to look for jobs that require this certification. By applying to these jobs, you will have an advantage salary-wise.
Remember, obtaining CISSP certification is perhaps the most valuable addition to your resume; it will deepen your knowledge and mastery in the field of cybersecurity, earn you a good spot among your peers and will expand your salary for certain. Employers are more willing to pay if you meet this certification’s prerequisite.