Emil Sköld


Which Cybersecurity Certification Should I Get First?

Which Cybersecurity Certification Should I Get First?

Emil Sköld's photo
Emil Sköld
·Jun 27, 2022·

12 min read

Subscribe to my newsletter and never miss my upcoming articles

Table of contents

Emil Sköld

Which Cybersecurity Certification Should I Get First?

Get Assistance Beginning Your Career.

What are the best certifications for beginners in cybersecurity?

CompTIA Network CompTIA Security CompTIA CSA Cisco CCNA

These are the most OK certifications for beginners in cybersecurity for most entry-level personnel.

But offering a few qualifications for entry-level cybersecurity only reveals half the story. It does not inform you how to get started, which course to take first, or how much time and money are required to obtain a certification. In light of this, I believe the more significant question is, what is the best PATH certification for novices in cybersecurity?

Certifications are typically completed in a shorter time, ranging from a few weeks to a year or more. In addition, they have fewer requirements than standard undergraduate courses (like SAT or ACT scores, for example).

The top certification PATH for beginners in cybersecurity

We must consider several aspects and criteria when determining whether entry-level cybersecurity certificates are the most excellent fit for a certification path. The ideal certifications for novices in cybersecurity will require two years of expertise or fewer, cost less than $400, and require only one exam. Additionally, they will not require any special training to be performed prior. Remember that a handful of exams demand verifiable work experience in the cybersecurity industry or sponsorship from a professional in the field, so these would also not qualify for entry-level status. We also want to select a course that minimizes time and effort, as our objective is to obtain certification and employment rapidly.

There are a few significant variations between academic cybersecurity certification programs and other types of educational training, such as bachelor's and master's degrees in cybersecurity.

Information systems security professional with certification (CISSP)

The cybersecurity professional organization (ISC)2's CISSP certification is one of the most sought-after qualifications in the field. Obtaining a CISSP certifies your IT security expertise and ability to plan, carry out, and monitor a cybersecurity program.

15 Best Cyber Security Certifications You Should Get - Kiiky.

This advanced certification is for security experts with expertise who want to develop in positions like:

$202,390 Chief information security officer Security professional: $71,512 Engineer for IT security: $94,971 $143,410 for a senior security consultant Analyst for information security: $110 061

You must have five or more years of work experience in at least two of the eight cybersecurity domains to be eligible for the CISSP test. These cover security and risk management, asset security, security architecture, and engineering, security of communication and networks, security of identity and access, security assessment and testing, security operations, and security of software development. A four-year computer science degree satisfies one year of the required work. Paid internships and part-time employment both count.

Price (US): $749

Cyber Security

How to become a CISSP You may still take the test to become an Associate of (ISC)2 even if you're new to cybersecurity and don't have the required experience. After passing the test, you will have six years to gain the necessary expertise for full CISSP certification.

Information Systems Auditor with Certification (CISA)

This certification from the organization for IT professionals ISACA shows your proficiency in identifying security flaws, developing and putting controls, and tracking compliance. For professions in cybersecurity auditing, it's one of the most well-known certificates.

For mid-level IT workers seeking to develop into positions like:

Manager of IT audits: $142,459 Auditor for cybersecurity - $94,454 Analyst, information security - $104,567 Engineer in IT security: $114,128 $110,612 IT project manager Manager of the compliance program: $110,452

Requirements: Five years of experience in IT or IS audit, control, security, or assurance are required. Accordingly, one or two years of experience can be replaced with a two- or four-year degree.

$760 for non-members; $575 for members Start using Coursera. If you want to pursue the CISA, the Information Systems Auditing, Controls, and Assurance course is a fantastic place to start because it teaches the principles of information systems auditing.

Information Security Manager with certification (CISM) You may demonstrate your proficiency in the management side of information security, encompassing areas like governance, program creation, and program, incident, and risk management, with the CISM certification, also offered by ISACA. Getting your CISM could be an excellent idea if you want to switch from the technical to the administrative side of cybersecurity.

The following jobs utilize the CISM:

$117,510 IT manager Officer of information systems security: $96,854 Risk consultant for information - $96,953 Information security director: $177,911 Manager of Data Governance: $121,208


You must have at least five years of experience in information security management to sit for the CISM test.

Obtain up to two years of general information security experience to satisfy this prerequisite.

You can also waive one or two years with another certification in good standing or a graduate degree in a discipline linked to information security.

$760 for non-members; $575 for members

Start using Coursera. By finishing the Managing Cybersecurity Specialization, you may get a good start on developing your management capabilities in cybersecurity.

CCNP Security

The entry-level security certification CompTIA Security+ verifies the fundamental competencies required for any cybersecurity position. With this certification, you can show that you can evaluate an organization's security, keep an eye on cloud, mobile, and internet of things (IoT) environments, protect them, comprehend risk and compliance rules and regulations, and recognize and handle security incidents. You can benefit from having a Security+ certification in the following positions:

$93,197 for a systems administrator Manager of the help desk: $91,768 Engineer in security: $113,661 Engineer for clouds - $117,167 Security professional: $71,512 $111,751 Software developer IT auditor $97,138

No specific criteria exist for taking the Security+ test, although you are advised first to obtain your Network+ certification and accumulate at least two years of IT experience with a security focus.

Cost: $370

CompTIA initially advises acquiring your Google IT Support Professional Certificate if you're just starting in information technology (IT). While getting ready to pass the CompTIA A+ exams—the first stage in the CompTIA certification path—you'll develop the fundamental IT skills needed to succeed.

Professional Certificate Support for Google IT

Your road to an IT profession is as follows. In this program, you will study in-demand skills that will make you job-ready in less than six months. No education or work history is necessary.

An average of six months (s) Study at your speed. Your capacity for: Cloud computing, binary code, customer support, Linux, troubleshooting, DNS, IPv4, network model, Powershell, Linux file systems, command-line interface, directory service, lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP), backup, cybersecurity, wireless security, cryptography, and network security are some of the topics covered.

Professional Ethical Hacker (CEH)

To find weaknesses before hostile players do, ethical hacking, also known as white hat hacking, penetration testing, or red team, entails legally breaking into enterprises. The EC-Council provides the CEH Certified Ethical Hacker certification. Earn it to show off your expertise in attack detection, prevention, and vector analysis. The CEH certification teaches you to approach cybersecurity and think like a hacker proactively. Examine this certification for positions such as:

Testing for penetration: $108,520 Analyst for cyber incidents - $83,276 Analyst for threat intelligence - $102,523 Architect for cloud security: $150,509 Engineer in cyber security: $111,025

If you have two years of information security-related job experience or have completed an official EC-Council program, you are eligible to sit for the CEH test.

$950 to $1,199, depending on where you get tested View more: Getting Started as a Penetration Tester Start using Coursera. Enroll in the UC Davis course Exploiting and Securing Vulnerabilities in Java Applications on Coursera to hone your penetration testing abilities on WebGoat, a purposefully insecure program.

GIAC Certification for Security Essentials (GSEC)

This certification from the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) provides an entry-level security accreditation for individuals with some expertise in information systems and networking. Your proficiency in security-related duties, including active defense, network security, cryptography, incident response, and cloud security, is validated by obtaining this certificate. If you have some experience in IT and want to go into cybersecurity, you might choose to take the GSEC test. The following occupations make use of the abilities displayed by the GSEC:

Manager of IT security - $137,487 $81,534 for a computer forensic analyst Testing for penetration: $108,520 Security professional: $71,512 Auditor for IT: $97,138 Engineer in software development: $133,864


The GSEC test is open to everyone. There are no prerequisites. Get some experience in computer networking or information systems to set yourself up for success. Cost: $2,499 (includes two practice tests) For people new to IT, the Information Security Fundamentals (GISF) certification is also available on the GSEC GIAC path. This can be an excellent start if you're still learning about networking and information systems.

Professional Certified in Systems Security (SSCP)

You may demonstrate to potential employers that you have the abilities to plan, deploy, and keep an eye on a secure IT infrastructure by earning this intermediate security certificate from (ISC)2. The exam measures knowledge in a network, communications, systems, and application security, access controls, risk identification and analysis, security administration, incident response, and cryptography. The SSCP is created for IT specialists interacting directly with a company's security assets or systems. This qualification is acceptable for jobs such as: Engineer for network security: $118,565 $72,647 for a system administrator $102,175 Systems Engineer $96,018 Security analyst The administrator of databases: $97,781 $87,135 for a security consultant


A minimum of one year of paid work experience in one or more testing areas is required of applicants for the SSCP. A bachelor's or master's degree in a cybersecurity-related program can also satisfy this requirement.

Cost: $249 Start using Coursera. The (ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) Specialization offered by Coursera will help you prepare to take the SSCP exam. As you get the courage to take and pass the test, proceed through the six courses at your speed.

Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) by CompTIA

The CASP+ is intended for cybersecurity experts who exhibit advanced abilities but wish to stay in the technology industry (as opposed to management). Advanced subjects such as corporate security domain, risk analysis, software vulnerability, safeguarding cloud and virtualization technologies, and cryptography approaches are covered in the test. Advanced positions in architecture, risk management, and corporate security integration may become available due to the CASP+. Several potential job titles include

$157,713 Security architect Engineer in security: $113,661 Engineer for application security - $117,423 Lead technical analyst: $137,042 Analyst of vulnerabilities - $103,523


There isn't a set requirement to take the CASP+ test. According to CompTIA, it is only advised for cybersecurity experts with at least ten years of IT administration expertise (including five years of broad hands-on experience with security).

Cost: $466

How to get CASP+ With our IT Certification Roadmap, find out more about the CompTIA cybersecurity certification route.

Certified Incident Handler by GIAC (GCIH)

The GCIH certifies your knowledge of offensive operations, covering typical attack methods and vectors, and your capacity to recognize, stop, and defend against assaults. Incident management, computer crime investigation, hacker exploits, and hacker tools are all included in the certification test. This qualification is intended for all incident response professionals. Various job titles include:

Managing security incidents: $62,758 $157,713 Security architect $72,647 for a system administrator


The GCIH test has no set requirements, although it's a good idea to be familiar with security concepts, networking protocols, and the Windows Command-Line.

Cost: $2,499 (includes two practice tests) Start using Coursera. The Cyber Incident Response Specialization from Infosec will help you begin developing the technical abilities you'll need as an incident responder.

Professional Certified in Offensive Security (OSCP)

One of the most sought-after credentials for penetration testers is the OSCP from Offensive Security. The exam measures your capacity to exploit a variety of target computers and provides thorough penetration test reports for each assault. Jobs like: are suitable candidates for the OSCP.

Testing for penetration: $108,520 Honest hacker: $116,243 $83,882 Threat researcher Analyst for application security - $110,714

There are no explicit prerequisites to taking the test. Offensive Security advises completing the Penetration Testing with Kali course and experience with networking, Linux, Bash scripting, Perl, or Python.

The Penetration Testing with Kali Linux (PWK/PEN-200) course, 30 days of lab access, and one test attempt is included in the basic package, costing $999. How valuable is a cybersecurity certification?

According to an (ISC)2 survey, businesses in the US demanded certification from 70% of the cybersecurity experts polled. The same study also found that security certification may result in an $18,000 wage increase. You may increase your appeal to hiring managers and recruiters by having the appropriate credentials [2]. How to pick a certification in cybersecurity

A cybersecurity certification can help you develop your profession and confirm your hard-earned abilities. The following are some factors to consider while deciding which certificate is best for you.

Your degree of expertise Starts by earning a certification appropriate for your current skill level. Invest in a certification you are confident you can achieve so that you may progress to more difficult certifications later in your career. Check out these introductory IT qualifications and certificates if you're new to the field.

Cost: The typical certification price is several hundred dollars (or more), plus ongoing maintenance fees. The correct certification can lead to more excellent employment opportunities or higher income, but making a sensible investment is crucial.

Tip: It's always a good idea to inquire beforehand because some businesses will assist you in paying for your certification. In the (ISC)2 study, 40% of participants claimed that their company paid for their courses, exams, and fees [2].

Focus: A more general certification can be a wise choice if you're just starting in cybersecurity or want to advance into a managerial position. You could opt to specialize as your career develops. A certification in your field of specialization may vouch for your abilities to prospective employers.

Possible employers: To find out what credentials are often necessary, go through a few job postings for companies you might like to work for or positions you want to apply for.

Were you just beginning your IT career? To develop foundational abilities and boost your career, consider obtaining one of these entry-level IT certifications or certificates.


> 10 Popular Cybersecurity Certifications [2022 Updated]

> COURSERA - "Popular cybersecurity certifications"

> SPRINTZEAL - "Cybersecurity certification for beginners"


Emil Sköld

Share this