Published on February 20th, 2017 📆 | 1578 Views ⚑0
Cyber Security Minute: Are IT Certifications Worth It?
Welcome to the Cyber Security Minute, where I answer your questions every Monday in just 60 seconds. This week’s question comes from one of my Anatomy of a Cyber Attack Students. Ginger asked, “Are IT Certifications really worth it?”
Well, let’s put a minute on the clock and find out…
Let’s start with the obvious, you don’t need to get every certification out there. Just from a practical standpoint, this is a fools errand. As of this morning, the most reliable number of IT certifications I could find was well over 1,000. No one has that kind of time or money to get them all.
So, should you get certifications? Well, I believe you should. Certifications show an employer you have a certain knowledge level, and some even show you have some experience.
Let’s consider the Certified Information Systems Security Professional. This 8-hour, 250 question test is difficult to pass. If you pass the exam, you still need to prove you have 5 years of experience before you are fully certified. This can show that you have a large breadth of knowledge in Cyber Security and some experience.
Let’s look at the Cisco Certified Network Associate. This exam requires you to pass both multiple-choice and a hands-on simulation portion which consists of performing basic network administrator tasks. Again, this certification is worthwhile, if you want to start a career in the networking field.
How about the CompTIA certifications? They have a ton out there, A+ for Software and Hardware, Network+, Security+, Storage+, Cloud+, etc, etc, etc. Should you get them all? Of course not, but if there is one in the field you want to break into, they can help in proving you have the knowledge necessary to do the job.
So, obviously you can see I think that certifications are good, but here is the trap you need to avoid… don’t collect them like baseball cards.
Bottom line, Every certification exam costs money, some only $150, other $600 or more. And that is just for the test, then there are recertification fees, annual maintenance fees, and other fees. You need to be sure you need the certification and it will give you a return on your investment before sitting for that exam! After all, I have never been offered a job simply because I had a certain certification. Though, I have have gotten my resume to the top of the stack and gotten an interview because of them.
If you have a question, please post it in the comments below!
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