• United States

Do I need a security certification?

Mar 24, 20032 mins

It seems like more and more of my job is security-related. I have searched and found several different certifications for that area. Is there any particular one I should go for, or should I earn any?

– Via the Internet

You raise a good question. First, see if there is any particular certification your employer would like for you to earn (and possibly pay for some or all of the expenses). Next, look at the want ads in your local paper and the job search engines to see what certifications that are being requested/required in the job ads that interest you.

I spent some time on the phone recently with the folks at CompTIA about its Security+ certification. This certification is vendor-neutral, in that the information on the exam tests for knowledge that doesnt favor any single vendor. I asked the company why it developed this particular certification and the response it gave surprised me. A respected company that does business in the security area was having a problem finding qualified people for jobs it had open. One thing led to another, and you now have the Security+ certification. For more information on this, go One trend I’m starting to see is that several vendors during the course of this year will start either requiring or endorsing the Security+ certification as a prerequisite or giving credit for having passed this test.

There are several other security certifications from groups such as SANS  and CISSP. The certifications from SANS cover a broad range of information and allow you to specialize in particular areas of interest. These certifications are going to cost more than Security+ from Comptia but they may also be a requirement of higher level positions that come with a higher level of compensation. A good question to ask of a prospective certification is what companies have been requiring this particular certification as a condition of employment or advancement. That should give you an idea of how much in demand this particular certification is and a list of possible employers.