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Why is CISSP Certification Worth it for Your Career Growth?

Mark Hillyard
Written by Mark Hillyard

As a cybersecurity professional, you’re probably already aware of the multitude of courses and certifications out there. Lots of these will be irrelevant to your field, or simply not worth the time and effort. Others will be valuable stepping stones in your career.

One example of an exam worth taking is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification. It already has an impressive reputation and is widely regarded as a gold standard of information security competence.

It doesn’t come easy, either. The process of becoming a CISSP is not for the faint-hearted, requiring lots of hard work and a grueling exam.

There’s a good reason for that — information security is a highly advanced field which requires the very best candidates; professionals who have demonstrated they understand how to build safe systems and respond to a wide range of threats – which may be why it satisfies DoD 8570 training requirements for several levels.

As a result, the CISSP certification has many requirements which are both difficult and incredibly time-consuming. It requires a minimum of five years’ cumulative experience in a CISSP approved discipline. There’s a good chance you’ve already heard about how hard the exam is, and how getting a CISSP certification demands a big time commitment.

Now you may be asking, what does it actually offer in terms of concrete benefits for my career? Why should I subject myself to this challenge?

Well, there are plenty of good reasons. Let’s dive in to what makes a CISSP certification worth it for your career.

It’s Proof of Your Ability

If you’ve been working in the field for a while, you’ll have amassed a ton of highly sought-after skills. But without concrete qualifications, it’s hard to demonstrate this to employers.

The very best jobs out there either directly require the CISSP certificate or look favorably on someone who has gone through the punishing process of attaining it. It’s one of the most highly-prized information security certificates out there.

There are many people working in security, but not all have the arsenal of knowledge required to protect against the worst types of security breaches. With the CISSP, you’ll gain a wide array of indispensable skills and be able to clearly convey this to future employers.

Employers are Looking for You

Another thing that makes the CISSP certification worth it is that major companies are desperate for people who understand the complexities of major security, and they know the value of this certification. There may be hundreds of thousands of security jobs in the U.S., but the very best are reserved for those who can demonstrate the experience and knowledge required to attain a CISSP certificate.

​Instead of having to go through the rigorous process of finding a job, you’ll find companies knocking down your door to try to get you to join them. The CISSP certificate is a universally recognized standard, and holders are sought after by companies such as Google, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and many others.

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The Compensation is Great

Given the above, it’s not surprising that CISSP certificate holders receive a considerably higher income than others in information security fields:

  • The average salary for a CISSP professional is around $120,000 and can rise to more than $160,000.
  • CISSP comes in at number three in this list of highest paying IT certifications.
  • A study from Global Information Security and Workforce found that CISSP professionals earned roughly 25% more than those without the certification.

You Get to Make a Difference

As well as being a high-paying job, information security can also be a calling.

Hacks to computer networks occur every 39 seconds, and companies lose tremendous amounts of money every year from sensitive data breaches. If you really want to scare yourself, take a look at this live threat map from CheckPoint solutions.

By obtaining a CISSP certification, you demonstrate that you have the skills necessary to combat the worst threats, and can take on tougher and more critical projects.

You’re becoming one of the few people qualified to defend against the many cyber threats of today, and that can make this job genuinely fulfilling and rewarding.

What’s Next?

Wherever you are in your cybersecurity career, it’s never too early to start looking at options for progression. The CISSP is a solid choice for those with a few years’ experience looking to move up, and a worthwhile goal to work towards for beginners in the field.

If you think the CISSP could give your career a boost, find out how our CISSP Boot Camp can help you take your career to the next level.

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Originally published March 03 2019, updated February 02 2023