Are Cyber Security Certifications Worth It?

The cyber security certifications available, what you can expect to achieve, and whether or not certifications are worth the money.

Are Cyber Security Certifications Worth It?

Achieving certifications can play a significant role in your cyber security career and development and for many, can be the doorway into the industry, proving your skills. Cyber security certification can also come with a salary boost and make you more attractive to recruiters and hiring managers. We’re discussing the certifications available, what you can expect to achieve, and if certifications are worth the money.

At TryHackMe, you can prepare for examinations with training that arms you to succeed in achieving these certifications. Our training labs are suited to all experience levels and grow with you, allowing you to upskill based on new threats and trends continually. TryHackMe also showcases knowledge in action, completing training through real-world labs, which can be an excellent arm in achieving future roles.

We aim to make cyber security learning accessible to all. So whether you’re looking to continue your education to gain a cyber security certification, hoping to upskill, or even learn as a hobby, we can help you get there with our real-world training.

Keep reading to discover the available cyber job areas, the most sought-after cyber security certifications, and how our training can help you prepare for cyber security careers!

What Certification Do I Need for Cyber Security?

Whether you’re new to learning cyber security or not too familiar with gaining certifications, you may be wondering which cyber security certification is best for you.

Whilst cyber security certifications are absolutely advantageous, they are not required across all fields of cyber security, especially entry-level positions. Below is an overview of what's available in the market, but there isn't one path you have to follow, and you can achieve lucrative roles without any certifications at all.

We’ve broken it down to make it easier for you to understand which certifications are available, with some of the most popular cyber security certifications:

OSCP: Offensive Security Certified Professional

The Offensive Security Certified Professional is an ethical hacking certification required for many penetration testing jobs and is essential for those seeking to become senior-level penetration testers.

OSCP is designed for professionals in the security field who wish to take a “meaningful step into the world of professional penetration testing.”

Prerequisites

Offensive Security requires all candidates to complete the Penetration Testing with Kali Linux course to be eligible to sit for the OSCP certification exam.

CompTIA Security+

CompTIA Security+ opens the door to a career in cyber security and should therefore be the first certification you gain! The certification validates the fundamental skills necessary to perform core security functions.

Upon completion, CompTIA Security+ certified candidates will successfully be able to:

  • Assess the security posture of an enterprise environment and recommend and implement appropriate security solutions
  • Monitor and secure hybrid environments, including cloud, mobile, and IoT
  • Operate with an awareness of applicable laws and policies, including principles of governance, risk, and compliance
  • Identify, analyze, and respond to security events and incidents

Prerequisites

Aimed at beginners, there are no strict requirements for taking the CompTIA Security+ exam.

CompTIA Pentest+

Through TryHackMe’s CompTIA Pentest+ pathway, you’ll gain hands-on experience and practical preparation for the CompTIA PenTest+ exam. You’ll also learn how to:

  • Utilise industry-standard penetration testing tools
  • Identify and exploit different network services
  • Exploit web applications through the most common vulnerabilities
  • Understand Windows active directory and attacking Kerberos
  • Utilise basic post-exploitation techniques in-action

Upon completing our CompTIA Pentest+ pathway, we’ll give you an exclusive 10% discount off the exam!

Prerequisites

The CompTIA PenTest+ is intended to follow on from CompTIA Security+.

There are no required prerequisites, however, candidates are recommended to have CompTIA Network+ or CompTIA Security+ certification, or equivalent knowledge. A minimum of 3-4 years of hands-on information security or related experience is also encouraged.

CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional

Those accredited with CISSP have a deep understanding of security concepts and can apply them in a real-world setting.

CISSP accreditation is best suited to cyber security professionals hoping to move into management and senior roles and other professionals looking to advance their careers in the industry.

Prerequisites

To qualify for the CISSP exam, you’ll need five or more years of experience in at least two of eight cyber security domains. This includes:

  • Security and Risk Management
  • Asset Security
  • Security Architecture and Engineering
  • Communication and Network Security
  • Identity and Access Management
  • Security Assessment and Testing
  • Security Operations
  • Software Development Security

CISM: Certified Information Security Manager

CISM is an international professional certification recognised as one of the most prestigious certifications for Information Security Managers. The CISM certification is ideal for showing experience in security risk management, incident management and response, and program development and management.

The CISM certification is best suited to programmers looking to strengthen their managerial experience or those intending to progress from team player to manager.

Prerequisites

To take the CISM exam, you’ll need at least five years of experience in information security management.

CISA: Certified Information Systems Auditor

The CISA certification showcases expertise and the ability to cover all areas of auditing, including planning, execution and reporting. As a world-recognised qualification, CISA is often required for positions in IT auditing and security information management.

Suitable for entry-level to mid-career professionals looking to solidify their experience in auditing.

Prerequisites

You’ll need at least five years of experience in IT or IS audit, control, security, or assurance.

CySA+: CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst

CySA+ is a mid-level security certification demonstrating a Cyber Security Analyst's knowledge, skills and capabilities. Upon completion, candidates can successfully configure and use threat detection tools, perform data analysis and interpret the results to identify vulnerabilities, threats, and risks.

The CySA+ certification is best suited for IT Security Analysts, Vulnerability Analysts, and Threat Intelligence Analysts.

Prerequisites

A minimum of four years of hands-on information security or related experience is required. It’s also recommended that candidates earn their Network+ and Security+ certifications beforehand.

Which Certification Is Best for Cyber Security Beginners?

There is an excellent variety of cyber security certifications for beginners, so if you’re looking to enter the field of cyber security, you’ll be pleased to know that there are many options available!

While most certifications require a couple of years of experience in a relevant field, the CompTIA Security+ certification is aimed at beginners, requiring no prior experience.

Our CompTIA Pentest+ pathway teaches you everything you need to know before taking the CompTIA Security+ exam.

Cyber security certifications are optional and depending on what you choose, can cost a considerable amount of money. As an alternative, upskilling and searching for cyber security careers without qualifications may be a great pathway.

How To Get Certification in Cyber Security

Wondering how to get a cyber security certification? If you choose to undergo certifications, get started with our cyber security certification paths to gain the expertise, skills and certification to achieve your dream career in cyber security.

TryHackMe experience is a brilliant addition to CVs and experience to help you stand out from the crowd, which is why many employers actively search for candidates with TryHackMe experience.

TryHackMe was created to teach cyber security through short, gamified, real-world labs alongside a range of learning resources. Our courses are suited to all - from the complete beginner through to the seasoned hacker - making learning engaging, entertaining, accessible, and affordable. Our real-world training allows you to prepare for work responsibilities in the industry, achieving sought-after skills.
We also recommend having a read of our tips for achieving high-paying careers in cyber security with TryHackMe.