Cybersecurity Certifications: Why & Where To Get Them

One of the most in-demand professions is the Cybersecurity Specialist. Yet, there exists a huge shortage of cybersecurity professionals.

Ever more frequent is the news that a business was cyberattacked. Last year, the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (IISSCC) reported (Cybersecurity Workforce Study) that there were approx. 805,000 cybersecurity professionals in the U.S. – which represents a 500,000 shortfall from current needs. Worldwide the need is even greater, a 1.3 million shortfall.  Even as workforces were cut because of the COVID 19, businesses (of all sizes) increased their cybersecurity staff and defenses. According to the IISSCC, 48% of companies plan on increasing their cybersecurity budgets for 2020 and beyond.

Cybersecurity certification programs cover many topics.

  • Entry-level and nontechnical employee programs for executive and non-technical managers
  • Programs dealing with identifying, thwarting, and responding to cyberattacks.
  • Establishing cyber-defenses and conducting threat analyses
  • Programs specific to industries, ie. healthcare, software development, online retail, banking & finance
  • Certifications for all levels of experience or previous cybersecurity training
  • All certification programs require completion of a final examination

University & Public Sector Programs

Boston University: An online program in cybercrime investigation and cybersecurity.  Classes in digital forensics and IT security polices and practices. BU offers a BA and Masters degrees in cybersecurity.

University of Texas: Online program which focuses on a business-oriented cybersecurity strategy, crisis management, and regulatory compliance.

University of Maryland: Offers certification in cyber-operations, cybersecurity technology, cybersecurity management. Also certification programs for digital forensics, cyber-investigations, and information assurance. University offers BA and Masters degrees in cybersecurity.

George Mason University: Certifications in Cloud computing & security, cyber-incident management, emerging threats, and cyber-counter measures.

Private Sector Programs

ISC: A nonprofit IT organization offers five certificates: Information Systems Security Professional, Security Administrator, Cloud Security Certification, Certified Authorization Professional.

CompTIA: Tech association offer four certifications from entry level to expert in core IT skills. Infrastructure Security, Cybersecurity Testing and Analysis, and programs specific to project managers, trainers, and business management.

ISACA: Professional organization provides certification in Governance of Enterprise IT, Risk and Information Systems Control, Cybersecurity Practitioner.

Whatever the certification, building cyber-skills helps both the business and the cyber-specialist. This is truly one of the best professions for anyone who has an interest in IT, software coding, cloud app development, etc., etc. It is a profession that is in great demand and pays very well. If you are contemplating opening a business this is one specialization to consider. The demand exists and the margins can be extremely high.