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infosec print

5 top InfoSec certifications for 2017

Feb. 27, 2017

By Bee Nguyen

With a new year comes bigger and better technology, as well as bigger and badder security breaches. As 2016 had some of the biggest data breaches ever, companies are now hiring more qualified information security professionals.

While InfoSec skills are in incredibly high demand, professionals with industry-leading credentials stand out from the crowd.

But why get certified when you already have a degree and know how to do your job? Coupled with the right experience, InfoSec certifications prove your qualifications, and they’re highly respected by hiring managers. Certifications are a non-negotiable requirement for many InfoSec jobs, and they show employers you possess the initiative to keep your skills relevant. On top of that, getting certified can boost your salary.

[Related: Compare 41 IT certifications—including salary potential and costs—with our handy chart

So which certification should you get? We used internal data to show the measurable impact on salary for five top security certifications:

GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)

  • Career level: Entry to mid
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Exam: $1,149
  • How long the certification lasts: Four years
  • Annual potential salary increase: Insufficient data

Learn more about the GSEC

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

  • Career level: Entry
  • Prerequisites: Formal training is highly recommended but you can substitute two years of information security experience for this requirement
  • Exam: $600
  • How long the certification lasts: You don’t have to recertify if you validate continuing education
  • Annual potential salary increase: $15,300
  • Notes: Mandatory training costs $1,899 unless you can get an experience waiver
  • Free Skillsoft classes for TEKsystems consultants: 16 units / 23 hours of CEH training

Learn more about the CEH

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

  • Career level: Mid
  • Prerequisites: Four years of InfoSec experience with a four-year degree, or five years if you don’t have a degree
  • Exam: $599
  • How long the certification lasts: Three years (you must complete continuing education and pay a maintenance fee)
  • Annual potential salary increase: $16,273
  • Notes: The CISSP is required for many government jobs; some may accept the CISA as a substitute
  • Free Skillsoft classes for TEKsystems consultants: 12 units / 20 hours of CISSP training, plus test prep and updates

Learn more about the CISSP

CompTIA Security+

  • Career level: Entry
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Exam: $311
  • How long the certification lasts: Three years
  • Annual potential salary increase: $7,320
  • Notes: Sometimes required for government jobs
  • Free Skillsoft classes for TEKsystems consultants: 10 units / 12 hours of training, plus test prep

Learn more about the CompTIA Security+

Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP)

  • Career level: Mid
  • Prerequisites: Four years of experience in related domain or four-year degree plus three years of experience
  • Exam: $549
  • How long the certification lasts: Three years
  • Annual potential salary increase: $20,600
  • Notes: Yearly maintenance fee of $100

Learn more about the CSSLP

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