This is a very logical question for any data and cybersecurity professional looking to upgrade their professional credentials with the right certification. In this blog, we aim to offer some clarity on the subject by delving into:
- The benefits of having a CISSP Certification.
- Should you pursue it?
- The writer’s own experience with CISSP.
Here are some key advantages of pursuing the CISSP certification:
- CISSP is renowned throughout the world so this certification self-validates the effort that you have put in as a professional to achieve it and your credentials need no explanation.
- The CISSP certification gives you a clear competitive edge in the market. Recruiters are more likely to notice your application and discerning interviewers such as those from leading MNCs and tier 1 banks are definitely more inclined to reaching out to a candidate who has these credentials over one who doesn’t.
- CISSP gets you a wider perspective on business information security and technical acumen by empowering you with enormous amounts of knowledge from a single source (ISC2 book of knowledge) which otherwise would have been impossible to read and master from the Internet.
- CISSP equips you with the requisite skills so that what you say or write is far more insightful than otherwise possible. This is because the training enables you to:
- Have a considerably wider business perspective (policy, context)
- Focus on the issue (root cause and not symptoms)
- Be to-the-point where needed
- Be highly professional in your response (business ROI)
- Clearly state what is practical to achieve in the short, medium, and long terms (easy, quick wins first and step by step approach)
- Leverage the current regulatory and threat landscape (again, regulatory context)
- Write what is seen as difficult to challenge (because this is based on rationale and fundamental thinking)
All of these crucial benefits make the CISSP certification truly worth it and definitely give the certification holder a massive edge in the competitive business landscape we inhabit today.
So, should I really pursue CISSP?
This is a question that requires you to introspect into your profile (your career and aspirations) and evaluate your response in light of the above key takeaways. You are the best judge of whether you should be pursuing the CISSP certification or not. However, asking yourself the following questions will help:
- What job role am I in at present and what do I intend to do in the next 3-5 years? (How does this certificate align with my present and future job aspirations?)
- What certifications do I already have and will CISSP really provide me that additional edge? (Professional knowledge gaps)
- CISSP requires one to commit to at least 3- 4 months of study time - Do I really have this time, and will I be able to commit to this? (commitment to study)
- Do I know how much the exam fee is? (financials)
- Will I have a direct edge with my present employer if I am CISSP certified? (Eligibility for promotion, pay rise, relevance to current job)
The writer’s inspiration and experience
I’d like to conclude this discussion about the merits of CISSP by sharing my own experience. I was working with one of the Big 4 firms and I was already a CISA. I was exploring relevant certifications to do next. One thing that inspired me about CISSP was that it would make me eligible for all the next-generation job roles which I could aspire to.
Secondly, I thought it would be better to complete the certification sooner rather than later so that I could then work lifelong as a solid Information security professional.
Third and the most important factor that motivated me in this direction was that I felt that the CISSP would make me feel more confident as a professional with added credentials.
I hope my experience also helps you to decide if the CISSP certification is still worth it for you or not.
The author is a professional CISSP trainer within Cyber Management Alliance’s training pool. He is CM-Alliance’s CISSP/CISA/ISO 27001/SOX/Information Risk Management/SAP Cyber security trainer. He has an MBA (Finance), along with qualifications in Computer Engineering, CISSP, CISA, ITIL (expert), COBIT (foundations), and SAP security.
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