Top 4 Reasons Cybersecurity Certifications Matter
As thousands of cybersecurity professionals converge in San Francisco for the RSA Conference, it seems like a good time to weigh in on the certification debate. Specifically, there’s an annoying buzz claiming that softer analytics skills matter more than certifications. Some people even claim that security certifications detract from a résumé—would you buy into that? I don’t.
My longtime experience in placing cybersecurity pros in good jobs has taught me that having the right certifications matters to hiring managers, increases your earnings, and establishes you among an elite group of professionals.
Here’s my top four reasons why:
1. Your earning potential increases—significantly.
According to the 2018 ISC2 Global Information Security Workforce Study, a cyber professional with a certification earns 30% more than one without. Granted, this is an average, but do you really need a better reason?
2. Certifications validate your commitment to the profession and make you a more attractive employee.
If you’re reading this, odds are you’re serious about cybersecurity as a career. But how will a hiring manager know?
We’ve seen the impact firsthand: in a side-by-side comparison of otherwise equal candidates, nearly every hiring manager would choose the one with the certifications. We have conversations with hiring managers who’ve told us, “This guy got certified on his own dime. The fact that he’s passionate enough about investing his own time and money improving his skills impresses us.”
Interestingly, techies tend to be geeky about “doing their homework” and staying current on the latest advances. I know one cyber pro who burned a full week of vacation and paid for lodging to obtain a Cloud Security Certification.
According to InformationWeek’s 2018 Salary Survey of 1800 IT professionals,
- 52% attended training in the past 12 months
- 22% paid for training out of their own pocket and
- 11% paid for certifications courses themselves
According to ISC2 Global Information Security Workforce Study, cybersecurity certifications are considered the most important way to advance or maintain a career, and most professionals surveyed (86%) were either currently pursuing cyber security certifications or planning to in the future.
3. Certifications can ‘pop’ your résumé to the top.
Most, if not all, résumé reviews begin with an electronic search by a recruiter who types in keywords to drill down to the skillsets needed. Keyword searches typically begin narrowly and expand only if their early results fail. If your certification matches the initials in the search string, you’re on the fast-track through the screening process.
4. Certifications put you among an elite level of professionals.
Earning a certification grants you some exclusive professional privileges: the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, share ideas, and gain knowledge at members-only events, conferences and webinars. Armed with the latest information, you can then become a valuable resource for your employer. Leaders in the industry (think employers on your bucket list) respect a commitment to lifelong learning and pride in the industry. They recognize that being among passionate, innovative thinkers and committed professionals is energizing, and that energy follows you into the workplace.
About Mark Aiello
With 30 years of IT and Cybersecurity consultant and staffing experience, Mark Aiello is V.P. of Cybersecurity Operations at Signature Consultants. Aiello is an innovative strategist and marketer with a tireless passion for the cybersecurity industry and helping companies stay safe by providing expert consultants and employees. Signature Consultants is the 15th largest IT Staffing Firm in the U.S.
About Signature Consultants, LLC
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the ninth consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is named the 15th Largest IT Staffing Firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 27 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit www.sigconsult.com.