List Of 11 Cyber Security Certifications For Beginners

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Cyber security experts require specialised technical knowledge to manage their job's challenges successfully. Acquiring additional certifications can help information technology (IT) professionals obtain the training, qualifications and skills that hiring managers look for in their candidates. If you are a beginner interested in pursuing a career in cyber security, learning about the certification options can help you choose the right one and show the employer that you are willing to apply extra effort. In this article, we provide a list of cyber security certifications for beginners and explain why these certifications are important.

List Of Cyber Security Certifications For Beginners

If you are new to cyber security, you can choose various cyber security certifications for beginners based on your interests. You can also select a course depending on the specialisation you want to pursue, enabling you to understand fundamental security-related concepts. Here is a list of cyber security certifications that beginners can pursue, with several from the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA):

1. CompTIA Security+

CompTIA Security+ is one of the most basic credentials for professionals interested in a cyber security career. With global recognition, this qualification helps students learn about basic security functions and practices. Through this certification, you can learn how to assess the security position of an enterprise and recommend solutions if there is a breach. As this is a beginner's level certification, you can pursue it without any prior IT experience.

2. CompTIA A+

CompTIA A+ is another certification provided by CompTIA that can be very helpful for IT professionals interested in building a cyber security career. Although this qualification focuses on operating systems and other aspects like hardware and networks more than security, it helps students learn foundational concepts relevant to cyber security. After completing this certification, you can apply most theories to various IT professions. This credential covers networking, troubleshooting, operational procedures and cloud computing and virtualisation.

Related: How To Become A Cyber Security Engineer (Salary And Skills)

3. CompTIA Network+

CompTIA Network+ is one of the most sought-after certifications for entry-level IT professionals. An employee with this qualification s understands network configuration, network operation and how to troubleshoot problems. While this course is not a cyber security certification, it is relevant to those seeking a career in network security. In addition, this is one of the few certifications that offers information for wired and wireless networks in one course.

4. CompTIA CySA+

CompTIA CySA+ is short for cyber security analyst and is a relatively new course in comparison to the others that CompTIA offers. This certification helps professionals learn how to detect, understand and tackle threats to different types of information systems. When studying this qualification, you receive specialist training in threat detection and the use of threat detection tools. While there are no set eligibility criteria for the certification, having three to four years of experience as an IT professional can help you understand and apply the concepts it includes.

Related: Information Security Analyst Skills And How To Improve Them

5. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

CEH is one of the best cyber security qualifications that help students understand the various malicious threats to information systems. It is also the leading ethical hacking certification with global recognition. A CEH qualification shows that you have specialist knowledge, are proficient in the tools hackers use and understand how to identify vulnerabilities in computer systems. Although this is a beginner's level certification, two years of experience in the IT domain is a prerequisite to commencing the course. To get started, beginners with limited IT experience can pursue the Free Cyber Security Essentials Series.

Related: 10 Essential Skills For An Ethical Hacker (With Definition)

6. Micro Technology Associate (MTA) Security Fundamentals

This credential is a good introduction if you have basic operating systems knowledge but limited work experience. The certification shows that you have the fundamental ability to identify threats to network and information security systems. If you are seeking an opportunity to start a career in IT, pursuing the MTA Security Fundamentals certification can be a suitable pathway, as it offers proficiency to meet the requirements of different IT jobs.

7. ISACA CSX Cyber Security Fundamentals Certificate

This certification is a globally recognised foundational course for anyone pursuing a career in cyber security. It is suitable for those new to the workforce and senior-level employees. Some of the domains this certification covers include cyber security concepts, architecture, security implications of adopting new technologies and incident response. The cost of this course is relatively lower than other similar cyber security certifications, so it is a suitable choice if you are looking for a low-priced option.

Related: What Does An IT Professional Do? Duties And Requirements

8. Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) Information Security Fundamentals (GISF)

The GISF is a certification for IT professionals with diverse levels of experience. Candidates seeking a career change to cyber security, IT professionals with fundamental knowledge, managers and security system administrators or even non-IT security managers may find this credential valuable. GISF certificate holders understand the threats and risks to information resources, know security foundations and can identify how to prevent threats from occurring. Some course content includes key cyber security terminologies, policies, cryptographic principles and incident response.

9. International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2 Associate

The (ISC)2 Associate credential is a well-known pathway to cyber security certification. It helps professionals with less experience to pursue a certificate that has global recognition. In addition, this qualification can help you develop basic skills before pursuing a specialist pathway. Adding this accomplishment to your resume when exploring similar courses shows that you have some elementary knowledge and offsets your lack of work experience in the field.

Related: How Much Does Cyber Security Make? (With Skills And Types)

10. (ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)

To pursue this certification, it is a requirement that candidates have a year of employment in one of the seven domains of the SSCP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK). Some of the seven domains include cryptography, access controls, security operations, risk identification, communication security and incident response, among other fields. Beginners can pursue the Associate of (ISC)2 and meet the experience requirements within two years.

The SSCP certification may be a suitable option for candidates with some technical experience and a basic understanding of information systems, computing and security. Seeking this accreditation can help you make a career move to cyber security and become a network security specialist, IT director or administrator. This course has some cyber security concepts, including incident response and recovery, access controls, cryptography and security operations and administration.

Related: Cyber Security Skills (With Examples And Tips To Improve)

11. Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

IT professionals hoping to pursue a career as cloud security specialists may find the CCSP certification beneficial. With global recognition, this qualification is one of the leading certifications in cloud security. Personnel who complete this course understand cloud security design, implementation, architecture and operations. While this programme is a good option for beginners, there is a requirement for candidates to have a minimum of five years of experience before commencing their studies.

Why Are Cyber Security Certifications Important For Beginners?

Cyber security education is important for beginners as it can help you gain employment, with many job opportunities available for qualified applicants. Several certifications have international recognition, which may help differentiate your resume when applying for jobs. In addition, it shows recruiters that you have the necessary skills and qualifications after completing training at an accredited institution. As the field of cyber security constantly evolves, pursuing an expert certification helps beginners learn valuable concepts before joining the industry as professionals.

Often, IT professionals make a career transition from software development or other related fields to cyber security. These employees can obtain various cyber security certifications for beginners and learn the fundamental theories of security and internet-related threats. In addition, some credentials may serve as prerequisites for jobs in the industry, so seeking qualifications can improve your job prospects. A beginner with relevant certification can enhance their chances of successfully negotiating a higher pay rate.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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