Are you interested in a cyber security career? Your first step will be getting a degree, but that doesn't mean that you're ready to apply for jobs just yet. Before you begin working in the real world, consider getting some of the leading security certifications.
1. Certifications Show Your Real World Knowledge
Many employers worry that a recent graduate won't have real world knowledge, but purely academic knowledge. Not only is this a reason to go through a trade school rather than a conventional school, but it's also a reason to get certifications. Certifications test you on real world scenarios and real world knowledge, showing employers that you have the skills that they need.
Certifications also test you on recent technologies, which often aren't taught in schools. Employers also need to know you're up-to-date on the tech they are using.
2. Certifications Can Be Used as a Tiebreaker
If you have a certification and someone else doesn't, it can operate as a tiebreaker. When you're looking for entry-level positions, you're often competing against people who have resumes very similar to your own. You may be competing with others who have a small amount of experience and a degree, but no significant experience within the industry. A certification will show that you've made additional effort for your cyber security career.
3. Certifications Increase the Salary You Can Demand
There are average salaries based around the certification level that a person has. If you get high-level certifications, you are almost guaranteed an increase in salary compared to someone who doesn't have that certification. Some higher level certifications have experience requirements, which means you can get these certifications while working entry-level jobs in order to advance to a new pay grade.
4. Certifications Are Beneficial to the Company
Many companies look for candidates with specific certifications because it gives them special access. As an example, employees with high-level Cisco certifications get priority connectivity on the Cisco help lines. This is also why companies are often very willing to help you get more advanced certifications. They will be encouraged if they see that you have already started on a certification path.
There are two leading types of security certification: CompTIA and Cisco. Cisco certifications are highly prized in the private sector, whereas CompTIA certifications are almost always required for those who want to get into the public sector. Regardless of your industry or focus, there's a certification path for you.