Are you looking to enter the job force in Cyber and IT fields? With so many certifications available, it can be challenging to decide which ones are worth your time and money. That’s why SimeonOnSecurity has put together a comprehensive list of recommended Cyber and IT certifications to help you jumpstart your career.
Why Certifications Matter
Certifications are a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to potential employers. They show that you have a specific skill set and are committed to continuing your education in your field. Having relevant certifications can make your resume stand out and increase your chances of landing a job.
Certifications for Entry-Level Professionals
To help you build a strong foundation of knowledge and skills in Cyber and IT, SimeonOnSecurity recommends the following entry-level certifications:
- CompTIA’s A+ : This certification covers essential IT skills and validates your ability to install, maintain, customize, and operate personal computers.
- CompTIA’s Network+ : This certification focuses on networking skills and covers topics such as network technologies, installation and configuration, media and topologies, and network management.
- CompTIA’s Security+ : This certification covers fundamental security concepts and validates your ability to install and configure systems to secure applications, networks, and devices.
Certifications for Associate-Level Professionals
Once you have a solid foundation of knowledge and skills, SimeonOnSecurity recommends the following associate-level certifications to help you specialize in a particular area:
- CompTIA’s Linux+ : This certification validates your knowledge of Linux operating systems, including installation, management, security, and troubleshooting.
- CompTIA’s CySA+ : This certification focuses on cybersecurity analytics and covers topics such as security analytics, intrusion detection, and response.
- Cisco’s CCNA : This certification validates your ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-sized routed and switched networks.
- Junipers’s JNCIA : This certification validates your understanding of networking technologies and Junos OS fundamentals.
- EC-Council’s CEH : This certification focuses on ethical hacking and covers topics such as scanning networks, system hacking, and Trojans and backdoors.
- Microsoft’s MCSA (Replaced)
Certifications for Professional-Level Professionals
Once you have gained some experience in the industry and honed your skills, SimeonOnSecurity recommends the following professional-level certifications:
- Cisco’s CCNP Enterprise : This certification validates your ability to plan, implement, verify, and troubleshoot LAN and WAN enterprise networks.
- CompTIA’s CASP+ : This certification is an advanced-level security certification that validates your expertise in enterprise security, risk management, research, and analysis.
- ISC^2’s CISSP : This certification is one of the most respected and globally recognized security certifications. It covers eight domains of security, including security and risk management, asset security, and software development security.
- Juniper’s JNCIP-SP : This certification validates your ability to configure and troubleshoot Junos-based routers and switches for service provider networks.
- Offensive Security’s OSCP : This certification is focused on penetration testing and covers topics such as information gathering, vulnerability identification, and exploitation.
- Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) : This certification validates your ability to perform essential system administration tasks on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Certifications for Expert-Level Professionals
If you are looking to become a subject matter expert in your field, SimeonOnSecurity recommends pursuing one of the following expert-level certifications:
- Cisco’s CCIE Enterprise : This certification is one of the most prestigious and highly regarded certifications in the networking industry. It validates your ability to design, implement, operate, and troubleshoot complex enterprise network infrastructures.
- EC-Council’s LPT : This certification is focused on advanced penetration testing techniques and covers topics such as perimeter defenses, web application defenses, and social engineering.
- ISC^2’s CISSP ISSAP/ISSEP/ISSMP : These certifications are advanced concentrations for CISSP holders who want to specialize in architecture, engineering, or management aspects of information security.
- Juniper’s JNCIE-SP : This certification is the highest level of certification in Juniper’s Service Provider Routing and Switching track. It validates your ability to design, implement, and troubleshoot Junos-based networks for service providers.
- Offensive Security’s OSEE : This certification is focused on exploit development and covers topics such as reverse engineering, exploit development, and anti-forensics.
Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE): This certification is focused on Linux system administration and validates your skills and knowledge in managing and troubleshooting Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems.
In addition to the certifications listed above, there are several other certifications that are worth considering. While these certifications may not be as widely recognized as the ones listed above, they can still help you improve your skills and knowledge:
- eLearnSecurity Certifications : These certifications are cost-effective and cover topics such as web application penetration testing, network defense, and digital forensics.
- Hurricane Electric IPv6 Sage : This free certification is focused on IPv6 and covers topics such as addressing, routing, and tunneling.
- Python Institute’s PCEP/PCAP/PCPP : These certifications validate your skills and knowledge in Python programming.
- Splunk Certifications : These certifications are focused on Splunk, a popular platform for data analytics and security information and event management (SIEM).
- W3 Schools Python/SQL/PHP/JAVA : These certifications validate your skills and knowledge in programming languages such as Python, SQL, PHP, and Java.
- Wireshark’s WCNA : This certification is focused on Wireshark, a popular network protocol analyzer.
To prepare for these certifications, it’s important to have access to quality learning resources. SimeonOnSecurity recommends the following:
- Books : This page includes a list of recommended books for learning about various topics in Cyber and IT fields.
- Training : This page includes a list of recommended training courses and bootcamps that can help you prepare for certifications.
If you’re looking for a visual representation of these certifications, Paul Jerimy has built an interactive certification roadmap that you can check out here . The roadmap includes various certifications from different vendors and provides a suggested learning path for each certification.
In conclusion, pursuing certifications is an excellent way to improve your skills and knowledge in Cyber and IT fields and increase your chances of landing a job. However, it’s important to choose certifications that are directly related to positions in Cyber and that are recognized by the industry. SimeonOnSecurity recommends the certifications listed in this article as well as other notable mentions. By pursuing these certifications and utilizing quality learning resources, you can improve your skills and knowledge and take your career to the next level.