Four Information Security Qualifications and How They Apply in the Job Market

June 30, 2015 by Ryan Farmer

Although demand for cyber security professionals is exceeding supply, when it comes to finding employment there are plenty of additional qualifications that give candidates the leading edge in getting the best positions.

While many universities offer a range of information technology and computer science degrees, very few actually cover the critical component of security. Of those that do include this element, most spend less than 5% covering the topic.

Fortunately, there are many organisations offering supplemental training that can help train you to pass specific industry exams, with qualifications you can use to demonstrate your skills to potential employers.

So, what are the key qualifications that could boost your chances of securing one of the many cyber security jobs available? Here are four to consider:

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Professionals that hold the CISSP qualification demonstrate to employers that they have the necessary skills and knowledge required in the information security sector. It shows proof that a candidate understands the Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) domains and can perform their security and risk management duties in a business environment.

Certified Ethical Hacker

A qualification in ethical hacking gives candidates the ability to monitor, measure and respond to security threats in any organisation. Being able to perform an ethical penetration of a network allows you to identify vulnerabilities from the perspective of black hat hackers, and demonstrates to potential employers that a candidate knows the techniques used in malicious attacks.

You can also take an advanced course in ethical hacking, which goes in depth into exploiting areas such as fully patched systems and secured infrastructures.

Certified Information Security Manager

Considered an essential certification for those security professionals who oversee, manage or design information security systems, the CISM covers a broader knowledge base than similar qualifications.

Not only does the award demonstrate to potential employers that an individual has the understanding and skills required to manage a secure network, it also shows that the candidate has a deep of knowledge relating to the associated regulatory, fiscal and legal issues.

An employer looking to hire an information security professional with such a certification is guaranteed to find a candidate with excellent security development and implementation skills – one great at delivering top level reporting such as cost analysis for risk mitigation, risk assessments, disaster recovery planning, and preparing tender documents and contracts for external suppliers.


One of the most widely known and accepted certifications in the information security sector, a qualification in Security+ is the result of passing a tough theory-based and practical examination. It gives employers the guarantee that a candidate understands network security in terms of its operational functionality and compliance.

It is an award based on an examination that covers the founding principles of information security, as well as cutting-edge advances in all areas of network development including cloud computing.

A candidate holding a Security+ qualification will demonstrate good understanding and the relevant skills to identify, mitigate and respond to vulnerabilities and threats to both data and application security.

Posted: June 30, 2015
Articles Author
Ryan Farmer
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Ryan Farmer has been at Acumin for the best part of seven years. As Candidate Development Manager, Ryan works with leading information security professionals for some of the world's largest End User security teams, start-up security vendors, and global consultancies. With a strong understanding of the Info Security industry and the latest market developments, he is heavily involved in the Risk and Network Threat Forum, has a keen interest in mobile security, and is an active blogger and Info Sec writer.

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