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5 Best Cybersecurity Certifications for Beginners

If you work in cybersecurity or have researched getting into the field, you probably know just how quickly things change. Having dawned in the 1970s, cybersecurity and threats to systems have been around for a long, long time.

As with anything that’s been around for a long time, many changes have occurred, meaning people in the field have had to keep up with learning and developing their skills, especially as new threats and attacks pop up.

A cybersecurity certification can help you with ongoing learning – and more!

Compelling Reasons to Get a Cybersecurity Certification

As with any job, continually learning and growing is essential for career development – and staying on top of trends you may need to know to succeed. By getting a cybersecurity certification, you can:

  • Earn more money
  • Land a cybersecurity job more easily
  • Become qualified for more senior-level or specialized roles

5 Best Cybersecurity Certifications for Beginners

1. CompTIA Security+

CompTIA Security+ is a globally recognized certification. It’s the first security certification that somebody in cybersecurity should obtain, as it validates the competency and core knowledge of a candidate required in any cybersecurity role. This certification also offers an easy transition into intermediate-level cybersecurity jobs.

Top Certification Topics:

  • Attacks, threats, and vulnerabilities
  • Implementation
  • Governance, risk, and compliance

Certification Prerequisites:

  • None

Cybersecurity Job Opportunities:

  • Systems Administrator
  • Security Engineer or Analyst
  • Helpdesk Manager or Analyst

2. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Ethical hacking is a fundamental part of cybersecurity. Knowing how hackers break down barriers and gain unauthorized access to systems is integral. It allows you to counter attacks and prevent them in the first place by attempting to break into your system and building appropriate defenses based on vulnerabilities found.

An ethical hacking certification will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to be successful in your cybersecurity career.

Top Certification Topics:

  • Hacking web servers, applications, wireless networks, and more
  • Evading IDS, firewalls, and honeypots
  • Cloud computing

Certification Prerequisites:

  • Two years of Information Security work experience

Cybersecurity Job Opportunities:

  • Network Engineer
  • Junior Penetration Tester
  • Cybersecurity Consultant

3. GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)

The Giac Security Essentials Certification demonstrates more advanced knowledge of information security beyond basic terminology and concepts. This certification gets awarded to those qualified with hands-on IT systems roles surrounding security, including cryptography, incident handling/response, contingency planning, and more.

Top Certification Topics:

  • Mobile device security
  • Endpoint security
  • Vulnerability scanning and penetration testing

Certification Prerequisites:

  • None

Cybersecurity Job Opportunities:

  • Security Manager
  • Security Administrator
  • Forensic Analyst

4. (ISC)² Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)

The (ISC)² SSCP certification is for IT administrators, managers, directors, and network security professionals responsible for the hands-on security of their company’s most important assets. This certification isn’t for everybody, so be sure to read more about it before spending the time and money to take this certification.

If you work in government, SSCP also meets the needs of the US Department of Defense Directive. While this certification has no prerequisites, we only recommend it for certain cybersecurity career branches.

Top Certification Topics:

  • Security operations and administration
  • Risk identification, monitoring, and analysis
  • Network and communications security

Certification Prerequisites:

  • None

Cybersecurity Job Opportunities:

  • Systems Engineer
  • Security Specialist
  • Database Administrator

5. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

A Certified Information Security Manager certification will allow those with technical expertise (and experience) to transition into a managerial role. This certification will show others that you can align the organization’s information security with broader goals for the company and show your commitment to compliance, security, and integrity.

Top Certification Topics:

  • Information security governance
  • Incident and risk management
  • Information security program development

Certification Prerequisites:

  • Five years of professional information security management work experience (within the past ten years)


Cybersecurity Job Opportunities:

  • Information Security Officer/Manager/Analyst
  • Security Architect
  • Chief Information (Security) Officer

Types of Cybersecurity Certification Programs

When it comes to cybersecurity programs, there are three levels you can expect:

  • Entry-level Cybersecurity Certifications
  • Intermediate Cybersecurity Certifications
  • Advanced Cybersecurity Certifications

Depending on what you are trying to get qualified for, you may obtain an entry-level, intermediate, or more advanced certification. These certifications can help you prove your abilities, help you step into a more senior role, and earn more money.

Cybersecurity Certification Tips to Consider

Cybersecurity certifications aren’t easy. They test your knowledge, which means you need to be ready to answer complex questions, prove your skills, and demonstrate your understanding of important topics.

Because it costs money to take a cybersecurity certification exam, follow the tips below to ensure you take the correct certification and will nail the exam.

  • Enroll in a cybersecurity bootcamp to prepare
  • Know the certification prerequisites and requirements
  • Ensure the certification relates to your field or career path
  • Consider the cost of the cybersecurity certification
  • Consider the time it takes to become eligible for a certification
  • Study with cybersecurity books, tutorials, and study guides
  • Take a practice cybersecurity certification exam

Learn Cybersecurity at Coding Dojo

Cybersecurity jobs are rewarding, lucrative, and in high demand!

You don’t need a degree to find a job. Launch your cybersecurity career in 24 weeks. Coding Dojo’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp prepares students for in-demand cyber roles and certifications.

Accelerate your knowledge. Learn critical skills to identify, assess, report, and mitigate technology and information security risks. No prior experience is needed.

  • Gain real-world cybersecurity skills and experience
  • Train with cybersecurity experts and mission-critical tools
  • Gain extensive hands-on experience and graduate mission-ready
  • Learn critical strategies and tactics to identify and manage information system vulnerabilities
  • Learn how to deploy defensive and offensive tactics against attackers
  • Gain the skills needed to pass certification exams like CompTIA Security+
  • Access career services to help guide your cybersecurity career path

The Cybersecurity Bootcamp also prepares students to pass these industry-leading certification exams:

  • CompTIA Security+ Exam
  • CompTIA CySA+ Exam
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Exam

Cybersecurity Certifications FAQ

Below are some of our frequently asked questions about cybersecurity certifications.

Is Cybersecurity a Good Career?

Yes! Online threats and vulnerabilities are constantly evolving, with hackers constantly trying to find new ways to exploit data systems and get access to your company’s important information.

Cybersecurity roles are in high demand (and will be as long as the Internet is around), boasting a whopping 3.5 million jobs through 2025.

With such positive job prospects, a career in cybersecurity will allow you to work anywhere in the world for just about any company you’d like.

Is a Cybersecurity Certification Worth It?

According to a study by (ISC)2, obtaining a cybersecurity certification can boost your salary by an average of $18,000! Not only can certifications help you climb the metaphorical ladder, but you can also up your salary without changing positions.

Are Cybersecurity Certifications Required?

For some roles, a certification may be required depending on the level of complexity of what you’ll be working on. For more specialized and managerial roles, cybersecurity certifications can help show that you understand what you’re doing and that you have proven yourself to have the capabilities needed for certain roles.