The number of cybersecurity professionals trained to defend against cyberattacks keeps growing in what is commonly referred to as "the cyber skills talent gap."
It’s a worldwide problem, with the gap closing in on four million open jobs amid a shortage of trained and qualified people to fill them. What’s more, rapidly emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are making divides in knowledge and experience more evident.
Finding the right people to fill job opportunities isn’t easy but looking for professionals with certifications from qualified bodies certainly helps. As for trainees, people new to the field are best suited to obtain certifications offered by major organizations because they’re readily recognized by hiring companies.
Read our additional coverage on hiring strategies for MSSPs looking for cybersecurity pros and our list of organizations providing cybersecurity education here.
5 Cybersecurity Certification Organizations
Here are five well-known and respected organizations that offer certifications in the cybersecurity space:
In addition to recognition, higher earning potential and job credibility are two of the biggest benefits of certifications. Along those lines, the top cybersecurity certifications can prove lucrative for technology pros, according to Skillsoft, a learning specialist.
"Certifications with a focus on cybersecurity or cloud computing tend to earn IT professionals higher salaries in part due to the sustained demand for these skills,” a new Skillsoft report said. “Cybersecurity, in particular, continues to grow in importance to individuals and organizations as threats become more prevalent and severe, which also helps to drive up salaries for those with skills to combat them.”
A recent ISC2 study also emphasized the importance of cybersecurity certifications.
“Certifications are also a highly regarded form of cybersecurity qualification,” the report says. Despite the new pathways and trends shaping the modern cybersecurity profession, certifications continue to be a core ingredient for the ideal cybersecurity candidate.”
The Top 5 High-Paying Cybersecurity Certifications
Here are some of the top paying cybersecurity-centric certifications going into 2024 as detailed in Skillsoft's report:
ISACA's Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) Certification
- Average annual salary: $167,396. Last year, it ranked as the second highest-paying certification at an annual salary of $162,347.
- CISM proves expertise in these domains: information security governance, information security risk management, information security program, and incident management.
ISC2’s Certified Information Systems Security Professional Certification
- Average annual salary: $156,699. Last year, CISSP certified professionals reported an average annual salary of $158,191.
- The CISSP proves professionals are qualified to effectively design, implement, and manage a cybersecurity program.
ISACA’s Certified Information Systems Auditor
- Average annual salary: $154,500. Last year CISA certified professionals earned $142,336. The
- The CISA certification has been offered since 1978. CISA certified professionals can serve as a liaison with technical, legal and compliance teams and ensure organizations protect privacy and manage risk efficiently.
- Average annual salary: $121,653.
- CompTIA’s Security+ requires knowledge in a wide range of topics. The certification often serves as an employment requirement. It’s a beginner certification course that meets U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) 8570 compliance and provides candidates with knowledge and practical skills to get an entry-level job in cybersecurity.
CompTIA CySA+ (Cybersecurity Analyst)
- Average annual salary: $121,043.
- Serves as the intermediate security credential between Security+ and CASP+ (Advanced Security Practitioner).
- Candidates must be knowledgeable on security operations, vulnerability management, incident response management and reporting and communication.