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How to choose the best IT security certification for pen testing jobs

Which hacking or penetration-testing certification would you say is most recognized in the security industry today?

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Most recognized, in my opinion, is not the best metric to use when trying to determine which certificate to pursue. A better question is: Which certification demonstrates the highest level of skill? Or, which certification best meets my needs?

Regular readers of my columns may recall that I'm not a huge fan of certifications in general and certainly not in the case where they are used as shortcuts for hiring decisions. But to get back to the implied question, my recommendation would be not to worry about certifications, but rather get more training and experience. It doesn't matter what letters you have after your name; it matters what you know, and how much real life experience you have applying that knowledge. That's what resumes and interviews are for.

For more information:

  • Learn how to use pen testing to help your compliance efforts.
  • Getting started on a career in pen testing? Check out this expert tip.
  • This was first published in September 2009

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