Ask the Expert

Is the CCSP a good certification to have?

How is the the Cisco Certified Security Professional being accepted in the IT marketplace?

I have been retraining in the IT field since Dec. 2002. During my last year's training, I have a A+, N+, CCNA, PIX Firewall Specialist and Wireless LAN Profesional certifications. What are your suggestions for breaking into the IT security job market?

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The CCSP is a reasonably successful IT credential in that it hits a very hot field -- information security, but is somewhat constrained by a Cisco-centric view of networks and networking infrastructure. That said, because Cisco is (and is likely to remain) the leading network infrastructure company in the world, this is not a bad place to be. I usually check the job market possibilities by using cert names as search keys at various big job sites. Today, CCSP produces the following numbers:

To me, this says that there is a definite job market out there for CCSPs, but that it's not huge. As with most certs, your ability to talk positively and persuasively about your knowledge and experience is more valuable than the credential by itself. If you're interested in information security and want to work in the Cisco niche, the CCSP is a workable and interesting choice.

This was first published in January 2004

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