Ask the Expert

Market acceptance of SSCP versus TICSA

I understand you may be biased regarding TICSA since you have written a book on it. Can you tell me as objective as you can what the market acceptance is like between SSCP and TICSA. Are they peers? If so, then why does ISC(2) endorse TICSA over its own SSCP?


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Although it's true I have worked on a TICSA book, I try not to let that sort of thing color my perspective on the certification marketplace in general and in the security area in particular. I actually think that neither TICSA nor SSCP is worth pursuing any more (unless you treat the SSCP as a "warm-up" to the CISSP, in which case it's worth it as a stepping-stone but not necessarily in its own right).

TICSA sign-up has been dismal and its uptake in the marketplace negligible -- a disappointment to those who believed (as I did) that TruSecure/ICSA's name recognition and market clout could propel TICSA into broad uptake. SSCP is also not very well recognized in the marketplace, except perhaps as "CISSP's little brother." The ISC(2) 'endorsement' of TICSA is really more of a quid pro quo, since in return TruSecure recommends CISSP as a follow-on credential. I wouldn't make too much of that phenomenon, either.

I urge you to look into the forthcoming CompTIA Security+ exam instead of either of these two credentials. It is in beta right now and should be released commercially in late October or some time in November.


For more information on this topic, visit these other SearchSecurity.com resources:
Ask the Expert: First certification for breaking into security
Ask the Expert: Number of TICSA-certified individuals
Ask the Expert: Entry-level certs prior to CISSP


This was first published in September 2002

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