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Recommended cert for network security specialist

I am working as a network security specialist and would like to get certified in security. Which certificate would I most benefit from?

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This is an interesting question, because the answer depends on your background and number of years of experience. The most elite security certification around right now is the Certified Protection Professional (CPP). It requires 7-9 years of documented work experience in the field, depending on your college degree status (more experience with no degree, less with a degree).

Guessing, however, that you might not have been in the job long enough to qualify for the CPP, there are lots of other credentials to choose from. The most suitable (most often requested in job postings) currently include:

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) from ICS-Squared, which remains the security cert most often asked for by name.

Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) from SANS, which is one of the hottest, most up-to-date, and downright interesting programs in this area right now.

For a general overview of the entire security certification landscape, please also visit my searchSecurity tip on the subject.

If you have more specific questions after reviewing this information, feel free to submit them to me through Ask the Expert. I hope you find this information helpful.

This was first published in November 2001

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