Ask the Expert: Is CCSP Worthwhile?

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Q:

 

Ed, I read your article entitled “Security Certification: A Marketplace Overview” and found it to be very useful and informative. I am a network engineer and currently hold the CCSE and CCNP certifications. I am looking to find a position that would allow me to focus on information security, whether with my current employer or elsewhere. In my research of security certifications, I came across the Cisco CCSP certification. I am seriously contemplating getting this certification primarily because it would complement my CCNP certification, as well as help with the day-to-day security administration of my current network environment since it is solely comprised of Cisco gear, except for the firewall.

 

 

 

Based on your experience and knowledge, is the CCSP a worthwhile certification to pursue, in general? Do you see it gaining in popularity with employers? Is there another certification you would recommend that would be more valuable for getting a job in information security? Thank you,

 

 

Frank C.

 

Danbury, CT

 

 

A:

Dear Frank:

 

I’ll repeat, then answer, your questions:

 

 

(1) Is the CCSP a worthwhile certification to pursue, in general? You betcha, as long as you’re working in or aiming to work at a Cisco shop.

 

 

(2) Do you see it gaining in popularity with employers? It’s Cisco’s fastest growing professional certification. The folks who work on the cert stuff are here in Austin, and I talk with them regularly.

 

 

(3) Is there another certification you would recommend that would be more valuable for getting a job in information security? Probably the CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) from the ISC-squared (www.isc2.org) is the best recognized of all infosec certs right now. That said, a lot of people think that the SANS GIAC certs (www.giac.org) are the most demanding, up-to-date, and technically current infosec certs right now. Which one you go after depends on whether you want to be a security architect/manager/big picture guy (CISSP) or an in-the-trenches security practitioner (SANS GIAC).

 

 

I actually think it’s worth getting both the CCSP and whichever of the CISSP or SANS GIAC certs most closely matches your aspirations.

 

HTH, and thanks for writing.

 

–Ed–

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