What Are the Top Cybersecurity Certifications and Skills Employers Are Looking For?

Cybersecurity continues to be a priority for companies, particularly in a post-COVID-19 landscape. When employees work from home, it introduces vulnerabilities that may not exist in a worksite-based paradigm. As a result, businesses must continue to invest heavily to keep their assets safe, including by hiring skilled cybersecurity professionals.

While there is technically a shortage of cybersecurity talent, pros can’t assume that they don’t have to go the extra mile to stand out from the competition. Having the right cybersecurity certifications and skills is still a must. Otherwise, your career may not go as high as it potentially could with the credentials.

If you want to make sure that you are bringing to the table what today’s employers want to find, here is a look at the top cybersecurity certifications and skills you need to possess.

Cybersecurity Certifications

While nearly any reputable cybersecurity certification can boost your career, some are more in-demand than others. By acquiring the ones that today’s employers actively seek out, you can increase your odds of landing career-advancing roles.

Currently, some of the most highly sought-after cybersecurity certifications are:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • CompTIA Security+
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • GIAC Security Essentials Certification
  • Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
  • Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP)
  • GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst
  • CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP)

Some of the credentials above are ideal for those at the start of their cybersecurity career. Often, the CompTIA Security+ certification is a logical starting point and could increase your odds of landing entry-level cybersecurity positions. The GIAC Security Essentials certification is in a similar boat, working well for those early in their career.

For mid- to upper-level professionals, CISSP is likely the closest to being a must-have. It’s highly regarded by employers and commonly listed as required or preferred in job listings. This also applies to the CISM certification, especially for those wanting to qualify for more responsibilities and move up in the field.

However, all of these certifications can potentially provide value. As a result, it’s wise to consider each one for its career-boosting potential.

Cybersecurity Skills

Certifications do help candidates demonstrate that they have various cybersecurity-related skills. However, not every in-demand skill is well expressed in those credentials.

Top cybersecurity candidates bring a wide variety of skills to the table. For example, project management capabilities are highly sought, as well as customer service. Programming experience, particularly in languages like Python, may be on employers’ preferred lists. A wide array of testing- and assessment-oriented skills are similarly critical in the eyes of hiring managers.

Ultimately, cybersecurity professionals need robust and diverse skillsets. That way, they can handle all the job’s various demands with greater ease, ensuring they can contribute significantly to a company’s security objectives.

If you’d like to learn more about what it takes to land a career-advancing cybersecurity job, the team at The Squires Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our recruiters today.


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