6 Real Business Uses for the CISSP Certification

CISSP certification
Getting CISSP-certified will help you find a better IT job.

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) has been in place since 1994 to provide vendor-neutral skills certification in information security. It was created by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, or ISC.

As of November 16, 2016, there were over 110,000 IT professionals with CISSP certifications in 162 countries worldwide. The CISSP certification is also approved by the Department of Defense and other government agencies.

The CISSP certification has many business applications. Here are some of the most useful ones.

1. To create and implement a security program for a company or organization.

Organizations need to know that their information and networks are secure, and have a security plan in place. The CISSP certification ensures that an IT professional has the skills to create and implement a security program which will protect companies from hackers that may want to disrupt, expose or even destroy their networks and data.

2. To manage an existing security structure.

The CISSP also provides a wealth of knowledge about how to manage IT security, so that certified individuals will be familiar with existing software and programs and be able to maintain the security of an existing network as well as upgrade it when necessary.

3. To gain access to the best jobs.

Many top employers require that applicants possess the CISSP certification to be hired in an information security role. Furthermore, certified individuals earn more than their non-certified counterparts. In fact, the CISSP certification is ranked third in salary of all certifications, with an average salary of over $110,000.

CISSP certification
IT security can mean handling hardware or software.

4. To achieve job stability.

While no job is ever 100% stable, information security jobs rank at the top for job stability, with the need for network and internet security continuing to increase. While it used to be that only larger companies had a network, now even an office of 5 to 10 can require its own network, which needs an administrator.

5. To gain credibility in the field of information security.

The Global Information Security Workforce Study showed that almost 70% of respondents considered certification as a reliable way to know if a candidate is competent and has good skills. Having a good reputation among hiring staff and fellow applicants can help a candidate advance and gain the respect of colleagues.

6. To stay up to date on the latest skills and changes in IT security.

CISSP certification is good for three years, after which recertification with updated information is required. The test also incorporates frequent updates to keep up with the latest changes in information security. Employers can be sure that CISSP-certified individuals have a firm grasp on today’s information security skills and needs.

PC AGE offers courses to prepare students for various IT certifications, including CISSP certification, that can help them become employed or get promoted in their IT jobs. Request information from PC AGE to see if we can help you meet your IT career goals.

Expert Interview Series: Victor Conesa of Justinmind on IT Careers Today

Victor Conesa is Product Manager at Justinmind, where he uses his business, tech and UX experience to refine and promote Justinmind’s interactive prototyping tool.

Here, Victor discusses his IT career and shares his insight on the type of training that would most benefit those interested in getting into the industry right now. Read on:

Can you tell us about your background and interest in IT?

Actually I didn’t start out wanting to get into IT! I started out thinking about a career in architecture; the idea of building something from the ground up really attracted me. Then as I got a little older I got into computers and studied Computer Engineering for my first degree. That’s pretty much when I realized that computing, or rather software development, has things in common with architecture: you make something from scratch, you build.

From there I went on to study a Masters in Computer Science and while I was doing that, got involved with Justinmind. Starting out as a Product Manager was a great way to go deeper into the industry and understand the realities of how to solve complex problems, whether design problems or business problems.

How has your career evolved since you got started?

I think I’ve evolved to have a clear understanding of the product in the round; as a Product Manager you have to learn how to monitor the competition, refine business strategy and stay focused on user needs. My early years were spent learning how to do all that.

When I moved up to VP of Product Development, I had to shift up a gear and really think strategically about the business as a whole. In the early days I was in the thick of it, directing the team through everyday challenges and getting my hands dirty; now my involvement in Product Development means I have a more global, strategic focus and a huge sense of my role in the success of the business.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned so far in your career?

I guess sort of like I mentioned above: the importance of strategic thinking. If you just stay at product level you’re missing so much; you have to think about the business angle and always take market pressures into account.

Another thing I’ve learned is about the importance of having a great team around me, and I don’t just mean you need to have the smartest people around you. You need to have smart people who are also hard working, responsible and who know how to work in a team. The success of a product depends on the success of the team; I’ve learned that the people behind the scenes are key to building good products.

How important is learning new skill sets to surviving and thriving in IT today? What have you found are the most useful resources for staying up to date on your IT training?

Well obviously the answer depends on what kind of IT you work in, or want to work in. IT is a wide field! But I would say that some skills are becoming essential regardless of individual specialization: take something like prototyping and wireframing, that’s becoming important even if you don’t work in the software industry because now every business needs to have an online presence, and we need to understand how to design digital experiences that meet business goals. The ability to conceptualize and prototype an application or website is going to become much more sought after.

As for resources, there’s just so much out there online. There are some great blogs out there for Product Managers, such as Mind The Product, David Skok’s For Entrepreneurs and On Product Management.

From where you sit, what are the most in-demand skills in the IT industry right now?

Tough question, but I would say that usability is becoming one of the most in-demand knowledge areas right now. The consumerization of enterprise software isn’t just a prediction, it’s here and software development has to get up to speed on it. Enterprises such as General Electric are investing heavily in usability teams, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

What advice can you offer aspiring IT professionals about what it takes to succeed in the field today?

There are so many opportunities in IT right now, but you’re right, it’s hard to know where to pursue career growth or boost skills. I think agile continues to be important, because you’re either going to have to work in an agile team or manage one at some time. Also, data analytics is important, because the amount of data we have now is just phenomenal, we’re way beyond Big Data; we need people who can synthesize and learn from the data we can collect.

What headlines or trends in IT are you following closely today? Why do they interest you?

Like I said, usability in both consumer and enterprise-facing applications. Employee’s tolerance for unintuitive interfaces and systems is falling all the time, and consumerization is a trend whose impacts we’re only just beginning to get to grips with. That goes for multi-device use in the workplace too, which is going to have a big impact on software development.

Basically, everything that already happened in the consumer software space is now happening in enterprise. The difference is, everthing is so much more complex and the risk of project failure is much bigger.

Why is it an exciting time to work in IT right now? What does the future of the profession look like?

Ah that’s an easy one. Because IT is everything nowadays. All businesses are now having to re-imagine themselves as software businesses, to a greater or lesser degree. Think about how e-commerce is obliging businesses to transform totally, from how they advertise and organize products online, to how distribution works in the digital era. Business logistics is now wholly tied up with software. In fact, everything is driven by software now and that’s why it’s so exciting to be working in this space.

Are you considering a career in IT? Take our computer aptitude test.

How Professionals Use Their CISCO Certifications at Work

Network professionals can benefit from CISCO certification.

CISCO certification prepares IT professionals to provide network services to individuals, businesses and organizations. Those with CISCO certification are qualified to install, operate and troubleshoot networks of various sizes, depending on their level of certification.

Obtaining CISCO certification shows employers that you have passed a test designed to show that you have mastered necessary skills to support a network. While you can develop the skills needed to work with networks without CISCO certification, having the certification will ensure employers that your skills have been verified by an independent agency. In turn, they will have more confidence in hiring you.

Using CISCO Certification: Counting the Ways

Here are some ways IT professionals use their CISCO certifications in the real world.

–To get a better job. Getting CISCO-certified can open up opportunities to advance in your current position or obtain a better one. You have invested significant time, energy and money into your IT career, and getting a better job is one way to get a return on that investment.

–To become a leader on your team. Having top notch skills can help you stand out from your colleagues, which can lead to a leadership role. Chances are, your employer will need your help to train your non-certified colleagues and get them up to speed on some of the skills you have in ready supply.

–To update existing skills. The CISCO certification process includes up-to-date training on the latest changes in IT, and the majority of network pathways are made by CISCO products. Employers want IT professionals with current knowledge that understand the ins and outs of CISCO products. Your skills will be in high demand with CISCO certification.

Certification can help IT professionals get a better job.

–To connect with a peer community. As part of the certification process, you can join the CISCO Learning Community to get help and help others learn as well. Through the learning network, you can get access to study groups, training videos and peer advice, both before and after you take the exam.

–To get a raise. IT professionals with CISCO certification make higher salaries on average than those without certification, so the time and effort required is worthwhile from a financial standpoint.

–As a stepping stone to more advanced certification. There are five levels of CISCO certifications that build on each other and lead to expert level skills verification for senior management and leadership positions.

As part of its coursework, PC AGE offers preparation for various IT certifications including CISCO CCENT and CCNA. Both certifications prepare IT professionals for entry level positions in network security and administration.

Network security professionals are in high demand with as many as a million job openings currently unfilled. You can get the skills you need to qualify for one of these jobs in a rigorous but supportive environment by becoming a student at PC AGE. Contact us for more information about our programs.

The Top Benefits of Becoming Cisco Certified

CCENT certification
CISCO is the top networking services provider in the world.

Cisco certifications offer several benefits to those building a career that uses Cisco products. This post focuses on CCENT and CCNA, which prepare IT professionals for entry level positions with Cisco networks.

Proven Skills Mastery

Becoming Cisco certified shows potential employers that you have mastered the skills needed to be able to install, operate and troubleshoot a Cisco network. CCENT certification gives proficiency with small networks and CCNA certification corresponds to medium-sized networks.

Stepping Stone to Advanced Certifications

Most IT professionals would like to become team leads or get promoted to more advanced positions as they gain experience. CCENT and CCNA certifications are prerequisites to professional and expert level Cisco certifications that can open doors to future opportunities.

Higher Earning Potential

Salaries are highly individualized and dependent on many complex factors, but IT professionals with certifications earn higher average salaries than those without certification. CIO listed CCNA certification as one that could earn IT professionals 8-13 percent more than they would earn without the certification.

CCENT certification
Knowing all about CISCO networks will help you fix problems and keep them running smoothly.

Routers and Switches

Cisco certification prepares network support personnel to handle network switches and routers so that network users can communicate both with others inside the network and with those outside the network. Switches connect computers, printers and servers together on a network, while routers connect networks together. Even smaller networks involve many complex connections and the integration of different software and hardware into a cohesive system that functions well.

CCNA certification has a track specifically for learning the ins and outs of routing and switching so that IT professionals can handle these aspects of computer networks and servers effectively.

Advantages of CISCO Certification

Cisco is a leader of network services, with many companies large and small using their network equipment and software. The advantages of using Cisco products include the fact that they are updated often with constant improvements so that they function better than competing products.

Understanding information specific to Cisco networks is a tremendous advantage when looking for a job, since so many companies will use these products and services. General network knowledge is valuable, of course, but specific knowledge of CISCO products with its wide variety of network tools and options can be a strong selling point for IT job seekers.

Training for CISCO Certification Exams

Cisco certifications require learning and applying a large amount of information, and while some IT professionals can pass the certification exam after a time of self-study, most professionals do better learning the material with a trained instructor and a classroom environment that gives them study partners and interactive experiences.

PC AGE offers courses that train students in the information and skills they need to pass both the CCENT and CCNA certification exams and advance their IT careers. Request information about PC AGE courses and how they can help you start or advance your IT career.

6 Practical Ways IT Professionals are Using the CASP Certification

PC Age
CASP certification can lead to many opportunities in the IT security field.

The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) certification prepares IT professionals with at least 5 years of experience to provide cybersecurity protection and solve security problems for companies and organizations. CASP is a mastery level certification that might be undertaken once other certifications have been obtained, or after the required experience in the field.

Many employers look for CASP certification before hiring in cybersecurity positions because CASP-certified employees are knowledgeable and have the ability to solve problems in cybersecurity when they arise. CASP certification has many practical uses in the IT field, including the following.

1. Advancement to a leadership position.

After 5 or more years in an entry level cybersecurity position, you may be looking to get promoted or to take on a more advanced role within your organization. Having the CASP certification will show your company’s upper management that you are ready for a leadership role.

2. To work internationally or for a company with international interests.

CASP certification is globally recognized, and preparation for the exam will ensure that you have the needed skills to perform cybersecurity functions anywhere in the world. Employers can be confident in hiring or promoting you to a position that involves cybersecurity across national boundaries or in multiple nations.

PC Age
Preparing for the CASP exam will allow IT professionals to develop their cybersecurity skills.

3. To obtain employment with the U.S. government.

The Department of Defense has approved CASP certification and declared it compliant with government regulations under both 8570.01-M requirements and FISMA. If you are interested in working for the government doing cybersecurity, this certification will prepare you well for such a position.

4. To obtain a project manager position in cybersecurity.

Project managers must be able to manage diverse IT professionals and carry the reins when it comes to problem-solving and leading a team. CASP certification is good preparation for this complex position. You may find yourself in high demand as a project manager after passing the CASP exam!

5. To demonstrate staying power.

Although you need experience in cybersecurity to obtain certification, getting certified will show your employer that you are committed to the cybersecurity area. This may lead to opportunities within the company that will make use of this growing expertise.

6. To educate others.

CASP certified professionals may also be able to use their expertise to train others in the skills needed to pass the exam. Your organization may want you to train colleagues as part of your position there, or you may be able to teach CASP exam preparation courses on the side. Either way, passing on the knowledge you have gained is an effective way to use your skills.

Cybersecurity is a growing field, with an estimated one million unfilled job openings in 2016. PC AGE coursework will prepare IT professionals to take the CASP exam and become certified at a mastery level in this vital and understaffed career field. Request information about our programs today.