CISSP Certification, Prerequisites, Cost, Skills, Job Prospects, And Salary


CISSP Certification, Prerequisites, Cost, Skills, Job Prospects, And Salary

Developed by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium to address the skill gap in the higher echelons of cybersecurity, the Certified Information Systems Security Professionals certification or CISSP is a highly renowned and globally admissible security credential.

Candidates who pass this course and manage to meet all the rigorous requirements are seen as individuals possessing high-value technical skills related to modern cybersecurity practices. Top firms with diverse and complex system security needs prefer to hire CISSP certified individuals because their hands-on experience and formal training allow them to develop, manage and control system security arsenals, which would otherwise be a daunting task to pull off.

Pre-requisites for CISSP Certification:

The IISSCC has laid down a stringent set of requirements which an individual has to meet in order to appear in the exam and gain the certification.

The first and most important requirement for CISSP certification is that individuals appearing in it should have at least 5 years of experience in a cybersecurity-related job. The certification body even specifies as to what it constitutes as a cybersecurity job, listing eight relevant domains out of which an individual has to have experience in at least two of them to qualify for the certification.

The CISSP Exam:

If the individual has met the requirements of work experience, then he/she is then ready to take the exam. The CISSP exam is perhaps one of the most exhaustive of all certification exams out there with an overall exam duration of 6 hours. Candidates have to attempt 250 MCQs.

The passing criteria is also very strict and highly standardized with only those candidates scoring above 700 being considered as passed in the exam. This scale runs from 100-1000, so a professional has to be highly prepared if it wants to increase its chances of passing the exam.

Most individuals require preparation assistance like CISSP certification training through online courses available out there. Enrolling in such courses helps individuals to cover the course materials in a more streamlined manner and increase their chances of passing the exam.

Total Monetary Investment For CISSP:

The cost of CISSP certification varies from location to location as individuals take this exam across the globe, but the prices in the US are currently $699. If you are unable to appear in the exam, you will have to pay $100 in order to file for cancellation.

The certification’s validity is time-bound and an individual has to re-certify after every three years. However, if the individual has been paying the $35 annual maintenance fee as well as gaining 40 CPE credit hours each year, the re-certification won’t involve appearing in the exam once again.

But if the individual doesn’t meet these requirements, it will have to definitely re-appear in the exam as per the course contents of that time.

Skills Gained After CISSP Certification:

The CISSP certification targets individuals who are either mid or senior-level positions, the course contents are primed towards developing an individual’s knowledge with regards to a comprehensive taxonomy of topics under the cybersecurity domain.

Referred to as the Common Body of Knowledge, individuals will be required to demonstrate expertise over the following 10 different topics:

  1. Access controls system and methodology
  2. Systems and application security development
  3. Cryptography
  4. Disaster recovery and business continuity plans
  5. Investigation laws and ethics
  6. Security models and architectures
  7. Physical security
  8. Best management practices
  9. Networking and telecommunications security
  10. Operations security

The complexity and exhaustiveness of this exam’s contents make it incredibly difficult for individuals to pass the exam in the first attempt without any training aid. Around 80% of candidates who appear for the exam fail in it with only 94000 certified individuals worldwide, making CISSP certification online training critical towards ensuring that individuals pass it in the first try and don’t waste their monetary and time investment.

CISSP Job Prospects:

CISSP opens up opportunities for individuals for a wide variety of roles in the cybersecurity and other niches related to this domain. There are multiple jobs that CISSP certified individuals can apply for including security auditor, security consultant, director of security, IT manager, chief information security officer, etc.

Additional Certification Paths:

CISSP certification is not where this path ends as the IISSCC also offers three advanced-level certifications for individuals who want to further specialize in different niches related to cybersecurity. These certifications are available in architecture (CISSP-ISSAP), engineering (CISSP-ISSEP) or management (CISSP-ISSMP). Apart from the CISSP certification itself, appearing in these advanced level certifications requires two relevant years of further experience in jobs related to these niche domains.

Can Someone Gain The Certification Without The Relevant Five Year Experience?

Yes, absolutely. Its definitely possible to appear in the CISSP exam without having the relevant work experience, however, you will have to acquire the required experience within 6 years of passing the exam. Until then, you won’t get the CISSP certification credential, instead, you will achieve the Associate of ISC2 certification.

CISSP Earning Benefits:

According to, individuals holding that CISSP certification in addition to 5-9 years of job experience will have an average salary of around $102,591, which is definitely on the higher side, but it’s not unusual. Cybersecurity is one of the most important domains for firms to focus on in today’s high-risk environment and individuals with a relevant skillset that’s validated by a top-notch certification are the ones that firms are actively looking out for. It’s this high demand that’s fueling the above-average salaries for individuals with CISSP certification.


If you are really interested in making your next best career move in the field of information security, then the CISSP certification is what you should opt for. It won’t just improve your job prospects but will also open up a vast amount of opportunities for you in terms of networking with similar professionals, educational material and more.

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