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Best Cybersecurity Certification Path For a Bright Career 

18th Jan, 2024
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    Best Cybersecurity Certification Path For a Bright Career 

    2020 will be remembered as the year when security breaches exploded, and cyber incidents transformed our society in an effective way. Because of these acts, requirements of specialized personalities have increased vastly. Now you will think who these “SPECIALIZED PERSONALITIES” are that I’m talking about. They are those who have knowledge of the latest technologies, threats, attacks, and CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure). But how can anyone know that someone has proper knowledge and skills? For that, one must prove that they can prevent these kinds of attacks, so they must be certified in the field of cyber security. But cyber security certifications are not easy. To achieve any certification, you must follow a proper path, which means the “cybersecurity certification career path”.

    Cybersecurity protects digital devices or technologies like the cloud, mobile devices, networks, and data from malicious or digital attacks. For a bright career in cybersecurity, you should first follow reputed and amazing Cyber Security courses.

    What is Cybersecurity Certification Path?

    Cyber security certification path is a roadmap for a list of certifications one can follow and accomplish for better and early outcomes compared to those without a path.

    What Are the Benefits of a Cybersecurity Certification Path?

    Every company nowadays requires certified employees. A certification will boost your career effectively if you belong to the cybersecurity or IT field.

    Some more benefits of certification: - 

    1. Learn or upgrade your knowledge.
    2. Increase employment probability.
    3. Get more clarity and mastery in your specialized domain.
    4. Get a higher payout.

    Next, you should do Ethical Hacking training which has various benefits.

    Entry-Level Cybersecurity Certification 

    For upcoming cybersecurity analysts, entry-level cyber security certification will boost their resume and help to make their knowledge stronger in their domain. The following certifications will help entry-level enthusiasts gain perfect expertise.

    1. CompTIA Security+

    CompTIA Security+ is well known entry-level cybersecurity certification provided by CompTIA, and in the industry, it is highly recommended. It was developed by organizations such as Netflix and John Hopkins University and approved by the United States Department of Defense. The Security+ certification covers many topics such as network security, IT risk management, system administrator, network administrator, and security administrator.

    • The CompTIA Security+ exam voucher costs $381 USD.
    • This certification is valid for 3 years from the date it was earned.
    • The exam contains multiple-choice and performance-based questions, length of the test is 90 minutes with a passing score of 750.
    • CompTIA Security+ requires $50 USD as annual Continuing Education (CE) fees than 50 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) over three years of the cycle to maintain your certification.
    • The average salary of a certified CompTIA Security+ professional is $115,170 in the U.S., According to Certification. Magazine 2022 Salary Servey, and in India average salary for a security analyst is 5.3 Lakh rupees per annum.

    2. SSCP (System Security Certified Practitioner)

    The SSCP or System Security Certified Practitioner is a certification provided by (ISC)2, and it is for cybersecurity practitioners to monitor cybersecurity incidents and respond to them. By doing SSCP, one can get jobs like Network Analyst, System Administrator, Security Analyst, and Security Engineer. It covers many different topics like Cryptography, Risk identification-monitoring and analysis, Incident response and recovery, System and application security, and Access Control.

    • The SSCP exam voucher costs $249 USD.
    • This certification is valid for 3 years from the date it was earned.
    • The exam contains multiple choice questions, and the length of the exam is 3 hours with passing marks of 700.
    • To maintain SSCP credentials, first, one must pay Annual Maintenance Fees (AMF) of $65 USD then earn and register a minimum of 60 CPE (Continuing Professional Education) credits within three years of the certification loop.
    • A certified SSCP (System Security Certified Practitioner) average salary is $76,569 as System Administrator, $83,735 for as Threat Intelligence Analyst, and $106,915 for DevOps Engineer (per year) in the U.S., According to Glassdoor, and in India average salary is around 7.3 Lakh rupees per annum.

    Know more about the need for Cyber Security specialists

    3. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

    Certified Ethical Hacker or CEH is provided by EC-Council. It contains modern exploit technologies, hands-on hacking challenges, modern case studies and current events, and live cyber range (no simulations). It almost covers every type of attack like cloud computing, cloud hacking methodology, WPA3 encryption and cracking, malware reverse engineering, web API threat, web shell, OWASP Top 10, Web API hacking, Protocols Enumeration techniques (like FTP, IPv6, NFS).

    CEH is in demand globally because it gives various cybersecurity job roles like Network Security Engineer, SOC Analyst, Junior Penetration Tester, Cybersecurity consultant, Senior SOC analyst, Infosec Security Administrator, and many more.

    • CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) exam costs $1,199 USD with $100 USD for remote proctoring and $100 USD for application. 
    • CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) is valid for 3 years from the day it was earned.
    • CEH exam is an MCQ (Multiple Choice Question) test composed of 125 questions, and its passing criteria differ. You can also give CEH Practical which has 20 questions; its passing criteria is 70%.
    • One must pay annual membership fees of $80 USD and earn 120 ECE (EC-Council Continuation Education) in the cycle of 3 years to renew CEH certification, 40 ECE in each year of 3 years of the cycle.
    • The average salary for a CEH certified is $82,966 USD (yearly), and for India, it is 3.5 Lakh rupees per annum.

    4. EJPT

    EJPT stands for eLearnSecurity Junior Penetration Tester. It is provided by eLearn Security. It is a full practical-based certification of penetration testing on the corporate network. It is created in such a way that it is based on real-world scenarios. It covers the skills like TCP/IP, IP Routing, Basic vulnerability assessment of networks, simple web application manual exploitation, simple scanning of the target, penetration testing methodologies, and many more.

    •  eLearnSecurity Junior Penetration Tester (eJPT) exam voucher costs $200 USD.
    • The eJPT certification has no expiration, which means the certification doesn’t require renewal.
    • eJPT is a full practical-based examination. Which is of 3 days means 72 hours.
    • The average salary of a Penetration tester is $97,874 yearly in the USA and in India average salary is 4.97 Lakh rupees per annum.

    Intermediate-Level Cybersecurity Certification

    Intermediate-level cybersecurity certification is one level above entry-level certification. It requires some prior knowledge and experience. A minimum of 3 to 4 years of hands-on experience in IT or related fields will be good to go. Some of the certifications are as follows:

    5. CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+ (CySA+)

    According to CompTIA, CompTIA CySA+ or CompTIA Cyber Security Analyst certification evaluate the skills to analyze the network and keep the industry safe and secure. The certification focuses on analysis. It covers tools such as packet sniffers, Intrusion detection systems (IDS), and security information and event management (SIEM) systems.

    This certification covers the skills required for cyber security analysts and threat intelligence analysts, and it gives us some skills like Analyzing and interpreting data, suggesting some precautions for security, being safe from attacks, and if we get attacks, how to recover from it.

    • CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+ (CySA+) exam voucher costs $381 USD.
    • This certification is valid for 3 years from the date it was earned.
    • The exam contains multiple-choice and performance-based questions. It has a maximum of 85 questions with a duration of 165 minutes and a passing score of 750.
    • It requires $50 USD for Continuing Education (CE) for renewal and then taking the recertification exam, qualify higher CompTIA certification, or bypassing the latest release of the CySA+ exam.
    • A certified CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst's average salary is $74,952 per year, with a range of up to $119,588 per year. In India, the average salary for a cybersecurity analyst is 5.3 Lakh rupees per annum.

    6. CompTIA PenTest+

    According to CompTIA, CompTIA PenTest+ is for cybersecurity professionals like penetrations testers and vulnerability assessment analysts. It mainly focuses on reconnaissance (information gathering), identifying, exploiting, reporting, and then managing the vulnerability.

    It specializes in things like the management of vulnerability, Understanding the legal and compliance requirements, making a report containing the remedies and measures which should be taken to secure the network or domain.

    • CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+ (CySA+) exam voucher costs $381 USD.
    • This certification is valid for 3 years from the date it was earned.
    • The exam contains multiple-choice and performance-based questions. It has a maximum of 85 questions with a duration of 165 minutes and a passing score of 750.
    • It requires $50 USD for Continuing Education (CE) for renewal by taking the recertification exam, qualifies higher CompTIA certification, or bypassing the latest release of the CompTIA PenTest+ exam.
    • The average salary of a certified CompTIA PenTest+ is $88,040 as a pentester per year, $73,747 Network Security Analyst per year and in India average salary of a penetration tester is 7.5 Lakh rupees per annum.

    7. eCPTXv2

    The eCPTX is provided by eLearnSecurity, and it stands for eLearnSecurity Certified Penetration Tester eXtreme. It is one of the advanced penetration testing certifications. By obtaining the eCPTX, the skills that are assessed and certified are Privilege Escalation, Web application manual exploitation, Advanced and latest penetration testing methodologies, network or traffic manipulation, advanced backdooring, and custom attack vector development.

    • ECPTXv2 certification-only voucher costs $400. 
    • The certification is a lifetime certification which means it has no expiration.
    • The exam has 48 hours for penetration testing once you receive the lab’s credentials, then another 48 hours for report writing. You must perform actual penetration testing on a corporate network that is modeled after a real-world scenario. 
    • The average salary for a penetration tester is around $119,578 in the U.S. annually and in India average salary is 7.5 Lakhs rupees per annum.

    8. GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFE)

    SANS Institute provides the GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFE), and it proves that the practitioner has adequate skills and knowledge for computer forensic analysis with core skills for investigation on any windows-based system. The areas covered in this certification are email forensics, log analysis, windows forensics, advanced web browsing forensics, cloud storage analysis, and many more. This certification is especially for those who have deep knowledge of windows forensics and information security and computers.

    • GCFE certification cost is $949 USD.
    • The certification is valid for 4 years of earning.
    • The exam contains 115 questions, with the length of the exam as 3 hours, and the passing score is 71%.
    • You can keep the certification active by collecting 36 credits over four years (CPE option).
    • The average salary for GCFE is $75,018 USD, and in India average salary for a Forensic Analyst is 4.2 Lakh rupees per annum. 

    Check out some of the KnowledgeHut Cyber Security courses that can get you the right skills needed for a successful career in cyber security. 

    Advanced-Level Cybersecurity Certification

    Advanced-level cybersecurity certifications are for those who are highly skilled and experienced in this domain and most time also those who have certain certifications already, but to prove their professionalism, they have to do higher certifications like as follows:

    9. CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)

    CISSP or Certified Information Systems Security Professional, is considered to be the best certification in the market. But you will be shocked to know that it is not a technical certification. CISSP is made for senior cybersecurity professionals who are intended to design and implement a security program in an organization. It is in demand because those who want to become security architects or security managers can go for CISSPP. Even if you want to become a Chief Information Security Officer, this certification is very helpful. CISSP is also great for those who are looking to work in defense because as U.S. military requires CISSP certification for some job roles.

    In CISSP you will get skills like, you will get to know about security and risk management, it helps to learn that how to protect data and information systems from threats actively, and it helps with identity and access management. 

    • The CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) exam costs $749 USD 
    • This certification is valid for 3 years from the date it was earned.
    • The exam contains 250 multiple-choice questions out of which 25 are pre-test questions. 
    • To maintain CISSP credentials, first, one must pay Annual Maintenance Fees (AMF) of $85 USD then earn and register a minimum of 120 CPE (Continuing Professional Education) credits within three years of the certification loop, but 40 CPEs annually is required. 
    • The average salary of a certified CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) is $92,639 USD per year (globally) in the U.S. 

    10. CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)

    CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner or CASP+ is an advanced-level certification for cyber-security professionals, which includes technical skills of security architecture and senior security engineering in traditional, cloud, and hybrid environments etc. 

    Those who complete this certification will have knowledge of Security Architecture, Security Operations, Cryptography, and security engineering. They can monitor, identify and analyze the ongoing operations on security in an enterprise environment. One can become built(architect), engineer, combine and make use (implement) secure solutions across multiple environments to support the domain. 

    • CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) exam voucher costs $480 USD 
    • This certification is valid for 3 years from the date it was earned.
    • The exam contains multiple choice and performance-based questions with 90 questions, and the length of the examination is 165 minutes. 
    • It requires $50 USD for Continuing Education (CE) for renewal by taking the recertification exam, qualifies higher CompTIA certification, or bypassing the latest release of the CompTIA PenTest+ exam. 
    • The average salary of a certified CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) is $84,901 USD and has 1-4 years of experience. 

    11. Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)

    Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) is an ethical hacking certificate offered by Offensive Security. The one who has this certification validates that they have professional knowledge and skills of penetration testing methodologies in Kali Linux. For those who are preparing for OSCP certification, it is compulsory for them to attend Offensive Security inhouse training. It is one of the most respected certifications in the technical world.

    • Penetration Testing with Kali Linux (PwK) is a course offered by offensive security which is self-paced and online material whose costs starts from $1,499. The PwK course consists of PDFs, video, 90 days lab access and one exam voucher. The retake fee is $249. 
    • This certification doesn’t have any expiry date. This is a lifetime certification. 
    • The exam is of total of 48 hours in which first 24 hours is for penetration testing on the labs they will provide us with the credentials. Then next 24 hours for making PoC (Proof of Concept) or report. 
    • This certification doesn’t require any annual credit points, recertification or any annual fees. 
    • The average salary of an OSCP as a Penetration testing is $93,464 in U.S. according to PayScale. In India the average salary for an OSCP is ranging for from 14 Lakh rupees per annum to 25 Lakh rupees per annum.

    Get to know more about the importance of it Security in online business. 

    Are you looking to enhance your IT service management skills? Discover the power of ITIL Practitioner, a unique approach to optimizing IT processes. Boost your career with this industry-leading certification. Learn more today!

    Building Blocks of Cybersecurity

    Now the biggest question is what if you do not have any prior experience in cybersecurity, but you want to enter or work in the cybersecurity field? In my experience, you must start earlier on the roadmap. First, CompTIA A+ will be amazing. It validates that you have prior skills which company looks for in new cyber security professionals. This certification contains all latest core technologies of operating system cloud, operating system, it also contains physical security, privacy, malware detection and repairing.

    After that, you can follow Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). This will help you to learn about networking. It covers topics like network fundamentals, network access, internet protocol connectivity, and many more.

    Choosing the Right Certification Path for Your Career Goals

    Selecting the right certification path is crucial for achieving your career goals. It's like choosing the best route to reach your destination. In my opinion, considering your career objectives and aspirations before making a decision is of the utmost importance. If you're aiming for an entry-level position, start with foundational certifications to build a strong base of knowledge. For those seeking advanced roles, pursue intermediate or expert-level certifications that align with your desired specialization. 

    Research different certification options, such as CompTIA, Cisco, or Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), to find the one that best fits your career path. Look for certifications that are recognized in your industry and have a good reputation. 

    Certifications not only validate your skills but also make you stand out in job interviews. They demonstrate your commitment to professional development and can open doors to new opportunities. Prioritize consistency in your certification journey, ensuring a steady progression toward your career goals. Ultimately, the right certification path will enhance your expertise and propel you toward success in the dynamic field of technology. 


    Building a career in Cybersecurity isn't easy, and it's more than just about financial gains. While some argue skills matter more than certifications, I believe certifications add value, providing an advantage in job or internship interviews. The mentioned certifications can significantly elevate your career, enrich your knowledge, and distinguish you from your peers. Each certification covers distinct topics, so clarity on your focus is crucial. Remember, consistency is the key in this journey.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1Which certificate is best for cybersecurity?

    By keeping professionalism as the main aim, OSCP (Offensive Security Certified Professional) will be best. 

    2Which certificate is best for cybersecurity for beginners?

    CompTIA Security+ will be the best certificate for beginners. 

    3Is a cybersecurity certificate worth it?

    Yes, of course, it is worth it. It will show up your skills and accomplishment. 

    4Can I learn cybersecurity in 6 months?

    Yes, you can learn cyber security in six months will full consistency. But to master it, it takes lots of practice and effort also time. 

    5Is a cyber security certification enough to get a job?

    Truly, it is not enough. You need to convince them by your personality that you can work in any situation. 


    Yash Jaiswar


    Yash Jaiswar is a Cyber Security enthusiast with an experience of 2+ years and an independent bug hunter. He likes to write write-ups and blogs. He is also a CTF (Capture The Flag) player and on TryHackMe he is in Top 2%. He is also a website developer. His hobby is drawing, reading books and being on his laptop.

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