Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand. In fact, the (ISC)² 2023 Cybersecurity Workforce Study found that there is a global shortage of 3.4 million cybersecurity professionals. This shortage is expected to grow to 6.5 million by 2025. Therefore, earning a cybersecurity certification is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and your career to the next level.
Consider that cybersecurity certifications can be expensive, costing upwards of 1,000 euros/dollars in some cases, as they are highly specific and, in many cases, also require at least 2 years of experience in security related positions.
If you’re looking for an affordable way to get started in cybersecurity, there are a number of international certifications that are worth paying for. Here are 10 of the most popular and respected options.
Note: Consider that prices and methodologies might change according to your region, check the official websites!
Table of contents
- CompTIA Security+
- Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP)
- (ISC)² Certified Associate in Cybersecurity (CCAS)
- GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)
- Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- SC-200 Exam: Microsoft Security Operations Analyst
- EITCA IS Information Technologies Security Academy Certification
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C-CISO)
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CompTIA Security+ is one of the most popular cybersecurity certifications in the world, and it’s a great option for beginners and experienced professionals alike. The exam covers a wide range of cybersecurity topics, including network security, system security, and cryptography.
CompTIA Security+ is offered in over 150 countries and can be obtained in Europe for 353 euros.
Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP)
The CIPP certification is provided and validated by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
The Certified Information Privacy Professional demonstrates your understanding of data privacy laws and regulations, data privacy concepts, jurisdictional laws, regulations, and enforcement methods, and legal requirements for managing data.
If you want to show your mastery in the ever challenging field of data privacy, then the CIPP credential is certainly an important reference point. It validates your knowledge of data privacy laws and regulations, showing that you know how to handle and transfer data legally.
To earn the CIPP certification, you must pass an examination and pay a $550 fee.
(ISC)² Certified Associate in Cybersecurity (CCAS)
The (ISC)² CCAS is a vendor-neutral certification that validates your foundational knowledge of cybersecurity. The exam covers topics such as security fundamentals, asset security, and security operations.
There are many options and different exams, from beginner to pro level, and some of the beginner options are free!
GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)
The GIAC Security Essentials Certification is a comprehensive cybersecurity certification that covers a wide range of topics, including network security, system security, and incident response. The GSEC is a challenging exam, but it’s well-respected by employers in the cybersecurity industry.
The GIAC Security Essentials Certification is offered in over 100 countries and can be obtained for around 850 euros in Europe.
Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
The OSCP is a hands-on certification that validates your ability to perform penetration testing. The OSCP exam requires you to hack into a series of vulnerable systems, and it’s one of the most challenging cybersecurity certifications available.
The OSCP certification includes a 30 day lab preparation course and costs 1200 dollars. You can purchase additional lab preparation time for 100 dollars.
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
The CEH is another popular cybersecurity certification that covers the basics of penetration testing. The CEH exam is less challenging than the OSCP, but it’s still a valuable certification for cybersecurity professionals. It is regulated by the EC-Council (which is recognized worldwide).
The CEH fee for the exam (which consists in 125 multiple choice questions) costs from 900 to 1200 euros depending on the differ ns.
SC-200 Exam: Microsoft Security Operations Analyst
The SC-200 Exam: Microsoft Security Operations Analyst certification is a highly respected credential that demonstrates your ability to use Microsoft security solutions to protect your organization from cyber threats. The exam covers a wide range of topics, including threat management, monitoring, and response, as well as the use of specific tools such as Microsoft Sentinel, Microsoft Defender for Cloud, and Microsoft 365 Defender.
The exam is challenging, but it is well worth the effort to earn this certification. It is a valuable asset for anyone who wants to advance their career in cybersecurity.
The certification exam is a 40-question, multiple-choice exam that is administered online. The exam covers the following topics:
The cost of the SC-200 certification exam varies depending on the country or region in which you take the exam. In Europe, the cost of the exam is typically between €160 and €180.
EITCA IS Information Technologies Security Academy Certification
The EITCA IS Information Technologies Security Academy certification is a comprehensive attestation of professional competencies in the area of IT security. It covers computational complexity theory, cryptography, computer networking, and systems security.
Overall, the EITCA IS Information Technologies Security Academy certification is a valuable credential for anyone who wants to advance their career in IT security. It is a comprehensive and challenging certification, but it is well worth the effort to obtain.
The cost of the certification 1.100 euros, but you can check for your eligibility for important discount based on subsidies by the European Comission.
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
The CISM is a certification offered by ISACA. The CISM exam covers the basics of information security management.
The CISM certification costs 575 dollars if you are are a registered member of ISACA
ISACA also offers a certification for beginners called CSX Cybersecurity Practitioner (CSX-P) if you feel the CISM certification is too much for you or you need more experience before taking the test.
Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C-CISO)
The C|CISO certification is designed for information security professionals who want to advance their careers to executive-level positions. The certification covers a wide range of topics, including information security management, risk management, and strategic planning. In order to take the exam, candidates must have at least five years of experience in information security.
The total cost rises to around 600 euros (application and exam).
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These are just a few of the many international cybersecurity certifications. As we said before, consider these are mid to high level certifications that in most cases are aimed at cybersecurity professionals with 2 to 5 years of experience in specific areas. Most of them require extensive training and, in some cases, specific courses to pass the exams.