As 2012 begins, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is still the worldwide standard in information assurance certification, and that is no exaggeration.

No other advanced certification comes close to its level of trust and acceptance. Over 75,000 professional in more than 130 countries have relied on their CISSP credentials for getting and maintaining information assurance and information technology security jobs.

The certification is so meaningful because the test is extensive and difficult to pass, but those who have the required background and properly prepare for the exam before taking it have a high success rate both in passing the test and in using it to advance their careers.

Survey after survey is also finding that those with CISSP certification achieve higher salaries than similarly qualified people without the certification, another sign of its value. In a 2006 salary survey conducted by Certification Magazine, the CISSP certification proved to be the highest paid credential in the IT industry and nothing has changed now in 2012 according to most sources.

Even the United States Department of Defense and the National Security Agency rely on the certification. In fact, the NSA’s Information Systems Security Engineering Professional (ISSEP) program has adopted the CISSP certification as a training baseline.

In existence since the early 1990s, the certification has had time to establish its industry-leading reputation.

To get the CISSP certification, candidates must prove at least five years industry experience in two more information security areas. Those with fewer years of experience may still qualify, however, if they have a degree in a related field.

Even those who work in information security every day may not have the breadth of knowledge to pass the 250-question exam, however.

The test covers ten domains of industry knowledge, including access control, application security, cryptography, compliance and investigations and security architecture and design, among others.

Focusing on critical evaluation as well as practical knowledge, the test can be tricky even for those who have a good understanding of the concepts involved. In many cases, the test requires candidates to choose the best answer from imperfect choices, simulating the real world’s dependence on finding a solution even when a perfect one does not exist.

For this reason, extensive preparation that covers both the ten domains as well as how to handle the testing methodology is crucial to passing the exam.

Since most candidates for the CISSP certification are already IT industry professionals, the flexibility and depth provided by CISSP online training is often preferable to in-person classroom training.

While online CISSP training still requires that a student commit to the program to be successful, it is more flexible for busy professionals. Most programs include video presentations, assignments, quizzes and other planned lessons, and these can be completed in whatever free time a student has available, at his or her own pace.

Classroom programs often move at the pace of the instructor rather than at the pace of busy students.

In addition to scheduling flexibility and the ability for students to set their own pace, online CISSP training offers:
– the utmost convenience since there is no faraway training center to visit
– the ability to easily repeat difficult sections
– lower prices than many in-person programs

While CISSP certification can be difficult to achieve, tens of thousands have achieved it in the two decades it has existed because they properly prepared and knew what to expect from the exam.


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