Every year, we look to and conduct several studies to better understand how managers and individual contributors perceive Cisco security certifications. This year, we confirmed key insights that have been building for some time. And I’m excited to report that, in fact, both managers and individual contributors see tangible benefits to becoming certified in security. I know, it’s a lot of work to earn your CCNA Security or CCNA CyberOps. It requires months of training, studying, sacrifice, and practice. However, it is worth the effort. Let me detail the top three reasons why becoming certified in cybersecurity is #worthit:

1. Return on Investment

For today and tomorrow, learning equals earning. That may seem obvious, but it’s a growing phenomenon occurring in the workplace. According to the Global Knowledge 2017 Salary Report, the annual difference between salaries of certified and noncertified IT decision makers is close to $10,000, or 10 percent in the U.S. and Canada. Outside of these countries, the gap is much larger, ranging from 13 percent to nearly 30 percent. This report also shows that there is an even stronger ROI trend for Cisco certification in cybersecurity.

Teacher, Student crop.jpgGlobal Knowledge ranked CCNA Security in the top 20 highest paying certifications, with an average annual salary of US$84,652. The need for skilled security staff is undeniable. According to a recent report from Burning Glass Technologies, jobs in cybersecurity are growing 12 times faster than the overall job market. And PwC has forecasted that there will be a shortfall of 1.5 million cybersecurity workers by 2019. There’s a supply-and-demand effect in the workplace, with demand outstripping supply. Cybersecurity certification is one way to turn your skills into bottom-line benefits. Want more evidence that a security certification will be a great investment? Check out this article from CRN.

2. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Have you ever felt under-appreciated in your job? Now you have the power to change that. According to the Cisco Value of Certifications study, seven out of 10 managers agree that individuals with Cisco certifications are more respected by their peers. They are trusted to take on more responsibilities, and they are rated as more knowledgeable and more valuable to the companies they work for. That’s because training for Cisco security certifications teaches hands-on skills using enterprise-grade security equipment. This is not just training in theory. It's practical application! Your contributions will be even more appreciated in security because of a significant need for skilled talent. According to Forrester, 56 percent of decision makers agree that staffing shortages are a major challenge for security. Having high-demand skills positions you to receive serious recognition, not just another participation trophy. Whether you’re looking for more R-E-S-P-E-C-T from your manager or from your colleagues, certification can boost the acknowledgement you receive.

3. Moving on Up

It doesn't matter if you're looking for a new internship, a new job, or a promotion. A Cisco security certification offers an ideal opportunity to flex your career muscle and make that next big step in your career journey. Are you looking for a new job? Certifications are used to screen candidates in nearly one-third of IT hiring situations, according to managers surveyed in the Cisco Value of Certifications study.

The evidence is even stronger for security certifications. Nearly 40 percent of organizations request at least one certification from security candidates, according to the above-mentioned report from Burning Glass Technologies. That's because companies that wish to hire, for example, Next-Generation Intrusion Prevention System (NGIPS) or IAM/Identity Management specialists likely will be unfamiliar with the required skills. This is why a Cisco certification proves that a candidate has the hands-on skills to hit the ground running.


Are you looking for a promotion? You're also in luck because seven out of 10 managers also reported that Cisco certified individuals are more promotable. Regardless of where you are in your career journey, Cisco security certifications provide an advantage that can clearly set you apart from other candidates and colleagues.

What Are You Waiting For?

Whether you are working in security infrastructure, as part of the Security Operations team (SOC), or in an administrative role, Learning@Cisco has the training programs that you need to get started. And here's the icing on the cake. Our training is available in several formats that are current, customized, convenient, and continuous. It all caters to the way you like to learn, today and for the future. Learn more about how you can start your security certification journey with Cisco today. Go to  www.cisco.com/go/securitytraining.



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Tom Gilheany_final_thumb.jpgTom Gilheany is Cisco’s Product Manager for Security Training and Certifications. He has a diverse background in startups through multinational Fortune 100 companies. Combining over 20 years of product management and technical marketing positions, and more than a dozen years in IT and Operations, he has conducted nearly 50 product launches in emerging technologies, cybersecurity, and telecommunications. Tom is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), holds an MBA, and is an active board member of the Silicon Valley Product Management Association and Product Camp Silicon Valley.