(ISC)² announced plans to pilot a new entry-level cybersecurity certification exam as part of its portfolio of industry qualifications. Commencing with a Job Task Analysis (JTA) survey that helps to map the domains that will be covered by the exam, the entry-level certification will provide new entrants to the field, as well as career changers, with clear and attainable professional development and career pathways from day one.
The new qualification will support cybersecurity career ambitions and help shape a long-term professional development framework that leads individuals to experience-driven certifications as they progress in the workforce.
As a foundational certification, it will play a role in helping employers, educators and governments close the cybersecurity workforce shortage by narrowing the gap between entering the workforce and being able to verify and advance skills through independent and globally recognised industry qualifications.
Additionally, the new entry-level qualification will provide more clarity for candidates who aspire to obtain the CISSP credential.
“(ISC)² certifications today deliver immense benefits for the experienced practitioners that earn them and the organisations they work for. We are now leveraging that collective experience to enable even more people to enter one of the world’s most in-demand and understaffed career fields,” said Dr. Casey Marks, chief qualifications officer, (ISC)².
“This approach underlines our commitment to making cybersecurity a more accessible, inclusive and diverse profession. This certification will give employers the confidence that newer entrants into the sector have a solid grasp of the right technical, ethical and operational practices on which to build and learn.”
Call for cybersecurity professionals’ participation
The pilot program for the new qualification will follow the conclusion of the JTA survey of cybersecurity practitioners, which is open through October 20, 2021. (ISC)² is requesting that all cybersecurity professionals – whether they have earned an ((ISC)² certification or not – participate in the survey to help validate the knowledge, skills and abilities on which the exam will be based.
The findings from this survey will inform the creation of an outline for the (ISC)² entry level certification examination, to help validate the necessary fundamental skills and abilities cybersecurity practitioners deem necessary for those at the earlier stages of their cybersecurity career journey.
There is a clear need and demand for a recognised and valued cybersecurity certification that is attainable for newcomers and recognises the growing trend of people entering the workforce without substantial prior IT experience. The recent (ISC)² Cybersecurity Career Pursuers Study revealed that half of newer cybersecurity professionals (those with less than three years of experience) did not come from an IT background.
With this qualification, (ISC)² will focus on verifying core knowledge and capabilities. It will enable practitioners to demonstrate to employers their familiarity with foundational cybersecurity concepts and essential best practices, setting them on a pathway to more strategic, experience-driven roles and certifications over time.
The timeline for the development of the new certification will be forthcoming.