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Cybersecurity Certifications for Beginners

In the tech world, cybersecurity is growing fast. There’s a big need for professionals with the right skills in cybersecurity. These certifications show that you know a lot about keeping data safe online. And, even though a job might not demand a certification, having one can help you move up and make more money.

This guide will tell you about the best cybersecurity certifications for beginners. It’ll share what you need to get started, how long it usually takes, what it costs, and why it’s worth it. If you want to start a career in cybersecurity or boost your current skills, you’re in the right place. We’ve got everything you need to decide wisely on your career path.

Key Takeaways

  • Cybersecurity certifications show you have the right knowledge. They can help you move up in this fast-growing sector.
  • Jobs in cybersecurity might not always ask for a certification. But having one can help you find better jobs and make more money.
  • This guide highlights the top cybersecurity certifications for beginners. It will tell you about the costs, what you need to start, and the perks of each certification.
  • Getting a cybersecurity certification can lead to many job opportunities. You could start in security or aim for higher positions in cybersecurity.
  • Studying for a cybersecurity exam takes a lot of time and work. But it’s worth it for the chance to grow your career and salary.

Introduction to Cybersecurity Certifications

Cybersecurity certification shows you’re skilled in a specific part of cybersecurity work. You must pass an exam to get certified. Sometimes, you also need hands-on experience.

Cybersecurity Certification vs. Cybersecurity Degree

Deciding between cybersecurity certifications for beginners and full degrees in this field can be hard. Certifications take less time and money, but some jobs need degrees. Both have their pros and cons.

Benefits of Earning a Cybersecurity Certification

Getting a cybersecurity certification can help at any career level. It opens more job doors, can mean more money, and makes changing jobs easier. You might also get promoted faster.

Level up your cybersecurity skills! 🔐 Get certified and stand out in this booming industry.

CompTIA Security+

Cost and Renewal

The cost of a stand-alone CompTIA Security+ exam voucher is $392. To renew the certification, you need 50 continuing education units (CEUs) over three years.


No prerequisites are needed to take the CompTIA Security+ exam.


CompTIA Security+ is known globally. It teaches core cybersecurity skills. It is not tied to any specific brand. You’ll face up to 90 questions, a mix of multiple choice and performance-based, in 90 minutes. To pass, you need a score of at least 750 out of 900.

Should I Get This Certification?

If you want a strong foundation in cybersecurity, CompTIA Security+ is for you. It’s good for a range of security jobs and is respected worldwide. The U.S. Department of Defense sees its value, and it opens doors to many job opportunities. Still, it’s said to focus more on theories than hands-on job skills. Keeping it up to date means working on it constantly.

Level up your cybersecurity skills! 🔐 Get certified and stand out in this booming industry.

Certified in Cybersecurity (CC)

The (ISC)2 Certified in Cybersecurity (CC) exam is free for the first million people who sign up. The exam voucher is also free. After passing, a $50 Annual Maintenance Fee (AMF) is needed for Certified in Cyber security (CC) renewal.

No prerequisites are needed for the (ISC)2 Certified in Cyber Security (CC) exam.

The (ISC)2 CC exam tests basic knowledge for those starting in cyber security, focusing on security principles, business continuity, and security operations. It features 100 multiple-choice questions. You need to score 700 out of 1000 within two hours to pass.

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) ANSI

Cost and Renewal

Getting the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), ANSI certification costs between $2,199 to $3,499. The exam voucher by itself is $1,199. Each year, you pay $80 to renew your certification.


To be eligible for the CEH test, you must complete the needed training or have two years of work experience.


The CEH ANSI is a vital credential for anyone looking to start as an ethical hacker or in IT security. To pass, you need to answer 125 multiple-choice questions across nine areas in under four hours.

Should I Get This Certification?

This certification is very well thought out and appears in job listings, particularly for government jobs. But it’s quite expensive, and it only tests your knowledge in a multiple-choice format.

Cisco CyberOps Associate (CBROPS)

Cost and Renewal

The training package, which includes an exam voucher, costs $995 for the Cisco CyberOps Associate (CBROPS). If you prefer to buy just the exam voucher, it’s $300. To keep your certification current, you need to pass another exam or collect 30 educational credits. This happens every three years.


For the Cisco CyberOps Associate (CBROPS) exam, no prior requirements are necessary. You can take it anytime you’re ready.


Getting certified as a Cisco CyberOps Associate is perfect for those aiming for a cyber security career. This certification proves you understand how to keep networks safe. The exam lasts 120 minutes and has around 100 questions. You’ll answer multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, and fill-in-the-blank questions. They cover topics like security and analyzing internet activities. To pass, you need a score between 750 and 850.

Should I Get This Certification?

The Cisco CyberOps Associate certificate focuses on the day-to-day work in cyber security, especially in Security Operations Centers (SOCs). It’s great for jobs directly in cyber security and boosts your resume with Cisco’s respected name. If you’re interested in working in a SOC, this is key. Yet, if your goal is a different area of cyber security, there might be better-known certifications. It depends on your career plans.

GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)

The GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) certification is well-respected in cyber security. It covers key security topics. This cert is for beginners in cyber security to get a good grounding. It covers things like access controls, cryptography, and wireless security.

Cost and Renewal

The GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) exam voucher is $979. Candidates need to pass the exam or get 36 CPE credits and pay $479 every four years to renew.


You don’t need prerequisites for the GSEC exam. This means anyone can show they know infosec well.


The GSEC exam is open-book and has 106-180 questions. You get 4-5 hours to finish and need at least 73% to pass. The test can be done online or at a Pearson VUE center.

Should I Get This Certification?

The GSEC is highly valuable for those starting in cyber security. It’s respected for its thorough security coverage. For beginners or those wanting a career in infosec, it’s a great first step.

Cyber Security Certifications for Beginners

This section looks at several cyber security certifications for newbies, such as CompTIA Security+ and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) ANSI. It talks about what each one covers and the benefits. This can help you pick which certification matches your career dreams and skill level.

The cyber security certifications for beginners we talk about here are great first steps in cyber security. They give a general understanding that’s not tied to a single company. Achieving these certifications can show you know your stuff. This can lead to more job chances and better pay as you climb the career ladder.

CertificationCostRequirementsKey Details
CompTIA Security+$392 exam voucherNo prerequisitesCovers baseline cybersecurity skills; vendor-neutral; 90-minute exam with 750/900 passing score
(ISC)2 Certified in Cybersecurity (CC)Free exam, $50 annual feeNo prerequisitesValidates foundational cybersecurity knowledge; 100 multiple-choice questions, 2-hour exam, 700/1000 passing score
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) ANSI$2,199 – $3,499 training with exam2 years of experience or required trainingEntry-level security certification for ethical hacking and penetration testing; 125 multiple-choice questions, 4-hour exam
Cisco CyberOps Associate (CBROPS)$995 training with exam, $300 examNo prerequisitesFocuses on cybersecurity operations; 95-105 multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, and lab questions, 120-minute exam, variable 750-850/1000 passing score
GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)$979 examNo prerequisitesValidates core security knowledge and skills; open-book format, 106-180 multiple-choice and performance-based questions, 4-5 hour exam, 73% passing score

For beginners, there’s a certification out there that’ll fit your interests in cyber security. Whether you want a general start or something specific like ethical hacking or cyber security operations. Getting one or more of these best cyber security certifications for beginners shows you’re serious about your career. It can help you stand out to employers.

Certification Organizations and Timelines

Certification Organizations

The world of cyber security certifications is filled with variety. CompTIA, ISC2, EC-Council, and ISACA stand out. These cyber security certification organizations cater to all levels of expertise. They offer helpful study materials and exams to aid certification efforts.

Certification Timelines

Picking a cyber security certification means understanding the time involved. A candidate might study for a few weeks to several months. This depends on the certification they choose. Knowing these timelines helps match career plans with certification goals.

Cybersecurity CertificationTypical Preparation TimeExam DurationExperience Requirement
CompTIA Security+4-8 weeks90 minutesNone
(ISC)² Certified in Cybersecurity (CC)2-4 weeks120 minutesNone
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)2-3 months4 hours2 years of experience or mandatory training
Cisco CyberOps Associate (CBROPS)4-8 weeks120 minutesNone
GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)6-12 weeks4-5 hoursNone

Certifications vs. Certificates

It’s key to know the difference between cyber security certifications and cyber security certificates. Cyber security certifications show someone has reached professional standards. They come from groups like ISC2, CompTIA, ISACA, and EC-Council. Employers in cybersecurity highly respect these certifications.

Cybersecurity certificates mean you have finished a group of courses. These are usually from schools or online programs. Beginners find certificates helpful. They show basic knowledge without needing as much experience as certifications.

Experienced pros in cybersecurity often aim for certifications. This helps show off their skills to potential bosses. So, the choice between certificates and certifications depends on where you are in your cybersecurity career.

Cybersecurity CertificationsCybersecurity Certificates
Awarded by independent organizationsAwarded by educational institutions
Validate professional expertiseDemonstrate course completion
Often require hands-on experienceTypically focus on foundational knowledge
Highly valued by employersSuitable for beginners in the field

Knowing the difference between certifications and certificates is vital when thinking about your cybersecurity career. Certifications can help you stand out and grab better opportunities. But if you’re starting, certificates lay a strong base for your future in this fast-moving field.

List of Academic Cybersecurity Certification Programs

Are you looking to join academic cybersecurity certification programs? Lots of options are available across the United States. These programs let you pick up specific skills and knowledge needed in cybersecurity. They are faster and cheaper than getting a full degree.

InstitutionProgramCreditsCost Per CreditDeliveryLink
Ivy Tech Community CollegeCyber Security Technical CertificateN/A$145 (in-state)$170 (out-of-state)CampusLearn More
Lindfield CollegeCyber Security and Digital Forensics CertificateN/A$5,940 per semesterCampusLearn More
St. Phillip’s CollegeInformation Technology Cybersecurity Specialist CertificateN/A$215 (in-state)$466 (out-of-state)CampusLearn More
Rowan Cabarrus Community CollegeSecurity Essentials CertificateN/A$76 (in-state)$268 (out-of-state)CampusLearn More
University of ColoradoCybersecurity CertificateN/A$330 (in-state)$509 (out-of-state)OnlineLearn More
Minnesota State and Technical CollegeCybersecurity CertificateN/A$165 (in-state and out-of-state)OnlineLearn More

Looking into academic cybersecurity certification programs or cybersecurity certificate programs is a smart move. They can give you the skills and knowledge needed in a cybersecurity career. These programs save you money and are quicker than a full degree.

Be sure to think about the program’s content, how it’s taught, and the cost. This way, you’ll find the perfect program to start your cybersecurity career. The industry is growing fast, and you can be a part of it with the right education.


Cybersecurity certifications are key for showing what you know and moving up in the field. They offer a wide variety, from general ones like CompTIA Security+ to specialized choices like Cisco CyberOps Associate. With the conclusion of cybersecurity certifications for beginners, you see how there’s something for everyone.

Starting or moving forward in cybersecurity? The right certification can make big differences. It can land you better jobs, more money, and prove you’re really good at what you do. Even though getting certified takes time and effort, it’s worth it over time.

The need for cybersecurity experts is growing fast, with jobs increasing by 10% yearly up to 2027. Being certified opens up a world of opportunities in this bustling field. It can really boost your career and show you’re ready for bigger challenges.

author avatar
Zahid Hussain
I'm Zahid Hussain, Content writer working with multiple online publications from the past 2 and half years. Beside this I have vast experience in creating SEO friendly contents and Canva designing experience. Research is my area of special interest for every topic regarding its needs.
Zahid Hussain
Zahid Hussain
I'm Zahid Hussain, Content writer working with multiple online publications from the past 2 and half years. Beside this I have vast experience in creating SEO friendly contents and Canva designing experience. Research is my area of special interest for every topic regarding its needs.


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