The Certified Information System Security Professional is the premiere certification of IT security. The average CISSP Salary is $120,000, which is not bad considering you don’t even need a college degree. While you can make six figures with this certification, it requires five years of experience in at least two of the eight security domains.

The 8 Domains

  • 1) Security and Risk Management
  • 2) Asset Security
  • 3) Security Architecture and Engineering
  • 4) Communication and Network Security
  • 5) Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • 6) Security Assessment and Testing
  • 7) Security Operations
  • 8) Software Development Security

The actual exam costs an insane $700. (When I took it back in 2002, it was was $500.) You have 6 hours to complete a test of 250 questions. (This is a ridiculous amount of time, and it’s unlikely you’ll need it. I finished it in 2 hours, granted I was well prepared.) Additionally, you’ll be required to take continuing education classes and have to pay an annual fee for the pleasure of the using the CISSP designation.

So is it worth it? There are several organizations that actually require the certification, so you’ll need it for certain positions. As it’s more challenging than many other certifications, It can be quite satisfying to obtain and does carry more weight than many certifications. If you are lacking experience in the information security realm, be sure to look at a formal training program as it’ll be quite difficult to pass otherwise.

Check out this article for more insight into the CISSP Salary.