Symmetric and Asymmetric Encryption

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Bob Salmans
Nugget trainer since 2020
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(ISC)² SSCP – Systems Security Certified Practitioner FAQs: Cost, Training, Value

Is the SSCP from ISC2 worth it?

Yes, depending on where you are in your career path, the SSCP is worth it by proving your foundational familiarity with the technical skills and practical knowledge necessary for implementing and monitoring IT security infrastructures. Whether you're trying to break into the cybersecurity career field or establish your credentials as a competent security practitioner, the (ISC)2 SSCP certification is a strong foundation.

Is SSCP an entry-level cert?

No, although the SSCP is a very early-career certification, its experience requirements and prerequisites prevent it from being accurately called an entry-level credential. One year of validated work experience in security operations and administration, cryptography, risk identification and monitoring, or one of three other categories of cybersecurity work is needed to qualify for the SSCP. That sort of experience can't be gotten anywhere but on the job, which is why the SSCP isn't quite an entry-level cert.

How much does the SSCP cost?

The SSCP exam itself costs $249 to attempt. There are no mandatory prerequisites or courses that you must take before qualifying for the exam, so in most cases $249 will be the total cost of earning the SSCP. The SSCP exam is a 3-hour, multiple choice exam with 125 questions, and you'll want to be amply prepared for it, so you may want to add the cost of training to the $249 you'll pay for the exam.

Does the (ISC)2 SSCP certification expire?

Yes, the SSCP certification from (ISC)2 is good for three years from the date you earn it. All (ISC)2 certifications have a three-year shelf life, and if you want to maintain your SSCP beyond that, you'll need to earn and submit to (ISC)2 proof of 60 continuing professional education (CPE) credits. (ISC)2 publishes a CPE handbook that details what qualifies for CPE credit for the SSCP and how to submit them.

Why should I take SSCP training?

You should take SSCP training for one of two reasons: either to help you prepare for the (ISC)2 certification, or to familiarize yourself with the basics of every aspect of cybersecurity. The (ISC)2 credential is a respected way to signal to employers your level of knowledge. This course covers all seven domains of cybersecurity knowledge which the SSCP cert is based on, which means after this course you'll be an experienced and practiced cybersecurity professional.
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