Can You Get The CISSP Without Experience?
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is an independent information security certification granted by the (ISC)² – International Information System Security Certification Consortium.
If you’re in the IT space, there are lots of reasons why you should obtain CISSP. One of the benefits of this certification is that it’ll provide you with improved IT security skills. Besides, passing a CISSP exam means better job opportunities for you.
No doubt, for you to be eligible to write a CISSP exam, there are certain requirements that you need to meet. One of them is that you need to have at least five years of cumulative paid work experience in two or more domains of the CISSP CBK. But here’s a burning question, is it possible for someone to overlook this requirement and proceed to get CISSP without experience?
Yes, you can get CISSP without experience. There’s no denying that the CISSP certification is specially designed for cybersecurity professionals who have invested at least five years into their careers. However, you can still apply for the job even if your years of experience don’t meet the requirement.
You need to understand that it’s not recommended to take the CISSP exam without experience. However, it’s worth knowing that many people without experience, such as a Master’s degree holder, have done it in the past and had a breakthrough into the security industry. In the rest of this guide, you’ll get more information about the outcome of passing CISSP without experience.
What Happens After Passing the CISSP With Experience?
Before addressing the main question, here is a quick question; what happens after getting CISSP with the required experience level.
As we now know, the CISSP exam is specially designed for professionals in the security space. These professionals need to have a minimum of five years of cumulative paid work experience in two or more domains of the CISSP CBK.
After enrolling for the exam and passing it, the first thing you’ll get is a congratulatory email from the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC²). Shortly after, the ISC² will ask for documentation, which it’ll look at (usually takes about two weeks) before finally sending you a letter stating that you are now officially designated a CISSP.
At this point, you will be able to add the new title to your name. That’s not all; you’ll also be able to start looking for a better-paying job and even get the necessary credibility as a security expert within your organization.
But what happens if you don’t have any experience but end up passing the exam? You’ll find out the answer to this question in the next section of this post.
Can You Get the CISSP Without Experience?
I have said it before, but I’ll repeat it; yes, you can always get the CISSP without experience. If you don’t know, the CISSP exam is a single exam, which is specifically designed for experienced security experts.
If you think you have what it takes to write the exam and pass without the required experience, no one will stop you from enrolling. However, you need to understand that CISSP will be experience-based, meaning that you’ll have to read for months to get familiar with and pass the exam.
So, let’s assume that you’ve enrolled for CISSP and have received your first congratulatory email from ISC². Up next, you’ll have to submit your documents and wait for the regulatory body to run a check-through before confirming you’re CISSP.
Since you have the required experience, the regulatory body won’t confirm you as CISSP until you meet its requirement, stating that “you need to have a minimum of five years cumulative paid work experience in two or more domains of the CISSP CBK.”
The bottom line, you can always enroll and pass the CISSP exam without experience. However, you won’t be able to use the title until you gain the compulsory five years of experience. It’s also important to note that the ISC² will only give you six years to meet the requirement.
However, the good side of getting CISSP without experience is that you can quickly secure entry-level jobs with it in the security industry.
So, once you end up passing the exam, quickly take advantage of the certificate, secure a job in the CISSP CBK domains, and start building up your career.
The CISSP Experience Waiver
As a CISSP candidate, do you know that you can always use a CISSP experience waiver? Well, you need to understand that this waiver won’t exempt you from having the necessary five years of cumulative paid work experience. However, it can help you reduce the years of experience by one year.
With the CISSP experience waiver, you will get a one-year reduction from the experience requirements. However, for you to balance things up, you’ll have to earn a four-year degree or get one of the credentials on the list of ISC², which you can see below.
With that, if you have a four-year degree in security-related courses or have earned one of the many credentials approved by ISC², you’ll only have to gain four years of cumulative paid work experience in two or more domains of the CISSP CBK.
That said, let’s have a quick look below at some of the ISC² approved credentials for the CISSP experience waiver.
- Information Security Management Systems Principal Auditor (IRCA)
- Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
- Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP)
- Certified Penetration Tester (GPEN)
- CERT Certified Computer Security Incident Handler (CSIH)
- Certified Computer Crime Prosecutor
- Cisco Certified Network Professional Security (CCNP Security)
- Certified Business Continuity Planner
- CIW Web Security Associate
- Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
- Advanced Certified Computer Crime Investigator (CCCI)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- CIW Security Analyst
- GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)
- GIAC Certified Firewall Analyst (GCFW)
- CompTIA Security+
- GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst (GCIA)
- Cyber Security Forensic Analyst (CSFA)
- GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)
- Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)
- MCITP Microsoft Certified IT Professional
- Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)