The field of cyber security is growing every year by leaps and bounds as companies and other organizations realize how imperative it is to protect their networks and data. According to the World Economic Forum, worldwide costs inflicted by cyber crime are expected to double from $3 trillion in 2015 to $6 trillion in 2021. As companies struggle to keep up with the rising threat of cyber crime, they’re having one major problem: they can’t find enough qualified candidates.

That’s right, cyber security specialists are so in demand that the number of open positions has outstripped the number of qualified applicants by as much as 2 to 1 in some industries. So what’s holding applicants back? About one-third of information security jobs require a cyber security certification compared to 23 percent of all IT jobs. In the U.S. alone, some 50,000 vacant jobs require the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification. But the number of certificate holders is only about 73,500, according to the Information Security System Certification Consortium, and most of them are already working.

Are you considering a career in cyber security, but not sure where to start? LeaderQuest offers multiple cyber security training programs that can prepare you to enter this exciting industry. Take a look at the four programs below, and you’ll be able to choose one that’s ideal for where you are now and what you’d like to do with your career.

Don’t have any experience in IT? Then the programs below won’t be a good fit. To get started in IT, we recommend that you take our Computer User Support Specialist or our Network Support Specialist program.

Information Security Analyst

Certifications: Comptia Security+, CND, and CEH
Base Training Period: 15 days
Skill Level: Intermediate
Recommended Experience: CompTIA Network+ and two years of experience in IT administration with a security focus
Ideal for: If you have Network+, some experience under your belt, and you’d like to massively expand your job opportunities and earning potential, Information Security Analyst could be the perfect program for you.
Roles you’ll be qualified for: Cyber Security Specialist, Information Security Analyst, Information Security Auditor, and Site Security Administrator

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If you’ve got some experience in entry-level IT and want to take your career to the next level, this program is for you. Security+ will teach you the basics of threat management, identity management, security systems, security risk identification and mitigation, and more. Building on this information, Certified Network Defender (CND) will teach you how to protect, detect, and respond to network attacks in real-world situations. With an in-depth understanding of how network traffic functions, you’ll be able to secure your network and identify the signs of an infiltrator. See below for more information on CND.

By obtaining your Certified Ethical Hacker designation, you’ll not only be prepared to secure networks and look for vulnerabilities; you’ll be an active part of the mitigation and remediation process. You’ll be able to strengthen your network through rigorous penetration testing and stop cyberattacks in their tracks.

Certified Network Defender

Certifications: CND
Base Training Period: 5 days
Skill Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: CompTIA Security+
Ideal for: If you’ve completed Security+ and want to keep building your resume and knowledge base, Certified Network Defender can be completed in one week and is a HUGE step up from Security+.
Roles you’ll be qualified for: Network Administrator, Network Security Administrator, Network Security Engineer, Network Defense Technician, and Security Analyst

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Certified Network Defender (CND) is a vendor-neutral, hands-on, instructor-led comprehensive network security certification program created by EC-Council. This tactical network security training course prepares network administrators to defend their networks from intrusion. Through this course, you’ll gain a hands-on understanding of data transfer, network technologies, and network software needed to secure a network.

If you would enjoy taking a hands-on role in the defense and security of your network, this program could be perfect for you. CEH is the natural next step after attaining this certification, and if you’re interested in having a good depth of technical knowledge when it comes to network defense, you may want to sign up for our Information Security Analyst program (above).

CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner

Certifications: CASP
Base Training Period: 5 days
Skill Level: Advanced
Prerequisites: 5-10 years of IT experience or CEH/Security+ certifications
Ideal for: Getting CASP certified is ideal for individuals who have 5-10 years of IT experience and are interested in cyber security. Unlike the CISSP certification, another important cert in the cyber security world, CASP’s focus is hands-on and technical. This is ideal for people who AREN’T interested in management.
Roles you’ll be qualified for: Network Security Engineer, Information Security Specialist, Information Security Auditor, Security Analyst, Security Architect, and Site Security Administrator

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If you’re interested in assessing and managing risk, securing networks, preventing cyber attacks, and even getting inside the mind of a hacker to make sure that a company’s data is safe as possible, CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) could be right for you. CASP is often compared to CISSP, but that’s like comparing apples to oranges. If you’re looking for a career in IT management, CISSP might be the better choice. If not, CASP can level up your career at a fraction of the cost.

For more on CASP, check out our blog, “What is the CASP Certification and is it Right For You?

Cyber Security Specialist

Certifications: Security+, CEH, CHFI
Base Training Period: 15 days
Skill Level: Advanced
Prerequisites: Knowledge of TCP/IP, Information systems and security background, and 12 months of experience in networking technologies
Ideal for: If you’ve completed A+ and Network+, or have similar job experience, you’re ready to take on this ambitious program.
Roles you’ll be qualified for: Cyber Security Specialist, Information Security Specialist, Information Security Auditor, Site Security Administrator, and Computer Forensics Investigator

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If you enjoy detective work and want to get inside the mind of a hacker, this is the perfect program for you. Security+ and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) will provide a thorough understanding of the attack vectors and methods of hackers, as detailed above. By adding the Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) certification to this mix, you’ll be able to track the movements of intruders in your network and systems and report on their activities and methods.

Does the idea of doing penetration testing on corporate networks pique your interest? Corporations understand the need for strong security better than anybody, and they are looking to hire experienced cyber security specialists who can protect them from cyberattacks and identify what went wrong. The mix of certifications in this program will perfectly position you for these kinds of opportunities.


Are you ready for a career in cyber security?

If you’ve got some experience in IT and are ready to take a huge step forward in your career, we can help! Our advisors can aid you in choosing a program that will advance your career and increase your earning potential in just a few weeks.

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