Share this post Which ones are the most important? Which ones should you earn first? Are they really necessary?
Answer to the last question is simple: IT certifications are required. Some companies will hire candidates without certifications, but only if they have demonstrated skills and experience. However, most companies won’t consider applications that don’t possess at least entry-level credentials. The question is: Where do you start?

There are many opinions on which credentials are best for people who have some IT experience but are not yet qualified for advanced credentials. The Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) is one of the best options. The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2) offers the SCCP. It is often compared with the CompTIA Security+ credential, and is considered the precursor to the highly sought-after Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
The SSCP certification demonstrates an IT professional’s technical skills in implementing and monitoring IT infrastructure. It also relates to the organization’s information safety policies. The CISSP credential shows a practitioner’s theoretical knowledge. However, the SCCP certifies that they have the practical, hands on experience required to manage infrastructure security. The SCCP is more hands-on than the CompTIA Security+. It requires at least one year of security work experience, while Security+ only requires that candidates have this experience.
SCCP in Depth
The SCCP, like most certifications requires that candidates pass an exam. This exam covers seven key areas according to (ISC).
Access Controls
Malicious Codes and Activities
Monitoring and Analysis
Networks and Communications
Recovery, Response and Risk
Security Operations and Administration
Although work experience and knowledge are important for passing the test, most people complete an SSCP training program to prepare them for the exam. The exam consists of 125 questions and must be completed in three hours. Passing score is 700 on a scale from 0-1,000. Candidates must have at least 60 credits of continuing education credits each three years in order to keep their credential current.
It is important to remember that the SCCP experience requirement is strictly enforced. After passing the exam, you will need to complete the endorsement process. This involves two people signing statements attesting that you have full-time, paid work experience. It is essential that you have a paid, full-time job. Experience gained through volunteer work or internships in information security does not count towards the SCCP experience requirements.
If you lack experience, (ISC2) will allow you to take and pass the exam. It will also grant you the Associate of IISC(2) Certification designation, and two additional years to complete the endorsement process.
SCCP’s Benefits
The SCCP credential has the most obvious benefit: higher earning potential. Payscale reports that the average SCCP holder is a one- to four-year veteran in IT and makes between $40,000 to $88,000 annually. The SCCP’s highest-paid employees are those with a master’s in a related field.
SCCP holders have more career options than just a higher salary. The SCCP fulfills the Department of Defense requirements regarding security credentials for information security professionals working for the DoD or subcontractor. Many private companies are following the DoD’s lead by requiring IT certifications from applicants before they apply for jobs.
You can also keep up with the latest developments in the security industry by completing continuing education requirements. This will ensure you are always ahead of the curve when it comes to new challenges and solutions.
The SCCP will allow you to feel more confident about your work day and secure in the fact that you know what to do and how to do it. You are already on the path towards obtaining more advanced certifications like the CISSP and reaching your career goals.