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Entry-Level Cybersecurity Certification

Start Your Cybersecurity Career Today

Introducing the ultimate starting point for an exciting and rewarding career in cybersecurity —(ISC)² entry-level cybersecurity certification. You don’t need work experience, just a passion and the drive to enter a challenging and rewarding field, one that protects the world from cyber threats and bad actors.

The entry-level cybersecurity certification enables students, incoming professionals and career changers to build confidence and enter their first cybersecurity role prepared for what’s next.

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Free Entry-level Cybersecurity Certification Ultimate Guide

Learn everything you need to know about preparing for the entry-level cybersecurity certification exam, including:

  • Why Pursue a Career in Cybersecurity?
  • What’s Covered in the Exam?
  • What are My Exam Prep Options?
  • What are the Benefits of Certification?
  • And more!

Exam Registration is Open

Start on your path to a cybersecurity career today. Turn your passion and drive into a rewarding career. No degree or experience required.

Candidates can register for the pilot exam via Pearson VUE. The process is simple:

  1. Create an account with Pearson VUE and log in.
  2. Under Schedule an Exam, click View Exams.
  3. Click Other Exams and select the EL_Pilot: Entry Level Certification Pilot Examination.
  4. Schedule your exam and testing location.

 

Register Now View Exam Outline

(ISC)² has begun the exciting process of exploring the creation of a new certification. To fill the cybersecurity workforce gap, we need to address the workforce shortage facing the industry, especially among entry- and junior-level positions. A foundational cybersecurity certification will help (ISC)² build a pathway to a rewarding career in cybersecurity for many around the world.

As a pilot program participant, you will help us evaluate the effectiveness of the exam and its ability to accurately assess candidates’ grasp of the subject matter (also called domains) on which the exam is based. By passing the pilot exam, you will earn full certification at the conclusion of the pilot program.

The entry-level cybersecurity certification will prove to employers you have the foundational knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for an entry- or junior-level cybersecurity role. It will signal your understanding of fundamental security best practices, policies and procedures, as well as your willingness and ability to learn more and grow on the job.

Sign up below to learn more about the entry-level cybersecurity certification pilot program and available education courses to support your journey to a cybersecurity career.

Sign Up

  • FAQs FAQs
    Q:

    Why is (ISC)² developing an entry-level certification?

    A:

    Research from (ISC)² and others continues to conclude that there is a global shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals. While there are many contributing factors, we believe one solution is to create a certification that enables candidates – including students, young professionals and career-changers – to demonstrate to employers their familiarity with foundational cybersecurity concepts as determined by cybersecurity professionals and practitioners already in the field.

    Q:

    What is a certification pilot program?

    A:

    Before a certification program becomes formally operational, a rigorous process of exploration, research and validation is necessary to ensure the qualification meets its intended purpose, as well as the demanding standards of the cybersecurity community. The pilot program for a potential entry-level certification has entered the phase where we need participants to sit for the pilot exam. We are looking for new entrants to cybersecurity, individuals interested in pursuing a cybersecurity career from another field, as well as existing cybersecurity professionals to take the pilot exam. This will enable us to evaluate the effectiveness of the exam and its ability to accurately assess candidates’ grasp of the subject matter (also called domains) on which the exam is based.

    Q:

    What is the (ISC)² entry-level cybersecurity pilot certification?

    A:

    The new pilot certification program is aimed at helping cybersecurity career pursuers demonstrate their foundational knowledge to employers, proving they can learn and grow on the job.

    Q:

    How much work experience is required to earn this certification?

    A:

    Unlike other (ISC)² certifications, there is no work experience requirement to earn this certification.

    Q:

    When will (ISC)² begin administering the entry-level cybersecurity certification pilot exam?

    A:

    The pilot exam administration period will begin Jan. 31, 2022. Registration for the pilot exam is now open with appointments currently available until May 31, 2022. Please note that the pilot exam administration period may be shortened or extended depending on the number or participants taking the exam. We recommend that any interested candidates schedule their exam as early as possible. Any unused vouchers or undelivered exams that are a part of this pilot will be converted to the regular certification program when it becomes available.

    All standard (ISC)² exam policies and practices, including rescheduling and special accommodations, also apply to the pilot exam program. Learn more here. For questions, please contact ExamAdministration@isc2.org

    Q:

    How do I register for the pilot exam?

    A:

    Candidates can register for the pilot exam via Pearson VUE, the exclusive exam administration provider for (ISC)²,  or they can purchase an online course and exam voucher as they prepare for their step toward a cybersecurity career.

    The process is simple:

    • Create an account with Pearson VUE.
    • Select the certification EL_Pilot: Entry Level Certification Pilot Examination.
    • Schedule your exam and testing location.

    All standard (ISC)² exam policies and practices, including rescheduling and special accommodations, also apply to the pilot exam program. Learn more here. It is recommended that all candidates review these policies and procedures prior to sitting for the pilot exam.

    Q:

    What topics are covered by this exam?

    A:

    There are five domains to this certification, listed below. For further details, visit the Exam Outline.

    • Security Principles
    • Business Continuity (BC), Disaster Recovery (DR) & Incident Response Concepts
    • Access Controls Concepts
    • Network Security
    • Security Operations
    Q:

    How long is the pilot exam?

    A:

    The pilot exam contains 100 test items in a standard, linear exam format. There is a two (2) hour maximum administration time that is inclusive of all optional breaks and information screens.

    All standard (ISC)² exam policies and practices, including rescheduling and special accommodations, also apply to the pilot exam program. Learn more here. It is recommended that all candidates review these policies and procedures prior to sitting for the pilot exam.

    Q:

    Can candidates skip a test item on the exam and answer it later?

    A:

    No. Candidates cannot skip an exam item and return it later.

    Q:

    How will I know if I pass the pilot exam?

    A:

    Since this is a pilot exam program, candidates will not immediately receive results. Pilot exam candidates will receive a notification at the end of their exam that states results will be available in 8 to 12 weeks following the conclusion of the pilot exam period, which allows for a thorough assessment and evaluation of the pilot exam. Candidates will receive notification via the email they used to register for the pilot exam.

    When pilot exam results become available, candidates will receive notice of a pass or fail of the pilot exam. No scores or relative performance related to specific domains will be available for the pilot exam.

    Q:

    How much does the exam cost?

    A:

    The exam fee is U.S. $125.

    Q:

    Is there any education available for candidates pursing the pilot exam?

    A:

    Yes. (ISC)² offers a choice of flexible options for entry-level cybersecurity certification exam preparation that will help you gain the solid foundation of knowledge employers are looking for, from an association they trust.

    Online Instructor-Led
    Participate in live sessions led by an (ISC)² Authorized Instructor and work on your own through an engaging self-paced experience. This 14-hour blended learning experience features:

    • 8 hours of live instruction
    • 6 hours of self-paced content in preparation for live sessions
    • Peer discussions
    • Pre and post-course assessments
    • Knowledge checks
    • Chapter-by-chapter study sheets with key points, terms and definitions
    • Flip cards
    • 180-day access to recorded live sessions and self-paced content

    Online Self-Paced
    Learn at your own pace with recorded review sessions led by an authorized (ISC)² instructor. This is a lecture style learning experience with visual aids and features:

    • Session recordings
    • Practice questions
    • 180-day access to course content

    Exam Only
    Do you already have some level of cybersecurity experience and/or knowledge? Consider purchasing your voucher and going right to the exam.

    Register now

    Questions about training? We’re here to help. Reach out any time.

    When you choose (ISC)² Training, you benefit from:

    • Curriculum developed in collaboration with cybersecurity experts and instructional design experts for effective learning engagement.
    • Online instructor-led courses taught by top-notch (ISC)² Authorized Instructors who are highly experienced and effective at training on technical content.
    • Comprehensive review of all current exam topic areas with a focus on real-world learning activities and scenarios.
    Q:

    Can I take the exam online?

    A:

    The entry-level cybersecurity certification pilot exam will only be available in-person at (ISC)²-authorized Pearson VUE test centers.

    Q:

    Is the pilot exam available worldwide?

    A:

    Candidates will be able to take the entry-level cybersecurity certification pilot exam at any (ISC)²-authorized Pearson VUE test center that offers English language examinations.

    Q:

    Is the exam available in multiple languages?

    A:

    The entry-level cybersecurity certification pilot exam will be available in English only.

    Q:

    Who should consider participating in this pilot certification?

    A:

    Individuals pursuing a career in cybersecurity, which can include recent college graduates or those wishing to change careers.

    Q:

    Why will this certification be different from other foundational certifications?

    A:

    We believe a need still exists in our industry for a certification that is attainable for newcomers and recognizes the growing trend of people entering the cybersecurity workforce without direct IT experience. Employers need confidence that when hiring new entrants into the field they have a solid grasp of the right technical concepts, and a demonstrated aptitude to learn on the job. Moreover, as an (ISC)² certification, the recipient will be an (ISC)² member backed by the world’s largest network of certified cybersecurity professionals helping them continue their professional development and earn new achievements and qualifications throughout their career.

    Q:

    Isn’t the SSCP already an (ISC)² entry-level certification?

    A:

    The SSCP is for IT administrators, managers, directors, network security professionals and others responsible for the hands-on operational security of their organization’s critical assets. It shows they have the advanced technical skills and knowledge to implement, monitor and administer IT infrastructure using security best practices, policies and procedures. The new entry-level certification is intended to be a bridge to a cybersecurity career and future certification attainment for new entrants into the field. The SSCP has work/educational prerequisites that are not required for the entry-level certification.

    Q:

    As an employer, what does it mean if a job candidate has this certification?

    A:

    Those who pass this exam have proven their knowledge, skills and abilities in the fundamentals of cybersecurity. They have a proficient understanding of policies and processes and have demonstrated their commitment to further cybersecurity education and development.

    If you have additional questions about the exam process or registration, please contact ExamAdministration@isc2.org.

    Q:

    What are the requirements to maintain the Entry-Level Cybersecurity Certification after passing the exam?

    A:

    Maintenance requirements for the certification will be announced following the completion of the pilot program.

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