As more organizations move their operations to the cloud for the benefits of improved efficiency, better scalability and faster deployment, a majority (96%) of cybersecurity professionals say they are concerned about public cloud security, according to the 2021 Cloud Security Report by Cybersecurity Insiders. This same report looks at financials, and most surveyed (57%) expect their cloud security budgets to increase in the year ahead.

It comes as no surprise, then, that spikes in demand for cybersecurity professionals specializing in cloud security span the globe. For cybersecurity professionals, the incentives to pursue cloud certification are many — but so are the number of cloud cert options out there. To help narrow the pool, let’s look closely at how two globally recognized, vendor-neutral choices compare: ISC2 Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) vs. CompTIA Cloud+.

What is each cert’s emphasis on cloud security?

This is one of the biggest distinctions among the two certifications. CCSP specifically focuses on cloud security, testing candidates’ skills and knowledge across six cloud security domains. Cloud+ takes more of a general view of the cloud that includes security as one of five domains covered.

CCSP validates your ability to design, manage and secure data, applications, and infrastructure in the cloud, while also following the best practices established by ISC2. Cloud+ certification validates that you have the skills necessary to maintain and optimize cloud infrastructure services.

Comparing Domains

ISC2 CCSP CompTIA Cloud+

1. Cloud Concepts, Architecture and Design

1. Cloud Architecture and Design

2. Cloud Data Security

2. Security

3. Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Security

3. Deployment

4. Cloud Application Security

4. Operations and Support

5. Cloud Security Operations

5. Troubleshooting

6. Legal, Risk and Compliance


What level of professional experience is required?

CCSP candidates must have at least five years of cumulative, paid work experience in information technology, of which three years must be in information security and one year in one or more of the six domains of the ISC2 CCSP Common Body of Knowledge (see table above). A candidate who doesn’t yet have the required experience to become a CCSP may become an Associate of ISC2 after successfully passing the CCSP exam. The Associate of ISC2 will then have six years to earn the experience needed for the CCSP certification.

Cloud+ candidates are recommended but not required to have two to three years in system administration.

What’s the earning potential?

Certification Magazine’s 2021 salary survey ranks CCSP high up at No. 8 on its list of 75 most lucrative certifications with an average draw of $150,400 USD annually. CompTIA Cloud+ also makes the list, though lower down at No. 59 with an average annual salary of $104,230.

Certification and Maintenance Details

ISC2 CCSP CompTIA Cloud+

Length of Exam

3 hours/125 multiple-choice questions

90 minutes/90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions max

Passing Score

700 out of 1,000

750 out of 900

Exam Fee

$599 USD

$338 USD

Annual Maintenance

$135 USD

$50 USD


90 credits over 3 years

50 credits over 3 years

How CCSP Certification Can Help You

Earning the globally recognized CCSP cloud security certification is a proven way to build your career and better secure critical assets in the cloud. CCSP shows you have the advanced technical skills and knowledge to design, manage and secure data, applications and infrastructure in the cloud using best practices, policies and procedures established by the cybersecurity member experts at ISC2.

Achieving CCSP certification provides the added benefit of membership in ISC2, the world’s largest nonprofit association of cybersecurity professionals, more than 150,000 members strong. ISC2 provides members with professional development courses through the Professional Development Institute (PDI); continuing professional education through industry events like Security Congress; technical webinars covering evolving cybersecurity trends; and benefits, such as the ISC2 Community.

Learn more about how CCSP can help you build the skills you need to stand out in cloud security or get your copy of The Ultimate Guide to the CCSP and get started today.