Survey: Security Certifications Hot Among IT Pros

CompTIA finds IT pros value and seek new security-related certifications above all other areas.

CSO — Security certifications are the most sought-after area of specialty among information technology professionals, according to a new study from Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). (Check out CSO’s certification directory to see certification options.)


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The survey of more than 1,500 IT workers found that 37 percent intend to pursue a security certification over the next five years. Another 18 percent of IT workers said they will seek ethical hacking certifications during the same time period, while 13 percent identified forensics as their next certification target. The results are included in the CompTIA study ‘IT Training and Certification: Insights and Opportunities.’

“Given the growing reach of security, with threats becoming more pervasive and dangerous and with no business or industry immune to those threats, it makes sense that many IT professionals view this as a must-have for career advancement,” said Terry Erdle, senior vice president, skills certifications, CompTIA.

The results fall in line with a survey conducted by the same organization earlier this year that found more companies are requiring IT security certification. In that research, the number of organizations where IT security certification is required has increased by half and is continuing to grow; 32 percent of employees were required to have certifications in 2008, compared to 20 percent in 2006. Other technology areas where survey respondents said they will seek new certifications over the next five years include green IT, healthcare IT, mobile and software-as-a-service.

Economic advancement and personal growth are key drivers for seeking IT certifications, the CompTIA study also reveals. Eighty-eight percent of certification holders indicated they pursue a certification to enhance their resume. An identical 88 percent said personal growth is a major or minor reason in their decision to pursue a certification.