8 Cyber-Security Certifications To Boost Your IT Career

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Cyber-security skills are in high demand across all industries. These certifications can help IT managers boost their security know-how and protect their organizations.

Businesses are scrambling to hire IT professionals with knowledge and experience in cyber-security. A shortage of skilled cyber-security practitioners is leaving organizations across all industries vulnerable to attack.

The risk is severe. Research firm Vanson Bourne was commissioned by Intel Security to survey IT decision-makers in the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Mexico, and Israel. Most of the survey's 775 respondents report a shortage of cyber-security talent; one in three said this makes them key targets for hackers.

Highly technical skills such as secure software development, intrusion detection, and attack mitigation, are among the most valued. Demand for comparatively "soft" skills like collaboration and communication is weaker in the IT security sector than it is in IT overall.

[More on Security: 10 IoT Security Best Practices for IT Pros.]

Part of the skills shortage stems from a lack of adequate training for cyber-security professionals. Many companies require new hires to have at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field; however, a degree doesn't necessary mean an applicant has the right security skills.

Hands-on experience and professional certifications are considered more useful than degree programs for training cyber-security professionals. Some IT decision-makers also consider hacking competitions to be valuable places for skill development.

Professional certifications are valuable whether you're a seasoned cyber-security practitioners or a new entrant to the field. Here, we highlight several options for IT professionals hoping to boost their security skills or to drive skill development within their teams.

The certifications in this roundup come from a variety of organizations and cover a broad range of skills. Have you pursued any of these certifications? Would you suggest any of these to aspiring cyber-security pros? Please share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments section below.

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