CISSP vs. Security+: Which is the Best Cybersecurity Certification?

CISSP vs. Security+: Which is the Best Cybersecurity Certification?

As the business world becomes increasingly connected with digital transformation, interconnected networks, IoT, and more, data breaches and cyber attacks also increase correspondingly. Global organizations are looking for security professionals to protect their computer systems, networks, data, applications, and IT infrastructure. 

According to the ICS2 report, the cybersecurity workforce gap will increase by 26.2% year-over-year. The shortage of the right talent is higher in industries like aerospace, government, education, transportation, and insurance. 

More than 70% of organizations realize that they don’t have enough security professionals. Companies need security experts, and the industry has numerous job opportunities. But how can you qualify to work in such a thriving industry? By obtaining cybersecurity certifications, of course! 

Among the various cybersecurity certifications, the two most common and industry-recognized certifications are CISSP and CompTIA Security+. In this blog, we give you a detailed comparison of CISSp vs. Security+ to help you choose the right career path for you. 

What is CISSP Certification?

The International Information System Security Certification Consortium ICS2 administers the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam. This certification exam qualifies cybersecurity professionals and recognizes their competencies in multiple security domains. It is an internationally recognized certification for cybersecurity experts. It is an advanced certification program more suited for high-level cybersecurity professionals with several years of experience in the cybersecurity industry. 


Certification DetailsCovers a wide range of security topics in 8 domains covering risk management, security operations, cryptography, architecture/design, access control, security testing, authentication and engineering, network security, etc.
Eligibility Requirements5 years of full-time work experience in two or more domains listed in the ICS2  Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) 
Department of Defense (DoD) RecognitionCISSP satisfies baseline requirements for IAWorkforce System Architecture and Engineering (IASAE) levels I and II as per DoD 8570/8140
Exam DifficultyVery difficult and suitable for experienced cybersecurity professionals
Job OpportunitiesOne of the top 5 highest paying jobs with an average earning potential of $158,191
Cost $749
RecertificationEvery three years after showing proof of earning 120 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits

What is Comptia Security+ Certification?

CompTIA Security+ certification provides all baseline skills necessary for important cybersecurity roles like systems administrator. It is one of the highly sought-after certifications for professionals with a technology background. 

If you want to work in the cybersecurity industry, you can get started with CompTIA Security+, as it doesn’t have any prerequisite conditions to take the exam. 

Certification DetailsTests candidates on multiple topics like network security, vulnerabilities and threats, compliance, operations, data, application, and host security, identity management and access control
Eligibility RequirementsNo prerequisites
Department of Defense (DoD) RecognitionCompTIA Security+ certification satisfies baseline requirements for IAT Level II and IAM Level I job roles as per DoD 8140/8750
Exam DifficultyFairly difficult and suitable for senior-level cybersecurity professionals 
Job OpportunitiesOne of the top-paying jobs with an average earning potential of $80,600
Cost $381
Recertification Renew by earning Continual Education Units (CEU) or by completing advanced security courses

Cissp vs. Security+: Exam and Requirements 

When you compare CISSP vs. CompTIA Security+, one of the basic factors you must consider is the examination format and requirements. Based on your current skills, you can prepare for any one of the courses to secure a high-paying job in the industry. 

ParametersCISSPCompTIA Security+
Exam Duration4 hours3 hours
No of questions100-150100 questions
Passing score700 out of 1000750 out of 900
DomainsSecurity and Risk ManagementAsset SecuritySecurity Architecture and EngineeringCommunications and Network SecurityIdentity and Access ManagementSecurity Assessment and TestingSecurity OperationsSoftware Development SecurityAttacks, threats, and vulnerabilities Architecture and design ImplementationOperations and incident responseGovernance, risk, and compliance
Department of Defense DoD recognitionMeets the criteria of DoD directive 8570.1M for IAT Level III, IAM Level II, IAM Level III, IASAE Level I, IASAE Level II, IASAE Level III, and CND-SP Manager.Accepted as per 8570 DoD directive for IAT Level II and IAM Level I.

Cissp vs. Security+: Salary

When determining your career path, another significant parameter you must consider for CISSP certification vs. Security+ is the salary offered for the role. This will help you determine whether putting in the effort necessary to obtain the certification is worth it. 

ParametersCISSPCompTIA Security+
Salary TrendsAverage salary of $125KAverage salary of $83K
Job OpportunitiesChief information security officerSecurity systems administratorInformation assurance analystIT security engineerSenior IT security consultantSenior information security assurance consultantInformation security assurance analystSystems administratorSecurity administratorSecurity specialistSecurity EngineerNetwork administratorJunior IT auditor/penetration testerSecurity consultant

CISSP vs. Security+: Career Opportunities

Both CISSP and Security+ certifications offer better-paying career roles and advancing opportunities in the cybersecurity career. 


CISSP Career Roles

Cyber Security Engineer$84k – $161k
Information Security Manager$91k – $160k
Chief Information Security Officer$123k – $241k
Security Engineer$79k – $153k
Cyber Security Analyst$69k – $140k
Information Technology (IT) Director$93k – $185k
Information Security Analyst$66k – $138k

CompTIA Security+ Career Roles

Systems Administrator$50k – $99k
Cyber Security Analyst$56k – $116k
Network Engineer$57k – $113k
Information Security Analyst$55k – $109k
Cyber Security Engineer$70k – $140k
Information Technology (IT) Manager$59k – $128k
Security Engineer$66k – $137k

CISSP vs. Security+: Continuing Education Units

Candidates who pass the CISSP exam should take measures to renew their certification every three years. To get your certification renewed, you should earn 120 credits for Continuing Professional Education (CPE). Some of the ways in which you can earn these credits are by attending conferences and events, being an active member of the association, completing college courses, publishing books, etc. 

Security+ certification renewal is possible by earning 50 Continuing Education Units (CEU). You may earn all of the CEUs by completing advanced CompTIA certifications. You can simply attend a single training course, including the exam, to renew your certificate. You can also partake in multiple activities, like conferences, webinars, etc., that allow you to earn different CEUs. 

CISSP vs. Security+: Key Differences

The CISSP vs. Security Plus table view provides a quick comparison of key differences between the two certifications:

CISSPCompTIA Security+
Difficult exam suited for experienced professionals One of the 1st certifications for cybersecurity professionals
Demonstrate 5 years of experience in the cybersecurity industry No experience needed
Proficiency expected in 8 domainsProficiency expected in 5 domains
Can take the exam only in person at the Pearson VUE testing centerCan take the exam from home or in person at Pearson VUE testing center
The CAT exam does not allow you to skip questions Can flag questions during the exam to come back to later
Get results a few days after the examGet results almost immediately after the exam
Requires $125 or more to maintain (ISC)2 membershipRequires $0 membership fee
Renewal requires 120 CPEs and considerable investmentRenewal requires 50 CEUs

CISSP and Security+ Exam Preparation Tips

For CISSP Exam

As the CISSP exam is one of the harder certification exams, you need to have the utmost concentration to study and clear the exam on your first attempt. Some of the tips that can help you pass the exam are:

  • Understand CISSP exam domains thoroughly
  • Use multiple study resources and take advantage of CBK resources
  • Sign up for preparatory courses and train with tutors
  • Take multiple practice tests and mockup exams to get used to the CAT model of the exam
  • Concentrate more on weaker areas and learn multiple times to understand the concepts better 

For Security+ Exam

The CompTIA Security+ exam is a great choice for individuals who want to start their professional careers as cybersecurity specialists. Irrespective of your education and technological background, you can get started in the security industry with Security+ certification. 

It is a foundational examination that covers all the basic concepts without getting into too many details. Some of the tips that can help you clear Security+ certification on our first attempt are:

  • Find learning material that works for you
  • Don’t lose momentum once you start learning the domains
  • Schedule the exam right away and start preparing
  • Learn all acronyms
  • Practice quizzes to prepare for the exam
  • Start with performance-based questions and come to MCQs later

Choosing the Right Certification for You

Candidates who are looking for a lucrative career in the cybersecurity industry often worry about the right course to sign up for to kick-start their careers. When it comes to CISSp vs. Security+, you must first evaluate what you are looking for in the security jobs. If you already have a cybersecurity degree, you can start working in the industry in entry-level positions. However, getting Security+ certification will help you to demand more salary and look for better jobs. Professionals who already have experience in the security industry can get started with CISSP.


If you are looking to transition from another career to cybersecurity, you have to consider multiple factors to make the right choice ideal for you.

Goals and Aspirations

The certification course should align with your goals and aspirations. If you are looking for entry-level roles, Security+ certification is much more suited for you. You can understand basic security and principles more easily by preparing for this exam. 

Experienced professionals who are looking for career advancement or more senior roles in the cybersecurity industry will benefit from CISSP certification. It is ideal for security manager roles as you will learn advanced security concepts. 

Assess Skills and Experience

Security+ is ideal for beginners with no industry experience. So, even if you don’t have the necessary security competencies, you can still confidently sign up for the Security Plus course.

On the other hand, CISSP is only for individuals with a minimum of 5 years of experience. If you have a Bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or other allied industry, you can take the CISSP examination once you demonstrate four years of experience.

The job outlook for cybersecurity jobs is good because, according to BLS, the job growth for security jobs like Information Security Analysts is expected to reach 32% from 2022 to 2032. Before pursuing any educational course to improve your employability, you have to analyze the industry trends and choose a career path with a good growth rate. Emerging cybersecurity technologies allow security experts to use advanced protection protocols to protect enterprise and cloud IT environments. Also, continuous education is important for cybersecurity professionals. 

Getting CompTIA Security+ is generally considered the first step for a cybersecurity professional. After gaining some years of experience, you can upskill with CISSP. The CISSP skills will always be in demand because of the predicted growth in the cybersecurity job market. 

Seek Advice from Professionals and Mentors

There are numerous certification courses to choose from for cybersecurity professionals. If you want to apply for senior roles, getting CompTIA Security+ is a better choice, even though the exam is tough compared to other similar examinations. 

The best way to move forward is to get advice from mentors and security professionals who can show you the right path to a cybersecurity career path. Paying for memberships such as ISC2  will be useful for networking with domain and industry experts. 

You will also get access to exclusive conferences, events, and webinars that will help you stay updated on the latest industry trends. 


Cybersecurity certifications are not a one-size-fits-all curriculum. The specialization in cybersecurity differs based on your skills and interests. Sometimes, all you need is CompTIA Security+ to get into the industry and then upskill based on the requirements of the job roles. 

In some cases, you can expand your job opportunities and increase your employability dramatically with a CISSP certification that will set your resume apart. Before choosing CISSP vs. CompTIA Security+, analyze your skills, explore the latest industry trends, consult with professionals, and then decide on the right certification course for you. 

With high levels of growth in the cybersecurity job market, you can easily become qualified for strategic and critical roles that also pay you well. CCS Learning Academy provides excellent training for essential cybersecurity certifications such as CISSP, CompTIA Security+, and more. 

Enroll for a preparatory course of your choice, learn from experts, get hands-on training, and pass your exam effortlessly.


Q1. What is the CISSP certification, and what does it entail?

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is a globally recognized credential for experienced cybersecurity professionals. It covers a wide range of security domains, including security and risk management, asset security, security engineering, and more.

Q2. What is the Security+ certification, and how does it differ from CISSP?

The Security+ certification is an entry-level certification offered by CompTIA. It’s suitable for individuals starting their cybersecurity careers, whereas CISSP is for experienced professionals. Security+ focuses on fundamental security concepts, including network security, threats, and risk management.

Q3. Which certification is better for beginners in cybersecurity?

For beginners, Security+ is a great starting point. It provides foundational knowledge and prepares individuals for more advanced certifications like CISSP once they gain experience.

Q4. What are the prerequisites for the CISSP and Security+ certifications?

CISSP requires at least five years of professional experience in the information security field, while Security+ has no formal prerequisites, making it accessible to a broader audience.

Q5. Which cybersecurity certification is more recognized in the industry?

CISSP is generally more recognized and sought after in the industry due to its rigorous requirements and focus on experienced professionals. However, Security+ is still well-regarded as an entry-level certification.

Q6. What is the exam format for CISSP and Security+?

CISSP consists of a six-hour, 250-question adaptive exam, while Security+ has a 90-minute exam with around 90 questions. CISSP requires a higher level of expertise and dedication.

Q7. How do CISSP and Security+ certifications impact career prospects and earning potential?

CISSP can significantly enhance career prospects and earning potential for experienced professionals. Security+ is a valuable starting point but may not have the same impact as CISSP on job opportunities and salary.

Q8. Can I hold both CISSP and Security+ certifications simultaneously?

Yes, you can hold both certifications. Security+ can serve as a foundational certification before pursuing CISSP, which demonstrates your commitment to both entry-level and advanced security knowledge.

Q9. Do CISSP and Security+ certifications expire, and how can I maintain them?

Both certifications require continuing education to maintain. CISSP holders must earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits, while Security+ requires renewal every three years through CompTIA’s Continuing Education program.

Q10. Which certification is right for me: CISSP or Security+?

Your choice should align with your experience level and career goals. If you’re an experienced professional seeking advanced roles, CISSP is ideal. For beginners or those looking to establish a foundational understanding of cybersecurity, Security+ is a solid starting point.