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4 Ways CISM Certification Will Support Your Career

Apr 2022 by MARIA FORSBERG

Are you considering pursuing the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification? This is a highly respected certification in the information security world.

 

 

If you’re looking for an opportunity to shift from a task-oriented position to a leadership position, you’ll find that available when you become CISM-certified.

The CISM certification focuses on strategy and management, which requires continual attention on the ever-evolving domain of information security. It’s not an easy certification to obtain, but it is one of the most valuable.

As a result, this certification will make you more valuable to your employers.

 

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How getting CISM-certified can support your career

Obtaining professional certifications is always a good strategy to advance your career, but you need to be selective. By choosing to focus on the CISM certification, you’ll be supporting your career in the following ways.

 

1. You’ll advance in your career

If your goal is to move from a task-based position into a leadership role, CISM certification is ideal. Becoming a Certified Information Security Manager tells employers that your expertise is valid, but it also says you have the ability to take the lead.

Leadership roles aren’t for the faint of heart. You’ll need to guide business decisions based on your knowledge and experience. Sometimes, other team members and even bosses will challenge you. When this happens, you’ll need to be able to respectfully stand your ground when you know you’re right. You’ll also need the ability to reframe situations and explanations to make sure others understand how your decisions will affect them.

If you’ve never stepped into a leadership position in your industry, it will be a challenge. However, if you’re willing to learn from your mistakes and grow, it will be highly rewarding.

 

2. CISM certification makes you worth more

If you’re not satisfied with your yearly salary, getting your CISM certification will help you increase your worth. This is one certification that can really take your value through the roof if you play your cards right.

While the average CISM yearly salary is around $52,400, some professionals earn up to $243,610. Most professionals with salaries on the higher end of the spectrum have multiple certifications, plenty of experience, and strong leadership skills.

If you’re still working on these things, it will take a bit to achieve a higher income goal, but you’ll eventually get there.

 

3. You’ll be selected above non-certified candidates

Once you’re a CISM, your opportunities will become much wider than before. When you apply for certain positions, your certification will likely be the deciding factor that gets you an interview over other candidates.

Even when you don’t need to be a CISM to get the job you’re applying for, many organizations prefer hiring candidates with professional certifications, especially when there are opportunities for career advancements.

 

4. You’ll gain expert status

No matter how much you know, it’s hard to be taken seriously as an expert without an official title and certifications to back it all up. With a CISM certification, you’ll have what you need to back up your status as an expert.

No matter what job position you take, and no matter what your title, once people know you’re a CISM, your advice and insight will automatically become more valuable. Instead of being “someone with an opinion,” you’ll be seen as a seasoned professional who knows their stuff.

 

How to get the CISM certification

There’s only one way to get the CISM certification – pass the exam. This is easier said than done, and it’s highly recommended to take a training course to prepare.

To start working toward your certification, first make sure you meet all the requirements. You will need:

  • At least five years’ experience working in information security
  • At least three of your five years’ experience working in three or more of the job practice analysis areas.

There are some substitutions available to help you qualify for the exam. See our CISM training course page for more details.

 

What to expect on the CISM exam

When you take your CISM exam, you’ll be tested on four main domains:

  • Information security governance
  • Information risk management
  • Information security program development and management
  • Information security incident management

The exam will contain 150 multiple-choice questions scored on a 200-800 scale. You only need 450 to pass.

Keep in mind that the CISM certification is a high-level, advanced certification for experienced information security professionals. It is not an entry-level certification.

 

Yearly CPE requirements to maintain CISM certification

Once you get certified, you’ll need to complete 60 hours of CPE credits every three years. Most people choose to complete 20 hours each year to stay on top of the requirements. You can acquire CPE credits by attending ISACA conferences, certain workshops, and other events. You can also take college courses, attend specific trainings, and participate in approved self-study programs.

At the end of each three-year cycle, you can renew your certification if you’ve met the requirements; otherwise, your certification will be terminated. If you let your certification get terminated, you can file an appeal or retake the exam to get recertified.

 

Sign up for our CISM training course

Once you know you meet the qualifications, you’ll want to take a training course to prepare for the exam. Taking a training course isn’t required, but it’s almost impossible to pass the exam without one.

When you take our CISM training course, you’ll learn from a professional instructor throughout the entire course. Your instructor will teach you everything you need to know, and you’ll have plenty of time to learn and review the material.

Our courses can be taken online or in person, and are run at intervals throughout the year so you can pick a date that works best for you.

Sign up for our CISM training course today and get a jump on becoming a Certified Information Security Manager.

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