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Is CySA+ Worth It?

Is CySA+ Worth It

In a fast-paced industry such as IT, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and keep your skills sharp. One way to do this is by pursuing various certifications, which can show employers that you are knowledgeable and committed to your career.

One certification that is becoming increasingly popular is the CompTIA CySA+ – Cybersecurity Analyst Certification. This credential validates an individual’s ability to configure and use threat detection tools and behavioral analytics, perform data analysis and interpretation, identify vulnerabilities, and suggest remediation techniques.

If you are looking into pursuing the CySA+, you may be wondering if it is worth your time and money. In this blog post, we will break down what you can expect from this cybersecurity certification and whether or not it is a good investment for your career.

CompTIA CySA+: An Overview

The CySA+ is a globally recognized certification that was developed by information technology industry leaders to ensure that security professionals have the skills and knowledge necessary to protect organizations from cybersecurity threats.

To earn the credential, candidates must pass an exam that consists of a maximum of 85 multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, and performance-based questions. The test covers a variety of topics, including:

  • Security analytics
  • Vulnerability management
  • Threat detection and response
  • Cyber incident handling and more

The passing score for the exam is 750 on a scale from 100 to 900. Candidates have 165 minutes to complete the test, and it is offered in English and Japanese.

Is the CySA+ exam hard?

The truth is, the CompTIA CySA+ is not for the weak of heart. It is a demanding test that covers a lot of ground, and candidates should expect to put in a significant amount of time studying before they feel confident enough to take the exam.

CySA+ is definitely not meant for beginners but rather for individuals who already have some experience in the field of cybersecurity. In fact, CompTIA’s recommendations for candidates include having at least four years of experience in information security or a related field, along with the CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Network+ certs.

That being said, while this CompTIA certification is a challenging exam, it is by no means impossible to pass. Thousands of people have earned the credential, and with the right amount of preparation, you can be one of them.

Why Get CySA+ Certified?

A valid question is – why should you go through all the trouble of getting CySA+ certified? After all, it is a lot of work, and the exam is not easy.

The answer lies in the fact that the CySA+ credential can open doors to new career opportunities. With this certification, you can demonstrate to potential employers that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to be an effective cybersecurity analyst.

The CySA+ is also a great way to boost your earnings potential. If we look at current job postings requiring the CySA+, we can see that many employers are willing to pay a premium for candidates with this certification (up to $210k a year, depending on the position).

If you wish to work at a government organization or a company in a highly regulated industry, you may be required to have the CySA+ credential (or a similar certification). In other words, if your dream job requires the CySA+, then you really don’t have a choice – you need to get certified.

The bottom line is that the CySA+ can help you launch or further your cybersecurity career. It is a credential that will show employers that you have what it takes to be a successful analyst. While the exam is not easy, it is definitely worth the effort.

How long does it take to get CySA+?

The CySA+ exam itself is not too long – you have 165 minutes to answer 85 questions. However, the time it takes to prepare for the test can vary depending on your experience level and study habits.

If you already have some experience in cybersecurity, then you may only need a few weeks of dedicated studying to feel confident enough to take the exam. However, if you are starting from scratch, then you should give yourself at least two to three months to prepare.

The best way to study for the CySA+ is to use a combination of resources, such as textbooks, online courses, and practice exams. This will help you get a well-rounded understanding of the material and allow you to identify your weak spots.

Different types of training programs offer different durations. Some boot camps last for weeks, while other options may take up to six months to complete. It really depends on the program and how much time you are willing to commit.

There are even more flexible self-paced options available, such as online courses. These can be completed at your own pace and may only take a month or two to get through all the material. Again, this largely depends on your learning style and how much time you are willing to dedicate to studying.

Our advice would be to start studying as soon as possible. The more time you have to prepare, the better your chances of passing the exam. It would be best not to apply for the exam until you feel confident that you are ready.

How expensive is it to get CySA+ certified?

According to CompTIA’s official website, the cost of the exam is $392, which means it is not the most expensive certification exam out there. However, this is just the fee for the test itself – it does not include the cost of training or other study materials.

The price of training programs can vary widely, from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. It really depends on the format of the course (online or in-person), the provider, and the length of the program.

If you are on a tight budget, there are some free resources that can help you prepare for the exam. However, we would recommend supplementing them with paid resources as well, such as practice exams and video tutorials.

In short, the cost of getting CySA+ certified can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on your learning style and the type of training you choose.

Can CySA+ get you a job?

Right off the bat, we have to say that no security certification (or any other cert, for that matter) – no matter how impressive – is guaranteed to get you a job.

That being said, the CySA+ can definitely give your career a boost and make you more attractive to potential employers.

As we mentioned before, the CySA+ is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in cybersecurity. It shows that you are willing to invest in your career and that you are serious about protecting data.

In addition, the CySA certification can help you qualify for jobs that you might not have been able to apply for before. Many employers require candidates to have this credential (or a similar one) in order to be considered for certain positions.

Some of those positions include:

  • Security analyst – Security analysts are responsible for identifying, responding to, and preventing security threats. They use their knowledge of cybersecurity to safeguard data and systems.
  • Security engineer – Security engineers design and implement security solutions. They also oversee the development of new security products and features.
  • Incident response analyst – Incident response analysts investigate and resolve security incidents. They also develop plans and procedures for responding to future incidents.
  • Threat intelligence analyst – Threat intelligence analysts collect and analyze data to identify security threats. They use this information to help organizations protect their data and systems.
  • Threat hunter – Similarly to threat intelligence analysts, threat hunters proactively search for security threats. However, they go one step further and try to neutralize these threats before they can cause damage.
  • Application security analyst – Application security analysts, test and assess the security of applications. They also develop strategies for improving the security of these applications.
  • Compliance analyst – Compliance analysts ensure that an organization is in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. They also develop and implement policies and procedures for maintaining compliance.

These are only a handful of the many positions that can benefit from the CySA+ certification. As you can see, the CySA+ can help you qualify for a wide range of exciting and rewarding jobs. It is a great stepping stone in your career, no matter where you want to go.

Conclusion

The CySA+ is a relatively new exam in the cybersecurity world, having been out for around four years. Nevertheless, it has risen to prominence very quickly and is now one of the most popular certifications.

Some of the benefits of the CySA+ include its focus on hands-on experience, its vendor neutrality, and the fact that it can help you qualify for a wide range of jobs.

In addition, the CySA+ is relatively affordable, especially when compared to other certifications (such as the CISSP certification).

So, if you are looking to get started as a cybersecurity professional or take your career to the next level, the CySA+ is definitely worth considering.

Ready to get started on your CySA+ journey? Contact us at the CyberAgility Academy today to learn about our training options. We offer both self-study and instructor-led courses, so you can learn in the way that best suits your needs.

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