ISC2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), ISC2 Certification, ISC2 Certification, ISC2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP), SSCP, CISSP vs. SSCP, CISSP Salary, CISSP Domains, SSCP Domains, CISSP Exam Cost, ISC2

Quick Comparison: CISSP VS SSCP

Cybersecurity jobs are in huge demand, and it doesn’t look like the requirement for more security professionals is going anywhere in the nearer future. There are many vendors offering security certifications, and the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or ISC2, is one of the most prominent. In this article we will have quick comparison of CISSP VS SSCP.

Their standard security certification is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), questionably one of the most valuable and challenging security certifications.

Early-career security professionals could find the CISSP appalling and consider the ISC2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP), or another certification, as their road to certification.

Let’s delve deeper into these two distinct ISC2 certifications. We’ll take a look at what’s involved in acquiring them, their career value, and the ‘advantages and disadvantages’ of each.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

CISSP certification is intended for experienced cybersecurity professionals — managers, technicians, and administrators. To earn CISSP certification, applicants must pass a three-hour, 125 questions computer adaptive testing exam. Moreover, they must offer valid proof of five years of full-time employment — or work experience — in two or more of the following eight CISSP security domains specified by ISC2:

  1. Security and Risk Management (15%)
  2. Asset Security (10%)
  3. Security Architecture and Engineering (13%)
  4. Communication and Network Security (14%)
  5. Identity and Access Management (IAM) (13%)
  6. Security Assessment and Testing (12%)
  7. Security Operations (13%)
  8. Software Development Security (10%)

And that’s not all. Once the applicant has passed the CISSP exam, they must be verified by an active ISC2 certification holder before they are given their CISSP certification.

Read: What is the CISSP Certification?

Note that if you pass the CISSP exam, but do not have the expected years of experience, ISC2 will acknowledge you as a CISSP Associate while you acquire the required domain experience.

Given all this work, it’s reassuring that in their current Guide to the CISSP, ISC² demands that salaries for CISSP-certified professionals average over $130,000. CISSP was the security certification most desired, As reported by the CyberSeek interactive cybersecurity supply/demand map of job postings.

Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)

While CISSP is for experienced professionals, the SSCP is an early-career certification from ISC2, which needs only a single year of relevant cybersecurity experience. SSCP varies in that its emphasis is on technical, practical aspects of security, while the CISSP emphasizes process.

According to ISC2, SSCP certification is designed for people in planning and admin positions, while CISSP is for high-level IT leaders — auditors, architects, and consultants, along with IT managers and executives. The SSCP is equivalent to, but not as prominent as, CompTIA’s Security+ certification.

SSCP applicants must pass a three-hour, 125-question exam that evaluates their expertise of the following domains:

  1. Access Controls 16%
  2. Security Operations and Administration 15%
  3. Risk Identification, Monitoring, and Analysis 15%
  4. Incident Response and Recovery 13%
  5. Cryptography 10%
  6. Network and Communications Security 16%
  7. Systems and Application Security 15%

SSCP applicants must have a minimum one year of valid work experience in one or more of the SSCP security domains. If you hold a degree in a cybersecurity program, then you may be provided an exemption for the year of experience.

As with the CISSP certification, SSCP applicants must be verified by an active ISC2 certified holder before they are assigned their certification.


Candidly, it is not a matter of one certification versus the other. They stand for distinct spaces on the range of cybersecurity skills and experience.

If you’re in a beginning career security position and are seeking for a way to develop credibility, then SSCP is a perfect certification to start with.

If you have made up your mind to pursue an IT leadership position, then the ISC2 CISSP must be your long-term objective! You should first earn the SSCP first and later go for the CISSP as you receive the work experience in the cybersecurity domain.

But hold on, if the CISSP is your target, then you can pass the CISSP exam and become a CISSP expert. While it’s not the same as a comprehensive CISSP, the associate-level certification is acknowledged in the U.S. government sector and may also be affirmed by some organizations.

How CISSP Benefits Your Cybersecurity Career

Note that all ISC2 certifications are valid for three years and must be renewed through required continuing professional education. Certified professionals must also be contemporary with their ISC2 annual membership fees.

CISSP vs SSCP: Opportunities in Government Sector

Both SSCP and CISSP are acknowledged as U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) benchmark certifications, which recognize specific certifications for different levels of IT technician, manager, and architect/engineer jobs in the Federal Government.

SSCP is recognized for Levels I and II Information Assurance Technician (IAT) jobs. CISSP (or CISSP Associate) is a benchmark certification for Level III IAT jobs, along with for jobs at Level II or III Information Assurance Manager (IAM) and Level I and II IA System Architects and Engineers (IASAE).

Level III architect/engineer jobs require the next level CISSP architecture or engineering concentrations.

Salary Outlook

As you might anticipate, you’ll ask for a bigger salary if you’re CISSP-certified. ISC2 itself demands an average CISSP salary of $131,030 in contrast to $93,240 for an SSCP.

A survey carried out for full-time jobs demanding CISSP certification returned an average salary of $94,000 but revealed almost one-half offering from $100,000 to $125,000 or more.

A search for SSCP jobs returned an average salary of approximately $82,000, with just under half offering $90,000 or more. The ISC2 brand must increase the value because jobs for the corresponding CompTIA Security+ certification revealed an average salary of only $72,395.

Summing It Up

So, what’s the heart of the matter in comparision of CISSP vs SSCP? Both CISSP and SSCP are important, well-paying cybersecurity certifications. Market for CISSP in distinct is apparently higher than the number of professionals certified.

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