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Entry-Level Cybersecurity Certification – FAQ

The entry-level cybersecurity certification enables students, incoming professionals and career changers to build confidence and enter their first cybersecurity role prepared for what’s next.


Why is (ISC)² developing an entry-level certification?

Research from (ISC)² and others continues to conclude that there is a global shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals. While there are many contributing factors, we believe one solution is to create a certification that enables candidates – including students, young professionals and career-changers – to demonstrate to employers their familiarity with foundational cybersecurity concepts as determined by cybersecurity professionals and practitioners already in the field.

What is a certification pilot program?

Before a certification program becomes formally operational, a rigorous process of exploration, research and validation is necessary to ensure the qualification meets its intended purpose, as well as the demanding standards of the cybersecurity community. The pilot program for a potential entry-level certification has entered the phase where we need participants to sit for the pilot exam. We are looking for new entrants to cybersecurity, individuals interested in pursuing a cybersecurity career from another field, as well as existing cybersecurity professionals to take the pilot exam. This will enable us to evaluate the effectiveness of the exam and its ability to accurately assess candidates’ grasp of the subject matter (also called domains) on which the exam is based.

What is the (ISC)² entry-level cybersecurity pilot certification?

The new pilot certification program is aimed at helping cybersecurity career pursuers demonstrate their foundational knowledge to employers, proving they can learn and grow on the job.

How much work experience is required to earn this certification?

Unlike other (ISC)² certifications, there is no work experience requirement to earn this certification.

When will (ISC)² begin administering the entry-level cybersecurity certification pilot exam?

The pilot exam administration period will begin Jan. 31, 2022. Registration for the pilot exam is now open with appointments currently available until May 31, 2022. Please note that the pilot exam administration period may be shortened or extended depending on the number or participants taking the exam. We recommend that any interested candidates schedule their exam as early as possible. Any unused vouchers or undelivered exams that are a part of this pilot will be converted to the regular certification program when it becomes available.

All standard (ISC)² exam policies and practices, including rescheduling and special accommodations, also apply to the pilot exam program. Learn more here. For questions, please contact us here.

How do I register for the pilot exam?
Candidates can register for the pilot exam via Pearson VUE, the exclusive exam administration provider for (ISC)². The process is simple:
  • Create an account with Pearson VUE.
  • Select the certification EL_Pilot: Entry Level Certification Pilot Examination.
  • Schedule your exam and testing location.

All standard (ISC)² exam policies and practices, including rescheduling and special accommodations, also apply to the pilot exam program. Learn more here. It is recommended that all candidates review these policies and procedures prior to sitting for the pilot exam.

What topics are covered by this exam?
There are five domains to this certification, listed below. For further details, visit the Exam Outline.
  • Security Principles
  • Business Continuity (BC), Disaster Recovery (DR) & Incident Response Concepts
  • Access Controls Concepts
  • Network Security
  • Security Operations

How long is the pilot exam?

The pilot exam contains 100 test items in a standard, linear exam format. There is a two (2) hour maximum administration time that is inclusive of all optional breaks and information screens.

All standard (ISC)² exam policies and practices, including rescheduling and special accommodations, also apply to the pilot exam program. Learn more here. It is recommended that all candidates review these policies and procedures prior to sitting for the pilot exam.

Can candidates skip a test item on the exam and answer it later?

No. Candidates cannot skip an exam item and return it later.

Can I take the exam online?

The entry-level cybersecurity certification pilot exam will only be available in-person at (ISC)²-authorized Pearson VUE test centers.

Is the pilot exam available worldwide?

Candidates will be able to take the entry-level cybersecurity certification pilot exam at any (ISC)²-authorized Pearson VUE test center that offers English language examinations.

Is the exam available in multiple languages?

The entry-level cybersecurity certification pilot exam will be available in English only.

Who should consider participating in this pilot certification?

Individuals pursuing a career in cybersecurity, which can include recent college graduates or those wishing to change careers.

Why will this certification be different from other foundational certifications?

We believe a need still exists in our industry for a certification that is attainable for newcomers and recognizes the growing trend of people entering the cybersecurity workforce without direct IT experience. Employers need confidence that when hiring new entrants into the field they have a solid grasp of the right technical concepts, and a demonstrated aptitude to learn on the job. Moreover, as an (ISC)² certification, the recipient will be an (ISC)² member backed by the world’s largest network of certified cybersecurity professionals helping them continue their professional development and earn new achievements and qualifications throughout their career.

Isn’t the SSCP already an (ISC)² entry-level certification?

The SSCP is for IT administrators, managers, directors, network security professionals and others responsible for the hands-on operational security of their organization’s critical assets. It shows they have the advanced technical skills and knowledge to implement, monitor and administer IT infrastructure using security best practices, policies and procedures. The new entry-level certification is intended to be a bridge to a cybersecurity career and future certification attainment for new entrants into the field. The SSCP has work/educational prerequisites that are not required for the entry-level certification.

As an employer, what does it mean if a job candidate has this certification?

Those who pass this exam have proven their knowledge, skills and abilities in the fundamentals of cybersecurity. They have a proficient understanding of policies and processes and have demonstrated their commitment to further cybersecurity education and development.

What are the requirements to maintain the Entry-Level Cybersecurity Certification after passing the exam?

Maintenance requirements for the certification will be announced following the completion of the pilot program.

The Entry-Level Cybersecurity Certification – FAQ content was originally posted on the (ISC)² website

Cycubix is an (ISC)² Official Training Provider and offers CISSPCCSPCSSLPSSCP and Entry-Level Cybersecurity Certification trainings.

In addition, we offer custom cybersecurity trainingsecurity awareness trainingcorporate cybersecurity trainingcybersecurity consultancy to ensure we adapt to your company’s specific needs. Discover all our cyber security trainings and online cyber security trainings available at Cycubix.