The CISSP certification is certainly a very meritorious and prestigious certification. After all, it is the most well-recognized certification in the field of information technology and cybersecurity. It is a fiendishly difficult certification to obtain. The failure rate for candidates attempting the CISSP certification exam for the first time is well over 70%. If one obtains the CISSP certification online one will immediately gain an authoritative source of validation for one’s skills, knowledge, competence, and experience.

The answer to whether one can get a CISSP certification without experience is that yes, one can get it. This is too simple of an answer though and it requires some elaboration. So please read further. Before proceeding, it should be noted that if one undergoes CISSP certification training they will be able to learn all about the process of taking the exam directly.

CISSP Experience Requirements -

The CISSP certification exam requires a candidate to have paid work experience. A total of 5 years of paid work experience to be specific. This work experience should be acquired from a reputed and prestigious school, college, university, business, organization, institution, etc. The candidate should not have any bad reviews from any of his past employers. He should also have an absolutely clean record with no criminal activity listed on it whatsoever. In short, he should not have any black marks whatsoever on his employee record. Paid employment also includes any paid internships. While CISSP online training does not provide paid work experience, it is useful to learn about the 8 domains of knowledge.

The paid work experience should be based around any 2 of the 8 domains of knowledge listed in the CISSP requirements. They are as follows -

  • Domain 1. Security and Risk Management
  • Domain 2. Asset Security
  • Domain 3. Security Architecture and Engineering
  • Domain 4. Communication and Network Security
  • Domain 5. Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Domain 6. Security Assessment and Testing
  • Domain 7. Security Operations
  • Domain 8. Software Development Security

So you might be thinking why did we say that one can take the CISSP certification exam without any experience? After all, there are so many requirements listed above. The answer is that even without any paid work experience, a candidate can appear for the CISSP certification exam. But even if they pass the exam, they will not be able to add the initials ‘CISSP’ after their name. They will not become CISSP certified professionals. Instead, they will receive the title of ‘Associate of (ISC)2.’

What is Associate of (ISC)2?

If one does not have the required paid work experience for the CISSP certification exam they can still appear for it as bona fide candidates. If they manage to pass it which in itself will be an extremely difficult feat, they will be given the title of ‘Associate of (ISC)2.’ They can gain the knowledge and skills required to acquire the title through online CISSP training.

With this title, they will be able to remain associated with (ISC)2 and receive numerous benefits. The benefits include membership of CISSP professional user groups, links to member-only webinars, books, and magazines. They also receive steep discounts on all members-only content.

If one passes the CISSP certification exam without the required paid work experience, (ISC)2 will give them 6 years time to acquire the paid work experience. After that period, if they have not acquired the paid work experience, their CISSP certification will expire. They will have to renew all their skills and knowledge, after all, that time by taking a CISSP course too.

What is the difference between an Associate of (ISC)2 and a CISSP-certified professional?

A CISSP certified professional receives a package in the mail. It is a set of documents from (ISC)2 confirming their new position as full-fledged CISSP professionals. They have to fill in their details in the documents. This will begin the CISSP endorsement process. Once they have submitted the documents to (ISC)2, it will review everything and after that, they will receive the official designation of CISSP certified professionals.

An Associate of (ISC)2 will not receive any such package in the mail. They will not be allowed to use the initials CISSP after their name. Nor will they be allowed to use the logos of (ISC)2. They will have 6 years to acquire 5 years of paid work experience. Basically (ISC)2 believes that clearing the CISSP certification exam will make it easier for them to find employment in the security industry.

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