When did you realize your career was at a point where you no longer needed to chase down the next certification? I’ve known a mixture of both groups – people who constantly jump from cert to cert and hoard a ton of them – and people who have been at it for a while and have a few certifications they got early on and then just built up such a wide range of skills/experience that they were able to carry their careers forward on that alone.

For me I used a couple of certifications to get into the field, working as a SOC analyst (getting experience with threat hunting, IR, etc.) while slowly expanding into the security engineering realm – and now I’m a full time security engineer focused less on the day to day security operations world and more on the design/implementation/enhancement of a security program.

So at this point I’m like 38 years old and feel like I don’t really have the personal time to chase down anymore certifications, and honestly I feel like my experience has been the biggest thing to get me to where I’m at in my career. Just curious what other people’s journeys were like and when they knew it was time to stop hoarding certs, if ever.

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  • Cypher_Blue

    January 15, 2022

    If you’re where you want to be career wise, and you have some deep/advanced certificates in your specific field, and you have a strong general cert like the CISSP, then you should be fine. Keep up on getting new training but grabbing new certs isn’t going to help you a ton.

  • ShameNap

    January 15, 2022

    When I got my Cissp and had 10 years of experience, certs just didn’t make sense for me.

    I started dropping certs off my resume, until I was left with just the Cissp. I actually stopped getting certs for a few years. But I’m back on, and have achieved 3 certs in the last 6 months. But none of them are going on my resume, unless I was applying for a job where it was directly related.

    I view certs as something to get you to an interview. They attract the recruiters and get you through HR to the hiring manager, but they don’t really have any value after your first interview.

    1-2 certs for the job your applying for is enough. After that it’s what skills you have, what passion you bring, and how well you can interview.

  • flipper1935

    January 15, 2022

    IT is a big field, and a lot of the “cert game” depends on what fields you persue, and also if you’re hoping jobs alot, or contracting, etc.

    I’ve got a few certs, but they are older/expired now. I’ve been fortunate that when moving to a new position, multi-part technical interviews have been the deciding factor, over both certs and training. FWIW, I’m much more proud of the technical training I’ve received vs certs. That stuff is *expensive*.


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