How to choose the best IT security certification for pen testing jobs

Looking to get into the world of penetration testing, and you're not sure which certification might help? In this expert response, David Mortman explains how to know if pursuing a certification is right for your career.

Which hacking or penetration-testing certification would you say is most recognized in the security industry t...


Most recognized, in my opinion, is not the best metric to use when trying to determine which certificate to pursue. A better question is: Which certification demonstrates the highest level of skill? Or, which certification best meets my needs?

Regular readers of my columns may recall that I'm not a huge fan of certifications in general and certainly not in the case where they are used as shortcuts for hiring decisions. But to get back to the implied question, my recommendation would be not to worry about certifications, but rather get more training and experience. It doesn't matter what letters you have after your name; it matters what you know, and how much real life experience you have applying that knowledge. That's what resumes and interviews are for.

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This was last published in September 2009

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