Top 5 IT Certifications for 2021

Whether you’re attaining an IT certification to advance in your career, join a community of professionals, or to boost your credibility, here are the top five IT certifications you need for 2021.

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Being familiar with the tools and techniques used by criminal hacking organization is a necessity for IT security teams. The Certified Ethical Hacker certification exam was introduced in 2003 and is one of the first exams to teach the five phases of hacking. Certified Ethical Hackers are more demanded in 2021 due to the global increase of cyber-attacks. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have adopted teleworking, allowing for more potential online victims for criminal hackers. Certified Ethical Hackers are demanded in almost every industry because they are trained with the same tools and techniques as malicious hackers and can also think like one. Being able to think like criminal hackers gives Certified Ethical Hackers the ability to discover unconventional IT vulnerabilities that can lead to large scale cyber-attacks. Certified Ethical Hackers are trained to discover software, mobile, cloud, and IoT vulnerabilities and understand the tactics a criminal hacker can use against these devices.

Certified Information Security Professional (CISM)

CISM-certified professionals are IT security strategist that align the complexities of business operations with the goals of IT security. CISM is one of the most sought-after and highest earning certifications in the world because CISM-certified professionals are trained to develop security strategies that drive the business requirements of an organization. CISM-certified professionals can also adapt existing programs to meet industry best practices and frameworks, improving the overall security of the organization. Attaining a CISM certification demonstrates your understanding of IT governance, incident management, and risk management practices. A CISM-certified professional is trained to provide security management practices that supports IT operations and helps executives recognize IT risks when making business decisions.

Certified Network Defender (CND)

The Certified Network Defender certification provides hands-on training on cyber threat prevention while using real-world scenarios and circumstances. Like Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Network Defenders are in great demand due to the global increase in cyber-attacks. A CND certification can help shape your government career path because it is the most recognized entry-level certification within the Department of Defense. The CND certification is vendor-neutral and focuses on developing hands-on skills for a career in IT security. Along with purchasing network defense technologies, companies are also investing in Certified Network Defenders to protect their business assets. Investing in network security can prevent most cyber incidents. Business operations rely more on the internet than ever, making a CND certification a great investment.

Cisco Certified CyberOps Professional

The Cisco Certified CyberOps Professional certification is focused on developing cyber security skills in emerging technologies like cloud and automation. The Cisco Certified CyberOps Professional certification teaches candidates how to detect and manage security incidents, allowing certified professionals to confidently detect and respond to cyber-attacks. With a globally trusted vendor such as Cisco, its growth in popularity follows their popular CCNA exam that is also considered an entry-level certification but does not teach cyber security skills beyond network security. The Cisco Certified CyberOps Professional certification is for those seeking a career that may require securing sensitive data. Organizations such as military, government, academia, financial, healthcare, and political organization must comply with government regulations to adequately protect the transmission and storage of their sensitive data. Attaining a Cisco Certified CyberOps Professional certification can position your career for high demanded career paths that require trusted and capable cyber security professionals.

Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)

ISACA’s Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control certification is becoming a necessity in organizations that incorporate risk management into their business operations. Risk management processes are mandated by all sectors of government and by most board of directors. When seeking a global standard for validating proficiency of risk management practices and principles, ISACA’s CRISC certification has become that global standard. Financial institutions invest in CRISC-certified professionals to prevent fraud, data theft, and potentially bankruptcy. The growing threat of a cyber-attack has increased the demand for those skilled in risk management, making a CRISC certification a differentiator when hiring.


An IT certification makes a great impression. IT certifications do not equate to work experience, but it shows employers that you are devoted to your profession and can effectively manage your time to accomplish a goal. It also shows that you prioritize self-improvement and can quickly learn new skills. Most importantly, IT certifications can lead to the job interview that can shape your future since they are required for 70% of the available jobs in cyber security. We tie our success to yours, that’s why Cyber Brain Academy is committed to getting you certified.

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About the Author

Victor Nzeata is the Chief Executive Officer of Cyber Brain Academy and has held previous roles such as electrical engineer, software engineer, cyber threat emulation lead, and information systems security manager. In 2016, he became the US Army Reserve’s first graduate from the US Army Cyber School of Excellence and is the first Army Cyber Operations Officer with experience leading electronic warfare missions and combined arms operations in the United States, Asia and the Middle East. Victor is also an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego, where teaches Secure Systems Architecture to its graduate-level students.

Victor received a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering technology from Purdue University, a master’s degree in cyber security operations and leadership from the University of San Diego and is a Ph.D. candidate in information security. Victor holds active CompTIA Security+, Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Information Systems Professional, Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer, and Navy Qualified Validator Lvl 3 certifications.

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