How the CISSP is Comparable to a Master’s Degree

By : TechnoEdge Learning November 20, 2020

A certified information systems security professional (CISSP) is recognized in their field as an experienced and skilled IT professional, but that’s not the only recognition that comes with a CISSP certification now. (ISC)² has recently announced that the CISSP certification is officially recognized as being comparable to Level 7 of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in the UK, which is the same level as a master’s degree. This is good news whether you’ve already received your CISSP certification, or you’re in the middle of, or just beginning, your CISSP training. We are going to break down exactly what this news means, and how it happened.

The Evaluation Process

In order to be found comparable to a master’s degree, (ISC)² had to have their certification evaluated by a third party. In this case, the evaluator was UK NARIC, the UK’s government-designated agency responsible for overseeing academic, vocational and professional qualifications from across the world. UK NARIC reviewed the core qualification components of the CISSP certification and performed a comparative analysis of the skills assessed during the CISSP exam against the RQF, the UK’s reference system for categorizing qualifications based on the scope of knowledge they represent and their level of difficulty.

The CISSP certification’s focus on thorough understanding of specialized knowledge is what earned it such a high evaluation. The CISSP focuses on organizational problem solving and decision making, awareness and correct use of industrial standards, policy and best practice, as well as understanding and appropriate use of methodologies, techniques and training as they relate to cybersecurity. UK NARIC concluded that the CISSP certification was comparable to the RQF level 7, the same level as a master’s degree. There is only one level higher on the RQF, level 8, which is comparable to a PhD.

What Does This Mean for a Certified Information Systems Security Professional?

This evaluation is good news for those who already have their CISSP certification, as well as those in CISSP training, like the course offered at TechnoEdge. It is important to recognize that the CISSP being comparable to level 7 of the RQF does not mean that having your CISSP is the same as having a master’s degree. The standardized comparison to the RQF does mean that employers, government agencies, and education institutions can better assess and understand your certification. This can make it easier to apply for course credit from a post-secondary institution, and it can help you in applying for new roles or promotions.

The RQF is only used in the UK, but it’s framework matches the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), which means the CISSP is officially recognized at Level 7 status across all of Europe. Unfortunately, the RQF and EQF are not formally recognized in any other parts of the world, but the UK and European recognition may still be taken into consideration by some organizations and institutions.

Earning Your CISSP

The CISSP certification continues to be an industry standard in cybersecurity and the evaluation by UK NARIC serves to reinforce its value. The RQF Level 7 comparison makes it easier for CISSP certification holders to demonstrate their value, particularly in the European market.

If you’re looking to get started on your CISSP training, then there’s never been a better time to start than right now. TechnoEdge offers an intensive CISSP course that prepares students to earn their CISSP certification. The course goes in-depth on each of the eight domains of the (ISC)² CISSP Common Body of Knowledge, which make up the basis of the certification exam.

Register now for the upcoming course and advance your career with a CISSP certification.

Read our other blog: Pathway to CISSP Certification


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