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SSCP vs CISSP Exams: How do they differ?

Written by  Aug 14, 2019

If you’re considering a cybersecurity certification and the SSCP and CISSP are both on your list. After comparing the material, there may not seem to be a huge difference between the two.

The reality is, there are some similiarities, however, these two certifications are wholly different and were developed from two distinct perspectives.

In many ways, the CISSP certification holder would find the SSCP exam more difficult, as it’s focused on the technical detail. Although considered “entry level,” the SSCP is designed for the technical practitioner and requires a high degree of knowledge. It covers how to incorporate, build, design and apply security to technology.

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The CISSP was designed with leaders and managers in mind. It emphasises how to build a program and apply concepts of security to the business. Also, the frame of reference for each certification is miles apart. SSCP tends to focus on technical application, and CISSP on the business side of things.

Another important consideration is that the SSCP exam delves in the technical detail in great depth, where as the CISSP covers a wider range of subjects but not in as much detail. Both (ISC)2 credentials can offer excellent opportunities in the filed of IT security. Many pursue the SSCP first as they work toward getting managerial experience needed to obtain the CISSP.

To qualify for the SSCP, candidates must have at least a year of cumulative, paid, full-time work experience in the relevant fields. For the CISSP, candidates must have at least five years of cumulative, paid, full-time work experience in the relevant fields.

Try our (ISC)² Q&A's CISSP or SSCP for an idea of the typical exam questions you will face.

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For more information on both exams you can go to the ISC website Ultimate Guides to the SSCP or CISSP.


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Carl Perkins

A security tech expert, Carl specialises in IT Security having worked in the field for over 10 years and has previous Tech admin roles to his credit. He is very experienced and his contribution is invaluable to us.

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