cissp vs casp plus- which one is best

CISSP vs CASP+: Find the Best Fit for Your Career

It is very important to choose the right certification for your career growth. In this article, we’ll compare two heavyweight cybersecurity certifications: CISSP and CASP+. Both are respected in their own right and endorsed under the DoD 8570 framework. But which one is right for you? Let’s dive deeper into the details of CISSP vs CASP!

Is it the CISSP, globally recognized for its strategic and managerial focus? Or do you lean towards the technically intensive CASP+, where hands-on skills in security architecture and incident response are highly valued?

Dive into the details as we dissect the domains, decode the difficulties, and highlight the key differences between CISSP and CASP+. We’ll help you choose the right certification for your career goals. 

Table of Contents

Certification Overview

CISSP is aimed at those seeking a broad, managerial role in cybersecurity, covering strategic and governance aspects, while CASP+ is developed for individuals focusing on the technical, hands-on aspects of cybersecurity implementation. Here’s a table comparing the key aspects of the CISSP and CASP+ certifications to make the differences more straightforward:

Aspect

CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)

CASP+ (CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner)

Target Audience

Experienced security practitioners, managers, and executives aiming to demonstrate a broad knowledge of security practices.

IT professionals focused on remaining highly technical in their roles, rather than moving into management.

Focus

Broad coverage of information security topics, with an emphasis on strategic and managerial aspects.

Deeply technical and hands-on, focusing on implementing security solutions and direct problem-solving.

Domains Covered

Eight domains including Security and Risk Management, Asset Security, Security Architecture and Engineering, and more.

Concentrates on fewer domains with a deeper dive into areas like Security Architecture, Operations, and Engineering.

Purpose

To develop leaders capable of managing and formulating comprehensive security strategies.

To equip technical practitioners with advanced skills necessary for tackling complex security challenges directly.

Ideal For

Those looking to lead security teams or manage company-wide security strategies.

Practitioners who prefer to work hands-on with technology and remain involved in the day-to-day technical tasks.

CISSP vs CASP+: Exam Structure and Difficulty

Now, let’s take a look at the comparison of the exam structures of these two certification exams.

AspectCISSP ExamCASP+ Exam
FormatComputerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) which adjusts the difficulty based on performance.Fixed number of questions; includes multiple-choice and performance-based questions (PBQs).
Length and Question Type
  • 3-4 hours,
  • 100-150 questions,
  • both multiple-choice and advanced innovative questions.
  • 165 minutes,
  • up to 90 questions,
  • A mix of multiple-choice and Performance-Based Questions.
Domains Covered
  • Security and Risk Management
  • Asset Security
  • Security Architecture and Engineering
  • Communication and Network Security
  • Identity and Access Management
  • Security Assessment and Testing
  • Security Operations
  • Software Development Security
  • Security Architecture
  • Security Operations
  • Security Engineering and Cryptography
  • Governance, Risk, and Compliance
Passing CriteriaA score of 700 out of 1000 is required to pass.Pass/Fail only, no numerical score provided.
Experience Requirements

To earn the CISSP certification, candidates need at least five years of full-time, relevant experience, which can be reduced by one year with a relevant degree or approved credential. Part-time work and internships also count toward this requirement.

Candidates lacking the necessary experience can pass the CISSP exam to become an Associate of (ISC)² and then have six years to gain the required five years of experience.

A minimum of ten years of general hands-on IT experience is required, with at least five years of broad security experience, although this is not mandatory for certification.

 

Is CISSP Harder to Pass Than CASP+?

Yes, the CISSP exam is relatively difficult to pass compared to CASP+. Although ISC2 does not disclose passing rates, they are believed to be quite low, reflecting the certification’s demanding nature. Several factors contribute to this:

  • Vast Knowledge Base of CISSP: The exam emphasizes applying cybersecurity concepts in a managerial context rather than merely memorizing facts. You need a deep understanding of implementing and overseeing security strategies.
  • Experience Requirements: To take the CISSP exam, you must have at least five years of cumulative, paid work experience in two or more of the CISSP domains. This ensures candidates have practical knowledge to draw upon. In contrast, for CASP+, you need at least five years of broad security experience, although it is not mandatory for certification.
  • Adaptive Testing Format: The CISSP exam uses Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT), where the difficulty of questions adjusts based on your performance, making it harder to ‘game’ the system.
  • Exam Length and Stamina: The CISSP exam can include between 100 and 150 questions, and it requires three hours (or six hours for the longer version) to complete. This requires both knowledge and stamina. Conversely, the CASP+ exam requires you to complete up to 90 questions within 165 minutes, which can sometimes be easier to guess.

These elements make the CISSP a particularly challenging certification to obtain compared to CASP+.

Job Market and Opportunities

Here, we will compare the job opportunities associated with CISSP and CASP+ certifications. First, let’s explore the types of job titles you can apply for with these certifications:

CISSP and CASP+ Job Titles
CISSP Job TitlesCASP+ Job Titles

·  Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

·  Chief Security Officer (CSO)

·  Director of Information Security

·  Security Architect

·  Security Consultant

·  Information Security Manager

·  Security Analyst

·  Information Assurance Analyst

·  Risk Manager

·  Compliance Officer

·  Security Engineer

·  Security Analyst (Tier 2/Tier 3)

·  Cybersecurity Analyst

·  SOC Analyst

·  Technical Lead Analyst

·  Application Security Engineer

·  Cloud Security Engineer

Some of these roles overlap with CISSP titles, and while CASP+ focuses on technical competency, experience still plays a significant role in job placement.

 

If we’re looking at market demand, CISSP is the clear winner. Let’s check out the current job postings on LinkedIn, Indeed, and SimplyHired in the USA job market (as of April 25, 2024) for comparison:

 

CISSP and CASP+ Job Opportunities
Online job boardsCISSPCASP+
LinkedIn31,3652150
Indeed.com6,000+498
SimplyHired4,655600
Total =42,0203,248
cissp-linkedin-job-posting
CISSP Jobs in the USA on LinkedIn


CISSP holds a substantial lead with 42,020 job postings across LinkedIn, Indeed.com, and SimplyHired. In contrast, CASP+ has significantly fewer listings, totaling only 3,248 across the same platforms. This disparity highlights the greater market demand and broader job opportunities available for those holding the CISSP certification compared to CASP+.

Salary and Return on Investment

Choosing between CISSP and CASP+ certifications can significantly influence your long-term career trajectory and financial prospects. Here’s how each certification can impact your career growth and salary over time:

CISSP Salary and Job Market Insights:

CISSP average salary in USA

According to Ziprecruiter, As of April 19, 2024, the average hourly wage for a CISSP in the United States is approximately $53.99, and the yearly wave is about $112,302. While salaries range from as low as $10.10 to as high as $79.33 per hour, most fall between $45.91 and $61.54. This indicates a relatively narrow pay range, suggesting limited opportunities for wage advancement regardless of location or experience. The job market for CISSPs appears sluggish, with few companies hiring, highlighting a potential stagnation in demand.

Top 5 Best Paying Related CISSP Jobs in the U.S.: Related roles such as Cism CISSP and Security Engineer CISSP offer higher salaries than typical CISSP positions, sometimes up to 37.6% more. These opportunities suggest that obtaining additional certifications or specializing in certain security sectors can substantially increase earnings potential.

Here’s a table summarizing the top cities and related job roles with their respective salaries:

Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Cism Cissp$154,554$12,879$2,972$74.30
Security Engineer Cissp$152,773$12,731$2,937$73.45
Issep$144,461$12,038$2,778$69.45
Ccsk$121,932$10,161$2,344$58.62
Cissp Issmp$116,713$9,726$2,244$56.11

This table provides a snapshot of the financial benefits of CISSP certification in various high-paying cities and related job roles, underscoring the certification’s value in enhancing career prospects and salary potential.

CASP+ Salary and Job Market Insights:

CASP+ Average Salary in US
CASP salary overview in USA by ziprecruiter.com

According to Ziprecruiter, As of April 19, 2024, the average annual salary for a CompTIA CASP in the United States is $72,826. This translates to roughly $35.01 per hour, $1,400 weekly, or $6,068 monthly. The salary range for CompTIA CASP positions varies widely, from $31,000 at the low end to as much as $248,500 at the high end, with the majority ranging from $49,000 to $73,000 annually. This variation suggests potential for salary growth through skill development, experience, and location changes.

Top Paying Related Jobs: Certain related positions, such as Cism CISSP and Security Engineer CISSP, command even higher salaries, exceeding the average for CompTIA CASP by up to 112.2%.

Here’s a table summarizing the top cities for CompTIA CASP jobs, along with related job salaries:

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
San Jose, CA$91,682$7,640$1,763$44.08
Vallejo, CA$89,852$7,487$1,727$43.20
Oakland, CA$89,677$7,473$1,724$43.11
Hayward, CA$89,525$7,460$1,721$43.04
Antioch, CA$89,413$7,451$1,719$42.99
Lebanon, NH$89,088$7,424$1,713$42.83

The CISSP certification stands out as the winner in terms of salary potential and career opportunities. CISSP professionals typically earn higher salaries and have access to senior-level, strategic roles globally, making it the more prestigious choice. Meanwhile, CompTIA CASP, while offering solid opportunities in technical fields, generally provides lower salary levels and is less recognized for leadership positions.

Overall, CISSP offers broader recognition and higher financial rewards, making it the preferable choice for those targeting top-tier security roles.

So, Which Certification is Better?

Deciding whether to pursue the CISSP or CASP+ certification depends on your career goals. If you aspire to hold high-level management positions in cybersecurity, then CISSP might be the right choice. It is widely recognized and can lead to higher salary opportunities. This certification prepares you for strategic roles that oversee security practices across organizations, making it perfect for those who want to become Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) or Security Managers.

On the other hand, if you prefer to stay hands-on with the technical aspects of cybersecurity, then CASP+ could be a better fit. This certification is designed for IT professionals who excel in directly implementing and managing cybersecurity solutions, providing specialized technical expertise.

In summary, while CISSP offers more prestige and broader career possibilities, CASP+ appeals to those who prioritize technical depth over managerial breadth. Each certification has its strengths and aligns with specific career paths in the cybersecurity field.

1 thought on “CISSP vs CASP+: Find the Best Fit for Your Career”

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