The Cost of Security Certification Exams

A student recently asked me about my views on different cybersecurity certifications. I offered my views but their response was that they wanted my opinion on the real value. I spoke about my view that working in cybersecurity really required a commitment to lifelong learning. That wasn’t doing it for them. They wanted it boiled down to dollar and cents. As of 9/18/23 I found the following.

ISC2 SSCP – $249.00 USD
CompTIA Security+ – $392.00
CompTIA CASP+ – $494.00
ISC2 CISSP – $749.00
ISACA CISA – $760.00
ISACA CISM – $760.00
Offensive Security OCSP – $850.00
SANS GCIH – $949.00
SANS GIAC – $949.00
EC Council CEH – $1199.00

Stepping back from cybersecurity certifications I took a look at the three largest cloud service providers ‘solution architect’ programs. AWS (Amazon), Azure (Microsoft) and GCP (Google) all offer either solution or cloud architect or administrator certifications.

  • AWS Solution Architect Associate (SAA-003) costs $150.
  • Microsoft Azure Administrator costs $165.
  • Google Compute Platform (GCP) Pro Cloud Architect costs $200.

Don’t overlook the costs of maintaining any of these certifications. CompTIA charges a fixed fee per year ($50 USD) for all of your earned certifications. ISACA and ISC2 charge more (approximately $200-250 USD per year) and may suggest that you join a local chapter with an additional cost (up to $150 USD per year).